The sun doesn’t need to be out for long before us Brits start planning a bbq. Warm weather and eating al fresco go hand in hand, and it’s not unlike us to power on through with bbq plans even when the weather isn’t ideal.
When it comes to hosting a great barbecue party, there’s a few things you need to have in place. We’ve put together some tips and tricks that will help you host the perfect bbq with great food and fun stuff to do, all while minimising the tidying up.
Firstly, here’s a quick list of things you’ll need to host your own barbecue party:
Once you’ve sorted the date and who’s coming, you’ll want to start the main preparations for your bbq.
First start by cleaning your bbq, especially if it’s been unused since last year. You can use a steel brush to remove dust, dirt, and caked on food. If you’ve been itching for a reason, this could be the perfect opportunity to get yourself a new bbq, but only go down this route if your current model is broken or no longer fit for purpose.
Get out any garden furniture you have and give it a wipe down. If your furniture is plastic you can even give it a quick wash with the hose and leave it out in the sun to dry.
Now you need to prep the most important part of the day: The food. What are you going to eat? You’ll want to make a list of what to buy ahead of the day.
Decide on a selection of meats you’d like to cook and marinate any that require it the night before. Classics include chicken drumsticks, marinated chicken breast slices, different flavours of burger and sausage (pork and apple are always a winner), and even ribs or some salmon. Don’t forget to include some vegetarian or vegan options if any of your guests don’t eat meat.
Although meats are popular at barbecue parties, don’t forget veggies and sides too. You can bbq peppers, courgette, and corn on the cob. Make some pepper and halloumi skewers and drizzle them in sweet chilli sauce, and cover corn on the cob in butter.
Sides will give guests something to nibble on while the meat cooks, so have a classic potato salad prepared along with a quiche. These can easily be made in advance so you’re not rushing around on the day. You can also have a selection of dips with carrots, cucumber and even slices of pita bread.
Don’t forget hotdog and burger buns, cheese, and condiments.
A cold drink at a bbq is essential, so make sure you have some sort of drinks cooler set up. This could be a cool box or bag with some ice packs, or a large plastic box full of ice. Just make sure to set it up in the shade. Here you can keep bottles of beer, soft drinks, and any other type of bottled or canned drink. You can even keep cartons of fruit juice here.
You can also mix up jugs of Pimms, various cocktails, and fruit infused water. Use normal plastic jugs or Kilner glass dispensers.
In the morning, set up your outdoor furniture and where you’ll be serving the food. The easiest way is to set up a buffet style barbecue where there is a dedicated table that guests can serve themselves from. Lay out the plates and cutlery ahead of time.
Don’t forget to provide some shade so your guests and keep cool and stay out of the sun if they need to.
To help minimise tidy up, set out bins for your guests to use. Have your green box for bottles and cans, your food waste bin for any scraps (some of these can be composted), a plastics bag, and general waste bin for anything else. If your guests put things in the correct bins as they are finished with them, this means you need to spend less time tidying up later.
Line up a few playlists before your guests arrive. You can either create your own playlist or search for pre-made ones on popular streaming services.
Don’t forget about games and things to do. Think about the age ranges of your guests and the kind of things they would enjoy. For kids you can keep them entertained by up a paddling pool, have a game of human ring toss, twister, or jenga. For adults you can organise a quiz or the frozen t shirt race, but there’s nothing to stop adults doing the kids games too.
Just before the guests are due to arrive, lay out the nibbles, the cool box for drinks, and start heating up the barbecue. If you’re using charcoals, wait until they turn grey before you start cooking.
With all of this you should be able to pull off an impressive bbq party that your guests will have a great time at.
To finish off, here are some important safety tips you should stick to when hosting a barbecue.
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