“The party’s in the back!”
If the BBQ is happening in your backyard, put a sign on the front door directing guests to the party area. This will save you from walking back and forth to let guests in. You’ll also avoid the awkward situation of asking guests to remove their shoes to walk through the house, only to put them on again when they set foot in the backyard.
Get the grill going—before your guests arrive
Fire up the grill at least ten minutes before your guests are due to arrive. This will ensure the grill is hot and ready to be used. Once your guests show up, all you need to do is throw the food on the barbie. Before turning on the grill, and if necessary, use a brass wire brush to clean the cooking grates of debris or residue.
Set out munchies
Burgers, steaks and kebabs all take a while to cook on the grill. Make sure to have a veggie platter, tortilla chips and salsa and other finger foods on the table for your guests to munch on while the main attractions are sizzling on the grill.
Stock the cooler with ice cold drinks
On a sweltering hot day, nothing beats the heat like a cold one. Make sure you’ve got a lot of beer, wine coolers, soda and bottled water chilling in an icy cooler. If you’re throwing a BYOB event, make room in the fridge and buy extra bags of ice so guests may keep their drinks cold. Be a responsible hostess by having taxi numbers available or coordinating car pools for guests who are not sober enough to drive themselves home.
Accommodate dietary restrictions
Not everyone likes their burger rare or even well-done for that matter. You may have vegetarians, ovo-vegetarian or vegans amongst your party guests. When sending out the invites, be sure to ask your guests to notify you in advance of any food allergies, or restrictions, be they dietary, religious or otherwise.
Keep grilled food warm
If you’ve got a lot of food to grill, use aluminium foil wrap to cover food that’s been barbecued to keep it warm. Be sure to also time the grilling according to what needs to stay on the grill from the longest amount of time to the shortest. This will ensure all your grilled delicacies stay hot for as long as possible.
Pump up the volume—to an extent
No outdoor BBQ is complete without some rockin’ tunes to set the mood. If you have an iPod speaker, bring it outside, plug in your iPod and press play. Ask friends to bring their iPods, too, so you have plenty of musical variety. However, be considerate of your neighbours. While you may be having a party, keep the volume of the music to an acceptable level so you don’t have the men in blue unexpectedly showing up at your door.
Keep things simple
Your BBQ fare need not be super complex or fancy. The usual standbys of burgers, hot dogs and chicken wings along with green salad, potato salad and coleslaw are old-time BBQ faves that almost every guest loves. If you want to wow your guests with your culinary fare, do as much advance prep as possible so you’re not in the kitchen and missing out on the fun. For great BBQ recipes, simple or fancy, check out our Recipe Finder.
You’ve set out the munchies and cold drinks, prepped the food, pressed play on the ipod and fired up the grill. You’ve worked hard to put together a great BBQ—now enjoy it with the rest of your guests!