Summer is here, and what better way to celebrate than with a backyard barbecue? Whether you are a seasoned grill master or a first-timer, there are a few things you can do to make sure your barbecue is a success. From planning your menu to setting the right atmosphere, we’ve got you covered with these eight tips to help you throw a fantastic summer barbecue.
Set the Scene
Creating the right atmosphere for your backyard barbecue is key. Choose some casual outdoor furniture and add some colorful pillows and fun decor. You can even hang string lights to add some ambiance.
Music can help create a great atmosphere for your summer barbecue. Whether you prefer upbeat pop music or classic rock, choose some tunes that your guests will enjoy. For the best experience, set up a sound system to keep the party going. You can also create fun playlists on your favorite music streaming services so you’ll have something to listen to all night long.
Plan Your Menu Ahead of Time
Take time to plan your menu in advance and check with your guests for any dietary restrictions. Make sure you have a variety of options to choose from, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. Don’t forget to have plenty of beverages for your guests to choose from such as ice-cold lemonade, iced tea, or a refreshing adult beverage.
When it comes to food for your barbecue, you can never go wrong with classic grilling favorites. Burgers, hot dogs, and sausages are always great crowd pleasers. For something a little different, try making kebabs with vegetables and proteins such as chicken or steak. Grilled corn on the cob is also a delicious side dish that pairs well with any barbecue.
And don’t forget about the desserts! S’mores are a must-have for any summer barbecue, but you can also offer other treats such as fruit popsicles or caramel apples. With so many options to choose from, your guests will have plenty of delicious options to enjoy.
Timing is Key
Make sure you time your cooking correctly. Light the grill about 30 minutes before you plan on cooking your food. Make sure to keep your grill at a consistent temperature, so your food cooks evenly. Try to have your sides and appetizers prepped and ready to go, so you can focus on grilling the main course.
Cooking time will depend on a few different factors. Generally, it is best to plan for between 10-20 minutes of cooking time per pound of meat. For burgers and hot dogs, plan for about 8-10 minutes per side. If you are cooking fish or vegetables, keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook.
To ensure your food is cooked through, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature before serving. Keep in mind that larger cuts of meat will take longer to cook than smaller cuts.
Showcase Your Grill Skills
Impress your guests with your grilling skills by using some seasonings and marinades. Add some flavor with a simple rub made from herbs, spices, and olive oil. Marinate your meat for a few hours or overnight for some maximum flavor. Be careful not to overcook your meats so they remain juicy and delicious.
Provide a Little Bit of Shade
If you are hosting a daytime barbecue, provide some shade to your guests with a large patio umbrella, retractible awnings, or some canopies. This will also provide a cool oasis for guests to escape from the hot sun. Set up a few fans or misters to help cool off the area for your guests too.
Give the Kids Something to Do
Make sure the kids have plenty of fun things to do at your barbecue! Set up a few lawn games, such as bean bag toss or ladder golf. If you have a pool, set up some pool toys so they can cool off and splash around. You can also create a makeshift water slide with tarps and sprinklers for some extra fun.
For more creative ideas, set up an arts and crafts table with paper, markers, and other supplies. If your guests are all older kids or adults, you can always organize a game of kickball or cornhole to get the competitive spirit going.
Keep Mosquitos Away
Mosquitos can be an unwelcome guest at a summer barbecue. There are many ways to keep mosquitos away from your summer barbecue. Place some plants known to repel mosquitoes around your gathering space, such as lavender or marigolds. Make sure these plants have plenty of water and sunlight so they stay healthy.
You can also purchase citronella torches or hang mosquito netting over picnic tables and seating areas. These simple solutions can help make sure your summer barbecue is both enjoyable and mosquito-free.
Clean Up as You Go
Don’t wait until the end of the party to start cleaning up. As you finish with each course, clear your grill grates and clean up your prep area. Wash dishes and glasses as you go and dispose of any trash immediately. Doing this will help you keep your party area tidy and reduce the chance of an insect or pest infestation.
One way to reduce waste at a barbecue is to choose reusable items instead of disposable ones. This could include using cloth napkins, dinnerware, and cutlery instead of paper or plastic disposables. You can also purchase compostable plates, cups, and utensils made from renewable resources like cornstarch or sugarcane.
Serving food buffet-style instead of individual portions can also help to reduce food waste. Additionally, plan your menu carefully and purchase only what you need for the event so that there will be fewer leftovers at the end of the day. Taking these simple steps can go a long way toward reducing waste at your summer barbecue.
Throwing a fantastic summer barbecue doesn’t have to be stressful. With these eight tips, you can plan a delicious menu, showcase your grilling skills, and create a fun atmosphere for your guests. With a little bit of planning and preparation, your summer barbecue is sure to be a hit.