Nice weather and sunny skies offers an opportunity to host friends over for a barbecue party. While this sounds fun, planning a cookout no matter how small, can be a tasking venture. The perfect BBQ party requires proper planning and placing contingency measures in place in case something goes south.
And in life, most things never go according to plan…
That’s where this checklist comes in handy. Keeping the following in mind will help you host a barbecue gathering your friends will talk about for months!
1. Check the Weather
The weather should be the first thing you get clarity on. Does it look like there will be some light showers mid party? No matter what the weather channel says, take some precautions. If the party is at your house, provide some shelter for your guests. If you are booking a venue, ensure their space can accommodate the number of guests you are expecting.
2. Grilling Equipment
Without the grill, you don’t have a party! Depending on your preference or the preference of the chef who’ll handle the grill, you can get a charcoal or a gas grill. Even a cheap gas grill can do a great job, so don’t feel you have to splash our if you’re new to grilling. If you’re wondering, there are differences between the two. Charcoal grilled meat has the traditional woody flavor, while gas grilled meat has a bacon-like taste.
You might also need to start grilling the meat way before your guests arrive if you are going to be using a charcoal grill. Lastly, don’t forget the grilling tools – spatula, tongs, the grill fork, aprons, gloves, and oil.
3. Condiments, Spices, and Food
The food being served is one of the main reasons everyone’s so excited to join your barbecue! You need to ensure you have a varied menu here to accommodate everyone, including vegans. Marinades, BBQ sauce, cheese, ketchup (this is a must-have), onions, lettuce, steak ( some folks prefer ethically raised grassfed beef), hamburgers buns, and kebabs.
Getting the food right plays a role in how long people stay if they don’t come with company. Don’t overdo your menu though. Remember – quality over quantity.
4. Outdoor Lighting
You do expect some of your guests to tarry along till late in the night. Plan for some outdoor lighting to light the place up properly so no one walks into the hot coals after having one too many drinks. The fun shouldn’t stop because the sun went down so make sure you consider investing in outdoor lighting.
5. Meat Thermometer
When using a grill to cook meat, it is important to ensure the meat is properly cooked. Beef can easily look burnt on the outside while inside is still raw. A meat thermometer solves this dilemma for you. That way, no one falls ill from food poisoning after your party. You don’t want your party to be remembered as the one where everyone woke up the next day with the runs.
6. Drinks! Drinks! Drinks!
These get the party going and everyone in the mood. Especially when they are ice-cold, so plan to chill them for a while before your first set of guests start to arrive. You also need to plan for everyone- adults, kids (if you invited families over), and those who don’t drink alcohol.
One great way to leave an impression on your guests is by showing off your cocktail making skills. That way you can whip up some fun-tasting cocktails and mocktails for everyone.
Planning a BBQ party can look intimidating, especially if it’s your first. So many moving parts and you always feel as if balls are dropping left, right and center. It’s OK to feel overwhelmed, but more importantly, a good checklist for all the essentials ensures you end the day feeling like a bunch of fresh red roses.