Nothing signals the summer season like the smoky, meaty wisps of BBQ meat wafting through the neighborhood mixed with laughter and upbeat tunes. Wanting to get the edge on your friends by throwing the BBQ party of the season? Follow these simple rules: good food, great tunes, and comfort. Food Rules When dreaming up your party menu, it’s important to ‘know thy guest’ – in other words, be considerate and think of who will be able to eat what. In today’s world, there is a lot to consider when offering friends and family cuisine.
Who is vegetarian, who is allergic to what, and who’s on dietary restriction due to weight loss or religious obligations are all questions you should ask yourself when planning. Scan your guest list and ask if necessary. If you are using disposable grills, make sure that you are being eco-friendly. Disposable grills that use charcoal will give your meats that lovely smoky flavor. Same rules apply to disposable plates and cutlery.
If you have a small number, consider using your own dishes to keep people using the same plate and cup – guests tend to use multiple cups if they’re disposable. Try to keep it simple so you can enjoy your own party, and delegate to your closest friends to divide the food duties. Planning the party ahead of time and preparing food with your friends can be fun, too! The standard grilled meats and buns are essential, but have fun with the side items.
Raw veggies, simple sour cream dips, potato salad and pasta salad are all great options for a BBQ party. Have plenty of snack bowls with pretzels, crackers, and chips as well! Playlist Essentials Music sets the tone for any party, so you want to think light and fun.
Transport your guests into the summer zone with beachy tunes that make you feel relaxed and laid back. Music along the lines of Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson set the right kind of mood for a great BBQ party and that type of music isn’t loud enough to tune out the chatter of guests. Your goal is for your guests to mingle, drink, chat and eat.
Music should be a pleasant background accompaniment not the guest of honor. If the afternoon turns into evening and the invitees are in the mood for a little dance party, have a playlist of boogie down tunes ready on backup for that, too! Garden Prep for Comfort Before your guests arrive, your garden needs to be prepped to accommodate the number of guests.
There should be ample and comfortable space for eating, mingling, and chilling. There should also be plenty of ashtrays for disposal of toothpicks, wrappers, or cigarette butts – try to avoid picking things out of your grass the next morning! Invest in some inexpensive mats and pillows for comfortable seating on the grass, and bring out some side tables so people can safely put down their glasses.
Tikka torches are a nice touch for when it gets dark outside and scented ones keep the mosquitos at bay! Candles and lanterns will add a nice, relaxing touch to your outdoor atmosphere. Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and occasional blogger on lifestyle-related topics. She is a major BBQ fan and organizes as many garden parties as her friends are willing to come to.