Americans love BBQs.
In fact, over 75% of all American families own some type of grill or smoker. If you’re one of those families, hosting a backyard BBQ is a great way to enjoy the summer sun with your friends and family.
Not sure how to make it happen?
That’s okay. We’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to plan a refreshing BBQ party this year.
So let’s dive in!
One Week Out
You should start planning your BBQ party at least a week in advance. This will give you plenty of time to invite your guests, buy what you need, and get everything organized.
Here’s what you should do first.
Figure out Who’s Coming
The first thing you need to figure out is how many people are coming to your BBQ party. Otherwise, you might not get too much food or—even worse—not enough.
Put together a list of friends and family members and send out the invites. Since many families go on vacation during the summer, you might want to do this even earlier.
Plan What You’re Eating
Once you know who’s coming, it’s time to figure out what you’ll be eating.
It’s a good idea to come up with a few finger foods your guests can eat before lunch or dinner—or “linner”—is ready. This could be as simple as a bag of chips and a bowl of salsa or other light snacks.
For the meal itself, you should have the main course with at least two side dishes. Start with some classic and simple BBQ ideas if you don’t know what to make. You can even ask your guests to each bring a dish and turn the meal into a buffet.
Don’t forget to consider any allergies or food intolerances when you’re planning your meal. If one of your friends can’t eat gluten, make sure you have some gluten-free alternatives.
Pick the Right Drinks
Getting your drinks ready can be as easy as buying some soda, your alcohol of choice, or favorite juice. Make sure you have somewhere cool to store these drinks, such as an ice chest, so they don’t bake in the summer sun.
If you have any children attending the BBQ, don’t forget to provide child-friendly drinks as well.
Think About the Games
You need to provide entertainment for your guests while they wait for the food to finish grilling. But again, tailor your games to the people attending your party.
If you’ll have kids at the party, you can set up games like cornhole, twister, or other energetic activities. You might also want to consider filling up an inflatable pool or providing some water-related games to help the kids cool off in the heat.
If your party is mostly adults, set up a few tables with card games (or keep the pool and cornhole. Who’re we to judge?).
Think about what you need beforehand so you have enough time to buy the supplies.
The Day Before
Now that the BBQ party is only one sleep away, it’s time to start setting everything up. If you put everything off until the day of, you’ll end up with a hectic BBQ that might not be very enjoyable for you.
So here’s what you should cross off your list the day before the party.
Now’s the time to go out and buy all the food, drinks, and other supplies you need.
You should already have a list prepared from when you planned your meal, but give it another look over to make sure you aren’t missing anything. Then do your best to buy everything you need for the party.
If you have to wait to buy something, do your best to pick it up as early as possible before the party the next morning.
Set up Your Games
Go into your backyard and figure out where your games will go. If possible, set them up so you don’t have to worry about it before the party.
Things like card games or inflatable pools may have to wait, but you can set up cornhole and other outdoor activities in advance.
Get Everything Organized
Take some time to get everything else organized for the party.
This might include planning where the food tables will go, getting the grill ready, or doing some last minute weeding and tidying. If your party will continue after dark, you can use this time to hang string lights in the trees or on the porch.
Todays the big day! It’s also the time to finish any remaining chores before the guests arrive.
Here’s what you should plan on doing before the BBQ.
Set up Your Food and Drink Stations
Go outside and set up your food and drink stations before people start to arrive. That way, your guests will have a place to set any food they bring, or if you’re providing all the food, the snacks will be out when they get there.
Before your guests show up, decide what time you want to be eating. If you want to serve the meal at 2 PM and it takes an hour to prepare, you’ll want to start grilling at 1 PM.
Because of this, you don’t necessarily have to start BBQing before people get to your house. Just have a plan in mind so you know when to start.
The most important part of a BBQ party is to have fun. Don’t let yourself get so focused on the details that you forget to enjoy yourself.
If something goes wrong, that’s okay. It’s not the end of the world. Be flexible and keep smiling. You and your guests will have a good time no matter what if you let yourself have fun with it.
How to Plan the Best Backyard BBQ Party This Summer
Hosting a backyard BBQ party is one of the best ways to enjoy summer with your friends and family. And if you start planning in advance, your job will be a lot easier.
Want to celebrate with your employees and work buddies this summer, too?
Make sure you check out more of our blog to get some more ideas!