As the nice weather rolls in, many of us prepare to host barbecues complete with savory sausage, grilled corn, and crispy potatoes. This is a chance to bond with friends and family while enjoying the great outdoors. Ensure your event goes perfectly with these tips for planning the perfect backyard barbecue.
Get a Headcount
A barbecue is no different from any other social gathering, so you’ll need a list of everyone who’s coming to your get-together. This gives you a better idea of what you need to buy and how much you need. If you’re planning to host a large family barbecue, you’ll need more food and beverage options than if you were hosting a backyard gathering with a few friends.
Plan a Menu
Everyone has different preferences in taste, and the great thing about a barbecue is that you can cook a variety of foods to please everyone. Meats like sausage are delicious, and there are many ways to cook them at home. Better yet, there are many types of sausage—Polish sausage, chorizo, Italian sausage, and chicken sausage are just a few examples. You can throw different links on the grill to appeal to everyone’s pallet.
Prepare Food Ahead of Time
While you may already have a menu in mind, you should also make some of the food before guests arrive. You don’t have to cook everything ahead, nor should you, but get all the prep work out of the way beforehand. If you plan to make some yummy kabobs, chop up your meat and veggies and skewer them the morning of the party. Food is a social event, and you don’t want to get trapped in the kitchen when you should be enjoying your company.
If you invite a large group of guests, ask them to bring something to share. Potlucks are fun, and it takes a lot of pressure off you. Ask guests to bring an appetizer, drink, side, or dessert. Just make sure everyone knows who will bring each dish.
Decorate the Space
The final tip for planning the perfect backyard barbecue is to decorate your deck or patio for the event. If you plan to have guests stay until it gets dark, put out some tiki torches or string lights. A bit of ambiance takes things to the next level and shows your guests that you’ve thought of comfort and food.
Plan Activities for Everyone
Outdoor games like cornhole and frisbee keep things moving and give your guests a great source of entertainment. Think of activities that are fun for everyone. While kids may want to play games, the adults may prefer to sit around talking. Set out any necessary gear for outdoor games so your guests can decide what they want to do. When everyone can have fun, guests will rave about your barbeque for the rest of the year.