The barbecue bash is what summer is all about. It’s the low-key good time that people cannot get enough of. The sound of food crackling above dancing flames, the smell of suntan lotion wafting through the air and the clink of glasses coming together as friends cheers the good times.
But throwing a flawless barbecue bash is not always as easy as throwing together a simple impromptu get together. So, without further adieu, here are our top tips for hostessing the best grill up this summer.
6 Steps For Throwing The Best Barbecue Bash
1. Set The Standard
The setting is everything. It’s what will set the tone and boost the atmosphere, so think of everything you can. Make sure your lawn is properly mowed, and if you don't have a patio, deck or other designated entertaining space, set up a lounge area with plenty of shade. If you need to, speak to some plumbers in order to avoid a Meet the Parents situation, and make sure you have a space or two set up for trash and recycling in order to avoid littering. Citronella candles and tikki torches can help keep bugs at bay (and help set the mood when the sun goes down) and food umbrellas will help keep pests off food as well.
2. Choose The Foods You'll Grill
The heart and soul of every barbecue is the food and drink, so make sure you know what you want to serve without going overboard. You want to be a relaxed hostess, not a stressed caterer. We recommend the classic (burgers and dogs), and then spicing it up with some kebabs and brats, as well as some veggie or seafood options. It’s a foolproof approach.
3. Sensational Sides
The secret to complementing a super-tasty barbecue is to have a handful of delicious (and nutritious!) side dishes accompanying your meaty main course. Salads, slaws and grilled vegetables like Mexican Street Corn (aka Elote) or veggie kebabs are great accompaniments. Just be sure to keep any mayonnaise-based dish out of the sun and on ice to prevent spoiling.
4. Drinks, Drinks, Drinks
For beverages, keep things simple. Soda, beer and plenty of bottled water are must haves. Additionally, you can serve lemonade and iced tea in decorative pitchers where folks can help themselves. If you want to create an easy alcoholic drink, consider a pitcher or two of fruity sangria.
5. Decor Is A Must
Red gingham is the universal standard when it comes to barbeque decor, but you can go one step beyond and create a themed barbeque bash using a Hawaiian or Fiesta themed motif. Themed decor adds a fun, colorful flair most guests won't be expecting!
As mentioned previously, tikki torches and citronella candles pull double duty as bug repellents AND additional lighting. To create further ambiance once the sun goes down, consider purchasing inexpensive solar light stakes from your local dollar store and line walkways and paths, if they aren't already illuminated. Battery operated paper lanterns and fairy lights (both also available at most dollar stores) will also help light up your space.
6. Music, Of Course!
A barbecue is not complete without music, so be sure your Bluetooth speakers are ready to go and fire up your favorite Spotify or Pandora playlist. My favorite music this time of year is "Yacht Rock Radio", which roughly translates into soft 70s rock, the perfect backdrop for warm weather, good food and great friends!
Need some recipe inspo? Check these out:
Do you have any great barbecue inspo to add? Let me know in the comments below!