BBQ Party Planning Tips

It's time to fire up the grill! Whether your idea of a barbeque is inviting a few close friends over for burgers or roasting a pig for the whole neighborhood to enjoy, BBQ parties are a great way to entertain. Make sure your next backyard bash is a smash with these party planning tips.

The Food

Let's face it: your guests are coming to your BBQ party for the food. Give them what they want with a robust menu of grilled treats. Most people come to a barbeque expecting meat. Choose two meat options that fit your budget and cooking ability, as well as a vegetarian option if you have any herbivores on your guest list. 

Steak is a classic, chicken will please just about anyone, and seafood like salmon or shrimp add a little variety. Of course, you can't go wrong with the classic hamburgers and hot dogs either - just be sure you have plenty of rolls. Plan to serve half a pound of meat to each guest. If you're expecting big appetites or want some leftovers, up your serving to three quarters of a pound. 

Finally, don't forget the sides, condiments, and desserts. All three are great for delegation, so don't be afraid to assign them when your guests ask "what can I bring?" Chips, dip, coleslaw, potato salad, and corn on the cob all go perfectly with heavy meat-based barbeques, so don't be afraid to load up.

The Drinks

There's nothing better than an icy drink on a hot day. Make sure your guests have access to plenty of water. Water bottles are nice for convenience, but consider pouring from a pitcher instead to reduce waste. Non-alcoholic drinks like lemonade, punch, or soda will spice up any party, while beer, wine, and cocktails will satisfy the 21+ crowd.

The Logistics

So you have your grill, you have your food, and you have your backyard. Now what? Take a little time to think about where people will eat and what they'll eat off of. Your guests may be able to stand while eating a hot dog, but if they're eating anything that requires cutting they'll need a table to sit at. Clean off the patio furniture or set out folding tables before they arrive. If you don't have enough outdoor seating, open up the house for the meal.

Finally, outdoor parties are a minefield when it comes to dropped, broken, and lost dinnerware. Make life easy on yourself by serving off of durable, reusable plates and cups. They're the best of both worlds: you don't have to worry about shards of glass in the backyard, and your party won't end with a garbage can full of trash.

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