Fire up the grill and get ready for your barbecue bash with these tips on attire, decorations, eats and activities.
Slip on a light, summery dress and some strappy sandals. Paint your nails with a summery shade, put on a sunhat and you’re ready for the party! BBQ kings: Just wear a loose, airy shirt and shorts and a classic pair of aviator sunglasses. On grill duty? Grab an apron with pockets to hold your grilling tools.
While the food should be your centerpiece at this shindig — it is a barbecue after all! — adding some small touches will help turn your backyard bash into the summer party. Lay out your food family-style on a big outdoor table, but skip the tablecloth (too susceptible to wind) in favor of a charming table runner for a dash of polish. Keep napkins from blowing away by wrapping them around each set of utensils and securing with twine. Cover your food with glass or mesh domes for protection. Citronella candles will light up your backyard and keep buzzing critters away from your dishes, so place them on the serving and dining tables.
Give guests the option of both alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks so they can quench their thirst as they please on a hot summer day. A wheat ale lemon shandy (lemonade and beer with fresh lemon slice) and an iced green tea with honey and fresh mint offer refreshing twists on old favorites. Fill up a cooler with a variety of other beverages and attach a bottle opener to it using a piece of string so it doesn’t get lost. Cheers to summer fun!
Whether you have a hibachi, gas or charcoal grill, get set to get your barbecue on! Get your tongs, basting brush, and grill fork ready — and be sure to have a full tank of propane if you’re using a gas grill. Tip: Before you fire up the grill, make sure it’s clean from the previous use — and double-check that your cleaning brush doesn’t have loose bristles, since those could get into the food. For the main course, grill up some steak (like our peppercorn ribeye) or BBQ chicken. For sides, corn on the cob is a classic (try our spicy honey-lime version); just add grilled zucchini, summer squash and peppers or a panzanella salad for a dish that can also work as a vegetarian-friendly main. If you want to kick it up a notch, hold your own barbecue sauce competition by having your guests bring their own homemade sauces to pair with your steaks and chicken. Nominate a couple guests who fancy themselves BBQ experts and have a taste test to see whose sauce reigns supreme.
Keep the grill lit and serve grilled nectarines topped with whipped cream and vanilla wafer crumbles. Or get your guests in on the action — let them roast their own marshmallows over the fire to make s’mores.
Backyard barbecues are all about indulging in great food and drinks and having fun with your friends. So, add a few games into the mix to make the occasion even more memorable. Set out bocce ball, cornhole or badminton. Turn up the fun as you turn your backyard into a friendly competition amongst guests.