Tips for Planning the Perfect Summer BBQ

That first barbeque of the summer is an exciting experience; the smell of charcoal, the clink of Pimms jugs and the sight of a burn sausage are enough to fill anyone with glee. If you’re planning a summer BBQ for family and friends, read this tips for ensuring it’s the best barbie you’ve ever had!



BBQ Safety

Let’s start with the dull stuff – BBQ safety. Where you position your BBQ plays an important part not just in the success of your cooking but in keeping your party innocuous. Make sure you avoid gaps between buildings where draughts can occur and stay away from any other windy positions which will make maintaining the right BBQ temperature tricky and can fill you garden with smoke.

Don’t place the barbecue too close to garden fences, outbuildings and plants just in case you scorch them and whilst placing it on the grass is safe, solid ground is always a better choice. Don’t forget to consider whether your designated BBQ area has adequate outdoor lighting should your party go into the evening.

Always have a fire blanket and water close to hand in case there are any sudden fires.

Deciding the menu

When you’re sure you’ve got the facilities to host a BBQ safely, it’s time to plan the grub. Think carefully about your guests, do you need to cater for any vegetarians?

We all have our BBQ meet preferences, and special family recipes in which to marinate them, but alongside chicken wings and hot dogs – try other delights like:

  • homemade BBQ garlic bread or cheese and tomatoes topped crostini
  • bread, cheese, tomatoes and sausage skewers – a great alternative for kids who don’t like fancy kebabs
  • corn on the cob
  • skewered new potatoes – like tiny jacket potatoes on a stick, serve with a garlic mayo dip

Delicious drinks are another aspect of BBQ success, if it’s an adult only party you’ll do well by stocking up on plenty of alcohol. But why not be imaginative and make your own summer cocktails?

If you’re barbequing on a particular hot day, have jugs of water and plenty of ice ready so your guest can quickly cool down and refresh whenever they like. For a classy touch to tap water, add slices of cucumber and chill.

Don’t forget child friendly drinks too – fizzy pops are the obvious choice but can leave little ones full before they’ve tasted the BBQ delights. Opt instead for homemade smoothies or fresh fruit juices.

Outdoor entertainment

Whilst you’re doing all the cooking, you need to keep your guests entertained. Plenty of drinks should help keep the conversation flowing, but a BBQ party is a chance to really let your hair down so give your attendees something else fun to do. Oversized garden games like wooden Tetris always go down well and no party would be complete without some tunes playing! Get your Hi-Fi hooked up so that it plays outside, or invest in portable speakers for your MP3 or smartphone.

Erin Emanuel