Barbecues are a great way to get friends and family together for occasions like the 4th of July, birthday parties, receptions, and going away parties.
Planning the perfect BBQ for friends and family doesn’t have to be all that difficult, as long as you follow a few simple steps.
- First, no barbecue is complete without guests (Duh).
Plan ahead, checking with your potential guest for scheduling conflicts and issues. Finding a date and time that is suitable for everyone should not be too difficult, as long as you give everyone enough advanced notice.
Remember that not everyone will be able to come regardless of lead time, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get as many RSVP’s as you originally hoped for.
2. Be sure to check the weather for that time of the year.
Few things are worse than finding out that you’ve planned an outdoor event on a day that’s supposed to be pelting rain. You can’t predict crappy weather, but you can make sure that you hold you barbecue during the time of year when the weather should be pleasant for your guests.
That said, if you live in an unpredictable climate, you might want to have a backup plan just in case the weather doesn’t cooperate.
3. Buy the types of meat that you’ll be serving at your party.
You will want to have a least a couple of different kinds of meat, as your guests are likely not all going to like the same thing.
It’s usually safe to go with pork, sausage, hamburgers, and chicken. If young children are going to be in attendance, you should consider kid-friendly foods like smaller hamburgers and hot dogs.
4. Buy alternatives for those who don’t eat meat.
When you’re having a gathering of family and friends, a nice selection of vegetarian alternatives is always a welcome sight. You don’t want any of your guests to feel left out, and worse…hungry!
5. It’s time to think about side dishes.
If you want a completely traditional barbecue, you might want to stick with “traditional” sides which could include potatoes, potato salad, baked beans, and coleslaw, maybe even a caesar salad.
Your traditional condiments should include pickles, relish, and onions. These are typically served at barbecues because they’re easy to prepare and store until the event happens.
You might want to provide other items, but any barbecue is complete with the items listed above. Once again, if children will be present, you might want to consider sides for them as well.
The simplest approach to side dishes is chips and dip. Chips and dip don’t require any cooking on your part, and your guests will still devour them.
6. You may or may not want to purchase decorations.
Festive decorations can be found at any local party or department store. You may also consider purchasing decorations that can be stored and reused at a different time..
7. The day before you party, you will you should make sure to thaw (if necessary), prepare, and marinate the meat you’ll be cooking.
Store the meat in the fridge, soaking up the marinate until it’s time for it to go on the grill. Prepare any side dishes that you can ahead of time.
8. The day of the party, get up early and start preparing for it.
You don’t want your guests arriving while you’re still cooking or hanging decorations. It should only take you a few hours at most to prepare the area that you’ll be having the party, but the reactions from your guests will probably seem as if you have been planning this for weeks.
Try to have the grill already going by time the guests get there as well, because the smell coming from the grill is sure to get everyone in a festive mood.
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