On a hot summer afternoon, there’s nothing better than flipping burgers, sipping cold beverages, and sharing laughs with close family and friends. But why wait to get invited to a barbecue when you could throw one yourself? Barbecues are laid back and casual, so they’re easy to host. And if you follow these easy tips, we promise that your barbecue will be the best in the neighborhood.
1. When it comes to the menu, less is more. Offering fewer items makes shopping and cooking easier, and it doesn’t leave guests feeling overwhelmed. Cooking ribs, hamburgers, hotdogs, pulled pork, chicken, kabobs, and fish would be a ton of work, and guests would have a hard time deciding what to put on their plates. Narrowing your entrée menu to two options will make everyone’s lives a little easier. And don’t feel the need to make fancy food: you can never go wrong with hamburgers and hotdogs. Just be sure to have some veggie burgers on hand for your vegetarian guests. Additionally, keep in mind what food can sit outside and what food should be kept indoors. It's always a good idea to keep food items in a cooler so that they don't spoil or grow too warm.
2. Add a dessert table. A dessert table will satisfy chocolate cravings and provide perfect snacks after the grill is closed. Go simple with chocolate covered pretzels, a cooler full of popsicles, and a variety of cookies. If you’re not a baker, pick some up from the store and put them on a fancy plate-no one will know the difference.
3. Don’t forget the games. Providing your guests with games to play will ensure that they stick around long after they take their last bite. Lay out bocce ball, cornhole boards, croquet, ladder golf, or lawn darts to facilitate friendly competition. And if your party goes into the night, you can hand out sparklers to keep the festivities going. The best part is that these backyard activities appeal to people of all ages and will get your guests mingling.
4. Turn up the music. Set up a speaker or two and turn on your favorite playlist to give your barbecue a fun atmosphere. Play some classics that everyone can hum along to, as well as a few newer hits. And if you don’t want to DJ, Spotify has a great playlist called “Backyard BBQ” that is free for anyone to use, or you could turn on the Bruce Springsteen Pandora station for some patriotic tunes.
5. Decorate. Decorations will make your barbecue feel more festive. Add a few strings of lights to your patio or surrounding trees, use vibrant flowers as centerpieces, and craft some colorful signs to direct guests or label food. These little details will make your party look like it jumped out of a magazine.
Barbecues are a great way to bring your friends and family together-and keep your house intact. They’re also a good way to show off an amazing lawn, awesome outdoor patio, or new deck. Hosting a barbecue open house is a fun way to get buyers attention and showcase a house in a lively environment. No matter what the occasion for your barbecue is, your guests are sure to leave happy.