A Definitive Guide to Planning The Perfect Barbeque
Hosting a barbeque in the summers is one of the highlights of the season. And with how things were last year in lockdown, this year’s barbeque may be even more special. Whether you’re cooking for your family, friends, or even just yourself, the smell of those sausage and beef patties on the grill can guarantee to make you instantly feel better.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro at hosting barbeques, a little refresher course is always helpful. With this helpful guide about the do’s and don’ts of hosting the perfect barbeque gathering, you will be able to make the best of your day.
Here are a few things that’ll help you get through the day without any hassle.
1. Decide Between Charcoal & Gas Barbeques
One of the first things you need to decide for your barbeque party is whether you want to opt for a charcoal grill or a gas barbeque. Both of these have their own pros and cons. Therefore, you have to decide while keeping your priorities in mind.
Are you planning on spending less time actually cooking and more time catching up with your friends and family? Gas charcoal will be a better option for you. While it may not give the smokey flavor of barbeque, it will certainly provide you with delicious food quickly and more efficiently.
On the other hand, if you want the authentic smokey flavor of barbeque and are willing to put more effort and time into it, you may want to opt for a charcoal grill. A charcoal grill is also great for you if you’re up for experimenting with the meat or want some charcoal baked- potatoes. We have to admit, there’s almost no taste in the world like charcoal-grilled sausages and ribs.
Both the grills will help you cook the perfect meat and vegetables. However, what you ultimately opt for depends on your preference and time constraints.
2. Quickly Review the Tools
Have you ever charred the sausages a little more than you’d like or burnt the patties because you forgot to turn them in time? Don’t worry; even the best chefs have burnt their fair share of foods.
However, the right tools can help you avoid this issue. A variety of barbeque tools will help you grill everything to perfection. Make sure to stock up on a barbeque tool kit to be able to effortlessly flip everything from burgers and halloumi to peppers and Portobello mushrooms.
Some tongs, longs forks, knives, and spatulas are necessary. If you’re feeling extra fancy, you may want to take it to the next level with rotisserie its, pizza stones, and griddles.
3. Create A Comfortable Space to Eat
No matter how long it takes to cook the food, you ultimately want to settle down in a comfortable place to enjoy the warm burgers and ribs. Besides, stain-prone condiments such as mustard and ketchup aren’t ideal to be consumed while standing up.
Since your barbeque grill would be set outside, it is a good idea to keep seating arrangements outside as well. Depending on how formal or casual you want your event to be, you either set up some beach chairs and garden furniture or go for a full-blown outdoor sofa dining.
If there will be kids at the barbeque, having some structured patio sets and bistro sets can help them eat their meals with ease without making much mess. Though with kids, nothing can ever be guaranteed!
4. Consider The Weather
In an ideal world, all barbeques would be held under clear blue skies with the pleasant wind keeping you adequately cool and comfortable. Unfortunately, the reality is slightly different. To plan a successful barbeque, you need to take the weather into consideration before planning the day and making sure to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances.
You can’t stop the rain if it starts showering unexpectedly, but you can certainly design your setup in a way that helps you stay protected from an unexpected downpour. You can either cover your bistro set with a parasol or set up a gazebo to stay sheltered and dry.
Make sure to be prepared for any weather conditions that may arise depending on the climate of your area, even if the news says that it’s going to be sunny all day.
5. Start Your Preparations in Advance
Yes, the purpose of a barbeque is to cook fresh food that will be served piping hot during the party. However, you don’t want to leave all your preparations for when the guests arrive. Because once the sun is out and the party has got going, do you really want to be slicing peppers in the kitchen?
To make the most out of your barbeque, it is a good idea to get as much prep out of the way before the party begins as possible. Ideally, you only want to leave the grilling and cooking part for the party – everything else should be taken care of in advance.
First of all, make sure to marinate all the meats that you’ll be grilling at least a day in advance. This will give the flavors adequate time to really enhance the taste of the meat. On the day of the barbeque, make sure to chop all your vegetables before guests arrive.
In addition to that, you can also make some salads, cooling dips, and even some condiments if you’re up for experiments. Of course, it is also a good idea to gather all your basic condiments such as ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce, chipotle sauce, thousand island sauce, etc., in easy to access jars or bowls.
Making sure to get all of these preparations out of the way well in advance will allow you to enjoy your barbeque gathering without any stress or running around for sausage links.
6. Establish A Rough Guest Count
The current situation still requires you to hold relatively small gatherings. Yes, previously, you may have thrown giant start-of-the-summer, open-house events, inviting all your friends and families for the fun occasion. But right now, that is just not reasonable.
Instead, try to keep your guest list tight this time. Ideally, you should aim for a group of 20 to 50 people – depending on the size of your house or venue. Not only will this provide you with higher protection against the virus, but it will also make for a more intimate event where you actually get to spend time with each guest.
If you have a lot of friends and family members you’d like to invite and don’t feel good about reducing your guest list, you can always opt for multiple events. Divide people into different groups – college friends, the paternal side of the family, office colleagues – and host parties accordingly. You may even choose to combine two or more groups for one event if you want to, as long as you aren’t inviting too many people on the whole.
7. Communicate with Attendees
If you’re hosting a barbeque, the chances are that the attendees have asked you whether you need anything that they can bring. In response, you most likely reacted with courtesy and said that you’d manage everything. This is a mistake.
When someone asks you if they can bring something, they will very likely bring something. So instead, take up this opportunity and let them know what they can bring to make the party even better. This will save them from bringing something that may end up being useless for the party.
In addition, communicate with your guests about anything that they may need during the barbeque. For instance, if it’s a pool party, let them know so they can bring towels and extra clothes. Informing guests about these things will prevent them from having to do guesswork. It’ll also avoid any extra hassle for you to have to accommodate them.
Bonus tip: If your friends are always late, give them a time for the party to end as well. This way, they’ll know that you’re serious about your timings.
8. Hygiene and Safety Essentials
You may have gathered your barbeque grills, meat, veggies, utensils, and everything else. But there is one thing a lot of people don’t think about while throwing parties, which is now more important than ever: hygiene and safety essentials.
Stocking up on items such as hand sanitizers and face masks, as well soap, antibacterial wipes, and other hygiene tools, is crucial during this season. These will help your guests stay at ease throughout the party and not worry about finding a sink to wash their hands every few minutes.
It is recommended that people who aren’t fully fascinated wear their masks at all times aside from when they have their food. So make sure to run a check that everyone is abiding by this.
Also, ensure that none of your guests have any symptoms of being sick. You don’t want someone with COVID to mistakenly attend your get-together!
9. Vegetarian Options
You may or may not have someone at your party who follows a vegetarian or vegan diet. Either way, having a few vegetarian options is always a good idea. This will make your vegetarian guests feel more inclusive and will allow them to enjoy as much as their carnivorous friends.
You can stock up on some tofu, jackfruit, and a variety of cheeses – all of which are great options for barbeques. Also, add a variety of vegetables to your menu. Not only will this provide a good option for your vegetarian friends, but it will also add some healthy options to the table.
Even if you don’t end up hosting any vegetarians, these vegetarian-friendly dishes are generally good side dishes. Once you start serving them to even your meat-eating friends, chances are low that you’ll be left with any leftovers.
Now that you have a clear idea of how you want to plan your party, here is the ultimate checklist that will get you through any barbeques party.
- A Variety of Meats – sausages, burger patties (including beef, chicken, lamb, and even veggies options), ribs, wings, thighs, etc.
- Bread, Hotdog Rolls, and Burger Buns
- Meat Skewers – fish, chicken, prawns, chorizo chunks, beef, etc.
- Veggie Skewers – Portobello mushrooms, red pepper, onion, halloumi, onion, courgette, etc.
- Condiments – ketchup, mustard, mayo, barbeque sauce, burger relish, chipotle sauce, etc.
- Potatoes – for baking.
- Mixed – bring out all of your favorite salad recipes for this party.
- Corn on the Cob
Once you have all of these things in place, you won’t have to worry about anything once the party begins. It would be a good idea to print out the checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything last minute.
Also, make sure to keep some containers to store any leftovers without creating a mess. Remember that barbeques are meant to have fun. So don’t stress yourself out too much, and make the best of your party.