The temperatures are rising, the sun is out, so it must be BBQ season once more. Getting together with family and friends to enjoy some food and drink together in the garden is a wonderful way to spend a weekend. As long as you have some outdoor space, you can have a BBQ. Even a roof terrace or a balcony can be enough. Here are a few ideas you can use to hold the perfect BBQ.

Prepare for the weather

Depending on where you are in the world, BBQ season can mean guaranteed sunshine or it can mean the possibility of rain. But whatever the weather, it helps to make sure you and your guests are going to be comfortable. If rain is a possibility, make sure there is somewhere people can retreat to if necessary – a covered area, a marquee, or even indoors. If blazing sun is forecast, arranging some shade people can shelter under is also a good idea. Sun-stroke and sunburn are not anyone’s idea of fun. If your event is happening at night and temperatures are going to drop, make sure there is some heating in place such as a fire pit, patio heaters or even blankets you can hand out to your guests. While not exactly a form of weather preparation, making sure there is lighting in your BBQ area is a must if the event is happening at night or extending past sunset.

Food and drink

When you invite people to your party, make sure you’re clear about what you expect them to bring. Do you want your guests to bring their own booze? Will you be providing some? Should people bring salads? Desserts? Stuff to put on the BBQ? Any vegan or vegetarian options? Speaking of vegetarians, vegans and any other guests with special dietary requirements, many may expect their food to be cooked on a separate BBQ to avoid either allergens or eating something they find offensive. It’s worth checking in advance with guests to see if they have any special requirements and, if so, invest in a separate BBQ (even if it’s a disposable one) they can use to cook their food.

Make sure your guests know what you have ample supplies of and what you’re missing, to make sure resources are used wisely and everyone has everything they need during the party.

Equipment, Cookware, Tableware and cutlery

Many people opt for disposable plates, cups and cutlery to prevent the need for doing heaps of dishes after the event. While this will definitely safe you time and hassle, please do consider the environment. There are now biodegradable disposable tableware and cutlery that works just as well but is eco-friendly. But while disposable tableware is great for serving, the stuff you use for actually preparing and cooking your dishes should be fit for the job. Always check your actual BBQ at the beginning of the season, especially if it’s a gas BBQ. Make sure all knives are sharpened, especially if you’re going to be carving or cutting steak. After all, cutting meat with a proper knife is truly a magnificent thing. If you’re going to be having plenty of BBQs, you may as well invest in the tools that will make preparing the food a fun experience too.

Presentation

Most BBQs are informal affairs, which is great. Decide in advance whether people will be eating around a table, or whether you’re setting up a buffet. Either way, salads and sides can be placed on a large table for everyone to share. If setting up a buffet, you can set up the plates and cutlery on the side for people to take. Most people prefer to set up a separate table for drinks, but if space is short, they can be placed on one or both ends of the table, for easy access.

Something for the kids

BBQs are often family affairs, but kids need to be entertained so that they don’t get bored. Make sure they are looked after by offering games, DVDs or other activities to keep them occupied. Some kids may not necessarily enjoy all the grown up food served at a BBQ, so if some of your younger guests are fussy, it’s worth getting some child-friendly foods to prepare, too.

 

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The temperatures are rising, the sun is out, so it must be BBQ season once more. Getting together with family and friends to enjoy some food and drink together in the garden is a wonderful way to spend a weekend. As long as you have some outdoor space, you...