Planning The Perfect BBQ : Five Tips To Help Your BBQ Go With a Bang

From entertainment ideas, to disposable crockery and contingency plans, these top tips will help you to plan the perfect BBQ party this summer. 

BBQs are synonymous with the British summertime and, as a nation, we love nothing better than inviting our friends around and firing up the grill at the first hint of sunshine. If you are planning a BBQ this summer, here are some hints and tips to help make sure it goes with a bang. 

Choosing Your Food 
The central element to any BBQ is, of course, the food, so it’s important to get this right. BBQ staples such as burgers, sausages, chicken and steak always go down well, especially if livened up with some homemade marinades. Depending on your guest list you might also want to offer some more adventurous options such as prawn, monkfish or halloumi skewers - and don’t forget to cater for any guests with food allergies or specific dietary requirements. Alongside the main event it’s also important to have some delicious side dishes such as jacket potatoes, pasta salad and corn on the cob. Almost as important as the food, are the drinks, so make sure you have a good selection of drinks on offer, both for alcohol drinkers and teetotallers. Refreshing summer drinks such as Pimms or fruit juice mixed with sparkling water are always a great option - as is the favourite summer stand-by of a nice cold beer. 

Don’t Forget Entertainment 
No BBQ is complete without music, and it can be a great way of creating atmosphere and breaking the ice, especially if you invite different groups of friends who don’t know each other very well. Channel the sunny vibe by pulling together a playlist of classic summer tunes which will help to get people in the party mood. If you have children coming to your party, make sure you have some activities available such as outdoor games, toys, or even a paddling pool, to stop them getting bored. 

Share The Load 
BBQs can be a lot of work so share the load instead of trying to do everything yourself. Allocate tasks to family members, or ask guests to bring along a side dish or dessert. You can also draw on people’s strengths by getting your musically-inclined friend to compile a playlist, for example, or putting a drinks aficionado in charge of making cocktails. To avoid being faced with a mountain of washing up at the end of the evening, consider investing in plastic cutlery, white paper cups and paper plates - make sure there is a bin that’s easily accessible, so that guests can dispose of their plates and cups as they go along. 

Get Your Garden in Shape 
No matter how good your BBQ is, it can be easily let down by scruffy or unkempt surroundings, so make sure your garden is in tip top shape. This doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time or money - simple steps such as mowing your lawn, jet washing the patio and giving wooden fences or furniture a lick of paint can really make a difference, while the addition of fairy lights or lanterns help to add atmosphere once the sun goes down. 

Have a Plan B 
If there’s one thing we can rely on the British summertime for, it’s unreliable weather! So make sure you have a ‘plan B’ in place, just in case you don’t get the sunny day you envisaged. Patio heaters, wood burners and a good supply of blankets will all help to keep your guests comfortable if it gets chilly, and if it does rain, you may need to be prepared to turn your BBQ into an indoor party! 

Everyone loves a BBQ and, with a bit of careful planning it’s easy to organise a successful get-together that you and your guests are sure to enjoy - whatever the weather! 

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