When the sun appears, it’s usually followed by the wonderful summertime smell of barbecues being fired up in back gardens everywhere. Inviting everyone over for a barbecue is a great way to get friends and family together in a relaxed environment. Here are our top five tips on how to host the ultimate barbecue this summer.
BBQ kit, assemble!
It sounds obvious, but the most basic element of any barbecue, is the barbecue!
Gas barbecues are easy to light, very clean, and you have more control over the temperature. Because they don’t get as hot as charcoal barbecues they’re better suited to the larger items which need a longer cooking time.
Charcoal grills take longer to come up to cooking temperature, but they infuse cooked items with that wonderful smoky taste which is so evocative of summertime entertaining.
Other essential grilling tools include some long-handled tongs, a long handled fork, grill mitts or oven glove and, to get it all clean again, a grill brush. There are all sorts of grill accessories which can come in useful. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned pro, there are some essential barbecue tools you should invest in this summer.
Prepare ahead of time
If you’re planning to use marinades, get the food soaking in there for as long as possible. All of the barbecue sundries such as potato salads can be prepared in advance, kebabs skewered, and even the bread rolls sliced ready!
It means less rushing about getting things for your guests, and everything can be laid out ready for use. Which brings us to our next point…
Furnish your guests with comfort
A few fold-out tables, or even an upturned box will make things much more comfortable for everyone. Nobody enjoys juggling their plate, the sauce bottles, and their cutlery, whilst dropping ketchup down their best summer clothes. This might be the perfect time for a bit of upcycling creativity.
The same goes for having plenty of seating available. Even if some people end up on a picnic blanket on the floor, make sure there are enough places for everyone to actually be. If you don’t have enough seating available, maybe hire some in?
Cater for everyone
Yes, barbecues are stereotypically all about the meat, but it’s possible to cook so much more on them. Vegetarians, pescatarians, vegans, gluten free… there’s a long list of common dietary requirements, but summer entertaining can be versatile. Check with your guests for any special requirements, and be sure to provide plenty of options.
Sort out your barbecue’s drinks menu
Delicious food and cheerful chatter can be thirsty work, so set up a well-stocked drinks station. Paper cups and straws are an environmentally friendly option and saves your best stuff getting damaged in the garden (or caught up in the whirlwind of overexcited kids running around). A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks caters for everyone, with plenty of mixers, and some fresh fruit for a summer twist.