It’s National Grilling Month! Here’s How to Host the Perfect Backyard Barbecue.
The backyard barbecue is a timeless American tradition that has been bringing families and friends together for years. July brings us the peak of summer and National Grilling Month, making it the ideal time to fire up that grill and get your loved ones together for some alfresco fun. Many factors come into play when planning the perfect backyard party or barbecue, but we’ve got you covered with some important tips to get you started. Here are some ways you can ensure your event goes smoothly, and also a few ideas to put a unique spin on such a classic event.
Set the scene- create the perfect backyard party space.
If your outdoor gathering spot needs a bit of sprucing up, there are many ways to easily and affordably elevate your space. Enhance your patio furniture with a few brightly colored or printed throw pillows or add a fun area rug to your dining space. You can also create a few table centerpieces using fresh flowers or candles. If your event will extend into the evening, adding string lights or solar lights to your seating areas can transform the space into a picture-perfect spot you and your guests will love.
Prep now, play later.
Don’t let the stress of hosting prevent you from enjoying your own party. Get as much planning and prep work done ahead of time to eliminate stress and ensure you will be able to have as much fun as your guests. Be sure to prep any food set to be grilled, assemble side dishes, set up your food stations, ensure you have enough propane or charcoal for your grill and let your guests know what to bring before they arrive.
Don’t let mosquitos be a buzzkill.
No one wants their event overrun by these unwanted guests. Place citronella candles around your party area to ward off bugs and be sure to keep food covered whenever possible. Providing guests with bug spray is also a great option to keep them protected from these pesky intruders.
Skip the burgers and hot dogs.
Although you can’t go wrong with the typical burger and hot dog meal, it’s never a bad idea to break away from the norm and impress your guests with something a little different. There are countless meat options, but don’t forget to check on any dietary restrictions of your guests. Fresh veggies and corn are also delicious to throw on the grill. A fun idea for getting your guests involved is a make-your-own-pizza dinner. Set up a topping station and let them do the prep work, then simply grill to be served.
Keep it cool with plenty of beverages.
If you’re planning to host your event in the summer months, you will certainly want to keep cold beverages readily available for you and your guests. The easiest option is to set up coolers or ice bins with various drink options outside, so they are easily accessible to all. You can also get creative with a fun signature drink like a spritzer with fresh fruit, berry lemonade, or even a sangria. Add a label to a drink dispenser to designate the type of drink and whether it contains alcohol, and let your guests serve themselves.
Liven up your party with the perfect tunes.
What’s a party without the music? Set up a Bluetooth speaker outside and select or create a playlist. You will typically want it to have about four hours of music, so you can have one less thing to worry about while hosting.
Get in the game!
Backyard games like cornhole, badminton and Kan Jam are a great way to entertain your guests and encourage them to mingle with each other. This becomes especially helpful for family-friendly events so you can keep the kids occupied. Plus, who doesn’t love a little friendly competition?
Make cleanup a breeze.
You can save yourself a ton of time and effort by opting to use disposable plates, utensils and drinkware. Just be sure to set up designated trash and recycling bins close to your eating area, and your guests will do the work for you. Additionally, by keeping the food and beverage stations in the outside area, you can prevent constant foot traffic in and out of your home, which also means less areas to clean later.
Your barbecue event will be a prime opportunity to create memories with family and friends, so most importantly, don’t forget to take the time to enjoy yourself and spend quality time with your guests. Happy grilling!
By: Meghan Boyles
Meghan is a mortgage marketing representative for Ameris Bank. Born and raised a Tar Heel, Meghan graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she studied Marketing and Public Relations. Meghan currently resides in Atlanta, GA. In her free time, Meghan enjoys exploring Atlanta with her pup Brody and watching Carolina basketball.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.