Top 10 Tips for Great Barbecue Party

7_27lights_08-27-2004_ml2cpnlSummer is coming to the end really fast and as sad as that is and as much as none of us what that to be true, we have to face the fact that it will in fact happen!Enjoy the nice warm days and if you are thinking about having that perfect outdoor party with a easy to do barbecue, here are some tips that will help!

1.Have music playing when guests arrive – you can mix your own CD based on what you think your guests would enjoy hearing

2.Offer vegetarian option – Summer BBQ is synonymous with great meats. But vegetarians are a growing population and chances are there are going to be people at your summer BBQ that don’t like or don’t eat the meat you are preparing.

3.Make drinking water availableOften times the perfect BBQ drink is a margarita or a cold beer. But unfortunately, when you combine hot weather and alcohol it can be a potentially harmful situation. So make sure you have more than alcoholic drinks and sodas to offer your guests as all of those things dehydrate people and make them more susceptible to heat stroke or even worse.

4.Make sure there are designated drivers. This goes along with the statement tip above. Always make sure I know that there are designated drivers that aren’t going to have more than 1 drink.The last thing you want is for someone to get in an accident or a DUI as they are on the way home from your party. You wouldn’t be a good host or a good friend if you only served alcohol without any other options.

5.When it comes to having a party, food is the centerpiece of your event. People usually limit themselves to traditional hamburgers or hotdogs. But you can take everyone’s classic summer favorites and transform them into a feast of flavor by making a few simple adjustments.

6.Here are some suggestions on preparing almost traditional foods with a little ywist:

  • Potato Salad-instead of using the traditional mayonnaise recipe, make this dish more figure friendly by using vinegar, salt, pepper, and some chopped scallions.
  • Corn on the Cob-no outdoor barbecue party would be complete without it, but instead of smearing it with butter, create a butter and garlic rub. Take a few chunks of butter and combine it with a little bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and some minced garlic. Leave the corn covered in the mixture in the fridge.Then wrap it in aluminum foil and cook over the grill.
  • Burgers-keep the ground beef, but add a few table spoons of olive oil, salt, pepper and butter. Then dice one sweet onion and slice a few mushroom caps, mix and grill.
  • Shrimp another way: Get about 2 cups of cherry tomatoes (slice in half’s) and combine them in a bowl with salt, pepper, grate a small clove of garlic and some chopped fresh basil. Sauté shrimp in a pan over high heat with a olive oil and add to tomato bowl.

7.For your décor, paper table cloths and bright yellow plastic plates just don’t make the grade – try using fabric  tablecloths, it will make a world of difference. You can throw them in the wash and use them for next time. You can could find plates that are inexpensive and provide a festive compliment for your party -but if doing the dishes is not your thing go for a plastic ones.I would recommend a good quality ones – personally, I would never used the Styrofoam ones – they can ruin a great meal!

8.Remember that lighting will totally influence the mood of your party – choose paper Chinese lanterns you can buy inexpensively at your local discount store and place them strategically over areas where your guests will be eating or sitting.

9.Plan some outdoor entertainment – such as games. That will largely depend on the space you have available. If the space is restricted, plan games that will involve everyone without the need for moving around. If you have larger space for your entertainment, plan games where you guest will have to move around. And if you haven’t tried Bocce tournament, give it a shot – that has always been popular for me!

10. The last tip is almost the same as the first – music is always a great idea. Keep it going through the time of your party but remember that if you have neighbours you didn’t invite, they may not appreciate it if your music is too loud, especially later in the evening. Turn the volume up or down depending on the activity and the time of the day.

And just a footnote – if you have lots of leftovers it is probably because you prepared too much (that is usually what happens to me) have some disposable containers on hand and offer your guest take home packages. Some will jump on the offer, other won’t, but you won’t be stuck with food that potentially cannot be put into your freezer.

Hope these tips were helpful to you – your input with suggestions and comments will be greatly appreciated!


About the author

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"