The season of sunny skies and warm temperatures is fast approaching. And like most Americans, we bet you’re already psyched about the upcoming backyard barbecuing parties.
There’s something about the BBQ season that makes it so magical. We could credit it to the fresh-off-the-grill aromas that fill the backyard. Or maybe it’s the great weather and the excitement that comes with get-togethers.
Whatever your reasons for throwing a BBQ party, we have ideas on how to make your summer garden cookout more fun and memorable!
The grilling season is a great time to bring families and friends together. But like any other activity that involves fire, grill accidents happen. And when they occur, people get injured, and millions of dollars in residential and personal property damage are lost. The US Fire Administration also reports that grill accidents cause around ten fatalities each year.
The great majority of home grill accidents are caused by explosions, home fires, contact with hot grills or coal, and CO poisoning. And while they are preventable, these accidents can happen to even the most careful hosts.
That’s to say that adhering to home grilling precautions to the letter is not enough: it’s important to understand your liabilities and rights in case an accident comes knocking.
The good news is that your HO3 policy provider will most probably cover losses due to grill fires and accidents. However, insurance companies differ regarding the actual replacement cost coverage. It’s important to talk with your insurance provider to understand what your policy covers and your responsibilities.
Also, note that most insurers cap claims for single items. If you have super expensive barbecue equipment, enquire from your insurance provider whether it’s fully protected or you need to make other arrangements.
Decide on the Day and Time
Most folks agree that Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays are the best days for barbecue parties. Friday’s “almost weekend” feel will most likely motivate most of your invitees to swing by. But because this is a working day for most people, you’re likely to lose quite a number to exhaustion.
Saturday will be a much better idea because your guests are already at home, so they are not rushing from work. Also, your guests won’t be in a hurry to leave because they are not worried about being up early for work the following day.
There’s also the aspect of start time and wrap time. Generally speaking, the best time for BBQ parties is between 11 AM and 10 PM. But the exact time will depend on your guests. If you’re expecting families with children, consider holding the barbecue from 11 AM to 3 PM or 4 PM to 8 PM. If it’s an adult’s party, 6-10 PM (Saturdays) and 12-4 PM (Sundays) may work well for most of your guests.
Ideally, you want to allocate a larger block of time for your barbecues. Doing this creates a casual vibe allowing your guests enough time to cater to their weekend obligations while setting time apart to honor your invitation.
This brings us to the next vital barbecue party consideration, your guest list.
Putting together the list of guests is relatively easy as it comes down to you. Do you want to dedicate the party to your colleagues, family, or friends?
After deciding on your target attendees, the next step is deciding on the size of the party. There are benefits to having a big shindig vs. holding a small get-together.
A bigger barbecue party is merrier. It also allows you to invite everyone you know, including the neighbors you’re yet to know well. But the cost of the party also tends to be relatively high. On the other hand, smaller barbeque parties have lower costs and are easier to manage. Additionally, you can hold a small barbecue either indoors or outdoors, and it will be just as fun as a big one.
You also need to decide whether it’s an adult-only function or a family event. Barbecues are pretty much a family thing. Actually, some parents are more likely to attend if they can bring their kids instead of worrying about getting a nanny.
But keep in mind that planning for a family barbecue is more complex, and the risk of mishaps tends to increase. Opening the party to the entire family might also bring some limitations, especially regarding food and drinks and the language used.
Plan Your Menu in Advance
The wisdom of preparing the menu in advance applies to any party. It not only portrays you as an organized host, but it’s also a great way to avoid the possibility of food poisoning.
A key part of planning your barbecue party is keeping the menu simple. Of course, some well-known classics, such as pie, cheeseburgers, and grilled corn, are summer barbecue staples. These Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Barbecue Shredded Chicken Sandwiches will also be a hit with most of your friends at the party!
But you don’t want food with complicated preparation methods, especially if it has to be prepared on the day of the event. Ideally, you want to stick with dishes with simple recipes and a short cooking time.
Another important part of menu planning involves enquiring if any of your guests are vegetarians. If so, you’ll want to factor in a selection of tasty meat-free dishes so no one feels left out.
Don’t Forget the Drinks
No summer cookout is complete without a gorgeous variety of drinks. You’ll want to stock up the drink station with beer and wine as part of the preparations. A pitcher or batch of classic cocktails from the classic Gin and Tonic to Tequila Sunrise will go a long way in livening your garden guests.
Non-alcoholic drinks are another must-have for guests who can have fun sober. You can absolutely keep things simple with the old-fashioned lemonade and homemade non-alcoholic punches and sangrias. Lastly, don’t forget to stock a cooler with various kid-friendly drinks and bottled water.