How to Host the Perfect Summer Barbecue

24th May 2018

Hosting a successful summer barbecue: 101

The sun's out and 20 degrees is just an average temperature for many parts of the UK at the moment. Yes, we just crossed our fingers. But it's also in our nature to get excited about barbecue season. And what better time to start than now? Get your grills at the ready... here's how to throw the perfect summer barbecue:

Preparing the food

Stock up on all the essentials the day before so you've got time to prepare. You can also do a last-minute run on the day of the barbecue if you really need to! Don't forget the booze and something for dessert - ice creams usually go down a treat. We recommend that you pick up some long-handled tongs if you've not got any. They'll help even the complete novice to barbecue safely and effectively. IN terms of food, make sure to pick up options for everyone, veggie and gluten-free are usually the two main categories to think about. But of course, you know better than anyone what the needs of your guests are. Just remember to double check before you start shopping!

Vegetarian BBQ ideas: halloumi, vegetable skewers, veggie burgers and sausages, chilli and soy sauce marinated tofu

When it comes to meat, the general rule is that everyone should have 1 burger, 1 sausage and 1 extra item. This could be a chicken breast, a lamb kebab or a skewer of some description. Prepare any marinades the night before so your meat can really soak up all the flavour. Remember to fill your ice cube trays and chill any drinks that should be in the fridge. Think about sides and sauces too. Have you got all the standard dips: ketchup, BBQ, mayo, salad cream? Try a new one for a talking point if you're feeling creative.

On the day

Take your meat and fish out of the fridge and allow to get to room temperature before grilling. If its too cold, your meat could burn on the outside. Aside from that, the only food prep you should be doing on the day is making salads as these are obviously best as fresh as possible! Then, you can concentrate on barbecuing and hosting for the rest of the day. Get your barbecue up and running before everyone gets there - so you can go to fetch more gas if you need to and smooth out any problems! If you're using disposal barbecues, make sure you've got plenty to cater for everyone. However, we recommend investing in proper equipment which will last you until at least the end of summer. This Landmann wagon barbecue is available for just £29.99 from Amazon and is the perfect way to get that professional feel without breaking the bank.

Keep your guests happy

It's not a barbecue if there's no music! We recommend getting hold of a Bluetooth speaker for easy listening - no wires or extension leads needed. You can then connect your smartphone and use apps like Youtube, Spotify or even your own music collection. If you're rubbish at making decisions, Spotify playlists are your new best friend. Whether you want an 80s nostalgia theme or a summery pop vibe, you'll able to find countless ready-made playlists to soundtrack your BBQ. Our favourite types of music to play at BBQs? We love a good old fashioned RnB playlist full of all the 2000s classics. It's easy listening and summery.

You should also ensure that you've got enough seating for your guests. It's time to get all your garden furniture out of storage and into action! Alternatively, you might want to bring some indoor furniture outside as a quick fix or invest in some cheap additional chairs for extra seating. If you've got a little bit of extra cash to splash, why not leave out mini fans and disposable cameras so that your guests can keep cool and entertained at the same time? Plus, you'll have loads of great snaps to look at when it's all over - just remember to go and get them developed.

After you've BBQ'd

Once you've finished cooking, we recommend brushing off any leftover charcoal or debris whilst the grill is still warm. Of course, let it cool a little or else you could burn yourself. Use a scraper tool then wipe with a damp cloth. This amazing guide to cleaning your grill is full of the best tips and tricks if you need a little guidance. Cleaning down your BBQ soon after you've finished cooking will make your life so much easier in the future. There's nothing worse than your next party rolling around and being greeted with a dirty grill. That'll be a lot harder to clean!

What are your best tips?

As always, let us know your best tips and tricks to hosting a great summer party in the comments. From food recommendations to playlist hits, we want to hear it all. And of course, let us know what you thought of this blog post and if you'd like to see more of the same in the future.

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