Are you planning to throw a barbecue party soon? Was your last barbecue party a bust because of poor planning and unanticipated conditions? Well, you are in the right place because this ultimate guide to barbecue planning will be the one thing you need to make your next barbecue a hit while avoiding any misses.
It's important to decide when to host the barbecue party. Make sure to check the weather for the particular day because you wouldn't want unanticipated rain on the day of your party. Also, make sure that your schedule is clear for that day because there will be a lot of preparation involved, which you will have to start the day before.
Aside from a weather check, you should also know an appropriate time to schedule the party. Don't schedule your party after sunset unless you have an appropriate amount of equipment to aid in making cooking in the dark easier.
If you plan to invite close friends or family, it is best to decide the date and time with them as it will make it easier for you to ensure maximum attendance. It will also make your guests feel special.
The next thing to plan is the venue. The best place to have your barbecue would be your backyard because this will provide you with maximum control and minimal distractions. You can also make arrangements and set everything according to your liking. However, if you don't have a large backyard or do not want to entertain guests in it, you can host it at your local park. Some parks require formal permission (which can be taken from a park ranger), while others do not require such formalities. It would be best to research the best parks for a barbecue party beforehand.
Deciding what food to serve is the most important part of the planning process. You can ask your guests what they would like you to serve. However, if you are inviting people who are not that close to you, you should keep a variety of items in mind.
Make sure that you ask your guests beforehand if they have any allergies you should know of, are dieting, or require halal or kosher food. Such dietary restrictions will guide you towards making specific dishes for those particular guests, and it will save you from embarrassment at the time of the party. Aside from the meat, you should also have a variety of easy to prepare side dishes and readymade drinks ready to go for the party.
Portioning your food correctly is another important part of the planning process because the portions will determine how much food you need to buy. If, for instance, you plan to cook burgers with salad and potatoes as a side dish, it would be a good idea to keep one large-sized burger per person in mind and cook one potato per person as the side. However, if you plan on cooking a variety of meats and allowing your guests to decide what they want, cook half a pound of meat per adult and half a pound of sides (divide this half by the number of dishes). For children, one-quarter pound of meat and one-quarter pound of sides should be appropriate.
On a side note, make sure to have boxes ready to pack any leftovers.
Another thing that is important in planning your barbecue party is knowing what you will need. The most important thing that you will need is your barbecue equipment, which includes your grill, gloves, cooking utensils (like forks, skewers, etc.), your apron, charcoal, petroleum (if you feel you will need something to increase your grill's heat) and source of fire (like matches). You should decide whether you would be serving food on your plates or disposable/paper plates. Usually, people serve food on paper plates, as it is easier during cleanup and less of a hassle. However, if you want to be environmentally friendly, you should use your dishes. Aside from these essentials, you might want to keep some party games with you to make things more entertaining.
Thus, you may think planning a barbecue party can be a very hectic job, but once you work out the nuances, you will see how incredibly easy and fun it can be. Your guests will surely love you for the time and consideration you put into planning, and you will have a blast during the party!