Few things are as sacred as a BBQ get-together among friends. Now that the warm weather is sweeping over the nation, it’s time to fire up the grill, send out some text messages, and prepare for a day of camaraderie, flames, and cold bevvies.
If this is your first rodeo, I’d like to formally say, “Welcome to the BBQ club!” If you’re a veteran grill-master, that’s OK too. Maybe you’ll learn something.
Regardless of your current BBQ acumen, these are 10 simple tips for throwing a great BBQ.
1. Get the Grill Ready
The most essential component of a BBQ is obviously the grill. A BBQ without a grill would be like Romeo without Juliet, peas without carrots, or Van Halen without David Lee Roth. It’s not right. It’s not proper. And technically, it’s not even a BBQ.
2. Don’t Forget the Sides
Whatever’s going on the grill is obviously going to be the star of the meal, but every star needs a supporting act. I’m particularly fond of potato salad, while others like green bean casserole. Whatever side dishes you choose to make, just make sure they’re present and accounted for.
3. Also Don’t Forget Dessert
There’s nothing better than stuffing your face full of burgers, steaks, ribs, and collards, then washing it all down with a heaping serving of ice cream. Dessert is the piece de resistance of the meal, so make it a good one.
4. Grab Some Seating
BBQs are made for mingling, but sometimes folks want a nice, comfy place to rest their derrieres. When folks are arriving, they’ll be OK standing up for a while, but once the food hits the plates, everyone needs somewhere to eat. Make sure you have plenty of seating space for everyone you invite.
5. Prepare the Music
No BBQ is complete without some solid tunage to get the mood right. I’m not going to tell you what kind of music to put on; that’s totally up to you. What I will tell you is that you better have some good sonic vibes blasting for the hangs.
6. Chill the Bevvies
My BBQ drink of choice is an ice-cold brew. Others prefer lemonade. If the sun’s out and hot, make sure you do all of your buds a favor and keep the drinks good and chilled. Nobody wants a lukewarm Dasani to wash down their piping hot brisket in the middle of July. Gross.
7. Buy a Hawaiian Shirt
I don’t know why, but a Hawaiian shirt just really pulls things together. I like bright colors. Others prefer something more subtle. Make it real, and make it flowery. The BBQ master should be a beacon of chill, and nothing says chill like a laid back Hawaiian button-up.
8. Cut the Grass
Nobody wants to navigate your overgrown yard (if you have a yard, that is). Cut the grass. If you don’t have a yard, you get to skip a step. Yay!
9. Be Ready for the Itis
After everyone eats, a magical feeling of contentedness and euphoria will sweep over the party. We call that “the Itis.” When the Itis sets in, make sure folks are able to make themselves comfortable and ride out the delicious food coma that’s slowly overtaking them. Bonus points if you have a handy Itis playlist to really get the mood right.
10. Plan the Next BBQ (at someone else’s house)
It’s never too early to start planning a BBQ--even if you’re currently at a BBQ. The proper thing to do is rotate homes for BBQs among the group to evenly spread out the food selection and chef specialties. If you don’t start planning early, you’ll never leave the starting blocks.
That’s about it. The main point of a good BBQ is to have a nice, relaxing time. If you’re stressing while you’re on the grill, you’re doing it wrong. BBQs are for enjoying the sun, enjoying friends and family, and most importantly, crushing some delicious food.
Why are you still reading this? Go get BBQing!