Life in the homogenised capitalist black hole can be isolating. Individualism the modern expression of Darwinian survival of the fittest. It’s self first every time. Technology is also a blessing and a curse. Yes we are all connected more than ever. But what is the real potency of this connection? Why call when we can text? Why visit someone when there’s FaceTime? For many, the global pandemic has heightened this sense of isolation. However even the blackest night will have an eventual dawn. As lockdown eases and we return to a new normal, an intimate BBQ party for your nearest and dearest could be just the thing to help rekindle some connections. That’s enough plumbing of the expressive depths. Let’s lighten the load with a little levity.
How to plan your BBQ party?
We have no issues with the Nike influenced ‘Just do it!’ generation. If you want to hatch a BBQ party on the spur of the moment then go right ahead. Improvisation can be a beautiful thing. However we think that the majority of people are probably looking for some basic planning tips to make their BBQ a guaranteed success.
6 pointers for an easy BBQ party
- Get your theme on. Life is a colourful canvas full of creative possibilities so your BBQ party can be too. Why not pick a theme to add a little excitement into the mix? Your chosen theme can also help shape all the details of your BBQ, from invites and decorations to your menu. A theme is actually a great way to create an organisational framework for your BBQ get together.
- Pick a date and time. Failing to plan is planning to fail as they say, so it’s definitely worthwhile to choose a date and time for your BBQ party. This gives you a point of focus as well as an end date, meaning you can create your plans around the finishing point – ensuring maximum planning time and efficiency.
- Bang out a guest list. This may seem a little much to some: you know your friends right? It’s not as if a few vagabonds from around the way are going to choose your BBQ as the perfect loitering utopia. The point is that the guest list actually helps with your menu planning. How many guests are coming? How many carnivores versus vegetarians? Any vegans in the house? Your guest list will ensure smooth sailing throughout the BBQ party planning process.
- Get your invites out. Sure you could say this is also a pretty old school approach, however again think strategically. By sending your invites out ahead of time, you will have confirmation of numbers that will feed into your final food and drink quantities as well as menu choices. Plus your invites can provide a little tonal, visual and thematic teaser to hook in your guests.
- DIY deco is a must. We would recommend picking out your decorations well ahead of time. This will avoid any last minute deco-related heart palpitations as well as giving you ample time try a few arrangements and tweak what isn’t quite working.
- Set up the basics 24 hours in advance. You want your BBQ party to breeze don’t you? Why waste time on the day hanging bunting or finding the right spot for your barbecue or grill? Bash out these details one or two days ahead of time and save precious minutes for cooking your BBQ party food and chatting on the actual day.
Prepare your barbecue, charcoal and tools
Unless you are a direct descendent of Zeus, meaning you can summon flames from your fingertips, your BBQ party will only be as good as your barbecue set up. We’re talking a sparklingly clean grill, the best charcoal around (ahem Big K), safety-related and practical tools to keep everything easy, efficient and of course super delicious. Here are a few BBQ inventory basics.
Ensure that your grill, smoker, fire pit and so on are all in tip top shape before you even think about grilling anything. Need some extra advice on how to clean your barbecue? Check this out
- Basic tools of the trade include a spatula, tongs, grill fork, grill glove, apron, basting brush, a basic foil or greaseproof baking paper, a little oil and a few towels or tea cloths.
- Yes charcoal is a fuel, however you need to think of it as an ingredient. In fact, it is the most important ingredient in any BBQ, dictating everything form taste and texture to look on the plate. Basically you should always use a high quality charcoal that you can trust. Lucky that you’re riding shotgun with true charcoal specialists. We have everything for pros, noobs and even the casual griller. Feast your eyes on our full range now
Your top seven table setting essentials
Ok ok this is a little like taking a trip down Obvious Avenue. However the best plans are the most rigorous, so let’s not leave anything to chance shall we?
- Bowls and plates for both eating and serving.
- Forks, spoons and knives for the same purpose
- Cups and glasses
- Table cloths
- Chopping Boards
Stay safe with our basic safety checklist
We know just how easy it is to get lost in the BBQ party vortex. You’re so pumped to show off your grill skills and get the drinks flowing for guests etc. For some safety becomes an afterthought. Passion is great as long as we don’t lose our focus. We are dealing with fire, flame and heat therefore safety must be a top priority. Check out this video for a deeper dive into all things BBQ safety related. In the meantime here is a super brief refresher.
- Position your barbecue away from any low-hanging branches, wooden fences or any other flammable materials.
- Keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher close by at all times in case you need to channel your inner Fireman Sam and put out a roaring BBQ inferno.
- Have a first aid kit on hand for any unfortunate accidents
- Keep children and pets away from the barbecue area to avoid any heat related mishaps.
- Stay cool and hydrated with sunscreen and plenty of water. We often BBQ in the blazing heat so it’s good to keep this in mind.
What should I make for a BBQ party?
We think that we have covered the basic BBQ party logistics. You will be a sizzling savant in no time. Yes planning your BBQ party is super important but you can’t eat even the most sophisticated blueprint. The point being that we need to get into the edibles here. Amazing food is the name of the BBQ game after all.
The world of BBQ party food is so vast that we could never give you a definitive answer to the above question. There are literally infinite combinations we could suggest. If you want to focus more on overall BBQ party menu strategy this blog will show you all the cerebral touch points to consider. However if you’re simply looking for some thought starters to get your inspirational culinary juices simmering then take a little look-see below.
Top ten BBQ party recipe ideas
- Steaks – you can never go wrong with a little cow. From sirloin and tomahawk to rib eye and flank, steaks are the carnivore’s dish of choice.
- Burgers – Hamburgers were recently voted the most popular BBQ dish to cook on the grill – and for good reason too. A classic crowd pleaser!
- BBQ ribs – sticky, succulent and slathered in BBQ sauce, BBQ ribs will add some traditional American flavour to your BBQ party. Recipe here.
- Grilled chicken – throwing a little chook on the grill will have a big effect on the palate. Simple to cook and gorgeous on the plate. Recipe here.
- Grilled prawns – add a little surf to your turf with some minimal grilled prawns. A little lemon and garlic and you’re good to grill. Recipe here.
- Shish kebabs – chicken skewers always go down a treat. Serve on skewer or add to a pita or wrap to create your own custom shish.
- Grilled fish – rustle up some light and elegant fish in no time at all. Just make sure you don’t overcook your poisson. Recipe here.
- Pulled Pork – if you have a smoker and a little patience, traditional pulled pork from the southern US states is a great addition to any BBQ menu. So soft and soooo delicious.
- Vegetable skewers – a real mix and match opportunity here to please the vegetarians. The vegetable world is literally your BBQ oyster. Hmmm strange mix of metaphors there.
- Smoked meats – again you have so many choices here. The main thing to consider is time, as smoking meat properly is a long process that is definitely worth the wait.
Sides, salads and and deserts
Again we don’t need to lose ourselves in the BBQ menu minutia here. You can create your own masterpiece no worries. Here are just a few quick suggestions to help you on your way.
Meet the usual suspects: coleslaw, potato salad, green salad, pasts salad, corn on the cobb, fruit salad, cut veggies and dips, tortilla chips, tortillas, rolls and pita breads.
You can never go wrong with any of these options: apple pie and ice cream, brownies, Eton Mess, rhubarb crumble and custard, plain ice cream and a light flan.
A final word on BBQ entertainment ideas
Let’s put the final cherry on your BBQ party cake. Sure your guests are basically coming to stuff their faces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t throw a few entertainment ideas into the mix. Some fun activities will keep everyone engaged throughout the pardaay often with some hilarious end results.
- Hook up your laptop or device to some speakers and let your guests take turn picking some beats for the BBQ – you’d be surprised how well this goes down.
- Have a few basic things on hand like a frisbee, a badminton set or even a footie. Who can resist throwing a Frisbee around?
- A adult themed piñata could be a good look. Stuff it with treats for the older peeps, of course you can have one for the kids too.
- A little charades or Pictionary never goes a miss.
- People love a good quiz so why not make your own and offer a little prize to the winning team?
Wowzers we have burned a lot of cerebral calories in this BBQ party workout! A BBQ party should be fun, so don’t stress too much. Now you have a basic guide to help you along the way so the rest is just about some good old effort and elbow grease.
Good luck and happy grilling.