How to Plan a Summer BBQ


Everyone loves to barbecue in the summer but not everyone knows how to plan a successful barbecue event. From arranging the food to the guests to the music, planning ahead makes for a good time for everyone. One of the most important things of all is to know food safety guidelines.

Things You'll Need

  • Guest list
  • Food list
  • Drink list
  • Music
  • Seating
  • Ice
  • Coolers
  • BBQ


  • Pick the right day. BBQ's are best for end of the week gatherings or weekend days. Pick a time when most people will be available.

  • Create your guest list. If you've had lots of parties, you know that guest lists tend to expand. If you invite one friend, you have to invite others and so on. Pick compatible people from various sources. Don't just invite people from work. If you do invite people from work, limit the number so that they don't cluster and only talk about work. Diversify. Include neighbors and family members and new acquaintances. Introduce your guests to one another so they can mingle and talk.

  • Make a party CD. It's a good idea to have all of the music planned ahead of time so that you aren't distracted by choosing CDs and changing the tunes. Making MP3 CDs is great for parties because you can fit 8 hours of music on one CD.

  • Plan the food. Get a fairly accurate head count so that you know how much of everything to buy. As you invite people, assign them a type of food (salad, dessert, drinks) to bring. Plan for about 20 percent more than you expect. Have a variety of items on hand to BBQ for different tastes. If some people are vegetarian, have some gardenburgers to toss on the grill.

  • Make sure the food is safe. Meat and mayo based products can't be left for more than 4 hours without refrigeration. No food should be uncovered or in the sun. Barbecue meat to at least medium. Keep an eye on people who over-indulge in alcohol. Have a first aid kit and fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plan some games such football or volleyball to engage your guests.
  • Make it a potluck. Have guests bring thing to barbecue, salads, buns and more.

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