How to Host the Best Backyard BBQ

There’s nothing quite like that delicious, smokey smell of a backyard barbeque that makes us appreciate a summertime gathering of family and friends. Even as you’re experiencing it, it’s a feeling that’s truly hard to put into words. 

Hosting a big event rather than a spontaneous ‘come on over’-type get together requires planning, and if you want it to be memorable, detailed planning to ensure that the good times are great is an absolute must.

Planning that Big Barbeque

Break your planning down to two general ideas: general preparations and, of course, the food!


Everything that makes the barbeque ‘go’ should be accounted for in advance. Items to check off your list might include the following:

  • Have Enough Propane or Charcoal: One of the last things, if not the last thing, that you want to happen is to run out of fuel to cook. Talk about a disaster.
  • Decorative Outside Lighting: If it’s a special occasion, some type of lighting or frills around the yard go a long way to setting an enjoyable atmosphere.
  • Make Sure the Cooler is Well-Stocked: If the weather is as beautiful and hot as you hope, there’s going to be a lot of thirsty guests. Don’t put yourself in a position in which you have to direct them into the house to pour their own glass of soda. Have plenty of adult and kids’ drinks available right in the backyard, in separate coolers if necessary. Make sure you’ve already made the necessary runs to the store for the appropriate amount of ice as well.
  • Plenty of Seating: You also want to make sure that you’ve provided plenty of seating around your backyard. Some combination of chairs from a patio set(s), beach chairs, folding chairs – even house chairs, if necessary – should be set out well in advance so that you don’t leave your guests standing and balancing their food while they try to dine.
  • Music: This is obviously more a concern of personal taste, but if you want to have music playing throughout the day and into the night, select tunes that appeal to a wide variety of people. Further, you don’t want to have the music playing so loudly that it makes people in your neighborhood feel as though they’re at the party but not so softly that those in your backyard can barely hear it. Strike a balance with everything.
  • Set up Some Yard Games: Once your guests arrive, it’s a pretty good bet you’ll be entertaining them for a while. After all the initial greetings, pleasantries, and then eating has passed by, your guests may be looking for something fun to do. Games such as horseshoes, croquet, lawn tennis, cornhole, and others will go a long way toward adding to and extending the fun, in addition to keeping people – especially the kids – occupied.
  • Safety: If there will be small children running around on your property, you’ll want to make sure that you’ve cleaned up any hoses, ladders, tools, and anything else that should be stored away. No need to risk any unnecessary injuries and uncomfortable situations.

The Food

 Keep the following ideas in mind when planning the food for your event:

  • Food: Decide what you want to cook. For the most part, this will largely depend on the number of guests that will be attending. If it’s a smaller, more private affair, you might be inclined to be a bit more eccentric as the grillmaster (depending on your skills, of course) – you might go with different types of steaks, chicken, pork, etc. If it’s a larger gathering, you might want to stick to the basics, stuff that you can push out more quickly and efficiently – burgers, hot dogs, sausage, and corn-on-the-cob. 
  • Ask Guests to Bring Side Dishes: Whether it be on a written invitation or in a phone call, politely ask each guest if he or she wouldn’t mind bringing some kind of side dish, or even a dessert. This will reduce your amount of work in getting everything ready and will add unexpected variety to what’s available to eat.
  • Make Sure There are Enough Condiments: When you go to the market a couple of days before the event, stock up on extra ketchup, mustard, relish, steak sauce, etc. It’s always better to have a bit too much on hand rather than not enough. If you’re a frequent griller anyway, you’ll likely use it all up over the course of the summer.

Enclose Your Barbeque with a Retractable Awning

Of course, not every outdoor event is going to go exactly according to plan. Remember, it’s important to provide for your guests’ entertainment and comfort!

Based on the weather, you may end up with a good number of guests headed into your house either to stay cool, dry, or both. In order to account even for the weather, we recommend the Magnatrack Retractable Screens.

The MagnaTrack is the most durable and attractive patio and window screen structure on the market. With just the push of a button, you can either have your guests inside on your patio, behind a retractable screen, or under a retractable awning for shade. It can be built to cover widths of up to 60 feet and heights of 25, is wind and impact resistant (which alleviates any concerns with children potentially running around), and is built to last. 

Install a MagnaTrack retractable awning before your next backyard barbeque to be sure that you’ve accounted for everything!

Let Shade Outdoor Living Solutions Shade Your Event

Big event coming up? Want to really lock down every part of what your day will have to offer? Contact us today at Shade Outdoor Living Solutions for your outdoor shade needs!

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