How to host the perfect BBQ
Summer’s here and that can only mean one thing…BBQ season! From prepping the garden to planning the table, we’ll help you get set for a summer BBQ with our helpful hints and tips.
Choosing the day
The first and most essential part of planning the perfect BBQ is probably the hardest to get right – choosing the right day! When planning your BBQ, check the weather for the week ahead. Of course, we can never guarantee the sun will shine when we want it to, so you may want to plan for unpredictable weather – consider a gazebo or go fancy with a pergola. An easy-to-assemble gazebo will be perfect for a small gathering, and on a sunny day they can even give you some much-needed shade and protect your food too.
Choose the right spot
Keep your BBQ within a safe distance from your house, bushes and of course your guests to help avoid potential accidents. Take extra care if there’s going to be kids around.
Consider BBQ smoke - you don’t want it billowing back onto your guests or back into the house leaving a charcoal smell all over your furniture! Remember to close windows and doors. You obviously can’t avoid smoke completely if you’re going to have a BBQ, though, so try not to stress about it when you’re sizzling the sausages!
Make sure you position your BBQ on solid ground to minimise the chances of it tipping and causing accidents.
Clean up the BBQ and get prepped
If this is your BBQ’s first outing in a few months, it’s best to give it a quick clean down. Some soapy water should do the job. Make sure you have gas or charcoal too, and all the BBQ tools. Want to BBQ like a pro? Have a quick read of our Top 10 Tips for the perfect BBQ blog.
Tidy up and get the garden looking great
Once that’s done, it’s time to get the garden looking great. You don’t have to totally revamp your garden, just a quick tidy up and some accessories can make it look nice and inviting.
- Give the grass a cut and tidy any flower beds. If it’s looking patchy or moss-filled, think about scarifying and adding some weed and feed if you have time For more tips on caring for your lawn, take a look at our blog here
- Hang some bunting up around the walls and fences to create a fun, party atmosphere
- Get some outside lights for when the sun starts to dip. Adding lighting can help extend your evenings in the garden so you can keep the party going. For more ideas on how to light up your outdoor space, check out our recent blog https://www.wilko.com/en-uk/ideas-and-advice/a-guide-to-outdoor-lighting
- As the light fades, so will the heat, so don’t forget the blankets and patio heaters to keep everyone warm
- Consider a pretty centrepiece for your table
Make it comfortable
You’ve picked the right day, got the perfect location for the BBQ and you’ve made your garden look as nice as possible. Now you need to make sure you have the right furniture (and enough of it) to make it as comfortable as possible for your guests.
Depending on the space you have and how many guests you’re expecting, you could get a dining table as well as an outdoor sofa, perfect for relaxing on after the food. Alternatively, loungers, a bench or even a hammock (if you have somewhere to hang it!) will help create a comfortable and relaxed environment for you, your friends and family.
Don’t forget you can create comfortable spaces on the lawn too, with a picnic blanket or garden rug. If you’re low on chairs and don’t have the space, outdoor cushions are a great alternative.
As the temperature drops, keep your friends and family warm with a chimnea or fire pit – they’ll make a nice feature in your garden too.
Set the table
Make sure you’re all prepped for your BBQ with enough cutlery, crockery and glasses. It doesn’t all have to be matching – just make sure you have the essentials.
Why not get some picnicware? It’ll help protect your normal sets from any potential damage and can be brought out each time you entertain outdoors. Our top essentials for the perfect BBQ are:
- Plastic jug set
- Plastic wine glasses
- Plastic tumblers
- Durable melamine or bamboo dinner plates
- Wooden cutlery pack
- Salad bowls
- Dinnerware for the kids
- Paper plates
Prepare the food
You can’t forget this one! Plan ahead and make sure you’ve got the right food for everyone who’s coming. Don't forget:
- Preferences of your guests – vegan, vegetarian, any allergies
- Marinating your meats the night before
- Any children attending and what they’ll eat
- Drinks for everyone
- Side salads, snacks and desserts
Planning in advance will save you stress on the day (and a mad scramble to the supermarket for the food you’re missing!)
Make it fun
And finally, think about the entertainment!
Of course, food and drink is enough to entertain most people, but to keep the fun flowing, plan in some entertainment for your guests, especially if there are kids. It’s a good idea to make a music playlist and get a portable speaker so you can pop it outside.
Whether you fancy some traditional skittles or a giant game of snakes and ladders, there are loads of options your guests are sure to love getting stuck into. Footballs are always a good idea and will entertain both kids and adults!