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Planning the Ultimate BBQ

Summer officially begins on the 21st June in 2019, but whichever year you’re reading this in, we know that you can’t wait to roll out your calor gas bottles and start up the barbecue for a good party. In this blog, we show you how to upgrade your BBQ party from great to amazing, it just takes a little planning and preparation.

Guest List

If you want to avoid overstuffing your garden with people then a guest list is a must-have. More people will also mean needing to buy more food, so if this is your first-time hosting keep your party small to ensure a roaring success. You don’t want your party planning to feel too much like work, but once you succeed with a smaller audience, you will have the confidence and knowledge to approach hosting a bigger party with gusto and skill.

A Floor Plan

Know where all the important items are going to sit in your garden and place them with maximum efficiency to ensure smooth transitions. For example, keep your barbecue grill near an entrance to your house so you can nip inside if needed, but be sure not to block any entrances or footpaths – you don’t want to be bumping elbows with guests when you’re trying to cook!

You will also need lots of chairs or picnic rugs – ask your guests to bring their own foldable seats if you don’t have enough. Optional extras to consider include the placement of cooler boxes for icy beverages or keeping the meat cool. Place a small coffee table next to the BBQ to hold items like paper plates and cutlery for your guests too.


Setting the scene for your BBQ means more than just planning the functionality of everything. Getting your guests in the right mood will kickstart your BBQ party with a bang, so string up some fairy lights along the fence or in the shrubbery. Bring out a CD player or radio and start some tunes – not too loudly though, you don’t want to anger the neighbours or drown out the conversation between your guests!


For an amazing BBQ, you want a range of food but beware, the more dishes you plan to create the more ingredients you’ll need and time you will spend preparing. When planning your menu, consider who you are inviting, their diets, and what kinds of food are best for the BBQ setting.

If you have children present at your party, then some tame dishes without any spice of strange flavours will be a safe bet. If in doubt, buy in some pizzas for the kids and focus instead on preparing some grand BBQ dishes for the parents – the kids will be perfectly happy with their pizza.

Be mindful if you have vegetarians and vegans visiting, perhaps designate one half of your grill to non-meat foods so that they don’t have to worry about animal grease mixing with their dishes – be wary if your BBQ is placed on a slope as the meat juices could run onto your vegetarians’ dinner.

When planning your meat dishes, think hard about what kind of sauces and glazes you want to season with, we’re thinking strong BBQ sauces, sweet honey mustard glazes and creamy satay dip.

Drinks and Sides

The meat or Quorn might be the main event, but you’re planning the Ultimate BBQ so you need to nail the drinks and sides too. Meat and grilled vegetables can be quite flavourful, so you need drinks that work in harmony with the event and the food. If you are worried about supplying the right kind of alcohol, ask your guests to bring some to add to your own collection – don’t worry about intimidating them, most of the time people love to get involved in the process and help out a little.

Homemade lemonade or similar fruity drinks can also prove very refreshing on a hot day with intensely flavoured meals, and for similar reasons fruit salads will also go down very well between burgers. Think watermelon and mint with a sprinkling of salt to really bring out the juices hidden within.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some extra tips and tricks to ensure your day goes off without a hitch:

Non-stick Grill: Rub half an onion over the grate to stop your meat from sticking.

Bug Repellent: Have some bands ready for kids and burn essential oils where there are lots of people – like on tables and near food.

Freeze-pops: Cheaper than ice cream and far more refreshing, crushing these up into drinks can create some interesting combinations, and the kids will love them too.

Temperature: If you’re starting early, consider a paddling pool for guests to dip their feet in. If your BBQ is an evening occasion, have some outdoor blankets ready to wrap up in.

All that’s left to hope for now is a spot of good weather, so good luck in preparing your ultimate BBQ because summer is coming.