The Complete Guide to Hosting a BBQ: Everything to Know

Did you know that 7 out of 10 adults in the United States own a grill? If you are planning on hosting a BBQ before the harsh winter months come, we are here to help you. Our guide below will make it easier to plan the perfect barbecue day.

Read on to learn our top tips so that you can start planning your barbecue by the time you are done reading this article. 

Buy Cans Instead of Bottles

Instead of putting out bottles where people serve themselves in cups, buy cans and place them in a cooler with ice. This will make it a lot easier during cleanup time because you won’t be left with numerous half-full bottles of flat soda. 

Set Up the Area

Before the day of, make sure you have enough tables and seats for everyone attending. Also, take into consideration if there is a shaded area available in case the sun is beaming. 

Instead of clustering all the tables in one spot, scatter them everywhere so that your guests make good use of the space and don’t all gather in only one place of the barbecue. Make sure you also think about where you will set up the food and drinks. 

Take the time to set up a self-serve bar or if you prefer to have someone in charge of serving drinks, take care of those details beforehand. Don’t forget to have plenty of ice available to replenish your ice area. 

When you are planning out where the food will be served, make sure the food station is out of direct sunlight. You might want to consider using a pop-up tent to ensure the food doesn’t have the sun beaming on it and ruining it.

Don’t Overdo the Decor

Honestly, you don’t need decorations to throw or host a fun barbecue. A few BBQ party decorations from a budget friendly store are usually enough to dress up your place without worrying about adding too much. A few things that can dress up your party without too much are bright table cloths, balloons, and some streamers. 

Make a Playlist

Don’t forget to have some tunes ready to accompany your get together. Try to choose music that is relaxing but also has an upbeat mood. You can use iTunes, Pandora, or Spotify to help you create the perfect playlist for your barbecue gathering.


When you are selecting your food, think about who your guests are. Will there be kids there? Is anyone vegetarian or vegan?

You want to make sure that you have BBQ food options for everyone. Everything from bourbon hot dogs to ribs to chicken to veggie or meat kebabs, etc. 

When you are making your menu there is no need to go over the top and make the food too fancy. While this might be tempting because you really want everyone to enjoy your barbecue there is no need for it and this can turn into a big mess unless you are super confident with your grilling skills. 

You might be surprised at how much people enjoy the classics associated with a barbecue.  

Watch the Grill

Of course, you will have the responsibility of cooking the food to perfecting (no pressure). The biggest part of the entire get together lies in your hands, so you need to keep a close eye on the grill at all times. 

You might want to set up timers for everything and also have a helper on hand in case you have to walk away for a bathroom break. Although, this might sound like a lot of pressure, once your food is cooked and everyone is happily eating – you will be the hero of the barbecue. 

Game Time

Nothing like some good old BBQ games and activities to keep everyone entertained while the food is cooking. You can organize a few lawn games to keep everyone busy. Choose someone to help with leading the games and to help with the entertainment for the night.

Consider a Pot Luck

Since you will be taking care of the main dish (the food on the grill) you might want to consider doing a pot luck. This is always a great idea because everyone can have a taste of different food they might have not tried before. 

Create a list so that you stay organized and are aware of who is bringing what. Some common barbecue side dishes include potato salad, macaroni salad, fresh watermelon, corn, baked potatoes, salad, couscous, etc. 

Clean Up Plan

The aftermath of the party can be a bit overwhelming without a plan in place. Our biggest tip is to try to clean up throughout the barbecue so that you don’t have one huge mess at the end. Also, try to place a couple of trash cans throughout the area to encourage people to throw out their garbage rather than set it down on a nearby table.

You can also enlist the help from a few friends before the barbecue so that you can have a plan of attack to make clean up a breeze. 

Hosting a BBQ – Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Now that you have our top tips on hosting a BBQ, you can get to planning. With all of our tips above we are sure your BBQ party will be a big success!

Did this guide come in handy? Please continue browsing the rest of this section for our latest tips and tricks. 


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