It’s Memorial Day, and you know what that means—BBQ!
What better way to kick off summer than by being outside in the sunshine with friends, family, and food. This year, instead of hosting some slapped together, last-minute shindig, why not throw one of the most memorable barbecue parties of the season. And the best part is, it doesn’t have to take that long to plan!
We’ve compiled a list of some of the ‘must do’ things for anyone planning a successful Memorial Day barbecue party. Not only will this article help you reduce the stress you may feel about hosting, it’ll help you throw a party that everyone will want to come back for year after year.
Treat It like it’s an Invitation-Only Event
Creating a guest list might seem a bit dramatic, but it can prove to be a life saver. A guest list will give you a general idea of how many people will be attending your party. This information is vital when purchasing supplies, as you definitely don’t want to run out of food. After all, there’s nothing more stressful at a barbecue than running out of hamburgers or rolls while the party is in full swing. Of course, your party doesn’t need a bouncer, but request that friends and family give you a heads up if they want to bring along guests. This will give you a general idea of who’s showing up, and then you can purchase extra food to cover anyone who may just drop by for the festivities.
Don’t forget to use The Ultimate Barbecue Checklist to make sure you cover all the essential ingredients, supplies, and food for the big day!
Plan for a Worst Case Weather Scenario
You can control the grill, but you can’t control the weather. Sure, you can check the forecast for the day of the event, but there’s no guarantee that the forecast will be accurate. The best thing to do is to plan for a worst-case scenario.
Take time to develop a backup plan in case of rain. Here are some things to consider:
• Do you have enough room in the house to hold all your guests?
• Can you still cook outside?
• Will there be room to store all the food and other supplies?
In some cases, you may want to consider renting or purchasing a tent that can be put up in the event of rain. This will allow you to keep the guests outdoors without having them get wet.
Prep the Grill before the Event
Memorial Day is supposed to be the official kickoff to grilling season, but it’s a good idea to give your grill a pre-season run before the big day, especially if you haven’t used it in a while. You don’t want to have all your hungry friends and family gathered only to be disappointed that food will be delayed because the tank is empty, or – worst case situation – have to order in pizza because your grill doesn’t work at all.
Here are some tips for prepping your grill:
• Clean it off – you should have cleaned it before the end of last grilling season, but give it a good cleaning and make sure there’s no funky residue
• Start it up and make sure all the burners are working properly – and be sure the propane tank is full!
• Stock up on essential grilling supplies, including propane, charcoal, lighter fluid, etc.
Do these things a day or two before the day of the event. Your party will run smoothly, and nothing – from rain and wind to a hoard of unexpected guests – will ruin the first big cookout of the summer!