How to Host a Barbecue in Style | HotPads

How to Host a Barbecue in Style

Summer is just about here?and what better way to celebrate than with a great outdoor party? Even if you?ve never worked a grill you can still host a barbeque in style with our guide.

How to Host a Barbeque

First get organized. Figure out where you can host the barbeque. If you?re lucky enough to have a decent-sized backyard then you?re set. If not, you?ll need to find a friend?s place or a park, preferably one with grills already set up to save you the energy of lugging your own there. From there figure out the guest list. This will also depend on where you?re hosting it?please don?t make 50 people cram into your closet-sized yard.

Invites for this party can be pretty simple. If you?re going for a more casual fare then a quick phone call or e-vite will suffice. If you want to make it a little more festive then search for rustic-looking invitations or make your own with brown paper, red-and-white checkered fabric and perhaps some food-themed stickers. Get creative; your guests will love seeing your cute designs and the great thing about these is if you mess up, it?s okay because they?re supposed to look hand-made.

Once you have an idea of how many people are coming, you can figure out your barbeque menu. Keep in mind that you most likely won?t have access to a kitchen for most of the party and the food will be sitting out. So avoid picking dishes that will need to be refrigerated (and bring lots of ice coolers) or that can?t be mostly prepared beforehand. Make it easy on yourself; if you can do most of the work before the party then you?ll be able to relax and enjoy it as much as your guests. You can also go easy and cook up hot dogs and hamburgers, but why not try something no one?s ever seen at a barbecue before? All of our recipes below fit the bill for easy barbecue treats.

For appetizers, try Lobster Bites and Olive and Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade. For your main dish, a pairing of Tropical Coleslaw and Can ?Em Chicken will be a crowd-pleaser. For dessert, these Espresso-Chocolate-Walnut Brownies can be made ahead of time and taste delicious. And everyone needs a fun cocktail, so how about Flaming Lips Party Punch?

A buffet is the easiest way to serve food at a barbecue, but that doesn?t mean it has to be boring. You can dress up the buffet table and the guests? tables many different ways. If you want to go for a classy barbecue then forgo the paper plates and bring out your best dishes. Find some luxe fabric at a crafts store and use it to make a pretty table cloth. Cloth napkins, candles and flower vases will also add a classy touch.

For hosting a more traditional barbecue, paper plates will do?and you can always have fun with the colors of your plates and napkins. Red and white checkered table cloths are classic, but you could try switching up the colors of your checks or going for a different red and white pattern to make it more modern.

When hosting a barbeque set up all the decorations and food beforehand that you can. Remember to bring things like tape and heavy objects to hold down your creations in case it?s windy. During the party you, or a designated grill-person, will need to be in charge of the actual barbecue. Have the non-grilled foods already out when people arrive and start grilling before everyone gets there because, odds are, they will arrive hungry. Try and have a few friends you can rely on to watch the barbeque so you can still mingle and introduce people, but don?t leave anyone stranded by the grill, that?s no fun for them!

If you?re hosting your barbeque at a park, make sure you clear away all your trash before leaving and make sure the grill is completely off and won?t spark after you leave. It?s a public place but treat it like it?s your home; you wouldn?t leave paper plates all over the floor there, would you?

End the night with a fun dessert, like the one mentioned above, or go simple and roast marshmallows over the grill. With these recipes and a sunny day you?re sure to host a barbecue people will be talking about for the rest of the summer.

This article was reprinted with permissions from, the free website community dedicated to connecting, empowering and informing women.

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