As the days get warmer and the aroma of sizzling meat fills the air, it can only mean one thing: Summer BBQ season is approaching!
Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a novice eager to fire up your new barbecue for the first time, there’s nothing like hosting a summer BBQ party.
However, the key to a successful summer cookout lies in the preparation.
This is everything you need in a BBQ preparation checklist, including essential accessories, food and drink ideas, creating the perfect atmosphere and more!
BBQ Accessory Essentials
For your BBQ party to be successful, you have to ensure you have all of the essentials for your BBQ, including
Meat Preparation Tools
- Cutting boards and sharp knives for trimming and cutting meats
- A meat injector for adding flavour to large cuts of meat
- An assortment of marinades, rubs and spices to enhance the flavour of your meat and dishes
- Tongs for flipping and moving food around the grill
- A spatula for flipping burger patties and fish
- A grill brush to clean the grates
- A meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat to ensure it’s cooked properly
- Grill baskets for grilling small items, such as vegetables
- A basting brush for applying marinades and sauces to meat
- Aluminium foil to wrap and cook foods as well as protecting the BBQ from grease
BBQ and Fire Starters
- Charcoal chimney starter or propane tank, depending on your BBQ type
- Charcoal briquettes, charcoal chimney starter or propane starter for ignition
Food & Drink Ideas
Here is a selection of food and drink ideas to help plan your next mouthwatering and enjoyable BBQ party.
While steaks aren’t at every party due to their high price tag, when they are, people love it!
The best way to cook your steaks is to bring them to room temperature, give them a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper on each side and let them rest for ten minutes after they’ve been cooked.
Burgers, whether meat or veggie, are a classic dish at every BBQ party. Make sure to have a range of toppings to put in them, such as lettuce, tomato, red onion, cheese and condiments.
Pro tip for cooking burgers: Leave them alone. Don’t continuously flip them, and don’t squash them with a spatula as all the juices fall out.
- Hot Dogs
Hot dogs always go down well at BBQ parties as they are delicious and easy to make.
All you need to do is cook the sausages, fry some onions, set up a condiment station, add a basket of buns and let your guests do the rest!
- Grilled Chicken
Grilled chicken is a favourite BBQ dish as it’s simple and delicious.
Marinate chicken breast, thighs or drumsticks in your favourite sauces or spices and grill them to perfection. Pair the chicken with a tasty salad, and you’ve got a healthy and delicious meal!
Kebabs are an easy dish to make and are easy to eat, as well as being tasty.
Pop some chicken or beef (marinated in sauces) and vegetables, such as onion, capsicum and mushroom, on a skewer and grill them on the BBQ. A great vegetarian option is to swap out the meat for halloumi or marinated tofu.
Pro tip for cooking kebabs: Soak your wooden skewers in water for ten to 20 minutes before putting the meat and vegetables on them so they don’t cook along with the food.
Side Dish Ideas
Every BBQ main dish wouldn’t be complete without the perfect side dish.
When preparing for a BBQ, consider making these delicious sided dishes
- Potato salad
- Pasta salad
- Corn on the cob
- Grilled vegetables
- Fresh garden salad
- Garlic bread
No BBQ preparation checklist would be complete without adding a variety of drink ideas for your guests.
Having a range of soft drinks at your BBQ is great, but why not add some of these drinks to the list?
- Water/sparkling water
- Fruit punch bowl (sparkling wine, elderflower liquor, cranberry juice, simple syrup, ice and a heap of fresh strawberries)
- Cocktails, such as margaritas, mojitos, piña coladas and sangria (even better if you serve them as frozen cocktails on a hot summer’s day!)
- Mocktails, such as virgin mojitos for non-drinkers or designated drivers
- Wine, including red, white or rose
Tips For What You Can Prepare Early
When it comes to preparing for a BBQ, having some things made and ready will allow you to have more time to relax and mingle with guests in the evening.
Here are some things you can prepare the morning of your BBQ party.
- Create and toss salads (only add the dressing right before you serve)
- Chop onions, meat and fruit ahead of time
- Glaze and marinate your meats the night before
- Pre-cut bread for hot dogs and burgers
- Soak your kebab skewers in water
- Put drinks on ice, in an esky or an outdoor fridge
Creating The Atmosphere
The food isn’t the only thing that makes a BBQ party great. Having a warm and welcoming atmosphere will make it easy for guests to relax and enjoy their time at your house.
Here are some ways to tick creating the atmosphere off your BBQ preparation checklist.
- Use tablecloths, placemats and colourful disposable or reusable dinnerware
- Hang fairy lights or lanterns
- If you’re having a themed party, put up decorations to match the theme
- Ensure there is enough seating for all of your guests
- Create a designated drinking station. Put up a table in your backyard with a range of drinks, including beer, wine, water and soft drinks
- Play background music from a playlist that matches the vibe of your party
- If you’ve got a large outdoor area and have kids coming to the BBQ, consider setting up some outdoor games, such as cricket to keep them occupied
Plan Your Next Summer BBQ with Home Fires
With summer fast approaching, it’s time to start shopping and tick things off your BBQ preparation checklist.
If you’re thinking about getting a new BBQ for the summer, check out the wide range we have at Home Fires.
Already got a BBQ? No worries; we have an extensive range of accessories to ensure you have everything you need when preparing for a BBQ.
Visit us in-store or contact us for any questions you may have about our BBQs or accessories.