Summer is a great time to have guests over as it provides a fantastic opportunity to entertain outdoors, during the day and in the evenings. If you are looking forward to hosting a get-together, here are some ways to make the occasion more successful.
Gather the Essentials
When intending to work the grill, you need to ensure you have the necessary tools. While cooking, you will likely need tongs, spatulas, skewers, oven mitts, and a fire extinguisher to handle the food. Whether you are using a gas or charcoal grill, you will need to check that you have sufficient fuel and the required tools to get the flames going.
Plan for Enough Food and Drink
Ensure you have enough food and drink for your party. Consider that some guests may end up coming with other guests. Confirm that you have a good selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, especially chilled ones. Plan varied menu items and keep it simple enough for you to easily keep up with the demand. Do as much prep work beforehand so you do not have to spend so much time making food when you should also be mingling and spending time with guests.
You can easily add flavor to your meats by marinating them from the day before. This will allow you to just focus on grilling on the day of the party. If using charcoal, consider mesquite charcoal which lends food a more hickory-smoked aroma. Also, ensure you can provide a good selection of condiments and sauces to go with the food, including ketchup, mustard, relish, cheese, hot sauce, and mayo.
Build a Grill Gazebos
Grill gazebos like Sojag sells are a great way to provide a sheltered area to house your barbecue grill. This means you can just as easily use your grill when it is chilly or even raining. Even during sunny weather, having that shade can be a relief to whoever is cooking and wants to keep a close eye on the food grilling. Because there are no walls, the smoke from the grill can easily escape, again making for a comfortable cooking environment for whoever is tending the grill.
Consider a Theme
Having a theme can help with the direction of your décor to make the venue look more inviting and entertaining. It can also help focus the menu options and create a cocktail list if you plan on having a bartender or theme drinks on hand. You can even consider communicating the theme to your guests and asking them to dress accordingly. Given the warmer weather, keep the theme to where your guest will be able to dress lightly and comfortably. Think Hawaiian Luau or summer camp.
You can make cleanup easy by using disposable or recyclable plates and utensils. If you cannot find safe options for the environment, you can still have reusable tableware. Set up several stations around the party area where people can drop them off for easier gathering and cleanup. Consider hiring someone to help with cleanup afterward to get the venue back to pristine condition fast.