Hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken and more – it’s the season for barbecuing! Summer days and nights make for prime gettogethers with friends, family, and neighbors. If you’re in a new home, a BBQ can kill two birds with one stone: show off your new digs while cooking ribs!
But not every barbecue goes off without a hitch. From running out of food to running out of seats, things can and do go wrong.
There’s no way to assure a perfect event, yet the following tips decrease the chance of a good time going up in flames.
Make Food Accessible
People come to barbecues to socialize, gather, and laugh, but they mainly come to eat. So, make sure food is accessible with a lot of variety. According to Redbook, one way to do this is to set up a toppings station that goes well beyond ketchup and mustard. Offer basic condiments, but get creative, too. Jalapeños, guacamole, onions, sweet potato, kale, and ranch dressing are popular burger toppings. You also can’t go wrong with cheese – any type of cheese.
Keep Food Allergies in Mind
Food allergies aren’t uncommon – per Food Allergy Research and Education, they affect around fifteen million Americans. They impact children often, with one in every 13 allergic to some type of food. These allergies range from mild to life-threatening, making a barbecue uninviting to certain guests. Keep this in mind and accommodate what you can. Offering gluten-free buns and desserts free of peanuts may go a long way.
Have a Backup Plan
Though no one can technically control the weather, there are ways to make sure it rains: wash your car or plan a barbecue. No matter where you live, a backup plan is always wise in the event of any type of bad weather. You may plan to move people to your garage or into your house. Event tents are another idea. They’ll shield your guests from wind, rain, and – if the weather cooperates – intense sunshine.
Landscape, Landscape, Landscape
Landscaping before a barbecue isn’t only necessary on an aesthetic level, but a practical one, too. Removing weeds and mowing the lawn helps control triggers for people with allergies. It also opens the yard and provides more room for people to mingle (and it allows you to embrace your new surroundings!). If you own dogs, cleaning up the grass beforehand is especially important.
Provide Something for Everyone
In today’s world, different people eat different things. Some people enjoy meat and potatoes while others adhere to vegetarianism. As a host, you want to be as inclusive as possible, so this means appeasing all types of eating habits. Since barbecues innately appease meat eaters, pay special attention to the herbivores you know. The Huffington Post recommends setting up a salad bar with several types of toppings, such as nuts, berries, peppers, and olives.
Remember the Great Indoors
Barbecues are outdoor activities, but a housewarming bash involves the interior, as well. People enjoy seeing what you’ve done with your new place, so give them a chance to look around. You don’t need to offer each guest a customized tour, but allow people to walk around the inside as they please.
Barbecues are opportunities to kick back and relax, but when you’re the host, it can feel as though you’re the one about to be grilled. There’s no way to guarantee BBQ success, but – with the above TLC – you’ll help keep great times cooking.
If you’re relocating to the Seattle area, get in touch with us. We’ve got you covered during the summer months and all year long.