Summertime barbecues can be great fun to host, especially since you can keep the guests out of the house except for bathroom visits and any kitchen prep work. And let’s face it, it is far easier (usually!) to get your backyard looking great than it is to make sure your entire house is spotless.
A barbeque for the 4th of July is a great thing to host for neighbors and family, and here are some great tips on how to make it the best barbeque imaginable.
First, think about what you will serve. Hot dogs and hamburgers are the standard fare, but you could always do a “bring your own meat” barbeque where people bring their own. While the latter is the most economical way to do it, it can be a pain when people bring those 2″ thick steaks and monopolize the one barbecue for 45 minutes while doing it… people won’t always be considerate!
But it can be inexpensive hamburger patties, and hot dogs are always on sale in the summertime, so you can easily do that part yourself. You can also watch for great deals on ground beef, and make hamburger patties for your guests as well, which is always sure to be a hit.
Don’t forget corn on the cob, especially if it is on sale, it is another filling food item you can add to the menu. You can even pre-cook them, and then give it a quick turn on the BBQ, or have it cooking in a pot of water on a burner.
Skewers for Cheap
You might also consider making skewers – they cook quickly, and you can purchase less tender cuts of meat – even using stew beef – and marinade the chunks for 24 hours prior to the barbeque so they will be nice and tender, and most people won’t know you aren’t using real steak. And skewering with vegetables stretches the meat even further while using less expensive veggies to fill them up.
What about drinks? The cost of drinks can add up quickly. If it isn’t in your budget, simply do a “bring your own bottle” barbeque, which is pretty standard at summertime barbeques anyway. You can always make a large punch bowl for guests who forget to bring drinks or who run out and have a few large pitchers of water with lemon slices. You might consider bringing out a few bottles of inexpensive wine to offer up an after dinner toast – when people have already filled up with food.
Hosts usually supply snacks, but with a summer barbeque it can be as simple as a variety of chips and dips, possibly with some cut up veggies tossed into the mix. It doesn’t have to be fancy (unless you want it to be!) and if you buy too much, chips will save for a few months until the next barbecue! But you can also consider asking everyone to bring appies or salad to share – especially if you are providing the main course.
Be considerate of noise
Always be considerate of neighbors. You should stop playing loud music by about 9pm, although leaving on low level music is usually fine unless your neighbors are very close by to you. And if you invite your neighbors, you won’t have to keep it down quite so much if they attend.
Running out of food
What should you do if you run out of food? If it is nearing the end of the party, don’t worry about it. This can also be a cue for your guests to start thinking about leaving, which can be great if you are worried about how to hint to guests that it is time to jet! But it doesn’t hurt to have a backup plan… can someone quickly run out to the nearest corner store and pick up some more hotdogs and buns? Do you have spares in the fridge (remember you can always freeze extra hamburgers etc for your family to use later if they aren’t needed). Or a few more bags of BBQ Doritos? Or even see what is in your own cupboard or freezer. You will be amazed how you can improvise in a pinch.
Summertime barbeques are so much fun, and following these tips, you will be able to host the perfect barbeque for your guests.