Outdoor Living

How to Host a Barbecue Party: 5 BBQ Party Essentials for a Great Get-Together

When the weather is warm, the urge to get outside with friends and family intensifies and one of the best ways to get together is through a barbecue party! 

Yet, hosting a group of people, cooking for them, and keeping them entertained requires a fair amount of planning. We’re here to make sure you put together a wonderful event with plenty of BBQ party ideas to make it a night that your guests won’t forget! 

What is a Barbecue Party?

A barbecue party usually consists of an outdoor party or get-together with friends, family, and possibly neighbours. At a barbecue party, there is often a fire pit or grill with a menu of food prepared. Many people like to make barbecue parties even more fun and exciting by providing plenty of entertainment, such as music or outdoor party games. 

For the most part, barbecue parties are planned in the Summer months when it’s nice to be outside. However, with the right planning, some can also take place during other times of the year if the weather is right.

Barbecue Party Essentials

Regardless of the size of your barbecue party, you always need to be prepared with the essentials. 

Here’s a list of all of the barbecue party essentials you need before your upcoming get together: 

1. Your Barbecue Grill and Accessories

First, we have the star of your barbecue party – the grill and grilling accessories. To feed your party guests, you’ll need a barbecue grill and the accessories that go along with it. 

Barbecue Grills

There are a few different kinds of grills you need to decide between. All of it comes down to personal preference and how you like your food cooked. Depending on how many people you often host, and how often you use your grill, you’ll want to consider an appropriate size and shape. 

You’ll also want to consider whether you want a gas grill or a charcoal grill. If you decide to use a charcoal grill, you’ll need to have briquettes or lighting blocks for it. However if you decide to use a gas barbecue, remember to pick up patio gas.

Essential Barbecue Accessories

The great news is that, while grills are the chef's choice, the essential barbecue accessories you need are all pretty much the same. 

You’ll want safety tools to handle food properly over flames. That includes items like stainless steel tongs, grilling forks, and spatulas. These can all stand up to the high heat of BBQ grills and keep your hands safe. 

A basting brush, aluminium foil, a meat thermometer, and flame-resistant gloves are great outdoor cooking accessories to have, too. You can use them to handle your food on and off the grill. Depending on the type of cuisine you want to cook, you may need a few optional BBQ accessories. A pizza oven allows you to create an incredible, grilled pizza that can serve as the foundation of a wonderful barbecue party! Or if you’re grilling up seafood like shrimp or kababs of meat and vegetables, it may be a good idea to stock up on skewers

To clean your grill grates, be sure to pick up a grill brush. You can also use a special cleaning solution for the grill and a sponge that will be sure to pick up all of the drippings from the cast iron grill grates. 

Finally, it’s a great idea to protect your grill from any extreme weather - whether it’s bright sunshine or rain. Use a grill cover once you’re finished cooking to keep your grill just like new. 

2. Shade from the Sun

Since most barbecue parties take place outdoors and in warmer weather, you may need to plan for plenty of sunshine. Having a shaded area in your backyard is a great way to make your friends and family more comfortable. Plus, keeping the food table covered from the sun beating down is one of the best outdoor BBQ table ideas you can use! 

If you plan on hosting an intimate BBQ, with only a few guests, you may be able to get away with a smaller shaded area. Using a parasol and a parasol base is one of the greatest small outdoor bbq area ideas. 

For larger get-togethers, you can’t go wrong with a pop-up gazebo. Place your barbecue table underneath it and keep your food covered. Plus, you can plan to put your eating table underneath it, too, so your guests feel more comfortable. 

And if you’re looking for some extra shade over your grill, then a grill gazebo is a great barbecue party essential. These usually come with small shelf-like platforms that are perfect for setting plates or accessories down while you’re cooking. 

3. Food and Beverages: How to Plan Your Menu

Sure, the purpose behind a barbecue party is to socialise and be with friends and family, but it’s typical to do so around a meal. 

So, what you plan to serve for a meal is a big part of planning your barbecue party! 

Food and Beverages for Adults

Adults often have more sophisticated tastes, so you can get away with grilling a more well-rounded menu. 

A BBQ menu that’s perfect for adults might include: 

  • Steaks
  • Grilled chicken
  • Fish
  • Cold pasta salad
  • Potato salad
  • Roasted or grilled vegetables like zucchini, brussels sprouts, squash, or other summer garden vegetables
  • Chips
  • Dinner rolls
  • Beer, wine, cocktails
  • Non-alcoholic drinks, including plenty of water 

And to round it off, you may want to consider a few appetisers for people to snack on as they wait for the main course. That could include:

  • Hummus and vegetables
  • French onion or ranch dip and crisps
  • Fruit salad or fruit pieces like melons and berries

Food and Beverages for Children

Since children tend to be pickier with their food choices, and because they may outnumber adults in terms of attendants, it may be a better idea to have a “kid-friendly” menu just for them. 

This may be more cost-effective too. 

A BBQ menu that’s great for kids may include: 

  • Hot dogs
  • Hamburgers 
  • Grilled chicken
  • Roasted or grilled summer garden vegetables
  • Crisps
  • Chips
  • Non-alcoholic beverages, soft drinks and plenty of water 

If you choose to go the route of including hot dogs and hamburgers, you may want to include toppings and condiments, such as:

  • Tomato
  • Lettuce
  • Onion
  • Pickles
  • Mushrooms
  • Bacon
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Cheese

4. Seating for Comfort

As food is prepared, and once people stack their plates with their meal, they’ll want a place to sit and relax. Making sure everyone is comfortable is important, especially when they are grabbing a bite.

Other than an outdoor dining table, you may want to add comfier seating for people to socialise as food is prepared. Consider an outdoor sofa set to give people plenty of places to sit and relax. Plus, you can continue using the sofa set throughout the year, whether you’re planning a barbecue party or not! 

BBQ Table Ideas

Once the meal is ready, your barbecue table is going to be the highlight of the party. The main priority is to make sure it’s functional and safe. However, you can always decorate it and dress it up to make it livelier! 

Lay your tablecloth first on your patio table set. Then, add your necessary dinnerware including plates, cutlery, cups, and napkins. Once that is added to the table, then you can fill in empty places with centrepieces or decor! 

BBQ Seating Accessories

You may want to spruce up your outdoor BBQ essentials by adding seating accessories. If you already have outdoor seating areas, adding patterned cushions can add both decor and comfort for your barbecue party. 

As people hold plates and drinks, they may want a place where they can set their things down. Using a side table is one of the best outdoor BBQ essentials to have. Plus, you can use it for citronella candles to ward off any flying insects. 

5. Heating for Chilly Nights

The great thing about hosting barbecue parties is that you can do them all throughout the summer season and into early autumn. 

But, if you do plan to do so, you’ll want to be prepared for any chillier weather. Many people get together, start socialising, and then stay well into the night. One of the best BBQ party ideas you can take advantage of is having a heating element for those chilly nights. There are plenty of ways to do that, including a steel fire basket centred around your outdoor seating area. 

For more intense heat on those colder nights, a focus patio heater is a great option. And if you want to prioritise both heat and decor, a chimenea may be the best way to go. 

Barcelona Magnesia Fire Pit

Summer BBQ Party Checklist

If you’re a newbie to hosting barbecue parties and all this information is starting to scramble your brain, you have nothing to worry about. We’ve rounded up all of our barbecue party essentials to help make your planning and hosting experience easier: 

Grill and Grilling Accessories: 

  • Charcoal grill or gas grill
  • Briquettes or lighting blocks (for charcoal grills only)
  • Patio gas (for gas barbecues)
  • Stainless steel spatula
  • Stainless steel grilling fork
  • Stainless steel tongs
  • Basting brush
  • Meat thermometer
  • Skewers
  • Pizza oven (optional)
  • Grill and BBQ cleaning solution
  • Grill and BBQ grate sponge
  • Grill cover

Shade and Seating for Comfort:

  • Grill gazebo
  • Pop-up gazebo
  • Parasol
  • Parasol stand
  • Outdoor sofa set
  • Patio table set

Food and Beverages: 

  • Adult menu
  • Kids’ menu
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Soft drinks
  • Water
  • Ice
  • Reusable/disposable cups
  • Reusable/disposable plates
  • Reusable/disposable cutlery

Outdoor BBQ Accessories: 

  • Side table
  • Citronella candle
  • Seat cushions (optional)

Heating for Chilly Nights (only one needed):

  • Steel fire basket
  • Focus patio heater
  • Chimenea

Hosting a barbecue party is always one of the most fun events of the summer. And if you prepare and plan ahead, you’re sure to be the talk of the neighbourhood (or at least your social circle)! 

When you’re ready to get all of your BBQ essentials, check out our Outdoor Living range!
Or if you need to read more about hosting your upcoming barbecue party, be sure to check out our other outdoor living blogs!