The sun is shining, the weather is getting warm, and we’re all itching to come out of hibernation and blow the lid off the first BBQ of the year! Honestly, after a long winter, we all deserve a great kickoff to summer. Throwing an epic BBQ is more than minding the grill and enjoying the sunshine – a few simple tweaks will elevate your gathering to legendary status. Whether you’re serving your family or a small group, here are the 5 must-haves for your first BBQ of the season.
Apps are a must
Delicious BBQ takes time, and hangry guests are unhappy guests. Make sure they stay satiated with light appetizers that’ll curb their hunger without filling them up. We suggest something light like these beet salads on a stick – not only are they quick to make ahead of time, but they’re delicious (and look totally fancy).
2. Quality makes a difference
We’re gonna give it to you straight – buying local meat and produce has never been more important. Across Canada, there are wonderful local farmers that supply BBQ boxes of meats, and fabulous farmers markets with delicious cuts that are meant for the grill. Local meat is a tasty way to support your community, and throw a wonderful gathering you can be proud of. Plus, you’ll be a BBQ hero when you tout your local Klout.
3. All about the bevies
Beer and BBQ – does a better combo exist? Nothing hits just right like cracking an ice-cold beer on a sunny day, with aromas of delicious food hanging in the air. BBQs demand beverages, so make sure you have a wide variety of beer and cocktails on ice. We suggest stocking up on delicious non alcoholic craft beer for the mix – it tastes just like its alcoholic counterpart, with a fraction of the calories and 0.4% alcohol. Plus, you won’t have to worry about overdoing it and burning your burgers.
4. Lawn games will keep the party fun
Lawn games are a definite must for a memorable BBQ. They’re great for everyone of all ages, and bring out a competitive and playful side in people. A game of washer toss or lawn darts is guaranteed to get people out of their comfort zones and laughing in no time. They also set the tone for a light-hearted and carefree gathering.
Speaking of tone…
5. Set the tone by setting the lights
When the sun starts to go down, you have a real opportunity to level up your guest’s experiences with an ambiance that’s just right. People naturally gravitate toward campfires for drinks, chats, and cheers. No fire pit? No problem – setting the right mood with lighting is as easy as picking up patio lanterns or stretching your creative muscles with some DIY backyard lighting projects.
The first BBQ of the year is a memorable one – especially coming out of a winter like this one. Keeping these 5 tips in mind will help you throw the BBQ your guests will be raving about for years to come. Happy grilling!
Photo by: Holly Muffin