Aside from delicious food, grills are known for something else. Grill parties are social activities that revolve around the food that you get to eat while enjoying your time with others. In the summer, grill parties can be the highlight of the week or month. Hosting a grill party at home has a lot of benefits to it. But if this is your first time hosting it, you might be a bit overwhelmed with the preparations. On a tight budget, you need to think a lot of things through. To ensure that the grill party turns out as planned. Just like any good party, great grill parties need a lot of elements to be in sync.
We’ve created a guide that should help you prepare for the party and know what you can do after it is over as well.
You should never let a small budget ruin your grill party. Fortunately, there is more than one way to create an epic BBQ without the need of spending a fortune. The dilemma that a lot of people get stuck on is that they don’t know how much food they actually need for the party. You don’t want to waste food and you don’t want people to not eat their hearts out either. This is where you might need a calculator to get things right. The average adult person eats around 1 pound of food at a grill party, and children usually eat half the amount. Note that the 1 pound is for food altogether and not just meat. Having an accurate guest list will allow you to make these calculations easily before you buy the ingredients. When it comes to meat, don’t go over 6 ounces per guest. You might need double that amount if you’re planning on serving boney meat like ribs.
Preparing Food Early
This is one of the most common mistakes that can give you a headache later on during the party. The last thing you want to do is start rushing the preparation of your ingredients once your guests arrive to avoid leaving them waiting. Before your guests arrive, you should make sure that everything is ready to be put on the grill once you feel like it. Portable grills are great if you’re used to grilling outside the home and you can easily move them to the backyard. If you are using Napoleon Grills, you won’t have to worry about assembly time if they are portable. Any side dishes should be assembled as well and left on display for guests to see. You won’t be able to properly welcome the guests if you are chopping onions and washing vegetables.
Asking for Side Dishes
If you want your grill party to have a lot of food and interesting variations for everyone, ask your guests to bring their own side dishes with them. This is a very important tip for large parties where you’ll have to cook for many people. Having the guests relieve you of some pressure by bringing in some dishes with them should make the process more straightforward and enjoyable. Instead of snacks, don’t feel ashamed for asking them to bring some desserts, appetizers, and side dishes. This will also have the guests feel like they play an important role in the party and they’re not just here to eat. It can make for some very interesting conversations and compliments; should keep the party spirit up for a while.
Using Decorative Lights
There is no such thing as a cool party if the lighting is bland and boring. You might want to start shopping for some decorative lights that can liven the mood up. Turning them on once it becomes dark can be a surprising turn of events and will definitely impress your guests. You can use outdoor lights with remote switches. Look for setups that are easy to operate and install to avoid getting into the hassle of engineering a light show all by yourself.
Even though the main dish is going to be what’s on the grill, you shouldn’t hold back when it comes to snacks. Since your guests are not going to instantly eat once you arrive, there is a significant amount of time where they’ll be patiently anticipating the meat. This is where you can serve some snacks that can get their stomachs going before you serve the grilled food. If you are going to set up a snack table, make sure it’s a bit further away from the kitchen; you don’t want crowds in the kitchen as you prepare food or grill.
Preparing the Drinks
You can’t really call a BBQ party a party if there are no drinks. You need to make sure you have a big cooler with a lot of ice, some water bottles, juice, and something for the kids. Try to separate kid-friendly and non-alcoholic beverages from alcoholic beverages to avoid confusion. There is nothing stopping you from mixing some cocktails for your guests or have them mix their own drinks. Initially, guests just arriving would be a bit shy to take their first drink from the beverages corner, which is why you need to offer them their first drink and encourage them to get more once they feel like it.
Cleaning after the Party
You might want to delegate a few of your close friends to help you clean up after the party. Doing this alone can be a real chore, but if you bring some help with you, it will be much more fun. Some communication can go a long way with your cleanup crew. Assign them tasks like tossing paper cups, cleaning dishes, and others. Instead of feeling like you are on a job, try to have fun with your delegated friends or family and make sure to keep the party’s headspace secured.
The first grill party might seem a bit overwhelming but you’ll get used to how fun it is in no time. While there are a lot of things that you can plan to make things go easier, you can always learn from experience as you go. Focus on enjoying the party and entertaining your guests as much as possible instead of what might go wrong. Practice your grilling skills to the point of mastery and start surprising your guests at parties.