The ultimate guide to hosting a BBQ
How do I host a perfect BBQ? It’s a question that many of us ask as we look forward to welcoming guests over summer.
In this handy guide, you'll find plenty of suggestions for BBQ party food and all the other things you need to host the ultimate BBQ.
When it comes to your BBQ menu, you can be as traditional or as creative as you like. Thankfully, we have lots of tasty recipes and ideas for both meat-eaters and vegetarians too.
Burgers are a BBQ classic and one of the easiest things to prepare for a large group of guests. You could start from scratch and make your own Homemade burgers or alternatively go for our Co-op Irresistible Hereford beef burgers – both of which are great inside Baker Street burger buns. A great idea is to also lay out a little DIY burger station close to the BBQ so that people can add their own cheese, pickles, salad or relish, depending on their taste.
Another BBQ favourite, hot dogs are easy to prepare and delicious to eat. You could try Jolly Hog sausages, which come in a range of tasty varieties and flavours. Alternatively, you could opt for beef or chicken sausages as well as a variety of veggie versions too. Why not add a little smoky BBQ marinade to make your bangers extra tasty and place them in a Baker Street hot dog roll with some fried onions and ketchup.
Drumsticks & kebabs
Add a little variety to your menu with Co-op BBQ chicken drumsticks and Co-op beef & lamb kebabs, which are great for serving with salads and sauces. You could also whip up some healthy homemade vegetable kebabs by adding a variety of chopped veg to some wooden skewers. Courgettes, onions, mini tomatoes and peppers are all veg ideas that cook well on the BBQ together.
Although the BBQ items are seen as the main events, you can massively enhance your BBQ menu with a great selection of sides. Fill some platters with garlic & herb grilled corn on the cob and Potato salad for your guests to help themselves to, and make sure you have a bright and colourful bowl of seasonal salad, filled with leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, carrot and radish to dish out on everyone’s plates.
Summer cocktails are a great way to welcome your guests and start the night with a great atmosphere. Go for cocktails that are colourful and fun, such as a raspberry peach gin fizz or sparkling Bellinis and serve them with a fresh fruit garnish for maximum visual appeal.
Be sure to stock up with plenty of beers and wine too, depending on what your guests prefer to drink, and ensure you have a good variety of non-alcoholic drinks too, for example elderflower cordial, lemonade and zero-alcohol beers.
If you want to keep a casual vibe to your BBQ, then stay clear of a seated table, and opt for more relaxed seating options such as bean bags, deck chairs or outdoor sofas. Ensure you have plenty of blankets and throws for everyone to share when the sun goes down, and if you have outdoor heaters, then check they are filled with enough gas to last you through the night.
Outdoor lighting can help create a cosy and relaxed holiday atmosphere while you sit to eat, so consider some twinkling fairy lights hung around trees and pergolas, or solar-powered uplighters, which can be placed into plant pots or borders.
The eating utensils
BBQs have the habit of creating a lot of tidying up afterwards, so using paper plates and wooden cutlery can help you to minimise the amount of washing up needed. They also help to reduce any breakages outside should anything fall on the floor.
You can pick up some beautiful, eco-friendly and recyclable party plates and napkins, so choose a colour theme and make everything match perfectly together. You can also find colourful bamboo or paper straws to add to cocktails for a perfect finishing touch.
Your BBQ hosting ideas don’t stop with the food and the décor. To create the ultimate BBQ night, you will need some fun games and activities up your sleeve. You could set up a game of croquet or ring toss if you have a lawn, or how about a game of giant Jenga? That’s bound to go down a real treat after a few cocktails!
A great BBQ playlist will make all the difference to your night. Go for uplifting songs to get everyone in that summertime mood and make sure you have enough songs to last until the end of the night. Start the night with some chill-out background music, and then later in the night mix in some great summer holiday classics to get your friends dancing! Just be sure to keep the volume at a sociable level as not to disturb any of your neighbours.
These summer good times are what lasting memories are made of, so be sure to capture as many photos and videos as you can of all your guests enjoying themselves. Chances are you will be busy with the BBQ prep and topping up glasses, so set one of your friends with the task of capturing the party images with their phone or camera and sharing the best shots with you the next day.
Enjoy your BBQ!
We hope you now feel more prepped about hosting the ultimate BBQ at your place this summer. Don’t forget to check out all our latest offers for all the best seasonal deals in store.
Always drink responsibly. To find out more, visit Drinkaware.
Delicious value to savour
Selected varieties available140g / 1kg / 360g / 340g RRP: £4.50 View Offer
Jolly Hog400g RRP: £3.15 View Offer
Selected varieties available510g RRP: £3.49 View Offer
Selected varieties available200g /170g RRP: £1.45 View Offer
Selected varieties available300g RRP: £1.10 View Offer