Yay the sun has finally arrived! Let’s hope it stays around. We know many of you are well into your third week of hosting guests in your homes, trying to make up for lost time. Last week we gave you 5 easy crowd pleasing dishes for entertaining in your home and this week we have decided to take it into the garden. This blog will cover everything that you will need to do to have a stress free BBQ at home.
Ok bear with me on this one. So, the idea behind this, is bringing some fun into it all. Many of us had holidays cancelled left right and centre and have more BA vouchers than we know what to do with. How about basing your BBQ theme on one of the holiday destinations which you were meant to go? So, this could mean Beach Shirts, Sarongs & Tropical Cocktails for a Beach destination.
• Decide on a Theme
• Look in your home for décor before ordering online
• Order Décor
• Standard setup: Flowers, table runners, candles/lanterns, citronella, cushions, blankets
This means knowing
-who you will invite?
-what is your theme?
-How will you invite them text or postal/digital invite
-what will you cook?
-Is it BYOB?
-Do you have enough chairs, glassware & crockery?
• Create list of invitees
• Draft Invite (Canva is great for a digital version, its completely free)
• Send out Invites at least 2 weeks before
• Stock take your equipment
Food & Drink
What to cook?
Here we suggest keeping it simple. I’m starting to think this should be our tag line! Look at going for 3 salads, 2 sides, 3-4 meats/fish & 1 dessert. This should have everyone covered. We would suggest the following dishes.
Olives, Cured Meats, Sundried Tomatoes, Artichokes, Selection of cheese, Breads, Bread sticks, Dips, Crisps, Nuts, Edamame beans
Potato Salad, Build your own Salad, Mediterranean Cous Cous Salad, Sweet Potato & Fresh Herbs, Greek Salad, Beetroot & Goats cheese Salad, Chicken Caesar Salad, Asian Noodle Salad, Rainbow leaf salad.
Corn on the Cobb, Grilled Vegetables-Aubergines, Courgettes, Peppers or Mushrooms
Steaks, Chicken Thighs, Kebabs, Side of Salmon, Prawns, Lamb Rump, Sausages, Burgers, Halloumi or Tofu
Lemon Cheesecake, Pavlova, Eton mess, Build your own smores kit, Brownies, Posset, Panna Cotta or good old fashioned fruit.
Cocktails- (Check out some of our recipes), Sprits & Mixers, Beers, Wines, Soft Drinks, Water and lots of ice!
• Do grocery shopping online
• Get Wine delivered from Laithwaites or Majestic
• Prepare Salads & place in serving dishes
• Prep Sides
• Marinate Meat & Fish
• Slice any accompaniments and place in a bowl ready for buffet
• Prepare dessert and chill
• Slice Fresh Fruit for buffet and cocktails
• Prepare accompaniments for Smore kits
• Get sauces & Napkins ready
Make sure you have enough storage for all your food, the key to a successful BBQ is having everything prepped and ready the day before. Make sure you don’t go and do the weekly shop and fill your fridge days before your event. Try to save your weekly shopping for after the event, to save space. You will need to make sure you have enough space for all prepared salads, sides, marinated meats, desserts and drinks.
• Place drinks in buckets with ice for ease/Stock up outdoor fridges
• Clear fridge of old food before shopping arrives
Cooking, Equipment & Safety
Remove your salads from the fridge at least 30 minutes before serving.
Remove meat out of the fridge at least 45 minutes before cooking.
Use a food probe wherever possible. They give you the peace of mind that your food is cooked and safe to eat, even after the cook has had one too many drinks.
Equipment & Safety
Have your fire pit or some sort of heat sources ready to go. Keep your guests comfortable by making sure they have cushions, blankets, sufficient lighting, sun cream and Citronella to keep the bugs away.
Make sure that your fridge is operating at 0-5oc.
Store raw marinated meat at the bottom of the fridge, make sure the container is leak proof or on a plate.
Cooked food should be stored at the top shelf and covered.
Ensure that when food is probed that it is to 75oc. Or until juices run clear when pricked.
Use Separate tongs for raw and cooked food.
Wash hands with soap after handling raw meat.
• Order Charcoal & Firelighters
• Order firewood for firepit/ Gas for heaters
• Check battery in probe
• Clean BBQ Grill
• Setup Buffet table
• Setup Drinks Table/Bar
• Get out Cutlery, Crockery & Glassware
• Get serving spoons & tongs
• Lay out Tongs, Knife, Fork, Gloves, Oil, Probe, Salt & Pepper, Kitchen towel, Foil, Storage containers
• Load Firepit
• Setup 2-3 different seating area
• Setup a Rubbish area for recycling and general waste
This can include Garden Games or board games. I think Music goes without saying. Just make sure you have a few playlists ready and censored, especially if it’s a family event. Spotify & Apple music have pre made playlists, just make sure to check they are what you want as a garden playlist may not be what you consider to be your ideal garden playlist!
• Identify 3-4 suitable playlists
• Take out games and leave aside for guests to use as they wish
Now have the best time! We hope that you find our BBQ Hosting checklist handy. Here’s a free downloadable version that you can use when you next have a BBQ. And of course as always if you don’t have time or would like some help please feel free to give us a call about our Deluxe BBQ packages.