Be it a birthday party, reception or farewell party, a BBQ suits almost every occasion. Planning a perfect BBQ is the best thing to make your family’s summer vacation special. It isn’t difficult, all it requires is a little patience and attention to detail. Here are some pointers to get you started.
Guest Invitations and RSVPs
Like everything, a BBQ has to be preceded by deciding on the guest list. Check with your intended guests for availability. Schedule conflicts and practical difficulties are unavoidable but if guests are intimated and requested to RSVP in advance, then a decent turnover on BBQ-Day is assured. You can always ask them to bring along a plate without feeling too guilty about it; it is perfectly normal and acceptable in Australia’s holy BBQ tradition for guests to turn up with plates of salad. BYOB is very good too.
Weather and Venue check
Summer is the best time to host a BBQ, but it never hurts to check beforehand the weather forecast for a few days leading up to the day of the BBQ. It always pays to have a backup plan in place for an unexpected thundershower, so the party can be temporarily shifted indoors.
Check and organize your house and lawn thoroughly. Make sure you have proper security measures at entries and exits. Keep safety supplies like a fire extinguisher and med-kit at hand. Look hard at the seating arrangements for your guests and decide if you need anything more. Allot spare bedrooms and changing rooms for guests if possible. Keep toilets clean, well-appointed and ready for use. Allot a spare room/closet/cloakroom for guests to stash their belongings. Make the whole area and set up as child-friendly and pet-friendly as you can; in the chance that some guest decides to bring along a child, or in a rare instance, their fur-child.
This point is easily overlooked, but important. See to it that you place your grill in a well-ventilated spot. You want to encourage your guests to congregate around the barbecue, beer in hand, to discuss and argue BBQ finesse, help with holding the tongs or hold up tiny toddlers and/or pets who’re frantically scrambling around in their fun and games! The BBQ is meant to be the life of the party and shouldn’t be segregated or aloof.
Preparing the Barbie
It pays to invest a little time to some last moment maintenance on your beloved BBQ grill. The grill needs to be squeaky-clean, top to bottom. Make sure there isn’t any baked-on residue whatsoever, anywhere on the grill. The drip tray has to be cleaned thoroughly and lined with a fresh sheet of aluminium foil. Spray a little cooking spray over the grills and heating surfaces to keep them slick and smooth. If you currently don’t own a BBQ grill and are in the market to get a new one, make sure you read our write-up on stainless steel gas grills before weighing your options.
The Meat of the Matter
This is literally the meat or the heart of the matter! Buy the best meat you possibly can. Keep at least a couple of different kinds of meats so you can cater to everyone’s tastes. Chicken, pork, sausages and hamburgers are conventional and safe options. Keeping child-friendly foods at hand like mini-hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, coleslaw, chip and dips, etc will seal your position as the most considerate and gracious of hosts! Have some interesting sides on the menu like potato wedges, smoky potato salad or spicy corn on the cob. An example of traditional Australian fare is a homemade damper served with butter and golden syrup. Complement steaks, chops and seafood with pizza, juicy mushrooms and vegetables. Add cooked mangoes, bananas and pineapples to the mix, thereby paving the course to dessert.
No matter what you go for, Jim’s Home Fresh has you covered. Explore our extensive range of meat, chicken, seafood, fruit, vegetables, bakery items, dairy – you name it. You can rely on us to share a major portion of the responsibility and work required for the grand success of your BBQ.
Accessories and Ice to cool those drinks!
The right accessories are essential for handling any demand or request on the special day. Source your egg rings for perfectly round fried eggs beforehand. Stock spatulas, tongs, reusable BBQ sheets and anything else you think you’ll need.
It’s important to keep meat and especially seafood chilled till the day it’s going to go on the grill. Barbecuing is hard work. So consider stashing a crate (of beer, what else?) so the chef can stay hydrated.
And don’t forget the ice – lots of it. In your refrigerator, and in a separate thermos so guests have plenty for their drinks if the weather turns hot.
Thawing the meat
Do this a day in advance and not at the last moment. Thaw, prepare and marinate the meat you will be grilling. Prepare side dishes in advance. Click here for some helpful tips to ensure nothing goes amiss on BBQ day.
Have a great BBQ!
On the day of the party, get up early and start prepping. You don’t want to be seen cleaning, decorating or sprucing up the place by guests who happen to arrive a minute early. Get your grill going early on in the day so the smell coming from it get everyone in the mood. Make a last-minute check for supplies and ensure you have pickles, relish, onions, lemon wedges, etc. Make it a point to prepare in advance and in such a way that your guests feel that you have prepared for this weeks in advance.
And now, for the most important point of all. HAVE FUN!