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  • BBQ Party Planning Checklist

  • Make Sure You Have the Essentials Ready

    Summer is almost here and it’s time for a barbecue! Whether you’re planning a small backyard cookout for the family or a big barbecue party, there are a few essentials you need. From the food to tools for the grill and cold drinks to table settings, a checklist of everything you need will ensure you don’t forget a thing.

    The grill is the heart of any great barbecue. While grills come in all shapes and sizes and every backyard chef has their preference between gas and charcoal, the tools you need are all the same.

    An investment in a good set of barbecue tools can last for years. Ensure that you have a stainless steel spatula, tongs, and a grilling fork that can stand up to the heat. A basting brush will also come in handy, as will a flame-resistant glove and an apron. Don’t forget the extra gas or charcoal for the grill, either!

    The Grill Checklist

    • Spatula
    • Tongs
    • Grill Fork
    • Grill Glove
    • Apron
    • Gas or Charcoal
    • Aluminum Foil
    • Oil
    • Towel

    Ice-Cold Drinks

    A good supply of drinks will keep everyone cool and refreshed. There are many beverages that are ideal for a backyard cookout, so you’re sure to find something for everyone.

    Drinks for Everyone

    Offer a variety of nonalcoholic drinks for kids and guests who don’t drink alcohol. The most important drink, especially if it’s a hot day, is water. Be sure to have plenty in stock so everyone can stay hydrated.

    Fruit punches are perfect for a summer cookout and a pitcher of homemade lemonade is always a hit. You can also offer other fun recipes like the sparkling cranberry punch or the cardinal punch.

    Drinks for Adults

    Filling the cooler with ice-cold beer is a barbecue tradition. While you can pick up a case of your trusted go-to brand, there are many fantastic beers to explore.

    Pairing barbecued foods with wine is another adventure that can keep you busy all summer. It’s fun to discover the “rules” of finding a great cookout wine and you’ll often find that inexpensive red wines are the best picks.

    You can also show off your bartending skills and there are many fun cookout-worthy cocktails. They’re typically easy to mix and play up the freshest fruits of the summer.

    The Beverage Checklist

    • Beer, Wine, Cocktails
    • Lemonade or Nonalcoholic Punch
    • Soda
    • Water
    • Plastic Cups
    • Cooler
    • Ice
    • Bottle Opener
    • Corkscrew

    Condiments and Sauces

    From the marinade for a steak to fixings for your burgers, it’s the little things that make your food better. The condiments, spices, and sauces needed for a barbecue are going to depend on what you’re cooking, though there are some staples you won’t want to forget.

    BBQ Sauce

    While there are many great barbecue sauces available at the store, you may want to make your own. Most barbecue sauce recipes are easy and can give your grilled meat a custom touch.

    • BBQ Sauces for Chicken
    • BBQ Sauces for Ribs
    • Fruit-Based BBQ Sauces
    • Mustard-Based BBQ Sauces
    • Vinegar-Based BBQ Sauce
    • Memphis Style BBQ Sauce
    • Texas Style BBQ Sauce

    The Burger and Hot Dog Checklist

    For a menu of burgers and hot dogs, condiments are essential. Setting out all the favorite toppings will ensure everyone can build their ideal meal. To really set your burgers apart, try a secret sauce or creative toppings that are sure to make super burgers!

    • Ketchup
    • Mustard
    • Barbecue Sauce
    • Mayonnaise
    • Hot Sauce
    • Cheese
    • Tomatoes
    • Lettuce
    • Onion
    • Mushrooms
    • Bacon
    • Hamburger or Hot Dog Buns

    Barbecue Condiment Checklist

    For any other style of barbecue, you may need a few special condiments. Some of these will go directly on your grilled food while others can be used as toppings or dips.

    Whether you need any of these is going to depend largely on what you’re serving. For instance, salsa is a must with tortilla chips on the table, while regular potato chips may require ranch or French onion dip.