Meat and vegetables on a wooden platter

How To Throw The Best BBQ Ever

Barbecue boosters for the ultimate summer cookout

How To Throw The Best BBQ Ever

Throwing a BBQ party doesn't need to be a stressful affair. With a bit of preparation, a few no-fuss recipes and some festive tips, you can throw a fabulous BBQ party where the host will have just as much fun as the guests!

From an easy way to minimise after-party mess to the tasty toppings that will transform boring burgers, these BBQ party tips will help you put together the perfect gathering. Throwing a barbecue bash doesn't even have to mean spending a small fortune or slaving away in the kitchen all day. With sides that are easy to make ahead and most of the food cooked on the spot, it's actually easier than you think to host a barbecue. Give your summer gathering an upgrade with these brilliant BBQ party tips.

Set-up smart

Serve everything buffet style, with one area for dishing up food and another for sitting down and eating. Make sure that you keep plates and cutlery pre-rolled in napkins at both ends of the buffet table to avoid build-up. If you're having a lot of people round, keep things simple by placing cooked meats on plates or in dishes labelled as 'rare', 'medium-rare' and 'well-done'.

Make a toppings station

Let your guests customise their burgers and hot dogs with an eclectic range of toppings. Include a variety of tasty ketchups and the traditional mustard, plus a few surprise ingredients like guacamole, crumbled bacon and pickled onions. Don't forget the cheese!

Jazz up your burgers

Think beyond beef and dazzle guests with unique burgers. Experiment with different flavour combinations like pork and apple, lamb and beetroot, or peach and mushroom for vegetarians.

Cool down in style

Give your summer drinks a fun twist by making fruity ice cubes. To make, simply place a berry in your ice cube tray before freezing. Drinks will look so pretty and summer festive.

Don't skip the sides

Depending on the number of guests, you'll want a selection of easy-to-make-ahead sides. Take advantage of what's in season, like a gorgeous new potato salad, flavour-packed tomato quiche, and tangy corn relish.

Get the games out

The best solution to that I-ate-too-much afternoon slump? Some outdoor games! Pick a variety of games that require little to no skill, like Frisbee, outdoor bowling or croquet and place them by the picnic table for guests to pick up when they're ready.

Be prepared

Keep a variety of outdoor survival tools at hand, like sun lotion, insect spray and fans to help keep guests cool. Likewise, make sure that you have a game plan in case the weather turns sour!

Don't forget dessert

For pudding, stick with the barbecue theme and throw some fruit on the grill. It will give your fruit a lovely, caramalised flavour. This barbecued nectarines recipe will go down a treat, or try making yummy fruit kebabs. Then, just place a tub of vanilla ice cream on the table and let everyone help themselves. Simple!

Tidy as you go

Let guests help clean up by placing a few clearly-labelled buckets or bins outside. That way, guests can just toss plastic plates and cutlery in the proper recycling bin when they're finished and you'll have much less to do once they've all gone.

Make a playlist

Hit the right note at your barbecue party with a fun summer playlist. Include a mix of upbeat classics plus some more relaxed tunes for when the party winds down.

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