Everyone loves a good barbeque party, and it’s almost an essential life skill to know how to throw a good cookout in your yard or in camp grounds. Another age-old classic is a good old-fashioned picnic on a warm afternoon in your lawn, with your little children running around while the food is laid on the blanket ready for eating. Regardless of whatever special family traditions to make every event special, there are some things you always need to take note of when you plan picnics and barbeque cookouts!
In this post, we give you an useful guide on outdoor dining 101 plus all the must-haves when hosting a barbeque party and picnic in your backyard, from scheduling your event to roasting your meat and vegetable skewers. Whether it’s for your family and close friends, a chill get together with your neighbors down the block, or a reunion for your relatives or friends from all across the country, this is a great way to bring your loved ones together for a great day in the sun. Here’s your one-stop guide to everything you need to understand about picnics and BBQ parties!
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Left: From HDF Connects; Right: From Sobeys, Inc.
Everything You Need To Throw a BBQ Party
Like any party, especially a social event, there’s a number of things you need to understand about throwing a BBQ party. Here is a quick rundown of everything you need to host a BBQ party.
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Schedule the date and time
Before everything else, you’ll need to schedule a specific date for your outdoor cookout and determine whether you’re having it in the middle of the day (12 noon to 4 in the afternoon) or in the afternoon until the evening (5-9 PM). It’s best to have at least 4 hours for your party to give plenty of time for you to join your guests and for them to talk with one another.
Determine whether it will be a large-scale reunion for highschool batch mates or distant relatives from across the States, or a small intimate gathering of your family and close friends, or a get-to-know event with the neighbors on your block.
After deciding on your guest list, sending out email invites best for large parties, while customized and handwritten invitations are great for small intimate events with neighbors and family members.
Make sure to follow up on their attendance to get a good estimate of how much food and utensil sets you need to prepare.
Picking out the Menu & Preparing your Food
The standard rule is to have a balance of red meat, chicken and veggies skewered on sticks especially if you aren’t sure what your guests’ diets are.
The safest choice for meat is to stick with the classics – hotdogs, burger patties, ribs, meat in barbeque chops, etc., and the same goes for vegetables – go for corn cobs, greens, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. If you do know their preferences, you should modify your menu accordingly for vegetarians, vegans, and red meat lovers.
Keep drinks cool in a cooler or two in your backyard, and keep a steady supply in your freezer indoors, and make sure to always have ice on the ready. It’s best to have a variety of juice packs, soda cans and bottles of beer and wine available unless you learn what your guests prefer.
For dessert, fruit platters are a good simple dish, or platters of cookies, biscuits and cake tarts to pass around your guests.
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Prep your Cooking Tools & Supplies
It’s highly recommended to spend for heavy duty grill with a retracting cover to keep your food fresh and warm. Purchase a sturdy set of essential tools for outdoor dining, such as a spatula, tongs, grill forks and knives, among others.
You’re going to need a place to put your freshly barbequed food to make space for new batches of raw meat and vegetables. We advise getting containers with lids for both raw and cooked meat and veggies and aluminum foil to keep food fresh and protect them from flies, insects and the elements.
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Lay Out Meal Utensils
Like any meal, you’re going to need a set of utensils to set out for your guests. Here is a list of must-have utensils for your BBQ party.
Fork and knife (spoon optional).
Glasses or plastic cups.
What You Need to Put Together a Picture Perfect Picnic.
Similar to barbeque cookouts, you need to have a checklist of things to arrange a picture perfect picnic for you and your family. The difference is, you’re going to have to make sure you have absolutely everything you need before going out to your picnic spot.
From Families For Life
Schedule the Date, Time and Place.
Like any family outing, you’re going to need to pick a spot for your picnic and decide on whether you’ll be going out in mid-morning or in the late afternoon to evening. Of course, if you want to do it in the evening, you’ll need to bring a portable lamp with you.
Pick Your Menu.
Like any old-fashioned picnic, you’ll want to prepare the food in advance and wrap them to go in your basket. It’s best to go with sandwiches and pre-cooked meats for your main course: burgers, hotdog sandwiches, chicken, grilled or fried meats (beef, bacon, hotdogs), and hard-boiled eggs, and many more.
When it comes to your side dishes, you could go with a tub of coleslaw, mashed potato or potato salad, bags of crisps. For the dessert, you can not go wrong with a fruit plate (e.g. banana, apple, orange, strawberry), and biscuits. You might also want to bring condiments (e.g. ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, etc.) in compact airtight containers if you need them.
Lastly, for your drinks, you should pack a cooler to keep your beverages nicely chilled and the perfect refreshment for a sunny day. You could never go wrong with a pack of soda cans, juice boxes, water bottles, and, if you want to get fancy, maybe a nice bottle of wine.
From Boston Magazine
Put Together Your Picnic Supplies.
To guarantee you don’t forget anything, make a checklist of things to pack on your picnic outing with your family.
Blanket (often red & white checkered cloth).
Reusable plates, bowls, & utensils.
Table napkins & wet wipes for easy cleaning.
Food and condiments.
How to Properly Pack Your Basket.
A number of tips to preparing your picnic basket, from the experts:.
Keep food covered in airtight containers and resealable plastic bags.
Load basket in order of things you’ll be taking them out in, i.e. blanket, plates and utensils, food platters, condiments if any, etc
. Bring a cooler for drinks and perishables.
Put the perishable food (freshly cooked meat, vegetables, etc.) in airtight containers in the bottom and sides of the cooler.
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