The Ultimate Back Yard Party


Planning the Ultimate Backyard Barbecue


Imagine your backyard filled with happy chatter and laughter, good friends and family enjoying every moment with the whiff of the barbecue building anticipation for the feast to come. The steaks sizzle with flames licking up through the grill, smoke laden with the aroma of choice meats and select cuts stir primordial desires to surround the fire.

Summer full of exciting backyard parties, now’s the best time to sharpen your barbecue-planning skills to perfection! We’ve got everything you need to host a successful outdoor bash, from prep to cleanup!

A Week-By-Week Guide to Prepping for Your Barbecue

Throwing the perfect barbecue party means kicking things into gear early. Don’t wait till the last minute! To make sure everything runs smoothly, use this handy schedule to keep your plans on track:

Two Weeks Before the Barbecue

Make a guest list. Send out invitations or call your guests to tell them about your party.

Create a shopping list. Based on how many guests you’ll have, start planning your menu and make a list of all the ingredients and non-food supplies you’ll need for the barbecue. If you want your guests to help out by bringing salad, appetizers or dessert to the barbecue, call them up and ask them to contribute to the potluck.

Test your grill. Take your BBQ for a test drive and make sure it’s clean and in ship-shape well before the party. Make sure it has enough propane or charcoal.

Order rentals. If you need to rent any outdoor equipment like tents, chairs, tables, etc., start making those arrangements now.

A Few Days Before the Barbecue

Go shopping. Buy all the nonperishable food and drinks on your menu, as well as utensils and decorations.

Get a head start. Start preparing any foods and desserts that can be made and stored ahead of time.

Take a head count. Call all of your guests to confirm who’s coming and what food items they’re bringing.

Start decorating. If possible, set up your tables, chairs and decorations. Make sure the seating is in a shady, comfortable area in the yard. Place a couple of big garbage bins in easy-to-access spots.

The Day Before the Barbecue

Do some last-minute shopping. Get a sufficient supply of ice, condiments, meats and other perishable foods.

Prep the meat. Marinate your meats the night before the party to make sure they’re extra-tasty when you grill them. Store them in the fridge.

Make last-minute dishes. Prepare and store all the perishable foods you’ll be serving at the party.

Clean The Barbecue and Grill
Avoid The Nasty Taste

Nothing spoils the food faster than combining previous residue and rancid fats to fresh meat and other foods.

Clean out the trays and burn the residue to inert ash. That’s right turn it on high and burn it off. Be prepared, it will smoke, then disappear with all byproducts reduced to ash. Use a grill brush to scrape the grate clean of any carbon particles. Remove and empty the catch tray and your barbecue is ready to cook mouth-watering sizzling steak.

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Barbecue Recommendations

The Day of the Barbecue

Finish decorating. Make the final adjustments to your décor and seating arrangements. Organize cups, plates, utensils, salads, side dishes, condiments, etc., on a buffet-style table. Make sure any food items are covered to protect them from heat and bugs!

Set up the drinks station. Fill your cooler with ice and stock it with plenty of drinks so they’re nice and cold by the time your guests arrive. Remember to frequently replenish the ice supply throughout the day.

Prepare fresh appetizers. Cut and prep fresh fruits and veggies and keep them in the fridge until guests arrive.

Fire up the grill. Set up your grill and start cookin’! Keep an eye on the meats and ensure they’re being grilled at the proper grilling temperatures.

Enjoy! Spend the day having fun with your family and friends!

After the Barbecue

Put away the leftovers. Wrap up any leftover perishable food right away and store them in the fridge. (That includes meats, salad, cheeses and spreads.) If there’s enough to go around, give some leftovers to your guests to take home.

Clean up. Throw away the trash and clean and disinfect tables and chairs. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean your grill too.

Stock up for your next BBQ bash. Hang on to any unused utensils and save them for your next fabulous backyard barbecue.

The Essential Barbecue Checklist

Too busy to write up a shopping list? Don’t sweat it. We already created one for you, complete with all the BBQ basics. Just print it out and get ready to start grilling! Download our printable BBQ Checklist before you head to the store! Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Hamburgers
  • Hot dogs
  • Ribs
  • Steak
  • Chicken

Appetizers And Side Dishes

  • Salad
  • Veggies
  • Chips and dip
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Finger foods
  • Rice
  • Corn on the cob
  • Potatoes


  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Steak sauce


  • Lettuce
  • Tomato slices
  • Onions
  • Pickles
  • Cheese slices
  • Chili

Buns, rolls and wraps


  • Fruit
  • Ice cream
  • Cake
  • Cheesecake
  • Cookies


  • Water
  • Soda
  • Juice
  • Beer
  • Wine
  • Cocktails

*Good host safe drive home.

The Stuff

Cooler, Ice Buckets And Ice

Outdoor Decorations

Charcoal Or Propane

Grilling Tools

Napkins And Paper Towels

Disposable Plates, Tablecloths And Utensils

  • Forks
  • Knives
  • Spoons
  • Cups

Aluminum Foil And Plastic Wrap

Trash Bins And Garbage Bags

Separate Platters For Raw And Grilled Meats

Storage Containers For Leftovers

Will you be hosting a backyard barbecue this summer? Tell us how you plan on making it extra-awesome for your friends and family!