How to throw a perfect BBQ party

How to throw a perfect BBQ party

Are you looking for tips on how to throw the perfect BBQ party? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I love, love, LOVE BBQ get-togethers, but they are an exact art and there are a few mistakes that I’ve made, and learnt from, to make my parties better. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.

Back to basics.

The first things you need to consider when starting to plan a BBQ party are:

  • The weather – the weather alone doesn’t have to be “make or break” for the party, however, you do need to know if it’s going to rain so you can cover the BBQ area and keep it dry.
  • The space – how much room do you have? Are you eating outside or inside?
  • The BBQ itself – is it big enough for the number of guests? Does it have a dedicated veggie section or are you going to use another extra BBQ to cook the meat-free food? Is it clean? Does it work?

Once you’ve ironed out the biggies it’s then onto the nitty-gritty:

  • Will you need a gazebo? – We always use a gazebo as it’s great for any weather, if it’s wet the guests are covered, if it’s really hot then it provides much-needed shade for those that want to sit outside. They don’t have to cost the earth, check out this party gazebo to get an idea on prices. It may be worth thinking about a gazebo to cover the BBQ just in case there are extremes in weather, no soggy burgers or sunburnt family members that are there cooking. They are so easy to put together – here is a tutorial to help you, if you’re worried.
  • How many chairs do you need? – Do you have enough already or will you need to ask your guests to bring a collapsible chair with them?
  • Where will you put the drinks and other food? – Will it be outside, if so, do you have space for everyone to be around it without crowding the garden completely. Is it somewhere out of the sun?

Let’s add some meat to the bones (pun intended).

Now you have the basics sorted, let’s get onto the good stuff. The biggest task is to work out what food you need to buy and what you’ll serve on the day. Obviously, you’ll need to ask your guests about any dietary requirements, but as a rule, I normally plan the following for each meat-eating guest:

  • One burger.
  • Two sausages.
  • Three bread rolls.
  • One chicken breast or two legs/thighs.
  • Two slices of halloumi.
  • One scoop of potato salad.
  • One big dollop of coleslaw.
  • A few spoons of various dips.

For the veggie guests I usually plan:

  • 4-5 slices of halloumi.
  • One to two veggie burgers.
  • One to two Quorn sausages (if available in the shops).
  • Three bread rolls.
  • One scoop of potato salad.
  • One big spoon of coleslaw.
  • A few spoons of various dips.

Alongside these, I usually also buy 1 pack of 8 extra burgers and 10 sausages per 20 guests and have salad, breadsticks and crisps on the table for people to pick at.

Desserts wise, I usually opt for a big bowl of fresh fruit salad with double cream on the side, a roulade and some fairy cakes/cupcakes for people to choose from. Although I’ve found you never need as much pudding as you would for the main course choices, people tend to be full up after all the BBQ goodies.

When it comes to drinks its best to hedge your bets. I would purchase plenty of fizzy pop. At least enough for one 2L bottle between two people and enough bottles of wine/prosecco or beer to allow everyone a couple of drinks at least. The big glass jugs you can buy with the taps at the bottom can be filled with squash, Pimms and other beverages and are ideal for people to help themselves to and can be found inexpensively on the high street.


Enjoy your party, after all your hard work prepping, it’s so important to try and take a moment away from being the host(ess) with the most(est) and have fun with the company that you wanted to get together with. I’m always guilty of fussing around and finding at the end I haven’t had anything to eat or a full conversation with anyone, so don’t fall into that trap!

Let me know, what are your best tips for hosting a BBQ party?

*This is a collaborative post

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