Phill and I have been waiting for the perfect weekend to have a BBQ and the weekend just past proved to be it. The thing with tempermental Northern Irish weather is that you cannot plan too far in advance. We just contacted our friends the day before – after we stood in Tesco deliberating whether or not we would bother with a BBQ. It’s awful to say, but sometimes a BBQ can be ‘bothersome’. It involves some pre-planning and generally a lot of money!
Here are my tips for holding a successful BBQ that won’t break the bank or cause you to get too stressed out . . .
1. Create an appealing outside space for your guests
Spruce up your garden in time for your guests arrival. Do the weeding, give window ledges a lick of paint, buy some hanging baskets or potted plants. Also, make sure you have plenty of seating. If you can’t afford to go out and buy garden furniture, purchase some cheap fold-up chairs from the likes of Argos. If you plan on sitting out all evening, buy a few outdoor candles, or make sure you have firewood for your burner.
2. Buy good meat – the best you can
Support your butcher and buy your meat local! They are often a lot cheaper than supermarkets. To help spread the cost, buy a little extra meat each time you shop and freeze it so you don’t have to go out and do a massive shop before your BBQ.
3. Go that little bit further – make a tasty marinade
So you’ve made your chicken kebabs, but dont stop there! It only takes a few minutes to whip up a nice marinade. This will make your kebabs taste even better.
We mixed together some soy sauce, honey, olive oil, dried chilli, paprika, ginger and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Whip up some summery side dishes
Some light summery side dishes are ideal for rich BBQ meat. Plus they can be made in advance!
Here is a potato, pea and mint salad. Just boil baby boiled potatoes and some beans. Then add some natural yoghurt, mayonnaise and freshly chopped mint. It’s nice served warm or cold.
Prepare some home-made coleslaw by grating carrots and chopping a red onion, celery and some fresh chilli. Bring it all together with some mayonnaise and salt and pepper.
5. Get creative with your food and drink presentation
Be imaginative and think of different ways to present your food and show off your drinks. This retro style drinks bottle was just a few pounds in Tesco (buy similar) and it’s great to use for cordial drinks.
Add some freshly cut fruit to your cocktails
You can’t go wrong with some fun fishy drink coolers!
6. Recreate childhood memories
Indulge your inner child and give your guests an ice-cream cone. All you need to buy is some ice-cream, wafer cones and decorative sprinkles. No fuss and so cheap! After stuffing themselves with meat, most people won’t want to eat cake, so this is perfect sweet treat for your guest to enjoy.
7. Put some tunes on!
Put some of your favourite music on in time for your guests arriving. It will not only put you in a really good mood, but your guests too!
8. Relax and enjoy!
Let’s be upfront – organising a BBQ can be stressful, especially if you have a lot of people coming! But remember to enjoy your day and have fun with your family/friends. Whilst food, drink etc is important, you’re guests are more likely to remember all the laughter and fun of the day.