With summer upon us, the days of campfires, beach trips, and BBQs are officially here.
Attending a summer barbecue is always a great time, but hosting one can be stressful—whether you’re hosting a small group or planning a larger gathering. But with a bit of planning and a well thought-out menu, it can be easy to make your next barbecue a hit!
Your BBQ Checklist: Everything You Need For A Successful BBQ
Have you ever planned a barbecue, only to realize you forgot something at the last minute? There is nothing worse than feeling unprepared while on hosting duty. To help, we’ve put together a barbecue checklist so you can plan ahead and make sure your summer get-together is stress-free and enjoyable.
Check out our checklist, tips, and menu planner below to help make your summer barbecue a success.
The BBQ Essentials
A barbecue is nothing without the right tools! Before you start grilling, make sure all your tools are clean and ready to go.
- Grill Fork
- Grill Gloves
- Gas, Propane, or Charcoal
BBQ pro-tip: Double check your propane or charcoal supply before you start your barbecue. Save yourself the headache and ensure you have enough propane or charcoal the day before your barbecue event.
A hot summer day will require plenty of water to keep your guests hydrated. Serve a variety of beverages to cater to all of your guests.
- Lemonade, Fruit Juice, or Soda
- Beer, Wine or Cocktails
- Glass Cups
BBQ pro-tip: What’s better than ice cold water on a hot day? Ice-cold flavored water! Cut up NatureFresh™ Farms Long English Cucumbers, lemons, and limes, add to water, and serve in a large pitcher or dispenser with lots of ice. A sugar-free and delicious way to keep you and your guests hydrated!
Depending on the size of your crowd, set-up and clean-up can be time-consuming. Make sure all your eating utensils and necessities are available from the moment your guests arrive—especially if snacks are on the table!
- Plates and Bowls
- Forks, Spoons, and Knives
- Serving bowls
- Tongs & Serving Spoons
- Table Cloth (Optional)
BBQ pro-tip: Set up a garbage/recycling station in advance to avoid extra clean-up duty. Keep a recycling bin near your drink coolers for cans, bottles, and caps.
Food Prep Essentials
No barbecue is complete without all the fun stuff that goes on top of your main dish (whether that’s burgers, hotdogs, or sausage). Have a selection of toppings so your guests can build a meal suited to their tastebuds. Use this list of staples as a guide, but feel free to get creative with other topping options as well.
- Hamburger/Hot Dog Buns
- Cheese Slices
- NatureFresh™ Farms Tomatoes
- NatureFresh™ Farms Bell Peppers
- Ketchup (if you’re feeling extra ambitious, try making your own artisanal ketchup)
BBQ pro-tip: To save time (and valuable kitchen space!), prepare all topping ingredients well in advance. Then you’ll be ready to simply put everything out once your food is done cooking.
Set-Up & Safety Essentials
The often forgotten about items are the ones that have nothing to do with the food, but everything to do with your guests’ comfort, entertainment, and safety! Make sure you have the following items on hand so that your event is as enjoyable as possible for everyone attending:
- Lawn chairs
- Lawn games
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
- Bug spray or citronella candles
- Lanterns, torch lights, or string lights
BBQ pro-tip: Repurpose your outdoor holiday string lights and hang them along your fence or between posts.
Build Your Perfect Summer BBQ Menu
Stuck on BBQ food ideas? We’ve picked our very best summer BBQ recipes to build your perfect barbecue menu.
These veggie-packed recipes are quick and simple to prepare, making your barbecue prep as hassle-free as possible. Simply pick which recipes you want to try from each category and start grilling!
Choose Your Snacks/Appetizers:
Red Pepper Quinoa Dip – A unique dip guaranteed to please!
Rosemary Cherry Tomato Skewers – A simple, handheld appetizer.
Roma Tomato Guacamole – A fresh take on a summer staple.
Bell Pepper & Mango Asian Salsa – A flavorful blend of fresh ingredients.
Long Sweet Pepper Boats – An easy, no-cook appetizer.
Choose Your Main Course:
Bell Pepper Spinach Burgers – A delicious, vegetarian-friendly option.
Bell Pepper Burgers – A fresh take on beef burgers.
Savory Chicken Burgers – A great lean meat option.
Choose Your Sides:
Roasted Potato Salad – A unique spin on a summertime favorite.
Spiralized Mini Cucumber Salad – A fresh and visually appealing salad.
Bell Pepper & Pineapple Kabobs – Sweeten things up by adding pineapple to the grill!
Grilled Cremini Mushrooms With Marinated Bell Peppers – Use this delicious dish as a side or a unique burger topping.
Tomato And Watermelon Salad – A healthy and fresh summer salad.
Choose Your Desserts:
Green Tomato Pie – An outside-the-box spin on a BBQ classic.
Watermelon Dessert Pizza – Fresh, simple, and fun!
Take The Stress Out Of Planning
Having friends and family together during the summer months should be fun and relaxing. Use these BBQ tips to help plan, host, and enjoy your perfect summer get-together!
Download your BBQ checklist and meal planner here: