The time is right and the weather couldn’t be any more perfect for throwing your first backyard summer BBQ!

Here’s what you do, pick a weekend, invite all your friends and family, fire up the grill and start cooking. But, it isn’t enough just to throw a BBQ, especially if this is your first of the year. No, you don’t want to throw just “a BBQ”. You want to throw “the perfect summer BBQ”!

Well, if the perfect BBQ is your goal, you are going to need a few things. Don’t worry, we will help get you started!

The Best BBQ Food

Although food alone won’t make or break your summer BBQ, it is one of the most important aspects of a good BBQ. Here are always the standard burgers, hot dogs, brats and chicken that are hard to beat. But, if you want to make your BBQ the best, be sure to include a variety of options.

Also, make sure there is a vegetarian option available for anyone you invite that may prefer it. Veggie burgers are a great meatless alternative and can be prepared in a variety of different and delicious ways.

Don’t forget about the sides! Be sure to have plenty of fresh corn and other veggies, salad and, everyone’s favorite BBQ side dish, baked beans available. Having plenty of appetizers like dips and spreads on hand for pre and post-meal snacking is always a smart call too.

Don’t Forget Music

A party without music is like doing ballet in army boots: awkward.

No summer BBQ should be without music. It helps set the mood, makes people feel good and can even lead to spontaneous fits of dancing (the best kind of dancing).

When it comes to your selection, like most things, variety is the spice of life. Make a playlist beforehand of different genres and artists that are upbeat and relatively clean.

Backyard Games

People don’t go to BBQs just to eat. They are a great occasion to socialize with new and old friends while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors.

Having games available and activities available is a great way to start socializing and give your guests something to do while the food is being prepared. It is also a good way to get active after the meal to help avoid the inevitable food coma that follows gorging yourself on all that food.

Activities like ladder golf (aka hillbilly golf) or bags are surefire crowd pleasers and can be fun DIY projects. Horseshoes and bocce ball are other fun activities to set up. But, if you feel like keeping it simple, there is nothing wrong with just having a football or frisbee laying around to throw.

Keep Hydrated with an Assortment of Drinks

It could be a warm one when you toss your summer BBQ, make sure everyone is staying hydrated and cool with plenty to drink.

Make sure you have plenty of options available for your guests. Keep a cooler or two plenty stocked with water, soda and some cold brews so people don’t have to trek through the house to get something to drink.

You can also try making homemade lemonade out of a pitcher for that extra touch! Lemonade is one of the best summertime drinks and tastes especially good straight from a pitcher. This also helps give your party a little more atmosphere.

Use Disposable Silverware and China

When the part dies down and the last of the guests have left the last that you want to do is deal with a mountain of dishes.

Save yourself the hassle of clean up by using disposable cups, plates and silverware at your summer BBQ. This will also save you from having to clean up and replace any dishes that may get broken throughout the day. Any leftovers can go towards your next BBQ.

The perfect ending to a perfect summer BBQ!

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