The grill’s out, which means one thing: Summer’s here! If you love cooking for a crowd, it’s time to start planning that neighborhood BBQ. Easier said than done, right? Figuring out how to make your party the best around is no simple task. As you prepare to host your barbecue at home or a local Ohio park, follow these top 10 tips to transform your cookout into something magical.
Get Those RSVPs Out!
Don’t let your friends and neighbors say “maybe” to this one. There’s no need to pressure them, but an accurate guest count ensures you’ll have enough food and drinks for everyone, without so many leftovers you can’t stuff them into the fridge or—worse yet—not enough to go around.
Make It a Potluck
Sure, you’re proud of your grilling prowess, but extra help never hurts. Let neighbors bring a dish to help spread more good food to everyone. Better yet, it’s a way to make sure everyone’s favorite BBQ sides, from coleslaw to cornbread, have a place at the table.
Use Disposable Place Settings
You’re already doing plenty of work at the grill. Why make things harder on yourself and your kitchen sink? Stock up on disposable paper plates and plastic utensils to make cleanup a snap.
Set Up Trash & Recycling
Speaking of cleanup, make sure you have a place for the neighborhood to throw away their trash. Set up a trash can and/or recycling bin in the yard, and stack extra trash bags nearby so you can empty the can as needed. Make it obvious where your guests should be disposing of their trash and empties. It’ll put them at ease and save you from cleaning up after them when the party’s over.
Prepare the Area
If you plan on hosting a home BBQ, make sure your lawn is freshly mowed and looking its best. Do you have enough chairs and places to sit for everyone? Nearby neighbors might be happy to lend a lawn chair or two if you’re short on seating. If your party’s running after sunset, set up some string lights so guests can still see. Clean the bathroom and make sure it’s well-stocked with enough toilet paper and soap to last through the party.
For those of you prepping for a cookout at a local Ohio park, you’ll want to ensure everyone is comfy. Bring along blankets, camping chairs, sunscreen, bug spray, and umbrellas (in case there are no shady areas nearby). You may also want to reserve a spot, if able.
Don’t let your guests get bored with food, drinks, and talking: offer other things to do, too. Set up lawn games like a bean bag toss, lawn darts, or some backyard bocce ball. Kids might also have a blast with sidewalk chalk, coloring pages, or sparklers after dark.
Have a Condiments Table
You see them at sports games, and you should have one, too! A separate table for condiments ensures a good flow of traffic when it’s time to eat. Guests can move along in a line to load up their burgers, hot dogs, or pulled pork with all their favorite fixings.
Brush Up on Your Grilling
Good food is the heart of a great BBQ party. Find the best recipes and borrow techniques from the pros to turn your cookout up another notch. For instance, try using wood from fruit trees like cherry or apple to add more flavor to meats on the grill. Oil your grill before you start to stop meat from sticking to it, and remember that when it comes to good BBQ, patience is a virtue.
Don’t Forget Dessert
End the night on a sweet note with a selection of desserts. Consider supplies for s’mores, a platter of cookies, or a cooler filled with ice cream sandwiches and frozen popsicles to close a hot summer’s day.
Have the Right Vehicle
A good car with the right features can make all the difference. Take the new Honda Ridgeline: Among its many incredible features, the Ridgeline’s in-bed speaker system is the perfect addition to any park barbecue. And if your crew is hoping to catch the latest Indians or Reds game, the Ridgeline even offers in-bed AC outlets for your TV so you can keep an eye on the score. Nifty, huh?
Just released, the new 2019 Ridgeline is an exceptional truck that’s built to complete any tailgate party, backyard cookout, or family camping weekend. Come grab yours at our Miami Valley Honda Dealers in Ohio, and your summer will go off without a hitch (or with one, if you want to tow a boat to a local lake). Contact your nearest Honda dealers around Dayton to schedule a test drive.
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