How to Host a Backyard Barbecuepublished on August 1, 2018 · last updated on October 25, 2019Fire up the grill this weekend and host friends and family for a backyard barbecue! Unsure how to do it? My guide about How to Host a Backyard Barbecue offers eight tips and tricks to hosting with ease. Also, join The Speckled Palate’s mailing list to download a free guide that takes you from start to finish, including a menu, a grocery list, a timeline (for both the day-of and the day before), decor suggestions, drink pairings and more! I’m a Southerner, so when I hear about a backyard barbecue, I’m expecting ribs, coleslaw, potato salad… the works.I learned in college that a backyard barbecue could be considered firing up the grill and making some tasty grilled foods instead.However you think of a backyard BBQ, we are going to cover it in this post because a backyard BBQ should be a fun and easy gathering to host.Yes, fun AND easy.Y’all with me? 1. Plan your menu in advance, and take into account how many guests you’re hosting.This is especially important if you’re making traditional barbecue because that stuff takes TIME. If you’re making more traditional grilled entrees, you’ll be in for less time.Here’s a sample menu of a backyard barbecue I’ve hosted:Memphis-Style Barbecue RibsNo Mayo Honey Mustard ColeslawNo Mayo Potato SaladInstant Pot Vegetarian Baked BeansPatriotic Strawberry BruschettaHere’s a sample menu of a grilled backyard barbecue you could host:Juicy Lucy BurgersGreek BruschettaMediterranean Cucumber Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Lemon VinaigretteRamen Noodle and Clementine SaladOoey Gooey BarsWhile planning your menu, consider your guests’ diets. Are you hosting vegetarians? Vegans? Someone who’s gluten free or in the middle of a Whole30? Be considerate and have some food they can eat, too!Also, while you’re thinking of your menu, consider what tools you’ll need to make the dishes. (I put together this handy dandy Backyard Barbecue Essentials post for y’all that breaks down all the things you might need!)… Green Chameleon 2. Once your menu is planned, figure it your timeline.Every event I host, I write a timeline for. How do I do this? I go through my menu and write down how long each dish takes to cook, INCLUDING anything that calls for brining, chilling, etc. I’ll make notes of anything that needs to for sure be made the day of vs. stuff that can be made in advance.Need some help with this? I’ve created a handy dandy cheat sheet! Join my mailing list, and get the free timeline (plus more!) cheat sheet in your inbox.…Brooke Lark 3. Know what you’re going to serve your dishes on/in.Disclaimer: The links below are affiliate links. If you click through and take action, I will receive a small commission. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about the affiliate programs The Speckled Palate participates in.This can be done well in advance. I like to get out my dishes and label them with a sticky note to say what is going in them.Heck, you can label and out them back in the cabinets until the day of.Here are some of my favorite dishes to use for the specific dishes shared in this post:Long Porcelain Serving Platter.Rectangular Platter in White.White Medium-Sized Serving Bowl.Large Multi Bowl in any color of your choosing.Pottery serving bowl, like these from Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn.That said, feel free to use whatever you have on hand and get creative! Your dishes don’t have to all be the same shape or pattern. Mix and match patterns to add some color and fun. …Dane Deaner 4. Grocery shop.Depending on when you’re hosting your gathering, you can do this a few days in advance. Get everything you could possibly need, including paper plates, cups and cutlery. (We are big fans of these compostable HarvestPack plates, Repurpose clear cups and GreenWorks biodegradable cutlery.)Need beer, wine or spirits? Add that store to your list (if your state requires you to go to a specialty store), and purchase what you need in advance so you don’t have to run out the day-of.Unsure what you need to purchase, food-wise, for your backyard barbecue? I’ve included a printable shopping list in my downloadable ebook! All you have to do is sign up for my newsletter, and it will be delivered to your inbox. … 5. Make anything you can in advance.This step obviously depends on your menu. It also depends on what you can prep in advance but not cook.Keep in mind that a lot of your chopping and cutting can be done the day before to make preparations the day of significantly easier. …rawpixel 6. Take a deep breath, and keep your cool.I KNOW. Hosting and entertaining can be insanely stressful.Repeat after me: Things are going to go awry.Such is the way of hosting and hospitality, y’all.You might not be able to control your grill’s temperature or your food processor dies mid-day… but you can control how you respond to things going wrong.I say this because the first time we hosted folks for ribs, our ribs CAUGHT FIRE.Pour yourself a drink if that’ll make your nerves a little less frazzled. Enlist help of guests. Serve your appetizers early (or send someone to the store for salsa and chips if the entire meal’s timeline is off.)You can do this. Promise. …Kelsey Chance 7. Interact with your guests.Don’t let entertaining keep you from interacting with your guests. Whenever we host, we’ve found everyone tends to gather in the kitchen as we finish whatever we are serving, and it’s a heck of a lot of fun to chat as you make food.If your guests offer a hand, let them help.Make this fun for everyone. Your friends and family are here for your backyard barbecue because they like YOU. Spend time with them! …Quentin Dr 8. Enjoy yourself.‘Nuff said.