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6 min read

Sizzling Summer BBQs: A Guide to a Perfect Party

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Summer is officially here, which means it’s time to plan the event of the summer! Once you’ve got the date set and invitations sent out, the fun part begins! By organizing ahead of time, you’ll minimize last-minute stress and maximize your enjoyment, focusing on what truly matters—grilling up your favourite summer eats and spending quality time with loved ones. In North America, we cherish our summer barbecues from May to September, and this guide is designed to help you host the perfect summer party!

Your barbecue appliance

First, if you already own a grill, make sure to inspect it well in advance of the party. Does it need cleaning? Is it still in good working condition? Before you start grilling, ensure the equipment is thoroughly cleaned to avoid any mishaps. If you're in the market for a new one, consider whether you’d prefer a charcoal, gas, or electric grill.

Not sure how to choose? Here’s a quick overview of the main differences:

  • Charcoal Grills: These grills offer a more authentic grilling experience and might be the cheapest option upfront. However, they can be more expensive over time due to the need for charcoal and fire starters. Certain meats also tend to take on different flavours when cooked on charcoal, which some prefer.
  • Electric Grills: Generally, these are the least expensive option. They don’t significantly affect the taste of food and some consider them a bit healthier. They are also simpler to operate for those learning to grill.
  • Gas Grills: Usually more expensive, these grills are often connected to your home’s gas supply. They offer more flavour than electric grills but don’t quite match the taste achieved with charcoal.
Build your barbecue menu

Creating a well-thought-out menu is essential for hosting a successful barbecue party. Careful planning is crucial to maintaining a balanced meal and provides the ability to time the cooking process perfectly. Consider what can be prepared in advance, when things will go onto the grill, and how well done you want your grilled items so that everything is ready at the right time.

Build a diverse menu that includes various proteins and vegetables to offer a thoughtful range of options so every attendee can enjoy, regardless of dietary restrictions. Think about the sides and desserts you want to serve to complement the main dishes. This considerate approach will demonstrate your hospitality and ensure a memorable barbecue for everyone and make them feel included.

Think about your beverages

With your food menu set, it's time to plan the drinks that will accompany each meal. Since it's a summer party, keeping your guests well-refreshed, especially for an outdoor event, is necessary. If your guests consume alcohol, provide a good variety of alcoholic beverages to choose from. However, also consider those who do not drink alcohol and prepare fun mocktails and other drinks for them. It’s best to keep alcoholic drinks separate from non-alcoholic drinks and have it supervised to avoid incidents.

Keeping everyone hydrated is essential for a successful summer party by having enough water available. Consider setting a nice table outside in the shade, with a variety of refreshing drinks, and waters available.

Build your shopping list

Now that you’ve designed your menu, make sure to include everything you need on your grocery list, such as meats, veggies, seasonings, desserts, alcoholic beverages for adults, and non-alcoholic drinks. Efficient planning now will make your party run smoothly later, so take your time with this part.

While grocery shopping can be fun, it can also be time-consuming. If you're pressed for time, consider using delivery services for your groceries. This allows you to save energy for the enjoyable parts of party preparation and eliminates the need for multiple trips, especially for heavy items.

Entertainment & activities for a perfect ambiance

Next, consider how you will entertain both kids and adults. Outdoor games that both kids and adults can enjoy together are a great option. Alternatively, you can plan separate activities for each group. Providing entertainment for kids is especially important to keep them safely away from the barbecue or cooking area. A well-entertained guest is a happy guest, which brings a lot of satisfaction to the host.

If you have enough space, think about getting a slip-and-slide for the kids (and the kids-at-heart)! Plus, investing in a good sound system can enhance the party atmosphere. If you don’t already have a good speaker, now might be the perfect time to get one using your perks.

Also, think about the décor. Set a nice table with inviting decorations to spruce up your home and create a welcoming environment for your guests. If you’re placing food, beverages, or snacks outside on a table, consider bug screens to prevent any unwanted visitors enjoying, too!

Safety essentials and tips
  • Get a meat thermometer.
  • Check the weather forecast and plan for indoor plans in case the weather changes last minute.
  • Buy an extra bag of charcoal and fire starter if you’re using a charcoal grill or smoker.
  • Ensure your grill is in a safe place, especially that it’s on a solid, even surface.
  • Check for weeds and other potential fire hazards and remove them ahead of time, such as loose branches and dry leaves.
  • Keep an eye out for excited kids and pets running around when the grill is on
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy.
  • Keep a basket of sunscreen, body and face, bug sprays, hats, fun sunglasses, there’s always someone who forgets any of these items, show them the great host that you are and be prepared!
  • If it will be a loud party, consider giving neighbours a heads-up. Be sure to turn down the speakers around 10 PM if your event is still going at that time.
  • Provide clearly marked garbage bins throughout the party, let your guests know where to throw the trash.
  • Get an extra bag of ice. It’s always helpful.
Perks to consult

For high quality meats: Trulocal

For a variety of seafood: Caudle’s Catch Seafood

Groceries delivery: Voilà, Walmart Canada

If you have a new home and is hosting a welcoming party, no need to purchase all appliances, just rent them from EasyHome

Barbecue, Grills, Outdoor furniture: The Brick

Grills / Barbecue / Griddles: Goemans, Oakville Appliance Centre, GE appliances, Meyer (oven grill pans)

Spruce up your party with indoor or outdoor décor: Stokes

One-stop shops for all outdoor games, barbecue appliances, outdoor cleaning, patio sets, gazebos, garden lights, games, décor: Home Hardware, Costway

Music entertainment: Sonos, Samsung

Flowers

Want to elevate your party with fantastic floral arrangements? Consult our floral perks including the most popular: Canadiana Flowers, Teleflora, 1800Flowers.ca.

Bonus perks:

If you're looking to upgrade your home appliances, we have an exciting new perk for you. Bosch has recently joined our platform with an enticing offer.

For those considering a new hot tub installation, explore the selections at Hydropool Hot Tubs Mississauga or Backyard Retreat Home & Leisure Inc. in Oakville. They offer a range of products, including hot tubs, spas, BBQs, outdoor kitchens, and patio sets.

Additionally, if you're in Oakville, don't miss the special offer from Vin Bon Milton on wine orders!

Remember:

As always, our platform has local offers as well, be sure to log in and explore the wide ranges of perks near you to become the best host this summer! Good luck and have fun!

Disclaimer:

  • Perks are subject to change, and some perks are tailored to your organization prior to launching.
  • We are constantly bringing on new brands to partner with us. If you don’t see your preferred brand, you can suggest a perk to us, and we’ll try our best to include them on our platform. You can do so by logging on the app or the browser version and use our “Suggest a Perk” function.