Themed BBQ Party Ideas
10 Great Reasons To Barbecue
10.You are outside, hopefully in the sunshine, what's not to love about that?
9. You don't actually need to own a grill to barbecue, you just buy two or three of those disposable ones. They're cheap and cheerful and can be bought pretty much anywhere.
8. It is very light on crockery use because you can use a bun as a plate for burgers and hot dogs or you can do what I do, buy paper plates. Stuff like sweetcorn and kebabs can be scewered and eaten straight off the grill shelf.
7. It is very interactive, you can share the grilling with almost anyone who offers to help.
6. It's pretty healthy, the fat drips all over the coals instead of staying in the meat.
5. Disposable barbecues are mobile - you can take them to the beach, to the park or to a friend's garden.
4. Barbecued meat goes with every side dish under the sun. If you do a barbecue on a whim, you can just raid your salad drawer and grab all of your dressings, boil a few eggs and cook some pasta to mix with a tomato sauce; boil some rice, you can serve it hot or cold.
3. Your neighbours will have their curtains twitching to see you and your friends and family having fun - it can break down barriers if you're new in the area, wave 'em over, join the fun.
2. Barbecues are not just for meat - try doing a barbecued dessert, they are yummy. I split the skin of bananas and stuff pieces of chocolate in to the banana, rap them in foil and them put them on the grill - very easy and totally delicious.
1. There is NOTHING better than barbecued meat and barbecued fish and seafood eaten outside with the sun on your face and a cold drink in your hand.
Themes For Barbecue Parties
If you're going to throw a barbecue, and it is one that you have planned rather than one of your 'hey everyone come round, the sun is out and I'm firin' up the grill', then I cannot recommend enough throwing a themed barbecue; a barbecue party!
I am lucky that my own birthday is in the Summer so every year, I throw a barbecue party but I always theme it so that everybody gets to dress up for the barbecue.
Last year, we had a 'bad taste' barbecue where everyone had to come dressed in bad taste.
In 2010, I had a 'Jerry Springer Barbecue', guests could only come if they dressed as someone who could be a guest on the Jerry Springer Show, this was hilarious as you can imagine.
I have had a 'Trailer Park Trash' Barbecue Party, I even had lots of junk in my garden and bought a few blow up pink flamingoes.
The list is endless. This year, I have having a 'Hollywood BBQ', complete with a red carpet and I expect some stars to turn up!
Make your own invitations if you are throwing a themed barbecue.
I also have quizzes at my barbecue parties; music quizzes and photo quizzes are quite fun and you can buy cheap prizes to give to the winners - I buy things like Chinese Lanterns as gifts which people can set free after the barbecue is finished. It is rather nice to see them drifting away in the dusky sky with the sound of people chatting and laughing in the background.
Barbecue Party Must Haves
- Plenty of meat - I stick with kebabs, sausages and burgers but I have done Tiger Prawns and also vegetarian kebabs made with portobello mushrooms, peppers and halloumi cheese.
- Salad (yeah right, like anybody ever eats it!)
- Pasta with sauce
- Sides like coleslaw, humus, breadsticks, buns, baked potatoes, chips, dip, nuts. People are, by nature, nibblers, so always have plenty of nibbly things and you can't really go wrong.
- Paper or plastic plates and plastic glasses. On your invitation write 'bring a bottle (not milk!), that way people will bring their own booze. You could get a few in for emergencies but I have never had anybody turn up empty handed.
- Lights in your garden - these don't have to be expensive solar lights, I use candles in those glass cases, I bought them at a Pound Shop, they have citronella in them so this keeps the bugs at bay. Barbecues go on until well into dark and if it's warm, people will happily sit outside in the darkness.
- Seats - borrow your neighbours if they're invited and just use whatever you have. I have cheap fold up chairs and also some nice wrought iron ones. I have a table outside all year but you can buy a fold- up table fairly cheaply. I also lay a blanket on the lawn.
- I don't know what it is about being outside that makes people happy but I have yet to go to a barbecue where people have not had the time of their lives; being outside in the sunshine just seems to make people happy.
After the Barbecue
Leave 2 trash bags at the end of the garden or back yard and get people to put bottles and cans in one of them and food waste in the other one. You can recycle the cans and bottles and dispose of the other bag very easily.
Take lots of photographs! I make a 'film' of the barbecue with streamed photos, captions and background music and I burn it to CD. I sometimes have a 'premiere party' and show it at my home, inviting a few friends around for drinks to watch it or I make copies and give them to my friends to watch at home.
It's great to have some memories of the themed barbecues to look back on, it's well worth the effort.
In the Northern hemisphere, Summer is just around the corner. Happy Grilling Everyone!