Author Notes: It’s that time of year where the backyard grilling enthusiasts start to get real excited in anticipation of the start of the season. Grill season means a chance to enjoy outdoor cooking, fabulous creations and tastes, and of course enjoying grill parties with friends. If you’re getting ready to plan your first grilling party of the season and want to be sure it goes off without a hitch, then these tips will help to guide your preparations.
Send Out Invites Early On
It always seems that people tend to be much busier in the spring and summer. There are more activities, parties and invites which means you need to send your invites out with plenty of advance notice. Ideally, it’s best to aim for four to six weeks’ worth of notice, as this will ensure that everyone can make it.
There’s no need to worry about sending actual invites in the mail however, a simple e-vite or message through social networks is usually more than adequate. Make sure that you include the time, date, what you'll be eating (it's a grill party), and the attire.
Get Your Seating in Order
This is also the perfect time to take your outdoor furniture out of storage, if you keep it in storage, and give it a good cleaning. If your furniture has been sitting outside for the winter, it’s wise to sit on it and give it a test run just to make sure it hasn’t been damaged during the harsh cold. Over time outdoor furniture breaks down and eventually needs replacing, so better to find out now than the day before the party.
Prepare Your Grill for the Season
Your grill will also likely need some attention, especially if it hasn’t been used since late summer, early fall. You’ll probably need to give the grills a good cleaning, check the propane level if you have a propane tank, ensure your grilling tools are up to par (your brush, flippers, and tongs), and turn the BBQ on to test that all is well.
Time to Think About the Menu
When it comes to your grill party the most important aspect is the menu. You want to be sure you offer a good variety of choices, and enough food for all. You can keep things traditional and simple and serve up hamburgers and organic chicken hot dogs, which is usually the safest bet if your guest list includes kids, or you can go a little more gourmet and consider something like steaks, lobster, or grilled fish. Don’t forget side dishes like grilled veggies, cold salads, and of course dessert.
Don't Forget the Decor
The final tip is just that - the final touches. This can include things such as decor and items that help set the mood. This can include new table settings, outdoor dishes, new seat cushions, outdoor lighting, etc.
Let the Summer Grill Season Begin
Now that you’ve got all the planning under control all that’s left to do is let the summer grill season and all it’s great times and fabulous food begin. —Veselina Dzhingarova
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