Tips for Hosting Your Best-Ever Barbecue

The Fourth of July is almost here. And this year, you want to be a hero. You want to throw the best barbecue anyone has ever seen. But you’re not totally sure how. Here are some tips to becoming the king or queen of the summer party.

PLAN
This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people overlook this step. During the lead-up to your party, you’re going to think of tons of details that you’ll promptly forget. So carry a little notebook to write in all the last-minute stuff—things like ice, making sure you have plenty of cold water, utensils, napkins, glasses, condiments, etc. You’re not going to forget the big stuff for your party, but the small steps can take it from merely “fun” to totally “mind-blowing.”

ENCOURAGE POTLUCKING
It’s not a bad thing to ask everyone to bring a side or a dessert to share. That way everyone gets into the spirit. And you don’t have to buy ridiculous amounts of food.

MUSIC
Put together a killer playlist. If it doesn’t include at least one Will Smith song, you have failed.

GAMES
Eventually, people are going to get antsy. So have some stuff around to entertain them. Bocce ball, croquet, Frisbee, limbo, etc. Basically something that will give people stuff to do beyond sit in a circle and talk. Not that talking isn’t a perfectly acceptable alternative. But this is the best barbecue ever, remember?

See Also

COME UP WITH A SIGNATURE REFRESHMENT
For this one, we suggest making either some sun tea or some real lemonade (none of that frozen stuff). It’ll show people you’re prepared and will offer some options beyond the high-fructose corn syrup two-liters and water.

GET TIKI TORCHES
You’re going to need some sort of guard against bugs. The last thing you want is your guests itching all over the next day.

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