Barbecues are supposed to be the most low-key kind of party you can throw, but it’s only low-key because your planning made it look easy.
1. Have options for cooling off
This serves two purposes: 1) No one will pass out from heat exhaustion and 2) You can hose down that one guy who definitely did not shower before coming over. And while hoses, sprinklers, and pools are obviously great choices, might we suggest something a little more interesting, like this water gun you can also fill with ice or a kit for turning your umbrella into a mister.
2. Make sure you have enough (and only) enough cooking fuel
For charcoal, make sure you use a full chimney’s worth for high heat cooking (burgers, etc), but only a quarter of your chimney for thicker cuts of meat. If you’re using gas, this device syncs up to your phone to let you know how much propane you have left. Because not everybody has a propane store down the street.
3. Get enough ice
This may seem obvious, but volume is key here. More than you think you need. A quick rule of thumb is one pound of ice per person, per hour. The last thing you need is the beer getting warm. That would be disastrous.
4. Wear sunscreen
Whether or not you provide sunscreen is totally dependent on your magnanimity gene, but you should definitely wear it. Here’s a few tips on how to select a good one.
5. Keep bugs away
If you suddenly notice your guests slowly trickling out, it’s probably because they’ve become an all-you-can-eat buffet for gnats, greenheads, and mosquitos. Beyond zappers and citronella, there’s plenty of ways to drive them off, like using a lantern that actually repels bugs, or bringing in plants they for some reason hate, like peppermint and marigolds.
6. Make cleanup easy
The easiest way to clean your grill is to have a robot do it for you. If it needs a serious scrubbing, soak the grates instead of using a sponge on your grill, as it will leave behind a gross soapy taste and potentially nastier sponge pieces.