Nothing says fun and interaction more than a barbecue party.
With everyone’s hands full roasting chicken, chugging beer, chowing down food or even refilling the pitcher, the phone will be clearly out of sight (except for pictures of course). An intimate BBQ party with your close friends and family makes it an even more enjoyable session – think laughter, good food and bonding over the smoke and grease.
To pull off the perfect BBQ, you need to make sure every little thing is well-planned – from the big stuff like picking the right venue, to the tiny details like making sure you have the right cutlery. Check out our guide to the perfect BBQ, so you can have a hassle-free party and a wonderful time with friends and family!
1. Pick a location
If you own a BBQ grill and have a garden or balcony big enough to host your guests, have your event at home! It’s more comfortable and most of what you might need will be available (remember that time you brought wine to a picnic and forgot the wine opener?) If this isn’t possible or you’d rather get out the house, choose your favourite from the best BBQ spots in Singapore. It’s a good idea to have a backup, just in case the place you choose first is fully booked on your preferred dates.
2. Choose a date
Then it’s time to think about who you want to invite and when they’ll be free. Fridays and weekends are generally the perfect days for a BBQ, so you have ample time to prepare, and the party can go on for a bit longer so you and your guests can fully enjoy yourselves. For this reason, BBQ spots in Singapore can get incredibly busy and fully booked, so keep this in mind and book early if you’re planning a BBQ in a public spot.
3. Self-hosted or pot luck?
If you’re a master chef or love to cook, you can look at preparing all the food yourself. There’s nothing that says ‘perfect host’ than when all your guests need to do is show up and have fun! But if you’re pressed for time or prefer a little bit of help, why not host a pot luck BBQ instead? It’s a good idea to ask everyone what type of food or dish they’ll be bringing, whether it’s meat, fish, side dish, dessert or drinks so you don’t end up with loads of one type of dish and none of the other!
4. Select a theme
Although it’s not totally necessary, it can be fun to theme your BBQ. For example, if you’re having a BBQ by the beach, how about a Hawaiian luau theme with tiki-inspired cocktails and hula skirts? This is a super-fun idea that goes down well with the kids and adults alike. And imagine the fantastic photo ops!
For something a bit simpler, you could work out a theme based on colours that suit the occasion. For example, work on a garden them using pastel colours as inspiration. You can plan a colour palette for the plates, cutlery, tablecloth and décor. At the same time, inform the guests to wear pastel-coloured outfits. Alternatively, you can theme your menu: Exclusive Local Fares, Seafood Galore, or Food from Around the World. The possibilities are endless.
5. Plan your menu and essentials
Leaving the food planning to the last minute is a real recipe for disaster. So, stay ahead of the game by planning your menu and doing your shopping in advance. For prime cuts of meat and yummy marinades, look to Mmmm! And for tasty fresh produce and other essential ingredients, check out Cold Storage and FairPrice Finest.
Don’t forget about all the vital extras like charcoal and BBQ tongs! You can find all these must-have add-ons from NTUC FairPrice.
6. Invite friends and family
Now it’s time to invite your guests! While it may be tempting to simply invite people over the phone or via social media, everyone will get a lot more excited about your party if you send out real invites. Make sure each invite is personalised with the guest’s name and includes all the important info of the event. Think What, When, Where, Why, and How. Don’t forget to ask people to RSVP so you’ll have a headcount for the big day! If you’re having a themed party, you can match the invites to the theme.
Get quirky stationery and invite cards from Typo.
7. Assign tasks
If there are some guests who you know wouldn’t mind pitching in, don’t be afraid to ask. Just like how hosting a pot luck-style BBQ can lift a huge weight of responsibility off your shoulders, so too can assigning tasks help make things a lot less stressful for you. Whether you need people to bring food, cutlery, decorations or ice, just ask them! True friends won’t mind helping you out, as long as you’re clear about what you want from them and give them ample time to run the errands.
8. Keep the children entertained
A group of children can easily entertain themselves at the beach or park, but you don’t want to risk being bombarded with complaints of “I’m bored!” while you’re cooking. So, play it safe and bring plenty of toys and games for the little ones. If the weather is scorching hot, water guns and water balloons are always a good idea, just make sure all the kids have a change of clothing. Consider asking parents to bring along some toys and games, too. If every child brings a couple of their favourite things to play with, there’s no chance of anyone getting bored.
9. Music and entertainment
It’s not all about the kids – adults need entertaining, too! Create a playlist and bring it with you (along with a fully-charged device and some good speakers) to provide some background music while you eat. Have a mix of genres, artists and decades so there’s something for everyone. More active options like tennis, badminton or volleyball, are also great ways to keep adults entertained after the meal is over and help burn off those extra kgs! For something a bit more relaxed, consider bringing packs of cards, dominoes or trivia games to play while sitting down.
And there you have it! Knowing you’ve got every aspect of your barbecue covered well in advance not only means that you can totally relax and enjoy the big day when it arrives, but it also guarantees a great day out for everyone!