What You Need to Host a Great BBQ Party! {Printable}

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How do I host a great bbq?

Are you thinking about hosting a BBQ Party?  Maybe you’ve been thinking about it, but worried it will be just too much effort.

Well, BBQ season is here!  So now is the time.

And I’m going to help you with our super easy BBQ Party Planner Printable. 

I’ve also put together a great menu for you of my tried and true BBQ Party favorites.  🙂

This post was published March 24, 2018 and updated June 21, 2019.

This BBQ Party Planner will not only provide awesome recipes, but your very own shopping, planning and cooking schedule to make it all happen!

How do you organize a BBQ party?

Every time we host a party or BBQ, I have so much fun and wonder why we don’t do it more often!

I think this stems from two things:

young smiling woman side view, enjoying a bbq meal outdoors with her friends, text on image is white on a red background and reads how to plan a bbq party
  1. Time – making room in our busy lives
  2. Fear – that it will be way too much work and we only have our weekends off right?

Picking the location, and the day and time are usually the first steps, and then think about how big or how small you want your BBQ party to be!

Are you going to provide all of the food? Or will you ask guests to contribute, like a potluck. I find potlucks work well for large crowds, but for this party planner – you’ll be good to feed about 8 to 10 hungry folks.

I want to help you to be organized right down to creating a menu and knowing what recipes you will use. That’s why I’ve created this great BBQ Party Planner just for you.

It’s got a schedule of when things should be done, a checklist, even a shopping list!

I just love helping people plan parties!

So no matter where you are, or your reason to celebrate– these early summer weekends celebrate the coming of summer and getting outdoors.

A chance to gather family and friends together and of course, have some really great BBQ!

Maybe you really want to get your hygge on this summer?

You can live hygge in Spring! What is hygge? Being happy, cozy and content and enjoying all the feels, and 7 ways to get you started, included a 7 Day Spring Hygge Challenge!

This weekend BBQ Party Planner is your ticket to a great summer party, with delicious, easy to prepare food, that will cover appetizers, salad, a main dish and dessert.

Our fave menu takes very little time to prepare and serve, leaving lots of time for relaxing, catching up with friends, enjoying cold drinks and time to roast marshmallows around the campfire!

Get your hygge on by learning to live hygge! Happiness, living simply, being mindful, are all what hygge is about. This great list will give you lots of information and ideas on how to get your hygge on in your own life!

Now remember I’m a Canadian gal, so we celebrate our weekends in style, with lots of BBQ, friends and family, and making s’mores around the campfire.  I can’t think of a better way to celebrate!

And I’m even including a BBQ party planner prep schedule.  Remember I promised time for relaxing and campfires right?

Are you ready to celebrate summer?  Then let’s get this party started!

What is a good time to start a BBQ party?

I think mid to late afternoon is the best time. I usually ask guests to arrive any time after 3, but also let them know that we will serve dinner at 5 (or whatever time you choose!)

This does a couple of things. Your guests then have the opportunity to arrive earlier than the meal, so they can get caught up visiting with you, enjoy a drink and some appetizers.

Some guests love to help so put them to work! Shucking corn, chopping veggies, slicing tomatoes, whatever is needed at the last minute.

What do you serve at a BBQ party?

Lots of yummy food and drinks!  And I recommend keeping it simple.

We like to cook a mixed grill when we BBQ, because it gives our guests variety. 

We usually include Chicken, Hamburgers and Sausages. So that’s why I have added ‘Mixed Grill’ to the menu. 

Salads, preferably the make ahead kind, and usually corn on the cob, if its in season!

If you know that you have vegetarian guests, then think about some meat substitutes.

Grilling veggie burgers is a great option, but if you are going to cook them on the same BBQ, you will need to make some adjustments.  Some vegetarians don’t like it when their veggie burgers are cooked on a ‘meat’ grill.

We’ve got a great option that will help with this is a grilling mat. We use this Kona Best BBQ Grill Mat all the time, they wash up easily, and never seem to wear out!

Appetizers that everyone loves are chips & dip, and veggie platters with dip.  Keep your appetizers to no more than two, we want everyone to enjoy the main feast right?

Drinks can be put on ice in a colourful tub.  You can get lots of great party ideas from the Dollar Store

Easy BBQ Party Menu


Veggie tray and hummus or tzatziki dip

Your Favourite Chips & Salsa


Slow-cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches with homemade BBQ sauce

Mixed Grill: Chicken, sausages or hamburgers – even veggie burgers!

Creamy Coleslaw


Buttermilk Chocolate Bundt Cake

S’mores Magic Cookie Bar Pizza!

Campfire s’mores

Here are my absolute favorite recipes for your perfect BBQ!

Slow-cooker Pulled Pork

slow-cooker pulled pork, easy bbq sauce

Best cuts for pulled pork

There are lots recipes for pulled pork.  Some recommend the pork butt, some the pork shoulder and you can even use pork tenderloin.

I like to use the shoulder – you can get a good sized one – around 4-5 pounds, it fits in the average sized slow cooker (3-5 quarts) and is reasonably priced at the butcher or grocery store.

Best Ever BBQ Sauce

bbq 1

Once your pork shoulder is cooked, and drained, following my recipe, you need a premium BBQ sauce to bring out the flavour of the pork.

In our home that means our own special homemade BBQ sauce.  So here is the recipe, just for you.  It’s so easy to make, you will always want to have lots on hand – for barbecuing any time of the year.

The hickory smoke flavour is perfect for pulled pork.

The Best Creamy Coleslaw

The secret to the great flavor in this best creamy coleslaw recipe is onion. Green cabbage, chopped onion and carrots combine with your favorite salad dressing. BIG flavor and a crowd pleaser every time!

My Mom used to say the secret to the best coleslaw was adding enough onion!

Coleslaw can take many forms but the tangy sweetness in this recipe is always great with outdoor BBQ, smoked meat and our slow cooker pulled pork.  It comes together in minutes and you can serve it again the next day.

Buttermilk Chocolate Bundt Cake with Hot Water Frosting

You are going to fall in love with this Buttermilk Chocolate Bundt Cake.  We first enjoyed this cake last summer at a Canada Day BBQ!

chocolate buttermilk bundt cake shown slices with sprinkles on chocolate frosting

I made a few of my own changes to it, and turned it into a bundt cake.  The Hot Water Frosting is something I hadn’t tried before, and this is definitely a one-bowl scratch cake.  Yes indeed!

S’mores Magic Cookie Bar Pizza

S'mores Magic Cookie Bar Pizza. The ooey gooey combination of chocolate, coconut, and graham crackers topped with a thick layer of sweetened condensed milk – oh wow!  You know what I mean!

Remember Magic Cookie Bar squares?  Some folks call it Seven Layer Cookie Bars.  Well I took the recipe and turned it into a dessert pizza!  I know, I kind of have a thing for ‘pie-shaped desserts”.  Yummm!

What do you think? Are you feeling confident and ready to host your own BBQ Extravaganza?

I knew you could do it!

And have fun with it too, ok? Party planning should not be stressful. At. All.

We’ve put our amazing BBQ Party Planner in the Resource Library, so if you want a your own printable copy, just click on the image, ok?

printable bbq party planner checklist

I hope you enjoyed the post and will have a wonderful time.

  Be sure to pin it for later too! 

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