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Barbecue etiquette: do’s and don’ts

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Whether you’re a seasoned BBQ pro or new to the grilling game, understanding the proper etiquette when it comes to barbecuing is essential. From hosting a backyard BBQ with friends to attending a family cookout, follow these do’s and don’ts to ensure a successful and enjoyable BBQ experience.

Do: Be a gracious host. If you’re hosting a BBQ, make sure to welcome your guests with a smile and offer them a drink upon arrival. Provide comfortable seating and create a relaxed atmosphere for everyone to enjoy.

Don’t: Hog the grill. One of the biggest BBQ etiquette mistakes is taking over the grill and not allowing others to cook. Be sure to share the grilling duties and give everyone a turn at the BBQ. This also gives you a chance to mingle with your guests and enjoy the party.

Do: Prepare enough food for everyone. Nothing is worse than running out of food at a BBQ. Make sure to estimate how much food you’ll need and have plenty of options for your guests to choose from. BBQ staples like burgers, hot dogs, and grilled vegetables are always a hit.

Don’t: Forget dietary restrictions. Be mindful of your guests’ dietary restrictions and preferences. Have a variety of options available, including vegetarian and gluten-free dishes. Make sure to ask your guests about any food allergies or restrictions before the BBQ to ensure everyone can enjoy the meal.

Do: Offer a variety of drinks. Keep your guests hydrated by offering a selection of beverages, such as water, soda, and brewed iced tea. You can also set up a DIY drink station with lemonade, iced coffee, and cocktails for guests to mix their own drinks.

Don’t: Forget the condiments. BBQ essentials like ketchup, mustard, relish, and barbecue sauce should be readily available for guests to use on their food. Having a condiment station with all the fixings will make it easy for guests to customize their meal.

Do: Keep the area clean. Make sure to clean up as you go during the BBQ and provide plenty of trash and recycling bins for guests to dispose of their plates and cups. Keeping the BBQ area tidy will make cleanup easier at the end of the event.

Don’t: Overcook or undercook the food. The key to a successful BBQ is perfectly grilled food. Make sure to monitor the temperature of the grill and cook the meat to the appropriate level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that chicken, burgers, and steaks are cooked thoroughly but not overdone.

Do: Respect your neighbors. If you’re hosting a BBQ in your backyard, be mindful of your neighbors and keep the noise level down. Let them know in advance if you’re planning a large gathering and try to wrap up the event at a reasonable hour.

Don’t: Leave guests waiting. Timing is everything when it comes to a BBQ. Make sure to have the food ready at the designated time so guests aren’t left hungry and waiting for their meal. Consider preparing some appetizers or snacks to keep guests satisfied while they wait for the main course.

By following these do’s and don’ts of BBQ etiquette, you’ll be sure to host a successful and enjoyable event for your guests. Remember to relax, have fun, and enjoy the delicious food and good company at your next BBQ. Happy grilling!

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