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Planning Food for a Summer BBQ

Summer is fast approaching and many of us are beginning to plan our summer entertainment. Having friends and family around is a great way to catch up, bond, make lasting memories and generally have a great time. Being able to do all of this in your backyard makes a huge difference and allows everyone to enjoy the warm weather and sunshine too. Of course, the best food for summer backyard entertainment is a BBQ and you will need to plan and prep to make yours a success. Here are some suggestions that will help you to plan your menu and keep everyone as happy as possible!

Meat and vegetable skewers on a grill.

Dietary Requirements

Start out by considering who is attending your BBQ and whether anyone has any dietary requirements that need to be accommodated. This can range from allergies (including nut, dairy, soy, wheat and more) to religious requirements (such as no pork) or ethical preferences (no meat or seafood). You need to make sure that you make food that is suitable for guests who may be vegetarian, vegan, religious, gluten free, lactose intolerant and more. If you’re ever unsure what someone can or can’t have, it’s much better to simply ask than to guess. Remember that you may need separate grills or to wipe and clean down grills between uses to make sure you avoid cross contamination.

Main Dishes

There are a few mains that you should make sure to prep and buy in time for your bbq. Some of the most popular include burgers, hotdogs, steaks, vegetable skewers and more. Remember you will need more than the meat or vegetables alone. You may also need buns, sauces, cheese or cheese alternatives and other additions that will make the meal a success. Remember to marinate anything that requires marinating in advance of the day. This will give the most flavour.


Sides also play an important role in a barbecue. You should provide a wide variety, which will keep everyone happy. Some suggestions could include fries, chips, bean dip, mac and cheese, salads, rice, coleslaw and more. Sometimes, hosts ask their guests to bring a side each to make the occasion easier, but this is entirely down to personal preference.


Most of us enjoy something sweet following our food. Good options for dessert for bbqs tend to be simple. Ice creams, ice lollies, fruit, cake sliced up or some chocolate and sweets tend to always go down well.


Don’t forget the drinks. Everyone will be thirsty out in the sun, so you should have plenty to choose from to keep everyone hdyrated. Try to keep drinks cooled where possible, either stored in the refrigerator inside your home or in a cool box outside. From water to fizzy drinks to wine, beer, cocktails, mocktails and more, there should be good options for everyone attending.

The list above should really help you out when it comes to planning and prepping your bbq food for your guests. Hopefully, your occasion will be a success!