Everyone loves a good backyard cookout. It’s the perfect time and place to host a party where friends and family alike can come eat, drink, and hang out. Not only that, but it’s something of an American tradition during summer to grill in the backyard. This article tries to be something of a backyard grilling checklist. Here we’ll lay out all you need to host a successful backyard barbeque.

”I adore burgers. I know they are bad for me, and only technically a sandwich, but a well made burger, juicy and hot off the grill, is wonderful!” - Faith Hunter

Prep Time

Grill all the things!
Chicken, corn, skewers... Source: Arbor Day Blog

The key to victory is having everything fall into place. And that all comes down to preparation. It’s good to keep in mind what things needed for a BBQ aren’t currently in your possession.

Knowing the exact timeline for what needs to go out and when is half the battle. The other half is simply grilling all the food. Luckily for you, we created a little cheat sheet. Feel free to use our BBQ checklist template.

Things to Do the Day Before:

  1. Make sure you have propane/fuel
  2. Make sure you have a lighter
  3. Set up the tables
  4. Set up the chairs
  5. Clean up backyard
  6. Clean the grill
  7. Set up games
  8. Get final head count
  9. Tidy up guest bathroom

Things to Do the Night Before:

  1. Defrost food
  2. Get ice
  3. Prepare coleslaw
  4. Place drinks in cooler
  5. Start anything that is being slow cooked
  6. Make BBQ sauce
  7. Pull pork
  8. Make potato salad
  9. Set up music
  10. Lay out cheese tray

Things to Do the Day Of:

  1. Make guacamole
  2. Place chips in bowls/trays
  3. Heat up grill
  4. Lay out bar
  5. Prepare “foil foods”
  6. Put potatoes in oven

Things Needed for a BBQ

Look at this amazing layout!
Grilling makes for the best layouts. Source: Gentlemen

Of course you’re going to want to make sure that you’re well stocked and well equipped for the party. This involves making sure you have the right grilling and serving tools needed to host. You wouldn’t want to be caught without forks and knives for your guests, would you? Here’s a list of items needed for a BBQ:

  • Grill
  • Spatula
  • Long handled tongs
  • Wire brush
  • Basting brush
  • Thermometer
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Flashlight
  • Paper towels
  • Aluminum foil
  • Trash bags
  • Garbage can
  • Tablecloth
  • Napkins
  • Plastic tableware
  • Bottle opener


Don't forget the little things in life
It's all about the dressings. Source: Maison de Pax

Different people prefer different toppings for the burgers. Or for hot dogs, sausages, chicken etc., so it’s best to try to accommodate as many people as possible by putting out as many condiments as you can. Here’s what you should have ready on your condiment-related barbecue shopping list.

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayo
  • Relish
  • Onions
  • Pickles
  • Cheese
  • Tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • BBQ sauce
  • Peppers

Grilling Technique

Watch your tech skills on the grill
Some grilling tips and hints. Source: House of Q

Sure, your main concern as grillmaster is to make sure that everything is prepared correctly. But what about your spatula game? Be sure to flip the patty at about seven minutes a side at medium heat. While you may be tempted to press down on the patty to squeeze out the juice, thus allowing it to cook faster, that juice is what the people want! A proper BBQ food checklist should include good grilling work, as well.

Tips and Tricks

A place for family and friends to come together
Finally, relax and eat! Source: Jump Houses

Amongst the many things needed for a BBQ, trade secrets are among the top priority. This is what separates the chefs from the BBQ-ers, a deep understanding of food and drink. Don’t worry if you’re not in the know, however. We have you covered. Here are just a few of our favorite lesser-known grilling secrets.

  • Boil a hot dog before grilling in for the perfect flavor and grill marks
  • Season your steak with a little sugar
  • Glaze veggies with mayo
  • Baste with herbs
  • Flip once for best results
  • Grill a steak on a tuna can
  • Use a beer can to mold a burger into a container housing cheese, onions, or peppers
  • Grill your oysters
  • Wrap fish in tinfoil
  • Cook mini-potatoes in a pyrex container with olive oil

Make sure your deck is ready for your BBQ. Get a free estimate today! Get in touch with a Professional page!

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