With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, barbecue season is officially upon us! Before you round up your MilSpouse neighbors and fire up the grill, make sure you have everything you need for a delicious, stress-free barbecue. Below are 5 simple steps that will help your BBQ cook-out hit all the right notes.

1. Make it a potluck

Guests are usually more than happy to bring a little something to share, whether it’s a signature side dish, their 6-pack of choice, or even just a bag of chips. Leave the invitation open for everyone to bring what they want. Just be sure to check in with your guests before the day of the event to ensure there will be a good variety of goodies. Potato salad might be a barbecue staple, but not everyone needs to bring their own bowl!

2. Put a fresh twist on a classic recipe

Sure, you want to show off your culinary prowess, but spending a lot of time on super-complicated recipes will prevent you from enjoying time with your guests. Unique but easy takes on classic barbecue dishes will impress your guests without requiring hours standing over the grill. For example, this basil Parmesan grilled corn by What’s Gaby Cooking is a low-effort way to spruce up classic corn on the cob.

3. Keep the bar simple

No need to set up fancy liqueurs and mixers on your picnic table. The best way to wash down a bite of barbecue is with a cooler full of soda, brews, lemonade, and iced tea. Can’t resist serving a signature cocktail? Stir up a big batch cocktail, such as this pineapple rosé sangria by The Roasted Root, and have your guests serve themselves.

4. Don’t overthink the décor

A sunny day is really all you need to set the mood for a fun barbecue, but simple touches can add to the festive energy. A string of white Christmas lights will keep the party going as the sun starts to set, and fresh cut flowers scattered around the yard is an easy decoration guests can take home. Consider setting out some activities like lawn bowling, badminton, horseshoes, or even just a bucket of sidewalk chalk to bring out the kid in everyone.

5. Sizzle up something sweet


Make the grand finale of your barbecue dessert served straight from the grill. Keep things classic by passing around marshmallows for toasting or impress your guests with a dessert that makes grill lines center stage. Grilled peaches, for instance, are the perfect complement to vanilla bean ice cream while thick, toasted slices of angel food cake pair well with fresh berries.

More inspiration for BBQ season:




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