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How to Make This Summer's Barbecue a Breeze

As the sun-drenched days of summer beckon, you might be thinking about hosting a barbecue in your backyard. Picture a scene where laughter fills the air, mouthwatering aromas wafting from the grill and friends and family gather in a meticulously designed outdoor space. It's a fun thing to do, but there are several things to consider besides the food and drinks.

In this blog, we will unveil the secrets to creating the best backyard setup that will elevate your summer barbecues and make the entire hosting experience a breeze.

Group of friends sitting on Adirondack chairs around a fire

Assess Your Backyard Space

Before diving into the details of your backyard setup, it's essential to do the following things:

  • Assess the size and layout of your outdoor space: Consider the available square footage and envision how it can be utilized for hosting a barbecue. Take note of any unique features or areas that can be repurposed, such as a patio, deck or spacious lawn. 
Keter backyard shed in front of trees
  • Identify potential limitations: Every backyard has its quirks, and it's important to identify any potential limitations that may impact your barbecue setup. Observe the terrain for any uneven surfaces that could pose challenges for seating or setting up tables. Assess the level of shade in your backyard and determine whether additional shade solutions like umbrellas or awnings are necessary.
  • Maximize functionality: Consider how you can best utilize the available area for cooking, dining and socializing. Allocate ample space for your grill or outdoor cooking station, ensuring easy access for the cook and sufficient room for food preparation. Designate areas for seating and dining, taking into account the number of guests you anticipate. Create cozy nooks or lounging areas where guests can relax and engage in conversation. 

Whether it's a gathering of a small group of friends or a lively feast, a well-planned setup tailored to your backyard's unique characteristics sets the stage for memorable summer barbecues.

Create Comfortable Seating Areas

When it comes to seating, versatility is key. Opt for a combination of outdoor furniture that caters to different seating preferences. Consider sun loungers for those who prefer to relax and soak up the sun, storage benches for casual and communal seating (and some hidden storage!) and Adirondack chairs for guests who just like to have a comfortable seat. 

Outdoor furniture set on a patio

You can also add pillows and cushions to make chairs and benches more inviting and comfortable. Colorful throw pillows can also add a touch of style and coziness. Opt for weather-resistant materials that can withstand outdoor conditions, ensuring longevity and easy maintenance. 

Lastly, you’ll want to think about ways to provide shade. The easiest ways are to set up umbrellas, awnings or shade sails strategically to create designated shady areas where guests can find respite from the direct sunlight. Creating comfortable seating areas goes beyond functionality; it sets the stage for relaxation, conversation and the enjoyment of delicious food. 

Designate Cooking and Prep Areas

The grill is the centerpiece of any barbecue, so selecting the right location is essential. Choose a spot that is convenient for both the cook and the guests. Ensure easy access to the grill for the cook, allowing them to tend to the food with ease. Consider the flow of the space and position the grill in a way that allows guests to interact with the cook without crowding the cooking area. Additionally, proper ventilation is crucial to dissipate smoke and odors. Opt for an open area or ensure that there is ample airflow to prevent smoke accumulation.

kitchen utility cart on a patio

You’ll also want to have a sturdy and clean food prep/serving station. Create an area with ample counter space where you can comfortably prepare ingredients and assemble dishes. Our favorite is a kitchen utility cart. It has storage space, can be easily moved (because it has wheels) and has a place for cooking tools, paper towels and more. This keeps everything conveniently accessible for both cooking and serving. You can even turn the cart into a table, if needed. 

Designating specific cooking and prep areas not only enhances the efficiency of your barbecue setup but also adds a sense of organization and professionalism. By determining the grill location, setting up a food prep station and considering additional cooking equipment, you create a well-defined space where culinary magic happens. 

Enhance Ambiance and Decor

If your party goes into the darker hours of the evening, consider incorporating ambient lighting solutions such as string lights, lanterns or pathway lighting. These lighting elements not only provide practical illumination but also add a touch of enchantment to your outdoor space. You can also add some fun decor to give the barbecue a theme.

2 friends playing corn hole in the backyard

Don't forget to set the mood with music and entertainment! Set up outdoor speakers or portable sound systems to create a lively ambiance with background music that suits the occasion. Consider also providing yard games or activities for guests to enjoy. Good Housekeeping recommends games such as Giant Jenga, Bocce Ball, Kan Jam and more.

By paying attention to these details, you create an unforgettable atmosphere that delights the senses and sets the stage for an extraordinary summer barbecue experience.

Consider Comfort and Convenience

Creating a comfortable and convenient environment for your summer barbecues is key to ensuring an enjoyable experience for both you and your guests. Start by installing outdoor amenities such as an outdoor sink or cooler and beverage cart. An outdoor sink facilitates food preparation and clean up, while a designated cooler and bar cart adds a touch of elegance and convenience for those who enjoy a variety of refreshing drinks. 

Group of friends sitting around a fire pit in the evening

In addition to amenities, make sure there is ample seating and dining space for your guests. Consider how many guests you expect and arrange a combination of chairs, benches or picnic-style blankets to accommodate everyone comfortably. Create a seating arrangement that encourages interaction and a relaxed atmosphere allows guests to engage in lively conversations while enjoying their meals.

Safety and Practical Considerations

When preparing for your summer barbecues, it's important to prioritize safety, comfort and cleanliness. Start by ensuring fire safety by following proper protocols when using grills, fire pits or any open flames. Keep a fire extinguisher readily available in case of emergencies. 

Additionally, mosquitos and other bugs like to make appearances at outdoor gatherings. So, implement pest control measures. Utilize citronella candles or bug repellents to deter pests, and consider setting up screened areas to create a bug-free zone for your guests to enjoy. 

To maintain a clean and tidy environment, set up clearly marked recycling and outdoor trash cans. This facilitates proper waste disposal and encourages guests to dispose of their items responsibly. By addressing fire safety, pest control and waste management, you create a safe, comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere for everyone to savor the flavors of summer at your barbecues.

Hopefully, we've given you a few ideas that will make your next barbecue run a little more seamlessly. With these ideas in mind, get ready to impress your guests and create unforgettable moments in your backyard oasis this summer. 

Before your next barbecue, be sure to visit for outdoor furniture that is comfortable, durable and beautiful–all of the things you need for the backyard entertainment space of your dreams.


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