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Best Backyard BBQ Idea Options for a Summer Bash

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Throwing the best party of the summer seems aspirational, but it’s harder to achieve than it looks. Still, with the weather getting warmer and school almost out, many of us want to fire up our grills and cook a backyard feast for all our friends and family. After all, BBQs bring people together for an evening of laughter and relaxation. But how do you make your party the best one possible? Here are the top backyard BBQ idea options for the perfect summer bash!

9 Backyard BBQ Idea Options

backyard bbq omaha steaks
Omaha Steaks

As the weather starts to warm up, so does the urge to get out into your backyard and enjoy some fun in the sun! If you’re hosting your own backyard BBQ, you’ll want the best meats, sides, and desserts to kick off the summer season. At Omaha Steaks, you’ll get access to the most mouthwatering pieces of the summer, including the Summer Best Sellers Pack. Featuring filet mignons, chicken breasts, jumbo franks, pork chops, caramel apple tartlets, and Omaha Steaks seasoning, this package is the best way to ensure you throw a memorable party. Even better, you’ll get 50% off sitewide with their Summer Sun’s Out Fun’s Out sale!

1. Choose a Theme

Think back to the most memorable parties you’ve ever been to. Most likely, at least some of them revolved around a theme! Themes add an extra layer of entertainment to a party, and backyard BBQs are no exception. So, if you’re about to get some friends together, brainstorm some fun and creative ideas!

Here are a few suggestions, in case you’re coming up blank:

  • Beach – Even if there’s no major body of water in sight, your friends and family likely have started to dream about laying out on the beach or splashing in the waves. So, grab some sprinklers and towels, encourage people to wear swimsuits, and enjoy some time cooling off.
  • Murder mystery party – Perfect for lovers of true crime and fictional detective stories alike, murder mystery parties make your BBQ party a lot more fun! All you need to do is purchase a murder mystery party kit and cast your friends as the various characters in the story. Encourage them to dress up, then get together and discover whodunit!
  • A costume party – Who says Halloween is the only occasion for dressing up? Ask your friends and family to come dressed up as their favorite characters for TV, books, movies, or plays, and then enjoy guessing who everyone is! Hold a vote for the best costume.
  • Luau – If you’re dreaming of a Hawaiian vacation, consider holding a luau in your own backyard. Hand out leis to your guests at the door and serve pineapple on all your meats. You’ll also want to eat pulled pork!

2. DIY Burger Bar

Burger bars are a fan favorite among BBQ attendees and for a good reason. By using the universally loved basics of a classic burger and lots of different toppings and sides, your guests will craft their own culinary delights out of your grilled meats.

To build your own burger bar, start by thinking about all the different topping options you want to include. We suggest having at least 3-4 different types of cheese, some onions, bacon, lettuce, tomato, different versions of mustard, mayo, and ketchup, and so on. Let yourself get creative! If it sounds like it would be good on a burger, why not give it a try?

3. Have a Showstopping Grill 

Searwood™ XL 600 Pellet Grill image number 0 - backyard bbq idea
Weber

The best BBQs have a secret ingredient: a grill that prepares the best meats, every time. If you want to capture the smoky, wood-fired excellence in all your steaks, hams, and burgers, invest in a wood pellet grill from Weber.

Wood pellets lend meat extra flavor and helps you get that perfect sear on all your meats. For the best results, look for a grill that exposes the meats directly to the flames and allows you to have temperature control for a supreme finish.

4. Grilled Skewer Station

If you want a unique take on BBQ parties, consider including a grilled skewer station. Allow guests to choose between different types of meats and vegetables and assemble them on a skewer. Then, let any guest who can safely cook place their skewers on the grill and wait until they’re finished! That way, everyone gets their own customized flavors, and you ensure everyone is satisfied.

5. Get Creative with Your Sides

The most memorable backyard BBQ idea sides aren’t your run-of-the-mill mashed potatoes, coleslaw, and corn on the cob. Instead, think about the best ways to jazz up your meal with the sides. For example, turn your love of corn on the cob into a tribute to Mexican street corn (elote). To do this, slather your corn with mayo, chili powder, lime, and cheese.

Some other star sides include:

  • Jalapeno poppers – Jalapeno peppers, split open and hollowed out. Then, add cream cheese and wrap in bacon.
  • Unique mac ‘n cheese – Play around with noodle types, cheese, and toppings. For the ultimate fun, let your guests create their own mac ‘n cheese dishes!
  • Homemade salsa – While store-bought salsa can be mouthwatering, there’s nothing quite like freshly prepared homemade salsa. To make it, get a few tomatoes, some cilantro, garlic, jalapenos, and a pinch of sugar, and blend them all together until they reach your preferred consistency.

6. Cocktails and Mocktails

If you and your friends love to unwind with a cold cocktail on a hot summer day, why not delight them with some drinks? Have a few types of alcohol on hand and a few recipes at the ready so that your guests can mix their own alcoholic beverages. Some of the most popular alcohol options include tequila, vodka, rum, gin, and whiskey.

For those who don’t drink, make some mocktails!

Simply Mixology Strawberry Guava Mojito - 52 fl oz, 1 of 6
Target

7. Outdoor Games

Beyond Outdoors Standard Volleyball/Badminton Set, 1 of 7 - backyard BBQ idea
Target

Whether you’ll have kids at your backyard BBQ or not, outdoor games can be a hit! Set up a badminton set, hand your friends a racket, and start a volley back and forth!

Some other fun outdoor games include:

  • Tennis
  • Capture the Flag
  • Volleyball
  • Baseball

8. Comfortable Seating

Noble House - Sherwood Teak Brown 4-Piece Wood Outdoor Patio Conversation Set with White Cushions - backyard bbq idea
Home Depot

It doesn’t matter how good the food is or how the games are; your guests won’t want to stick around if they’re not comfortable! So, the final step in implementing the best backyard BBQ idea involves planning out your seating carefully. Sit in your backyard furniture to make sure it’s comfortable. If you don’t like it, invest in some new outdoor pieces.

Then, assemble your collection of pillows, blankets, and whatever else might make your event more comfortable. If your party takes place during the day, check that your event has ample shade.

When you follow these backyard BBQ idea options, you have the ability to create a summer bash that no one will be able to forget. If you’re new to grilling, though, you’re in luck! We have an article on what meats to grill that will help you step up your game!

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