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I love summer. Before I moved back to Bucks County, we used to live in a small, quaint home in Northern NJ that wasn’t large on the inside, but it did have a great backyard for entertaining. I loved having friends and family over for Memorial Day, Father’s Day, July 4, not to mention the random Sunday afternoon gathering.


Whether you have a large or small home, the key to a successful barbeque is planning, organization and of course booze (ha!).  Below are 5 tips to ensure your barbeque goes off without a hitch:

1.     Confirm Your Guest List-knowing how many people you are having will help you determine how much food, beverages and supplies you should purchase. Don’t underestimate the importance of the RSVP.

2.     It’s All in the Details Once your menu is decided, make a shopping list of everything you will need. Be sure to include all miscellaneous items:  Is your propane tank is full? Do you have bug spray? Citronella candles? Bags of ice? If you are having a pool party do you have sunscreen, spare towels for guests who may have forgotten them? Do you have a lifeguard?

3.     Prep your food-Make any salads, hors d’oeuvres, or other food items that can be prepared prior to your guests’ arrival. The more pre-planning you do, the more time you will have to spend with your guests.

4.     Have a Cheat-Sheet-Keep a list of all the food you are serving during the event to ensure you don’t accidentally forget to put something out.

5.     Clean as you Go-Instead of waiting until everyone is gone to clean up, have trash bags accessible outdoors to toss items away once they are finished. Bus empty trays to the kitchen to make room for the next course.

The true mark of a successful barbeque is if your guests have fun, but making sure that you are relaxed is equally important. Getting these incidentals taken care of in advance saves you valuable time during your party and allows you to enjoy yourself along with your guest.