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12 Sizzling Summer Hacks to Take Your Backyard BBQ Party to the Next Level

Tired of the same-old-same-old BBQ party? If you want to crank up your next backyard BBQ event, don’t settle for blasé. Check out our list of tips for ideas that will have your next BBQ sizzling instead of fizzling!

1. Consider Offering Local Craft Beers for Variety

Source: VinePair

Spice up your serving of beverages with a mix of brand name and locally crafted brews.

Local craft brewers are usually very open to meeting with local residents.

A family gathering can be the perfect opportunity for them to connect with new customers. Find out if they offer discount programs or unique brews they are seeking to promote.

2. Add Decorations to Your Servings

There’s nothing like a well-dressed martini to make a BBQ more respectable!

Seriously though, a little effort goes a long way to making guests feel extra special. Cocktail umbrellas, place mats, toothpicks, and straws are small details that can make a BBQ just that much more enjoyable.

3. Cards & Dominoes are Always a Hit

Source: Dibor

Sometimes it just takes a little nudge to get a party going. Vintage playing cards or dominoes can be a great icebreaker. Gift shops, corner stores, and shopping plazas are your best bet.

Or, you could ask guests to bring their own for some variety. Make a game of it and offer to name a drink after the person with the best cards or the winner of the first game of Go Fish!

4. Turn Your Appetizers into Finger Food Instead of a Buffet Style

Staples such as Caesar salad, potato salad, and mac & cheese can go bad fast in the summer heat. Kids are rarely enthusiastic about eating appetizers unless they’re fries.

So this summer, try preparing your appetizers as bite-sized finger food. Turn your Caesar salad into small, spoon-size servings, and watch guests of all ages blithely wolf them down like treats.

5. Flowers Attract Bees

Source: Shutterstock

A bouquet of lilacs makes an attractive centerpiece on your patio table, but its pollinating blossoms are a bee magnet. You and your guests will be swatting bees away instead of relaxing.

Bonus Tip: If you’ve got a backyard garden that naturally attracts a lot of bees, a few peppermint plants should do the trick. Bees don’t like the scent of peppermint.

6. Offer Kid-Sized Servings & Adult.

Kids are people too – just smaller versions. Adults have trouble managing their portion sizes, let alone children.

If you’re expecting little ones at your next BBQ party, plan ahead. Kid-sized serving portions of hotdogs and burgers, as well as kid size serving plates will help you manage the mess and your food supply.

7. Plan Kids’ Entertainment Beforehand

Source: T3.com

Bubble wands, water guns, and inflatable pools will keep active children occupied and engaged while the grown-ups enjoy some downtime.

A simple Frisbee, nerf ball, or badminton table can also help draw the attention of kids away from more mischievous pursuits. Adults can join the fun as well, especially for family and community gatherings!

8. Clean Your Electric Smoker or Grill Before the Summer

No one loves chores, but your guests won’t thank you for burgers that taste like fish and corn that tastes like beef.

Cleaning your cooking grates, cooking chamber, smoker doors and lids will preserve the flavor of your food, untainted by left over grime and charred food remains. It also helps to maintain an even distribution of heat while cooking, and can extend the life of your smoker or grill by years.

If you’re not sure how to clean your electric smoker, click here for the ultimate smoker cleaning guide.

9. Use Sage as a Natural Mosquito Repellent.

Source: AllMomDoes

Yes, the herb sage. Lavender and rosemary also work well. There are at least 8 plants and herbs that are useful as mosquito repellent.

10. Coffee Filters Make Great Serving Napkins

This DIY tip is especially suited for serving the kids at your next BBQ soiree. Coffee filters usually come in packs of 200 or more, so you should have more than enough.

11. Add Variety to Your Condiments

Source: Foodism

Go beyond just mustard, relish and ketchup. Chopped onions, sour krauts, pickles, sliced pimento olives, bacon bits – you get it.

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