The best part about a newly remodeled kitchen, back patio, or even your whole home is the parties you get to enjoy once the project is complete. You poured your heart and soul into the renovations, so it’s only fair that you get to enjoy the results with family and friends. With sunny days in full swing, and a space perfect for entertaining, it’s the best time to host a summer BBQ.

What you’ll need:

Aside from gorgeous patio furniture, there are a few essentials you’ll need for every summer BBQ:

  • Food – Decide on your menu so that you can get the grocery shopping done ahead of time. Consider if you’ll need both meat and vegetarian options and get ready to fire up the grill for some tasty dishes. Vegetables are also a great side for a BBQ, and you can even roast desserts. And although you won’t need a grill for fresh fruit, a summer BBQ isn’t complete without melon.
  • Drinks – Have a cooler ready with self-serve beverages and think about preparing pitchers of fun cocktails. If there will be children running about, easy drink pouches will help prevent spills. In the summer heat, you definitely can’t neglect to have water available as well. If you’re really feeling creative, mason jars are a cute vessel for the signature cocktail you’re prepping.
  • Plates, napkins, and cutlery – Paper plates and plastic utensils are your best friends when planning a summer BBQ. Although you might be itching to rev up the new dishwasher and other appliances, disposable items make hosting much easier.

Planning the Menu

There are no limits to what you can do when hosting a summer BBQ, and what a wonderful way to enjoy the nice weather and spend time with friends. If you’re looking for some inspiration, this Hawaiian-flavored burger could ignite your taste buds and set the tone for your entire menu and theme. Of course, if you’re in the Pacific Northwest, cedar-plank salmon is almost a must. In the Seattle area, you can grab everything you need from Pike’s Place fish market, from fresh salmon and cedar planks to their own special dry rub. You can also make your own dry rub with this delightfully delicious Etta’s “Rubbed with Love” salmon rub recipe.

Prepare the event area:

You’ll want to make sure the space is ready for a party! Make sure you have enough seats for everyone. Nice cushions spruce up any outdoor seating, and you can string lights for an extra festive appeal. Candles are also an elegant touch, and some light music can create a fun ambience.

Cedar Plank Salmon Recipe

How much salmon do I need? Plan ½ pound per person.

How do I prepare the cedar planks? Soak the cedar planks for at least 2 hours in warm water.

How do I season the salmon? Liberally cover the salmon on both sides with Pike’s dry rub

Preheat your grill to 350 (if your grill does not have a thermometer, set the heat to medium). Lay your soaked cedar plank directly on the grates of the grill. Close the lid and let the planks heat up until they begin to smoke or bow just slightly. Gently place your seasoned salmon fillets on the planks and cook with the lid closed until the internal temperature of the fillets reaches 135. (Salmon is done when it flakes with a fork – and salmon can be served rare to well done). Serve with jasmine rice, creole shrimp skewers, and grilled zucchini.

Need some desert?  Check out this amazing strawberry cake recipe!

With sunny days in full swing, and a space perfect for entertaining, it’s the best time to host a summer BBQ.