How to Plan a Backyard Barbecue in 5 Easy Steps

How to Plan a Backyard Barbecue in 5 Easy Steps

The Fourth of July is almost here, and there is no better way to celebrate than with a cookout! Learn how to plan a backyard barbecue from start to finish so that you can make the most out of your special summer night with family and friends! 

Invite Friends and Family 

The first step to hosting a backyard barbecue is deciding who you would like to attend, then inviting them a few weeks in advance. Usually, 4 or 5 p.m. is a good time to start the party, especially for families. This gives the adults plenty of time to unwind in the evening while still being able to get the children to bed at a reasonable hour.  

Set Up for Success 

On the day of your barbecue, you will want to start setting up early. Make sure you have enough tables and seating for everyone and stock up on plates, napkins and silverware. Then, it is time to transform your backyard into a summer paradise. These are just a few ways you can add some flair to your outdoor space: 

  • Hang twinkling string lights or paper lanterns above your patio or deck. 
  • Lay out tablecloths with fun patterns and colors. 
  • Set up hammocks, floor cushions and swinging benches as fun, comfortable seating options.  
  •  Label your foods and drinks with hand-written banners and signs. 

Get Cooking 

Main Dishes: 

Burgers, hot dogs and kabobs are the perfect barbecue staples. If you are feeling bold, steak, brisket and pork chops are great choices, too. Also, you should consider meat-free alternatives like veggie dogs or grilled eggplant if any of your guests are vegetarian or vegan. 


When it comes to side dishes, you cannot go wrong with the classics. Corn on the cob, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and coleslaw are crowd-pleasers at any barbecue. Want to mix it up? Try a strawberry and spinach summer salad, sweet potato fries, roasted brussels sprouts or a hummus tray. 


You’ll want to offer dessert as well. Brownies, cookies and dessert bars are great for parties because they are easy-to-eat finger foods that do not require utensils or make a mess. And, on a hot summer day, there is nothing better than ice cream. Take it to the next level by setting up a sundae bar with all your favorite toppings! 

Keep in mind that you will likely want to start preparing the food before your guests arrive. Chop your fruits, veggies and meats, store your salads and cold sides in the fridge, and pre-slice your bread and buns. 

Stay Refreshed 

Make sure everyone stays hydrated by setting out a large cooler or dispenser for water. You may also want to provide sodas, Gatorade, lemonade and other non-alcoholic beverages, or ask your guests to bring their own favorite drinks. 

Light and refreshing beverages — like mojitos, margaritas, Moscow mules, punch, sangria and seltzers — are sure to be a hit for the adults. 

Game Time

Turn your lawn into a playground with yard games for everyone to enjoy. Here are some ideas that are easy to learn and play: 

You can also bring your footballs, soccer balls and volleyballs out of the garage and host a backyard tournament, as well as set up a Slip n’ Slide or sprinkler for the school-aged attendees. 

Hosting a party can be a demanding task, but there is a reason you are doing it — to enjoy quality time with the people you love most. 

After learning how to plan a backyard barbecue, you will need a lawn and patio area that is spacious enough to accommodate a crowd. Explore Perry Homes’ move-in ready properties in Texas’ fastest-growing communities to find a home that will meet all your outdoor entertainment needs. 

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How to Plan a Backyard Barbecue in 5 Easy Steps

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