1. Plan ahead

    When planning the menu, don’t go overboard on choice; remember you want to be a relaxed host, not a hassled caterer. Aim to offer one vegetarian option, one or two meaty mains, such as these lamb kebabs or slow-cooked pork, plus classic burgers and sausages.

  2. Food calculator

    As a rough guide, you’ll need to allow 225g-250g (7 1/2oz-8oz) of meat, fish or veggie option per person, plus a bit extra to allow for choice. If you’re offering a variety of food, make each portion small so people can have a bit of everything – cut large steaks in half before you cook them, choose chicken skewers or thighs over breast portions and make homemade burgers smaller than usual.

  3. Foodie decorations

    If there's one way to add a bit of colour to your BBQ, it's bunting! Print yours here (Downloads as a PDF) and get decorating. 

  4. Burger king

    Make your life easier by preparing meat or veggie burgers the day before and keep them in the fridge covered with cling film. Or make them further in advance and freeze, but be sure to thaw them thoroughly and bring up to room temperature before cooking. Why not take a look at our top 10 burger recipes for inspiration?

  5. Veggies first

    If you’re cooking for both vegetarians and meat eaters, always cook the veggie items - like these Chargrilled halloumi and vegetable skewers - before the meat so the vegetarian dishes aren’t cooked on surfaces that have touched meat.

  6. Oven ready

    If you’re inviting lots of guests but your barbecue isn’t big enough to cook enough food to feed them quickly, part-cook food in the oven and then just finish it off on the BBQ for 10 minutes so it gets that lovely smoky flavour, just like this BBQ beef brisket. Problem solved!

  7. Drinks to go

    If you’re serving cocktails, like one of these refreshing drinks, you can do all the fruit preparation in advance and keep the jug in the fridge, then just add sparkling wine or water just before you serve.

  8. Keep it fresh

    Looking for a simple way to keep your food fresh? Put salads in glass jars to keep bugs at bay, like with this tasty Roast beef salad jar.