Summer is making its way around, so it’s time to dust off the BBQ, whip out the tongs, get cooking and impress your guests! But what makes the perfect BBQ? We have developed some ideas to step your BBQ game up and take the stress out of planning the perfect summer BBQ!


Your grill will be the star and centre of the show for any summer BBQ. First and foremost, you should make sure you’re well prepared!

Cleaning the grill in advance is highly recommended. We suggest lighting a fire (or turning the gas on high and burning it), putting the cooking grates in place, and leaving it to heat up for a good 15-20 minutes. Cut an onion in half and use it as a brush for the grates to clean off any leftover dirt and food scraps (sounds strange but works really well!). Then let the BBQ cool down, and wipe the inside of the BBQ down with warm soapy water. You’ll be ready to go.

Ensure you are stocked up with plenty of firelighters, charcoal, wood, and have a spare gas bottle on hand. You don’t want the embarrassment of coming to fire up the BBQ and find you are missing the all-essential fuel!

gusto bbq open

gas grill bbq

Guest List

Regardless of how trivial it may seem, it’s always a good idea to track who and how many guests you have to identify who eats gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, peanut allergies, dairy-free and lactose-free. You can use this as a guide to determine how much and what food to get for your BBQ.


sitting around the anvil fire pit


A simple solution could be to set out some blankets and pillows for people to sit on, along with some chairs and stools. To find some great inspiration for seating ideas, take a look at our Vantage Bench and Bar Table with stools.

bench seating

bar stools

The Food

Ensure that everyone has enough food and that everyone has been catered for.

Making your food ahead of time will allow you to spend more time with your guests. Have a variety of dishes at your party, such as kebabs with meat and vegetables, pizza, toasties, pastries, and desserts – yes, you read correct desserts can also be cooked on the barbecue! We have a variety of recipes on our recipes page to get your creative juices going.

Our final tip is: Make sure you have enough plates, cutlery, and cups at the ready – ensure no one will be left empty-handed.

anvil cooking food


Everyone loves a pre-BBQ snack before the immense smokey goodness, and our tip here is: get your guests involved with the cooking! Cook up some peanuts, nachos, chicken wings to get their tastebuds going.

You can also ask guests to bring dishes/side dishes and drinks of their own choice – pot-luck BBQ, anyone?

Be sure to have enough cold drinks for the adults and children. Before starting the barbecue, make sure everyone has a drink in hand. Keep your drinks cold in our outdoor fridges.


Shaded Area

Summer days should be enjoyed to the fullest, but make sure there are some shady areas and some sunblock on hand (stay safe in the sun); we usually put up some parasols or a gazebo for some shaded areas.

shaded area

Games and Entertainment

Let’s start with the music. A playlist that has a bit of something for everyone will set the perfect mood without you having to be the DJ all day and night.

Keep everyone entertained with some games – lawn games, card games, or even invent your own BBQ game. Some games we love are rounders, ring toss, and giant connect four, treasure hunts, cricket and so on.

games and entertainment


Maybe you could try a tropical-themed BBQ and have your guests wear floral Hawaiian shirts and flower garlands. Or what about pirate theme eye patches and parrots galore? So many options to choose from… just put your creative hat on and let your hair down.

pirates theme


Maybe put up some bunting, balloons, layout some table decorations, outside lights – (using solar lighting works well as most come on automatically). For a more atmospheric solution, get yourself some big outdoor candles – these will not only keep the bugs away, but they will also add a warm ambience to any outdoor party.


What else am I missing?

Well, as long as your guests have full bellies, a drink in hand and a smile on their faces, you’re doing a pretty good job! Planning the perfect BBQ doesn’t have to be stressful. Enjoy your planning and have fun!

Food & Flames: The Grillo Life

Other helpful tips from our blog

11 Best Outdoor Kitchens
14 Must-have Outdoor Kitchen Features
What BBQs Should I Include In My Outdoor Kitchen