8 Tips for Hosting the Ultimate Backyard BBQ

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As summer heats up in Sevierville, the sound of sizzling grills starts to fill the air. It’s the perfect time to think about throwing your own backyard BBQ. In this scenic town, nestled near the Smoky Mountains, BBQs are a favorite way for locals and visitors alike to enjoy good food and great company.

Getting your BBQ right involves more than just deciding what’s on the menu. It requires careful planning, from the setup of your backyard to ensuring a variety of food that caters to all your guests’ tastes. Whether you’re a first-time host or looking to make your annual BBQ better than last year’s, these tips will help you organize an event that’s talked about all summer long. Let’s take a look.

  1. Set a Theme

Choosing a theme can transform a simple backyard barbecue into an event to remember. A theme will guide every aspect of your gathering, from the decorations to the food and music. For example, a Hawaiian luau could feature tropical décor, skewers of pineapple and ham, and plenty of colorful cocktails. Alternatively, an Americana picnic theme might include red, white, and blue decorations, classic burgers and hot dogs, and old-fashioned lemonade.

A well-chosen theme not only makes the planning process easier but also adds an element of fun that your guests are sure to enjoy.

  1. Enhance with Local Flavors

To truly impress your guests and add a local touch, incorporate some specialties from around Sevierville. For the best BBQ in Sevierville, Buddy’s bar-b-q is a fantastic place that offers hickory-smoked meats that can serve as the centerpiece of your BBQ. Ordering their famous ribs or pulled pork not only supports a local business but also provides your guests with a taste of authentic Tennessee barbecue without you having to manage every detail of the cooking.

A combination of home-cooked sides and professionally prepared meats will elevate your BBQ and ensure there’s something delicious on the table without too much work.

  1. Plan Your Menu Carefully

A thoughtful menu goes beyond just choosing meat for the grill. Consider the flow of your event and how each course will serve the gathering. Start with light appetizers like vegetable trays or cheese boards that guests can nibble on as they arrive. For the main meal, balance your grilled items with a variety of sides such as salads, bread rolls, and a vegetarian option like grilled zucchini or stuffed peppers.

Don’t forget desserts; simple, handheld options like cookies or fruit pops are perfect for casual outdoor eating. Make sure to cater to different dietary needs to ensure that all your guests have something delicious to enjoy.

  1. Upgrade Your Grilling Gear

If you want to take your BBQ to the next level, consider upgrading your grilling equipment. A new grill can be a game-changer, offering better heat control, more consistent results, and features that make grilling easier and more enjoyable. Whether you opt for a high-end gas grill for its convenience and precision or a charcoal model for that unbeatable smoky flavor, investing in quality gear will enhance every aspect of cooking.

  1. Set Up for Comfort

Your guests’ comfort should be a top priority when planning your BBQ. Start by ensuring there is enough seating for everyone. You might need to rent or borrow extra chairs and tables if you’re expecting a large crowd. Arrange seating in small clusters to encourage conversation. Provide ample shade by utilizing patio umbrellas, a canopy, or even pop-up tents, especially if you expect the sun to be strong.

For evening gatherings, make sure the area is well-lit. Lanterns, string lights, and even a fire pit can enhance the ambiance and keep the party going after dusk. Lastly, consider the layout of your yard and place the eating, lounging, and activity areas strategically to facilitate movement and social interaction.

  1. Get Creative with Drinks

A successful BBQ always has a variety of drinks to keep guests refreshed. Set up a drink station with options for everyone, including soft drinks, lemonade, iced tea, and water for the kids and non-drinkers. For adults, you might include a selection of beers, wines, and a couple of cocktail options. Creating a signature cocktail that fits your theme can be a fun touch that adds to the festive atmosphere.

Don’t forget to have plenty of ice on hand and consider coolers or ice buckets so guests can easily grab a cold drink without having to walk back to the kitchen.

  1. Entertain Your Guests

Keep the atmosphere lively with some planned activities. Background music is essential; create a playlist that sets the mood and can be heard throughout the yard. Games like cornhole, bocce ball, or horseshoes are great for all ages and can be played with a drink in hand, making them perfect for a BBQ.

For families, consider setting up a designated area for kids with activities like sidewalk chalk, bubbles, or even a small inflatable pool.

  1. Keep Safety in Mind

No matter how casual the event, safety should never be an afterthought. Make sure your grill is set up away from flammable materials and out of the way of general foot traffic. Have a fire extinguisher or a bucket of sand nearby for emergency use. For food safety, use separate utensils and plates for raw and cooked meats and keep perishable foods chilled until needed. Ensure that all dishes are covered to protect them from insects. Also, if you’re using a pool, make sure there’s a designated person to keep an eye on swimming children.


Hosting the ultimate backyard BBQ is about combining good planning with spontaneous fun. It’s your opportunity to shine as a gracious host while providing a memorable experience for your friends and family. By focusing on the comfort of your guests, offering a variety of tasty food and drinks, ensuring there’s entertainment to keep the atmosphere lively, and maintaining a safe environment, you’re set to host a standout summer event.

Gather your supplies, send out your invites, and get ready to fire up the grill—it’s time to make the most of the sunny season with a BBQ that’ll be remembered fondly by all your guests!


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