Although many city governments still prohibit large gatherings due to coronavirus, homeowners understandably want to make the best of warm weather to host smaller gatherings. The backyard barbeque is a time-honored tradition that might look a little different this year, but people can have a great time just the same. However, the grill and the backyard might need a little attention before inviting people over.

Clean the Grill After Each Use

Food cooked on the grill tastes delicious, but it can also make a mess. This is especially obvious on the grill grates where the food cooks. The best way to prevent food from sticking is to rub oil on the grill grates prior to cooking. If no one has done that in a while, applying the oil next time should do the trick. The person manning the grill should also check to make sure that plenty of charcoal bricks are available for a charcoal grill and propane for a gas grill. Giving the grill a once-over to make sure it’s safe to fire up is a good idea as well.

Make the Patio Safe and Inviting

Homeowners who invite guests over for a backyard barbecue should make sure that the deck is a safe and comfortable place for them to sit, eat, and visit. It only takes a minute to look for decayed wood or loose parts that can cause someone to trip and injure themselves. Cleaning the deck comes next after checking it for safety. Placing furniture on the deck before people start arriving should help them feel welcomed right away. Homeowners should plan accordingly and have enough furniture for every person to enjoy the day or evening in comfort.

Pay Attention to the Lawn and Garden

There’s no point in spending time preparing the patio and grill for a backyard barbecue if the lawn is in rough shape. Dry, brown, or patchy spots of lawn are unsightly and could cause the homeowner to feel embarrassed. Choosing the right grass seed, watering the lawn often, and mowing it using sharp blades while pushing in the opposite direction can all improve the appearance of a lawn. A lush, deeply green lawn is far more inviting than one that looks like it receives little attention.

Just Say No to Mosquitoes

There’s nothing more frustrating that taking the time to prepare great food and get the yard and grill ready only to have mosquitoes ruin the outing. Placing a mosquito net around the food helps to keep them away as does burning a citronella candle. If mosquitoes are especially aggressive, preparing food in the kitchen and transferring it to the grill when ready to cook is the best option. Homeowners should be sure to purchase extra mosquito repellent and offer it to their guests if needed.

Set Up a Beverage and Buffet Station

Backyard barbeque hosts will have a much better time if they’re not continually serving guests food and refilling their drinks. Setting up a long table and placing the cooked food along with beverages, utensils, and napkins on it allows them to avoid this problem. A separate serving table also gives a neater impression while giving guests the opportunity to grab only what they need. If the host decides to use disposable plates and cups, walking around with a plastic bag to collect them when guests finish their meal is a polite gesture.

Decorate to Give the Gathering a Festive Touch

Backyard barbeques can range from extremely casual to elegant. Decorating with landscape lights and serving food and drinks using matching décor are great ways to tip the gathering more towards the elegant side. Adding flowers or ornaments to the eating area can also add a nice touch. If homeowners do decide to go with a theme, it would be a courtesy to let guests know ahead of time.

Clean and Rake the Yard

Playing yard games after eating can be great fun for everyone so long as the lawn is smooth with no tripping hazards. Shortly before guests arrive, hosts should walk across the lawn to give it a quick visual inspection. They should be certain to remove any sticks, branches, or other obstacles that could pose a tripping hazard. Covering any holes in the yard where guests could twist their ankle or fall also helps to ensure everyone has a good time.

Getting ready to host a barbecue should be fun and not stressful or time-consuming. The minimal amount of effort is well worth the time spent enjoying the company of family or friends.