It’s Saturday, you have no plans for the evening, the sun is shining and your backyard grill is calling your name. One of the greatest joys of summer is calling up a few friends and asking them to come over for an impromptu barbeque to turn an otherwise boring day into an instant party. The best part about a spur-of-the-moment barbeque is that you can keep things casual, but you should still put in some effort to ensure success. Here are some tips for your last minute backyard feast:


  1. Keep the meat simple

This is not the time to try out a recipe for slow-cooked ribs or anything that needs to be marinated several hours in advance. Stick to hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages and steaks. You already know how to cook them and your guests aren’t going to complain that the food isn’t fancy enough.


  1. Keep the drinks simple too

Don’t slave away on carefully crafted jugs of sangria or batch cocktails — beer and wine should do just fine for those planning to imbibe and cans of pop or a quick pitcher if iced tea will do for those who don’t. Don’t overdo it — people are coming for your company, not your mixology skills.


  1. Accepts offers of help

If your guests mention that they have a couple of pounds of sausage in their fridge that they’d like to bring, say yes! Even if you don’t usually do potluck, letting guests chip in can streamline the process.


  1. Grab store bought salads

I love a good picnic salad but putting together a nice potato or macaroni salad can be time consuming. There’s no shame in heading to the deli and buying a few tubs of pre-made salads rather than making your own. While you’re there, grab a couple of bags of chips or some pre-cut veggies and a tub of dip to serve before the burgers hit the grill.


5. Stock up on condiments

Good condiments can help you elevate a barbeque with very little effort. Do a quick fridge check before heading to the store for your other provisions to make sure you’re not running low on ketchup, mustard, barbeque sauce or other favourites.


  1. Check your fuel

If you have a propane barbeque, check your tank to make sure you have enough fuel to get you through the night. Nothing torpedoes a good cookout like your tank running dry and halting the proceedings. Same goes if you’re grilling over charcoal.


  1. Let the good times roll

Barbeques are about food, but they’re also about fun. Keep some summer music playlists handy so that you have some easy tunes to play. Invest in croquet or lawn bowling sets to keep your guests occupied for those last minute hangouts.


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