An Aussie BBQ is one of the simplest ways to entertain family and friends, especially when you want to bring together and celebrate all of the dads and grandads in your family. But if you really want to spoil your dad, husband, son or brother, make sure they don’t have to lift a finger. Some men may think the grill is a man’s domain, but it’s time to take control of the tongs ladies, and let dad put his feet up (he can trim the hedges and clean the gutter next weekend!).
If you plan to host a BBQ for Father’s Day this September, you’ll want to be well prepared in advance so everything on the day runs smoothly and Dad can sit back and sip beer or play soccer on the lawn with the kids. Firstly, if Dad’s the go-to BBQ man, make sure you’re familiar with the grill yourself. Practice turning on the BBQ and learn all the temperature controls.
If you’re working with a gas BBQ, check your gas bottle ahead of time to make sure it’s full and in good condition. If it looks like it needs replacing, it probably does. And when it comes to gas BBQs, it’s better to be safe than sorry. You can get a new one at your local service station.
If you’ve got a coal BBQ make sure you’ve got plenty of coal and know how long it’ll take for your BBQ to heat up when you start up the fire. Some coal BBQs can take as long as 60 minutes to get hot, so factor that in to your cooking times.
Remember the essentials
Paper plates, cups, ice, sauces, serviettes, ice, water jugs, ice, ice, plenty of cutlery and maybe even some more ice! It’s important you have the essentials.
List all the cooking basics and buy them before the day so there’s no rushing to the shops for extra plastic forks 10 minutes before the family arrives.
Depending on the size of your party, and the temperature on the day, you’ll probably need a few bags of ice to keep the drinks cool and store the meat on before you’re ready to cook it. You can also use your ice to make slushies for the kids or an ice cold sangria for the grown-ups. You’ll always be able to find a use for ice, and even if you think you have enough, it’s likely you might run out.
Play dress ups
Give your backyard or entertaining space a little refresh with some simple dress ups to make it look special for your family on the day. Something as simple as some new tablecloths or hanging some fairy lights will do wonders for your space. A few candles scattered throughout will give a more intimate feel.
One of our favourite ways to make a beautiful BBQ space is to throw a few bay leaves on the grill while it’s heating up – if you’re under a veranda or pergola, it’ll give a delicious smell to get your guests’ mouths watering.
Snacks, snacks, snacks
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, and the best way to keep him distracted and happy is to feed him! Provide plenty of snacks for your dads and your guests; it’s important to distract your pop if he thinks himself the rightful BBQ master and insists on taking over.
Chips, dips, crackers, raw veggies, cheese, dried and fresh fruit and maybe a few chocolates and lollies make the perfect snack spread. Don’t worry about everyone filling up on snacks before the meat’s ready, you’re at a BBQ – it’s all about the food.
Keep it simple
There’s nothing wrong with chicken skewers, sausages and steaks as your meats of choice for the day. Yes, maybe your Webber does a mean roast lamb rack, but these BBQ classics will keep all your guests happy, and keeps the cooking straight forward so you can concentrate on enjoying the day with your family.
A few simple salads such as a potato salad or a coleslaw will give everyone their veggie quota for the afternoon. Keep plenty of bread rolls on hand too.
Dessert doesn’t need to be elaborate either. Cupcakes and some fresh fruit will be plenty to keep the sweet tooths happy.
Let your guests contribute
Further along from Aunty Jean’s Pav, if any of your guests offer to bring something, let them! If two guests bring a salad each and another offers to provide a fruit platter, that’s a whole lot of work off your plate. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to bring something if you think you might need a hand – a few people putting on a BBQ for an entire extended family isn’t an easy gig.
Don’t forget the footy
AFL finals just happen to kick off on the same weekend as Father’s Day so make sure you’ve got the radio going or the TV on to stop people from checking their phones every five minutes.
If you want to get everyone up and about and actually playing some sports, you can get a mini golf kit or backyard cricket set; a great way to get dad and the kids running around. Even a footy or a soccer ball will provide hours of afternoon entertainment for the whole family.
If Dad really feels the need to take over the grilling duties, let him. It’s his day after all.
What are your plans for this Father’s Day? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.
Looking for more inspiration to make the most of your backyard? Check out more of our outdoor living resources below:
- Get more special tips on hosting a true-blue barbecue
- Keep the mozzies away on BBQ day with these handy tips
- Give the kids a night they’ll remember with this backyard moonlight cinema event
- Move the beds outdoors for a night under the stars with this backyard family camping adventure
- Host a garden charity party to remember with our easy guide
- Enhance your outdoor entertainment space today. Browse our gallery of verandah designs.