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There’s nothing quite like getting together with friends and family for a classic summer barbecue. The delicious smell of meat on the grill, ice-cold drinks, and fun outdoor games are all part of what makes this season so memorable. However, planning the perfect summer BBQ can be overwhelming without proper guidance. 


That’s where Synergy Outdoor Living comes in! With our expertise in grilling and outdoor kitchen design, we have compiled a list of tips to help you plan the ultimate summer BBQ experience. So fire up the grill and let’s get started! 

friends standing around BBQ food laughing

Host the Best Backyard Bash of the Season 


Whether you’re a seasoned grill master or a newbie, hosting a successful BBQ can be easy with these simple tips and tricks.  


#1. Create a Menu  


Planning the perfect menu is key to hosting the best backyard BBQ of the season. 

  • Consider your guest list. Are there any dietary restrictions or preferences? Make sure to include options for everyone, whether they’re vegetarian or gluten-free.  
  • Think about the main course. Grilled burgers and hot dogs are classic BBQ staples, but why not mix it up with some grilled chicken or shrimp skewers?  
  • Don’t forget the side dishes – potato salad, coleslaw, and corn on the cob are always crowd-pleasers.  


Recipes to Try > The Very Best Grilled Chicken & Perfectly Grilled Corn on the Cob  


#2. Prep in Advance  


Prepping food in advance not only saves time but also ensures that you have everything ready when your guests arrive.  


Start by making a list of all the dishes you want to serve and then prioritize them based on their level of complexity.  


Dishes that require more time or effort should be prepped first so that they’re ready to go on the grill when it’s time to cook. 


Another benefit of prepping food in advance is that it allows you to marinate the meat overnight, which adds flavor and tenderness. Yum!  


#3. Create Ambiance  


Whether you’re throwing a big bash or just having a small gathering with friends and family, creating ambiance in your outdoor space makes all the difference. 

  • Consider investing in some outdoor lighting. Colorful tape lights or lanterns can create a warm and inviting atmosphere while also providing functional lighting for cooking and dining.  
  • Fire features such as a fire pit or torches also add ambiance and help keep mosquitoes away.  
  • Place potted greenery or flowers around the patio for a splash of color.  
  • Place flameless candles on the table and countertops to add a warm glow without the fire risk.  
  • Set the mood with music for the occasion. We love installing hidden audio solutions for this!   

colorful summer drinks in glasses with fruit

#4. Make a Signature Drink  


No summer BBQ is complete without a refreshing signature drink to wash it all down. 

While alcoholic beverages may be popular at these events, you can still create a signature drink that takes your BBQ to another level without adding any alcohol. 


The key to making the perfect signature drink for your  

Florida summer BBQ is to keep it light, refreshing, and thirst-quenching.  


Opt for fresh fruits like watermelon or strawberries in your beverage as they offer natural sweetness while also keeping you hydrated on hot days. 


Our Favorite Refreshing Drink Recipe > Strawberry Limeade 


#5. Plan Activities  


While good food is essential, it’s equally important to plan activities that will keep your guests entertained throughout the day.  


If you have a pool in your yard, set up pool games like volleyball or basketball so that everyone can jump in and join in on the fun. If you don’t have a pool, consider setting up fun water games or mister fans as alternatives to cool off during hotter days.  


Additionally, games like cornhole or horseshoes provide friendly competition and can be enjoyed by all ages. 


#6. Clean the Grill  


Before you start cooking up a storm, you need to make sure your grill is in top shape. A clean grill ensures even cooking, prevents flare-ups, and keeps your food tasting great. 

  • Remove any leftover ash from the previous grilling session. You can use a scraper to do this.  
  • Remove the grates and soak them in warm soapy water for about an hour.  
  • Scrub them with a sponge until they are clean, then rinse off with clean water. 
  • Inspect your burners for any clogs or debris. If you find any blockages, use a wire brush or toothbrush. 
  • Make sure all the burner holes are clear before putting everything back together again. 


More Tips > Cleaning Your Grill the RIGHT Way 


Now you’re ready to get your grill on!  


#7. Prioritize Grill Safety  


Besides not leaving your grill unattended while lit, you should also be sure to keep the space around your grill safe and free of hazards such as dry leaves, paper plates, and plastic utensils, etc.  


When grilling, keep a spray bottle filled with water handy. This will be helpful if flare-ups occur on the grill. Simply spray the flames with water and they’ll quickly die down. 


Finally, a fire extinguisher should always be nearby when you’re cooking outdoors, just in case of an emergency.  

a toasted marshmallow sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies

#8. Don’t Forget Dessert!  


When it comes to desserts, opt for simple treats like s’mores that can be made on the grill or around a firepit. Tip: Try sandwiching a toasted marshmallow between chocolate chip cookies. Delicious!  


Grilling adds a unique smoky flavor to desserts that cannot be replicated with traditional oven baking.  


Some of the most popular grilled desserts include: 

  • Berry peach pie  
  • Grilled pineapple, peaches, or pears with ice cream 
  • Chocolate cake baked in a cast-iron skillet 
  • Foil pack banana boats  


With just a little creativity and preparation ahead of time, you can create an unforgettable dessert experience for everyone at your summer BBQ. Delish!  


An Amped Up Burger > Bison Burger Recipe  

Burgers grilling on a grill with smoke and flames

Elevate Your Summer BBQs 


Synergy Outdoor Living offers custom outdoor living spaces that are perfect for making the most of our beautiful Florida summers. From custom outdoor kitchens to fire pits and lighting, we can create the perfect space for you to relax and enjoy time with friends and family. 


Don’t wait to make your backyard dreams come true— contact our designers and start enjoying those long summer evenings and weekends in Tampa, Orlando, or Jacksonville grilling in style! 

Synergy Outdoor Living