The A to Z of BBQ Shopping List

What’s the alternative name for the summer season? You guessed it right; it’s none other than barbecue time with your friends and family. All of us look forward to the summer season to enjoy grilled meat, sausages, lots of wine, music, and an outdoor movie screening with our beloved friends.

However, the big party requires a lot of homework and prior planning. Lucky for you, this guide will help you make the BBQ shopping list and prepare for the party like a pro. This way, you won’t be frantically running here and there to grab the ingredients while your meat gets overcooked on the grill.

Want to throw the most memorable BBQ party in town? Keep reading!

Summer BBQ Checklist

First thing first, let’s make a list of everything you need before the big BBQ party at your home.

It’s All About BBQ Meat

You can’t start your BBQ shopping list without deciding the type of meat you’ll grill. It depends on your preference and the availability of different grills to select any of the following meat.

  • Beef burgers
  • Sausages
  • Kebabs
  • Beef hot dogs
  • Chicken breast
  • Lamb
  • Salmon
  • Ceridian shrimp
  • Spare ribs
  • Steak
  • Bacon

Mandatory Sauces and Condiments

  • BBQ sauce
  • Hot sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Cheese
  • Mayonnaise
  • Radish
  • Mustard sauce
  • Salsa for Latin style BBQ
  • Tahini for Mediterranean BBQ

What About BBQ Drinks?

  • Beer, wine, and vodka for a BBQ Booz party with friends
  • Water, juice, and soda for a family BBQ party
  • Ice and cooler are a must for any BBQ party

Don’t Forget the Barbecue Essentials

  • Apron
  • Aluminum foil
  • Napkins
  • Charcoal, briskets, and required fuel
  • Oil
  • Bottle opener
  • Cooking Gloves that can withstand higher temperature
  • Grilling toolset
  • Burger buns and hot dog rolls

Vegetables as Side Dishes

  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Pineapple
  • Bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Corn
  • Lettuce
  • Zucchini

Keep the Utensils Near You

  • Knives, plates, cups, forks, spoons
  • Bottle and wine openers
  • BBQ seasoning, salt, and pepper
  • Garbage
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Wipes
  • Spatula
  • Metal tongs
  • Grill thermometer
  • Cutting board
  • Scissors
  • Paper towels


  • Fruit
  • Ice Cream
  • Cookies and cupcakes
  • Cake
  • Cheesecake

Barbecue Cleaning Equipment

  • Trash bags
  • Gloves
  • Recycling bag
  • BBQ cleaning brush

Theme Ideas and Decorations

From cowboy to topical, you can have any theme for your summer BBQ party. For example, you can go for a sophisticated garden party, the 70s or 80s theme, favorite movie characters, beach theme, and many more. Once you select the theme, you can shop for the decoration items.

A pro tip: We don’t want you to overspend on the decoration items because the party’s star is undoubtedly the barbecue.

Nonetheless, you need to ensure the availability of the proper outdoor equipment, including tables, chairs, canopy, music, speakers, bug spray, sunscreen, flashlight, and strings.

Total Number of Invited People

The above summer BBQ checklist presents the name of the essential items you require before the BBQ party. However, the critical question is quantifying those items, especially meat.

Since you don’t want to waste anything after the party, you should buy the food items according to the total number of invitees.

Small BBQ Party Shopping List

Generally speaking, the total number of invitees to a small party is less than 30. Considering 30 to be the maximum count, you require:

  • 8.5 pounds of ground beef for 35 hamburgers
  • Alternatively, it would help if you had 40 sausages and hotdog buns for 40 sausage dogs
  • 15 to 20 large aluminum tins and foils
  • Coleslaw to compliment the burgers or hotdogs

Large BBQ checklist

The number of invitees to a large summer BBQ party varies from 50 to 100. That’s why you require at least four to six 10 pounds of pork shoulders. Alternatively, you can opt for a simple cookout menu of 125 to 150 kielbasa sausage dogs with 50 kielbasa sausages and 120 to 150 sandwich rolls.

What to Do With the BBQ Shopping List?

Seeing the above extensive BBQ checklist certainly gives anxiety to the host. It’s because the actual task isn’t just about creating the shopping list. Instead, the real deal is to manage the entire BBQ shopping list to organize the tasks before and during the BBQ food party.

Pre-BBQ Preparation

Once you have all the ingredients and essential items in one place, you can focus on the tasks you can do the night before the BBQ party.

For instance, you should cut and chop all the vegetables and store them separately. Similarly, you can also toss different salads and combine the items in a container. However, you can always add the seasoning and dressing during the BBQ party.

Next up is the marination of the breasts, fillets, joints, ribs, and other meat pieces one night before. However, meat storage is tricky, especially before the summer barbecue party. If you don’t want the meat to freeze in a freezer, you can use ice packs in cool bags to store the meat.

Alternatively, you can make portions of the meat in the available Tupperware and kitchen foil to minimize the risk of meat going bad.

Similarly, you can pre-cut the burger buns, sandwiches, and hotdog buns and store them in a container labeled as “bread.”

The good news is you are all done with the vegetable cutting and meat marination part. Phew!

Organizing BBQ Food Supplies

It’s best to place all the cooking utensils and equipment near the grill, including your apron and heat-resistant gloves. You can lay the knives, spatula, tongs, and grill thermometer on the storage trays available on the grill.

Keep in mind; you need to use different utensils for marinated meat, cooked meat, and vegetables to ensure hygiene. Hence, it would help if you had at least three to four spatulas, knives, and tongs.

Lastly, you should clean and test the barbecue grill before the big day to avoid any inconvenience. You don’t need to worry about the fuel if you have a gas grill. However, you need to buy charcoal, briskets and refill the propane tanks depending on the BBQ grill’s fuel source.

One Day Before The BBQ Party

You can arrange the tables, chairs, canopy, and other outdoor equipment a day before the barbecue party. This way, you can focus on decorating your backyard and assembling all the items in one place on the BBQ party day.

It’s best to buy ready-made desserts from the market instead of making one from scratch at home. You don’t need to make everything at home while hosting a barbecue food party. Keep yourself stress-free, buy cakes, cookies, ice cream, and fresh fruit from the market, and create a colorful dessert table.

The Grand BBQ Party

On the party morning, you can give the finishing touches to the party decoration and install the sound system or the projector. Next, you can set up the drinks station at least an hour before the guests start arriving. Finally, it would help to fill the cooler with ice and place all the drinks on the table.

Once the drinks table is ready, you can place cutlery, plates, spoons, bowls, and napkins on another table. You can use your home’s ceramic plates and steel cutlery; however, you’ll have loads of dishes to wash after the party. The easiest method is to buy paper cups, plates, and wooden cutlery because they are biodegradable, unlike plastic cups and plates.

However, it would help to place the napkins in an accessible place for the guests to clean their greasy hands.

It’s best to organize the vegetables and meat near the grill for easy access. Lastly, it’s time for you to grill tender and juicy meat steaks, hamburgers, and sausages for your guests.

Firing up the grill is another challenge, as it depends on the type of grill you are using. For instance, charcoal requires the most time to light up while the wooden briskets take less time.

After The BBQ Party

All the guests have left after having a fantastic barbecue party, and you have a challenge in front of you – cleaning. First, you need to collect the used disposable items in a garbage bag. Next, you need to store the leftovers in the fridge, including meat, salad, cheese, buns, and other vegetables. 

A pro tip: It’s best to make boxes for the leaving guests, including grilled meat, vegetables, and salad for their midnight munching. This way, you can significantly reduce the leftover food at your place.

It’s essential to clean the grill before putting it away in the storage. You should thoroughly clean the grill using paper towels to remove all the grease and other stains.


Your entire BBQ party depends on the availability of essential barbecue items. That’s why the above guide helps you buy all the required items to save you from any last-minute trip to the grocery store. Then, once you are done shopping, you can manage the pre, post, and party day chores accordingly.

The Internet is full of scattered ideas about the BBQ checklist. That’s why this article compiles and organizes the shopping list and preparation in the correct order to win you the title of the “Best BBQ Party host of the year.”

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