Grill-Out Summer Party Menu

Picnic table flower centerpiece
Make those legendary backyard bashes even more memorable with a few party-planning ideas. Start with our easy all-grill menu (with handy timing tips). After that, it's fuss-free party decorations and laughing till the wee hours.

Party Menu: Grilled Potato Slices

Sprinkle on some salt and pepper and watch these guys disappear. Just-crisp and hot from the grill, they're way better than any french fry.

Party Menu Planning: Scrub your potatoes a day ahead, and then pop them on the grill as guests arrive. Make our cool creme fraiche dip (included in this recipe) the morning of your party.

Party Menu: Grilled Cedar-Planked Brie

Grilled brie is as awesome as it sounds, especially when topped with our gingery peach relish. Just grill, slice, and dig in.

Party Menu Planning: The peach relish requires a night in the fridge, so make it a day or two ahead. Put the brie on the grill 20 minutes before guests are set to arrive.

Party Menu: Grilled Banana Bites

With stacks of crispy cookies, swirly chocolate spread, and grilled bananas, you could call this s'more's chic cousin.

Party Menu Planning: Slicing the bananas and tossing them on the grill is the only prep involved here, so you can whip this up whenever sweet tooths hit.

Party Menu: Grilled Romaine Panzanella

Hold the ranch dressing! It's easier than you think to make a sophisticated summer salad. Grilling foccacia and romaine adds smoke to this classic Tuscan salad.

Party Menu Planning: Make the vinaigrette and gather your veggies the day before the party. You can easily double the recipe to feed up to 16 people.

From old-school ideas to eco-friendly alternatives, we give you a range of options for firing up charcoal. Check out paraffin blocks, an electric starter, and an economical chimney.

Master Your Charcoal Grill

All awesome grilling recipes start with a smokin' hot charcoal grill. Here are our top tips for choosing charcoal and getting that grill started.

Party Menu: Summer Dogs

Give hot dogs the love they deserve with a heap of creative, seasonal toppings.

Party Menu Planning: No matter how you like them, hot dogs are just plain easy. And thanks to their low price tag, you can spend a bit more on fun toppings.

Party Menu: Tri-Tip Roast with Grilled Avocados

Put burgers to shame with a scene-stealing grilled roast. Oak wood chips and a simple parsley-onion rub give this meaty masterpiece its unforgettable flavor.

Party Menu Planning: Start the roast as soon as your appetizers are off the grill. That way guests can snack as they wait for the main event.

Party Decoration: Paper Fans

No breeze? No problem. Homemade paper fans are inexpensive and cute to boot. After you make them, poke them in sand to act as party decorations until guests need to cool off.

Party Decoration: Paper Lantern

Hello, easy. Embellishing paper lanterns with store-bought pennant banners is as simple as it gets. We bought the banners and lanterns at String 'em up and party on.

Turn inexpensive white napkins or a table runner into ombre-dyed decor with our simple steps. It's easier than you think!

Party Decoration: DIY Ombre Napkins

Make these cool dip-dye napkins once, and you can use them all summer.

Party Decoration: Drink Station

A craft-your-own drinks station is easy for the host and fun for the guests. We chose mojitos made with fresh mint, lime, soda, simple syrup, and rum. Feel free to choose a more basic cocktail or set up a simple wine bar.

Party Decoration: Large Floral Centerpiece

Forget fussy flower arrangements. Use blooms from your yard, like the lilacs shown here, to fill one big galvanized bucket. The big grouping makes a statement without taking a ton of time. Line the bucket with floral foam to lift the flowers and make arranging easier.

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