A Beach Barbecue is such a fun way to host a dinner party; from playing games on the beach to chatting around the fire under the stars at the end. And the ambience can’t be beat!
We used to call ourselves a “gourmet” group. But as time passed, we realized we are really a “dinner” group. We have dinner parties with all different themes and sometimes the food is fancy and fabulous, and sometimes the food is down home and delicious!
For Vince’s and my most recent Gr8 Dinner, scheduled for the hot summer month of July, we decided on a Beach Barbecue theme. And it wasn’t just the theme, we actually had the dinner party at the beach! And that, my Gr8 Friends, takes a LOT of planning. Mostly because you have to schlepp EVERYTHING.
But it is SO MUCH FUN! This post will tell you what we did for invitations, our simple menu, and exactly what to pack and how to pack it for maximum accessibility.
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We took the easy way out with the invitations this time. Meaning, the bulk of it was bought. I found these Gr8 picnic coolers on sale and decided to get one for each couple. My thinking was that I was going to need to buy plastic dishes anyway so why not give everyone their dishes with a cooler to bring? (And that way everyone took home their dirty dishes!!!!) Also, because I bought these, there was no party favor, which I normally love to give.
Then I just printed up the invitation, menu, and what to bring and added it to the cooler. Easy enough to drop on each porch!
Side Note: The real barbecue campfire flavor always makes the food taste special.
The Marinated Olives were a perfect choice because olives can be served at room temperature with no negative effects. I put them in a round plastic covered container and transferred them into a cute little metal sand pail to serve.
Once I made the Crab Salad and put it on a fairly deep plate, I wrapped it tightly in several layers of plastic wrap to keep the juices from dripping out during transport. Then I kept it refrigerated until just before putting it in the cooler when we were ready to leave.
The goldfish were a no brainer, when we arrived at the fire pit we just dumped them from their packaging into a large plastic sand pail, and the same with the potato chips. The onion dip got the same treatment as the olives, a small sand pail. Go to a dollar store to find the sand toys for serving. Very affordable!
For the skewers, I did all the cutting up and marinating ahead of time. Then before leaving the house we threaded the meats and veggies onto skewers. (We used metal skewers because we figured they would hold up better on the open fire.) I used disposable 9″x13″ aluminum pans to hold the skewered meats and vegetables for transporting. Wrapped well in foil, they didn’t leak.
If you don’t have a large enough cooler ask a friend or neighbor if you can borrow one. We actually ended up using two smaller coolers which made it easier for us. Just make sure whatever cooler you choose will accommodate the 9″x13″ tins of skewers.
The corn was easy to transport, once prepared, we just carried it to the beach in a plastic bag. And Debbie brought her Pasta Salad in a zippered plastic bag and transferred it to a plastic beach pail when it was time to eat. So cute!
The cookies and marshmallows were the easiest things to carry to the beach! And don’t forget long sticks for roasting! A beach barbecue isn’t really fun without roasted marshmallows!
Once you are at the beach, set-up the tables and lay out the drinks. Wait to set out appetizers until your guests arrive. No reason to have food sitting out getting warm or soggy.
Figure out when to start your fire based on when your guests are arriving. We allowed almost 2 hours for games and appetizers. So we started our fire about an hour before we wanted to eat. Vince cooked the corn first then moved it to the side of the fire to stay warm while he cooked the steak, fish, chicken, and veggies.
Once the meats are cooked, slide them off the skewers into the bowls. Put the servings spoons into the bowls, lay the corn on the platter, and add the pasta salad to the mix. We left the meats and vegetables on the rim of the fire pit to stay warm.
Once everyone is done eating, they can scrape their own plates into the trash bag and put them away.
Then add the wood to build up the fire and set out the marshmallows and long sticks for roasting, and set the cookies on a tray. You can also serve coffee at this time, if you like.
First of all, task your guests with bringing certain things. Here’s what we decided would be helpful for people to provide for themselves:
In addition to the food and drinks, here’s what we brought to a beach barbecue and how we divided it up for easy access:
Before doing all this planning for a beach barbecue, check your local beach to make sure you are allowed to have an open fire at the beach. Our beach has both barbecues and campfire pits. We chose to use the fire pits, so this list was created for that purpose. Most of the things on the list will also work if you use a barbecue.
By keeping “like” items together, you will have an easier time of 1) ensuring that you have everything you need; and 2) being able to find it once you are at the beach.
So, this is definitely a dinner party you should give. And by following this guide we hope it will be easier for you. Have a Gr8 Time!