If you want to make the best use of the summer, outdoor dining is one of the most relaxed and fulfilling ways to do it. The heat is best enjoyed with friends, so what better way to have them over than to throw an outdoor dinner party? The Great Aussie BBQ is a long-standing tradition, but it’s also one wrought with difficulties. To make sure yours doesn’t become an unhygienic, uncomfortable nightmare, keep the following tips in mind.

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The right environment

The idea of eating a BBQ picnic sat on a towel in the garden might have a certain romantic appeal to it, but it’s not very practical for a social setting where you want people to be comfortable. You need to focus on creating a proper outdoor dining environment. Furniture has to be comfortable and practical and you need plenty of lighting as these gatherings often tend to go well beyond dark.

The right gear

If people come over for an outdoor dinner party, then they expect proper outdoor food. As a foodie, you should already have a barbecue grill, but if you don’t, then it’s a good idea to look at providers like BBQ PLUS to see the different varieties on offer. Gas grills are popular options for those who want to fire it up and serve food quicker rather than keeping the guests waiting. However, a good charcoal grill adds a certain smokiness to the flavour that you won’t get in any other form of cooking. You can even get flavoured wood chips that let you get a little more creative with your meals.

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Keep it healthy

Safety comes first, of course. Poorly organized BBQs have led to plenty of sick guests, before, so make sure that you’re taking good care of your meat. Keep it sealed in secure plastic containers, preventing cross-contamination. A meat thermometer should be an essential part of any griller’s kit. Get to know the safe temperatures for the meat you’re making and test the centre of any piece before you serve it. For guests who prefer to keep things healthier, you can do that, too. Butter flavour sprays like ProChef can make even meat feasts like BBQs significantly better for you, to go with choosing leaner pieces of meat like turkey burgers.

Keep it comfortable

The outdoors can be a wonderful dining setting, but it can also be highly uncomfortable if you’re not prepared for some of the little problems that pop up. For instance, rosemary and sage can be a great way to infuse your meat and keep bugs away at the same time. Look at places like Lifehacker to learn how to keep drinks and guests cooler at the same time. You might be out there to enjoy the sun but if you don’t take care of your guests, it can all get to be a bit much.

If you really want a great outdoor dining experience, you need to invest a little time and money making sure that you can create it. Once you do, however, you’ll have a delicious and comfortable dining option you can go back to time and time again.