How Not To Be A Dick At A BBQ

It's not hard people.


by Stevie Martin |
Published on

The weather’s getting (intermittently) hotter which only means one thing: we’re going to start standing around an open flame and burning bits of meat on it while drinking beer and crying soot out of our tearducts.

BBQs are a summer staple, but it’s so easy to commit a social/chargrilled faux pas when there’s ketchup, fire, raw pig and alcohol involved. This summer, make sure you’re a BBQueen rather than a BBNevergetinvitedagain with these handy tips on etiquette.

Bring something

It’s just good practise to turn up to a barbecue with a packet of hot dogs or, even better, some artisan sauce that’ll boost any burger (see: garlic mayo, Reggae Reggae sauce, an array of hot chilli dips where the packaging looks like little men in sombreros, etc). If it’s a boozy affair, then a few cans will do, but don’t arrive empty-handed expecting to be fed – people are about to set fire to food and then feed it to you. It’s only fair that you contribute something.

If you’re a vegetarian, try not to be a dick about it

I’m a vegetarian and nothing upsets me more than someone poking my quorn with their beefy skewer. But enough about my night-time pursuits, let’s get back to barbecues (HO HO) and the fact that, if you don’t like meat, shut up about it.

Bring your own veggie burgers if you don’t mind people being lax with meat/meat-free utensils or, if you’re really squeamish, be a champion and provide some smashing salad, falafel or vegetables to stuff in a bun that everyone else can enjoy, too. Don’t stand around complaining about the meat smell, either. What did you expect? Men made of carrot pressing organic butterbean burgers ’pon an open hearth?

Don’t try and ‘help’ with the BBQ unless you know what you’re doing

The rule is, someone starts the fire and takes over the barbecue while everyone else chats to them and gets pissed. You can spot them because they’re the ones madly fanning smoke and peering at black sausages. Let them. This is their chance to shine and provide, and show what a great gal/guy they are, so don’t muscle in and ruin their fun unless they’re standing over cold coals, crying and saying, ‘Please help me, I don’t want to oversee the barbecue’.

Don’t over-sauce your hotdog

Apart from the fact that you can’t flirt when you’re covered in tomato (and if you can, you deserve an award), don’t be the person who bites into their burger and squirts HP all over the back of that girl in the wispy, sheer white dress who looks like she just fell out of Instagram. Yeah, we’re all happy that she got her comeuppance, but you’re going to have to tell her. And she’s going to cry tears made of Kelvin. And everyone will think you’re a prick.

Don’t wear white

BBQs are full of drip-warnings and morons liable to bite into their burger and squirt HP sauce all over the back of your wispy, sheer white dress. Either rock Adult Baby chic and buy an industrial-sized bib, or opt for patterns. The more violent and intricate the pattern, the better you’ll fare – extra points if you find a dress that encompasses the holy trinity of red, brown and mustard yellow.

If you’re afraid of wasps, stand next to the barbecue/a smoker

This is a personal crisis because, as anyone who has spent time with me in an outdoor setting (or an indoor one) will tell you, I’m irrationally terrified of wasps. It really ruins a party. If you stand next to the barbecue, however, you’re less likely to get attacked because wasps don’t like smoke – which is why sitting next to someone puffing on a Marlboro Light also does the trick.

Don’t overdo it so much you can’t breathe

Eat until you’re full, sure, but keep in mind that BBQs are deceptive bastards that lull you into eating three burgers and a hotdog without breaking a sweat. Stop and think about it: three burgers and a hotdog. If you ate that in a restaurant, alarm bells would be ringing and a taxi would be booked before you started vomming.

You may feel on top of the world now, but half an hour (and another cider) later, you won’t be able stand up, let alone speak to anyone. Prolong the party, and eat a normal amount. As someone who once ate a box of eight veggie burgers and had to go to sleep behind a bush for two hours, I know what I’m talking about.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

How to Do a Vegan Barbecue That’ll Make All Your Meat Lovin’ Friends Jealous

In Your Face Mother Nature, Here’s Two BBQ Recipes To Try Out This Weekend

The Inevitable Disappointment Of Summer And Why It Will Always Let You Down

Follow Stevie on Twitter @5tevieM

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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