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How to
Throw a Backyard BBQ


When it comes to summer grilling, nothing is simpler or more satisfying than sausages and beer. It’s the perfect menu for an easy–to–host backyard barbecue, especially with handmade artisanal sausages and tastings of unique craft beers. We paired organic, handcrafted sausage from Huntington Meats in Los Angeles with beer from Magnolia Brewery in San Francisco to demonstrate how the fun part of throwing a summer barbecue is being simple and staying local. When everything from the food and drink to the decor and location happens in your own backyard, it’s an instant party with next to no prep — and a guaranteed good time.


Setting Up

Take advantage of summer by throwing open your doors to the backyard as an extension of your home. The presence of a grand table with plenty of chairs transforms open space into a sunny outdoor dining room. It’s also the natural center of the party and should receive the most accessorizing and attention.

Small, whimsical touches can help you make this party your own. Colorful homemade labels on condiment jars, a unique chalkboard made of oilcloth with a handwritten menu, recycled metal letters that say “BBQ“ strung across a tree branch — such things take a little effort but make a huge creative impact. We love his use of rosemary as a casual centerpiece instead of flowers because you can clip off fragrant sprigs to grill with. Useful beauty with thoughtful practical application is a great decorating approach.

Next to your steamer or stovetop pot, be sure to have the following tools at the ready: potholders, colanders, serving trays and bar towels. A good pair of tongs or or grilling mits allow you to reach right into the pot to pull out each lobster. Large colanders will be of help when you’re ready to plunge steamed lobster into an ice bath. And small colanders or our Ceramic Strainers are perfect for serving.

Keep plenty of bar towels on hand because where there’s steam, there’s bound to be water, and you’ll want to keep your prep area clean.

While somewhat silly in appearance, lobster bibs are important for keeping guests’ clothing clean — and they add to the fun ritual of participating in an authentic lobster steam. Hand them to guests as they arrive as a fun way to set a casual mood.