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Host a Bonfire night BBQ bonanza!

We love bonfire night as it’s the perfect excuse to wrap up and get everyone outside to enjoy the crisp autumnal air! And what better way to give a nod to the late Guy Fawkes and his foiled gunpowder plot than to do some plotting of your own... with a Bonfire night BBQ spectacular!

As much as we love watching the bonfire burn and fireworks light up the sky, it’s the Great British food that makes us really remember, remember the 5th November! So this year why not avoid the extortionate prices for less than average hot dogs at your local fireworks display, and instead enjoy the best bonfire night BBQ food right in your own back garden?

In this article we will show you how to host a Bonfire night BBQ that will be remembered and looked forward to for years to come with our easy tips for success!

1) Invite your guests in plenty of time

There’s no shortage of things to do on Bonfire night weekend which could mean that your guests already have plans. That’s why it’s so important to invite them early to make sure they can attend. A great way to get kids involved in your BBQ planning is to make paper invitations with black card and glitter glue, and it will be guaranteed to get your guests excited for the event.

Alternatively, you can quickly and easily send text messages or Facebook invitations to get your guests in tow; just make sure you do it in enough time! It may be good to put a little reminder to guests to wrap up warm on the night too.

2) Planning your fireworks and bonfire

Although no doubt looking forward to your wonderful food, your guests are certain to want to catch a glimpse of the fireworks on the night, so think about this when planning your timings.

If you are having your own bonfire or fireworks display, please follow the safety advice of the Fire Service to ensure you, your friends and your family are safe at all times, and plan to have your main course served up before you begin the show!

Alternatively, make the most of local displays! Why not gather your guests together and all walk down to your nearest fireworks display in time for the main event? Just find out the time that the bonfire is due to be lit or fireworks due to start and plan what time you’ll need to leave.

Remember, your guests will need to have been fed and watered by this time so timing is important. Walking to the local fireworks display together will be really fun, just make sure you tell the guests if this is the plan so that they can wear comfy shoes or wellies and remember to have turned your BBQ off to cool down well before leaving.


3) Prepare your Garden

It is vital to prepare your garden ahead of your BBQ party, especially because of the 

time of year! You will need enough seating for guests, a gazebo as a ‘just in case’ shelter over the BBQ station and a few decorations to keep in spirit of the occasion!

The clocks have gone back which means that dark nights are upon us therefore you may want to use strings of fairy lights or rope lighting to decorate your garden for your Bonfire night BBQ. When planning seating for guests, ensure you have enough chairs for all and set up your patio heater if you have one!

To effectively set up your BBQ station, make sure you have enough surface space around you to work with – you should never leave the BBQ alone once it is lit so avoid trips back and forth to the kitchen. Have one table for BBQ tools, utensils and raw foods and another table set up as a serving station with plates, cutlery, napkins, sides and dips.

Cover your whole BBQ and serving station with a gazebo, just in case the weather takes a turn for the worst!  

4) What to cook

When menu-planning for your Bonfire night BBQ bonanza, opt for Bonfire night favourites - start with a warming soup, full of spiced chunky seasonal vegetables, and served in large mugs. Then go for a simple main of beef burgers and hot dogs, overloading them with caramelised onions and smoky melted cheese. Finally serve up some large toasted marshmallows on skewers and grilled caramel apples for dessert.

Last but not least, don’t forget the drinks! Wine expert, Nathan Nolan will guide you towards what drinks are great this season in our Seasonal Food section, but if in doubt, a case of lager, pitcher of mulled wine, and a non-alcoholic selection of fizzy drinks can always be relied on.