Your mother taught you your table manners, but did anyone teach you your BBQ etiquette?

Celebrity Chef Ted Reader has developed a list of tips for good backyard BBQ party etiquette that if followed, will help you get invited back to the next party.

“When it comes to attending someone else’s barbecue party or hosting your own backyard bash, there are a few rules of etiquette that you should use as guidelines,” said Reader. “Take it from me, I host a number of barbecue fests and I’ve learned a bit about the rights and wrongs. Most of these tips are pretty straightforward but there’s always that one guy who just doesn’t know. My advice is to follow these tips and not be that guy.”

When you’re a guest at a BBQ Party:

Don’t Touch the Grill: This is the domain of the host and/or hostess, and moving in on their BBQ turf is the biggest faux pas that you can make. As a guest, you can watch but never touch. Asking questions, though, is completely acceptable.
Bring Something: A bottle of wine or some beer; or, if you feel up to it, even a side dish you’ve made. But make sure there is enough to go around. Even a jar of your favourite barbecue sauce is a great gift. I suggest Ted’s World Famous BBQ Sauces and Seasonings.
Be Respectful: Your hosts have enough stress throwing a party; they don’t need any added aggravation. Never tell the person working the grill how to do it, or that what he or she is doing is wrong. Mind your manners and only offer suggestions when asked.

When you’re hosting the BBQ Party:

  • Make sure your grill is clean. A clean grill is a healthy grill, and it makes you look professional.
  • If you’re using propane as your fuel source, make sure you have a full tank and a backup just in case. There is nothing worse than running out of fuel while you’re in the middle cooking. The same goes for charcoal. Make sure that you have enough.
  • Invest in proper utensils. This simple tip makes you look like a pro. Rusted or dirty gear however, does the exact opposite.
  • Prepare recipes that you are comfortable and familiar with. Test recipes on your family (they will forgive you), not your guests.
  • Create a theme for your BBQ party: a birthday, Father’s Day, Canada Day, Fourth of July or any other celebration. A theme will make it easier to plan a menu and get yourself organized.
  • Have a vegetarian option. Meat is the mainstay of the barbecue, but not all of your guests may eat it, so provide a secondary option. Grilled Portobello mushroom caps topped with assorted grilled vegetables and some cheese is a great vegetarian choice.
  • Don’t feel obligated to invite your neighbours. Not all parties require their presence.
  • Provide taxi rides for those who have a little too much fun.

Above all, Reader advises you to not forget to have fun. Barbecue parties are a great way to get together with friends and celebrate the end of the cold weather.

For more information about Ted Reader, please visit
About Chef Ted Reader
Ted Reader is an award-winning chef and food entertainer, who’s parlayed his passion for food into a culinary tour de force that includes more than a dozen cookbooks, shelves of food products, live culinary performances, TV and radio cooking shows and appearances as well as culinary demonstrations, a catering company and teaching.  Known for his pyrotechnic charm and fearless culinary spirit, it’s no surprise that GQ magazine labeled him the “crazy Canuck barbecue kingpin.” The dude just loves to cook!  Ted’s quest for creating “real food for real people” has seen this high-profile culinary barbecue guru demonstrate his flair for grilling in all venues from swanky ball rooms to the Pacific Ocean to a downtown Toronto parking lot. Today, he owns more than 100 barbecues, grills and smokers in all shapes and sizes and never goes anywhere without one in the back of his truck.

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