A Barbecue Checklist For Autumn

Barbecue Checklist

Autumn is just around the corner, but that doesn't mean you will have to pack up your barbecue. In fact, throwing an autumn barbecue is arguably better than a summer barbecue. The air is cooler, which makes the outdoors more relaxing and comfortable. Not to mention, there are endless ways to decorate your BBQ party, and the food options are always fun and tasty.

But as with many things, preparation is the secret to ensuring that your autumn BBQ runs smoothly. That's why we've made this handy BBQ checklist that covers all you need when hosting your barbeque party this fall!

Your Audience & Theme

Let's start with your audience and theme. How many people are attending? What kind of party is it going to be? Below are some of the best fall party themes that you can throw right in your backyard (and if you've got a fire pit, that's even better):

1) Backyard Campfire Party

Campfires are perfect for providing the ideal ambiance for a backyard party. There's nothing like the warmth and the fun of sitting around the fire to turn the autumn evening into a memorable night with the ones you love. Bring on the s' mores!

2) Backyard Movie Night

BBQ food with a movie outdoors, what's not to love? Invite friends to experience the magic of a film under the stars in your own backyard.

3) Apple Pie Bake Off

Celebrate the season with an apple pie bake-off. Homemade apple pies are the perfect fall treat for family and friend get-togethers during a cozy fall weekend in the backyard.

4) Host a Friendsgiving

The only thing that's better than a Thanksgiving dinner is a BBQ Thanksgiving with friends. Ideally, all guests will bring a dish, but if you're hosting, we suggest that you supply the main dish and let your friends fill the gaps.

Go wild with your Fall ornaments!

Fall ornaments

From Halloween decorations to Thanksgiving cornucopias – nothing is off-limits. The scents and colors of autumn are rustic and varied, and you can include all of them in your barbecue preparation.


  • Garnish your seating table with little autumn knick-knacks
  • Mix reds, oranges, yellows, and browns as much as possible
  • Don't forget the sensation of smell, think cinnamon, pears pecans, vanilla, gingerbread, etc.
  • Bonus: your barbecue will add to the delicious fragrances

Autumn Inventory

Check your barbeque/grill, and accessories and ask yourself:

  • Is it all clean and ready to go?
  • Is the grease pan cleaned and the drip pan replaced?
  • Do you need new tools, aluminum pans, chimney starters, fire starter cubes?
  • Do you have enough gas/charcoal?

Always check your propane tank for leaks and keep your grill protected when not in use!

Autumn BBQ Shopping List

Autumn BBQ Shopping List

Now is the time to make your shopping list. Autumn is a season of spices, so be sure to bring some of that flavour to your barbeque. Grilled pumpkin, turkey, sweet potatoes, etc. are traditional fall barbecue foods, but that's not all! Use your imagination to serve up those special fall sweets and meats to please your guests.

Steaks, chicken and hot dogs land exclusively on the summer barbecue favourites list. Instead, use meats and vegetables that go well with fall spices, like lamb or goat. Lean cut pork chops work well too.

Don't forget the extras!

Fall menus are the perfect opportunity to enjoy some pumpkin beer and warm, cozy treats like pumpkin or apple pie. Check out our article 16 dessert recipes that prove fall is the best bbq season for some of our favorite sweet autumn recipes.

Pre-BBQ Food Prep

Establish a prep timeline. It's always best to prepare whatever you can in the morning or night before. These simple food prep tips will give you more time to sit back and relax in the evening:

  • Make and toss salads (add the dressing before serving)
  • Chop veggies and fruit ahead of time and get them all ready in bowls
  • Glaze and marinate your meat the night before
  • Pre-cut bread

BBQ Attire


Always make sure that you wear clothes that are suitable for grilling. Don't forget your gloves when you're dealing with anything hot. And if you're going to handle a lot of raw meat, we'd recommend gloves as well, because changing your gloves is easier than washing your hands outdoors. Also, avoid wearing long sleeves clothing because it could be a fire hazard.

BBQ Supplies

Layout all your utensils neatly in front of you for easy access. When you're cooking outside, you always want to keep food safety at the forefront. A simple device like a meat thermometer will give you that extra layer of assurance that your meat is being cooked all the way through.

Some other items to add to your bbq checklist include:

  • Locking tongs
  • Heavy-duty mitts
  • Long-handled lighter for fire starters
  • Heatproof tray
  • Silicone bristle basting brush
  • Resealable zip-top bags
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil

Food Storage

Forgetting to store meat safely is dangerous. Investing in cool bags or using ice packs combined with a cool bag to cool your food works great. You can't go wrong with lots of Tupperware and kitchen foil, either. These two simple, but must have items will help to preserve freshness, reduce contamination risks and store unwanted garbage.

Cleaning Items

The below items can be used to give your equipment a quick clean and soak, or just to generally keep things clean as you go. You'll be thankful when it's time to wash up or put them in the dishwasher later!

  • Garbage bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • A stove and pan for boiling water
  • A washing-up bowl
  • Sponges and washing-up cloths
  • Washing-up liquid
  • Anti-bacterial wipes
  • Drying towels

BBQ Food Hygiene

BBQ Food Hygiene

Here are some other important BBQ safety tips to make sure your food is perfect:

  • Thaw frozen meat and food thoroughly before cooking. Proper thawing prevents dangerous cold spots.
  • If you use a charcoal barbecue, do not start cooking until the coals are red with a powdery grey surface. This is how you know the heat is distributed evenly. It's also going to stop your meat from being over-charred on the outside and raw inside.
  • Cut into the meat to check if it's cooked; use your thermometer, and if you don't have one, cook until you're sure to be safe.
  • Keep hot food at a minimum temperature of 63 ° C until served.
  • Be extra careful if you lean across the barbecue to turn the meat.
  • Use a coolbox filled with ice packs to minimise the growth of bacteria.
  • Always use separate utensils for raw meats and ready to eat food, like salads and bread.
  • Allow your food to rest after cooking to allow juices to run back into the meat, making it moist and tender.

These BBQ guidelines may seem obvious, but they are easy to forget in the heat of the moment (pun intended). That's why taking a second to plan ahead, prepare early and making sure that the items you need are within reach, are all steps you can take to ensure your autumn barbecue goes smoothly.

Don't Let Your Barbecue Get Lonely And Dusty This Autumn!

Don't Let Your Barbecue Get Lonely And Dusty!

When was the last time someone you knew had a fall themed barbecue? Exactly. It's not as common as we'd like it to be, and oftentimes, the barbecue is forgotten until the summer days roll around again. Instead of leaving your barbecue to get lonely and dusty, keep it out and plan ahead for your fall barbecue. Your friends are going to love the autumn vibes, and the possibilities you have to create for your menu will be endless.

About the Author William Clay

William Clay is a BBQ enthusiast dedicated to sharing his grilling (and overall cooking) expertise with FireFoodChef's readers.