Ina Garten's Helpful Tip For A More Relaxed Barbecue

Though barbecue parties are the epitome of that laid-back summer feeling, playing the part of host is often filled with responsibilities that can take away from what should feel more like an easy-going affair than a stressful endeavor. Fortunately, we have professionals like Ina Garten to steer us in the right direction by offering entertaining tips to help us create hospitable atmospheres that are breezy from start to finish.

As revealed on "Barefoot Contessa," Garten recognizes the logistical stress of having to cater to guests in multiple areas at once. Whether you're needing to fire up the outdoor grill or refill drinks inside your house, even the most put-together host can feel frazzled by so much running around. To eliminate some of this back-and-forth movement, Garten prepares as many food ingredients as possible inside her kitchen, then carries out trays of food to be cooked over flames or placed on top of picnic tables. "I want to get all of the ingredients ready so when I get outside I can stay outside," she says.

Preparing to serve before guests arrive

Depending on what you're planning to serve at your barbecue, you can look for ways to eliminate trips to and from your kitchen so you can post up by the grill and lounge outside along with your guests. Slice vegetables like red onions, peppers, and tomatoes, and chop fresh herbs to have the ingredients ready for quick and easy seasoning. Place salt and pepper grinders on tables to keep them within easy reach.

With ears of street corn and halloumi and tomato skewers prepared and ready for the grill, you simply need to give each dish a quick flash over the flames before serving the food to your guests without having to run inside to look for missing ingredients. Assemble sauces before your guests arrive, and set out salads and side dishes for friends to help themselves. Organizing a separate drink table can also help guests feel comfortable pouring their own drinks, and you can eliminate some of the responsibilities you have to look after when assuming the role of barbecue host.