An invitation to a summer barbecue may seem like a casual opportunity to knock back a few cold ones in the hot summer sun, but there are still etiquette rules to follow. The most important thing is to take your cues from the host. After all, you want to be invited to future shindigs.
According to food expert James Oliver Cury, it's appropriate to bring something to share to the barbecue. This could be a six-pack of beer, a side dish or dessert or extra meat and veggies for grilling. Ask the hosts what they need if you don't already have a signature recipe you were hoping to share. Don't expect the host to accommodate your special dietary restrictions. Bring your own foods – including some to share with others – if the host is serving something you can't eat.
Get Out of the Way
Most likely, the hosts invited you to the barbeque because they enjoy cooking on their grill and want to share their skills with family and friends. Let them do the cooking, even if "their way" is different from "your way." Cury says that the only time you can step in is if the meat is burning.