Everyone loves a good pizza party. Why not host one of your own in your backyard? It’s relatively easy and fun for everyone involved. You could invite family and friends to celebrate a birthday or for no reason at all but to eat delicious pizza.
If you want to host an outdoor pizza party, here are six tips to help make it a success:
1. Plan the menu in advance
An important part of hosting a successful pizza party is planning the menu. Fortunately, pizza is a pretty versatile meal, so you can get pretty creative.
First, think about toppings. You want there to be something for everyone and should consider your guests’ tastes. If it’s a birthday party for kids, maybe simple cheese and pepperoni pizzas are best. If it’s mostly adults, add some more variety with vegetable and meat toppings. There’s so much to choose from: onions, peppers, mushrooms, olives, chicken, sausage, pepperoni … you name it!
You can also offer different sauces like tomato or alfredo as well as different cheeses, such as mozzarella, cheddar, havarti, or provolone.
For dessert, you can even make dessert pizzas with butter, cinnamon, and sugar or Nutella and fruit. Get creative!
Don’t forget about appetizers like breadsticks or salads and remember to stock up on beverages and put them in the fridge to keep cool.
Finally, be considerate of any food allergies like gluten or lactose intolerance. Some guests may not be able to have pizza, so you’ll want to provide some alternative options.
2. Prep the food
Once you’ve established the menu, you can go ahead and buy the necessary ingredients and prep the food.
For example, you can cut up toppings and store them in separate containers so they’re ready to go. You can also prepare the pizza dough and let it sit in the fridge overnight before the party. That way, guests won’t have to wait around as long to eat when they arrive.
3. Use the right oven
Another important consideration for your outdoor pizza party is what oven to use. The right oven can make all the difference.
For example, weigh the benefits of using a wood-burning vs. a gas-fired oven. A wood-burning oven can produce higher levels of heat to produce that fluffy dough, crispy crust, and maximum flavor you love in a pizza.
Of course, you may not have a wood-burning oven. That’s what makes an outdoor pizza oven an ideal solution. They’re relatively small and inexpensive, so you can easily add one to your outdoor kitchen appliances.
4. Make proper seating arrangements
The last thing you want is for guests to feel awkward or like they can’t eat comfortably because there’s nowhere to sit.
So add up everyone on your guest list and make sure there will be enough chairs for everyone (or outdoor furniture like couches).
When in doubt, err on the side of caution by providing extra seating. That way, you can ensure nobody will have to stand if they don’t want to.
5. Set the mood with music and decorations
You can’t have a great outdoor pizza party without music. Music can help set the mood and eliminate any awkward silences.
So create a playlist that matches the vibe you want. Again, be mindful of your guests, their tastes, and the purpose of the party. If it’s a low-key gathering, opt for some calmer music. If it’s a birthday party for a teenager, something upbeat may be better.
Also, make sure the playlist is long enough that it won’t end mid-party. That way, you won’t have to fiddle around with the music while trying to entertain guests, and the party will flow seamlessly.
Another way you can help set the mood is by decorating your backyard. For example, if it will get dark during the party, you might want to hang some string lights, get some lanterns, or set up tiki torches. You can also add outdoor pillows and pictures. Do whatever it takes to make your backyard feel more cozy and charming.
6. Keep insects away
Lastly, having a pizza party outside can attract insects, especially if it gets dark and you have lots of lights on (as suggested in the last tip). To keep insects away, set up scented candles and use bug spray.
Your guests will enjoy themselves more if they don’t have to worry about themselves and their food getting attacked by bugs.
Outdoor pizza parties are a great way to create lasting memories and make new friends. But they do take some planning and preparation. So follow the tips above to make your next outdoor pizza party a hit!