Are you thinking of throwing a party in the near future, but are not sure whether to have a picnic in the park or a barbecue party at home? People do enjoy both kinds of party, although some may have a first choice. One of the big differences between a picnic and a barbecue is often the food.
After all, you are usually permitted to have a barbecue and cook food in your own backyard, but there may be bylaws on cooking food on an open fire in a park or picnic site for fire safety purposes, so most people take pre-cooked meats and sandwiches.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both kinds of party, but we will start by looking at the food aspect, as most parties centre around food. An advantage of having a picnic is that you will be able to muck in with your fellow picnickers more, because you will have already cooked the chicken wings and legs and completed the sandwiches the night before.
You will have bags of sausage rolls and small cakes and all you will have to do is put them out for people to help themselves. If you run out of sandwiches, people can make their own with the sliced bread that you will have brought just in case.
The disadvantages of a picnic are that you also have to tie your time up the day before making all the food and you will need transport to get there with your hampers, bottles, flasks, plates, beakers, tissues, flannels towels and whatever else you normally take with you. People may not even like your choice of sandwiches and if you let them make their own with what you provide, there could be a terrible mess. Your sandwiches could also curl up overnight of go off in the heat of the day or in the back of the car. This is a particular danger with pork, chicken and eggs.
You may have to erect a tent or rig up a shelter for those who can not stand strong sunlight. You may also have trouble with ants and wasps and the toilet amenities are often dreadful. Also if it begins to rain, you have little option but to pack up and depart for home or a pub
Barbecue food on the other hand is cooked there and then and cannot go off. The only danger is under cooking, but it is not too hard to get it right. There is not much chance of preparing vast quantities more than you need either as the chef will see when his food is not being taken away.
This is one of the disadvantages of barbecuing though, someone has to stand there all day and cook, although this can be done in turns and there is usually a bunch of men eager to show off their expertise as a barbecue chef.
With a barbecue you have the advantage of shelter if it rains and the toilets are better than in the park and if it gets cool later on in the evening, you could use a patio heater to prolong the party.
Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on many subjects, but is currently involved with the outdoor heat lamp. If you are interested in patio heaters too, please click through to Residential Patio Heaters.