The key to a successful outdoor party—whether it’s a BYO burger-and-beer bash among close friends or a glitzy cocktail extravaganza complete with monogrammed stir sticks and blazing tiki torches—is preparedness. Even the most impromptu of backyard barbecues, at the very least, requires someone to have the foresight to successfully light the grill before the hotdogs are thrown on.

In order to nudge aspiring hosts in the right direction, we’ve compiled a compendium of tips covering everything from grilling the perfect burger to the tools you’ll need to roast a pig. Armed with this backyard party primer, you should be well-equipped to get the barbecue smoking and the cocktails shaking all in the amount of time it takes Martha to dial up her parole officer.

Read More: The Food Lover’s Guide to Summer Grilling and Summer Cocktails