Everyone loves a good BBQ cookout. Whether it’s steaks and chicken, or burgers and hot dogs on your cookout menu, no one will complain as long as everything is grilled properly and there’s plenty to go around for everyone. But if you want everything to go off without a hitch, it helps to prepare. So, to help you get ready, here are a few cookout menu and hosting tips.
Serve the Classics
Unless you consider yourself a backyard BBQ pitmaster, it’s best to stick with the classics. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken breasts, and sausage are always crowd favorites and will ensure everyone finds something they like. You may also want to prepare a salad or offer grilled vegetables for vegetarians.
Macaroni salad, potato salad, corn on the cob, and coleslaw also make great side dishes. You may also choose to offer more experimental foods if you know your audience’s tastes. But if you want to be sure that everyone will find something they enjoy, it’s best to stick to the classics.
Experiment with New Cocktails
You could try mixing it up a few new cocktails to experiment with something fun. You should also provide guests with standard beverages like water, soda, beer, and wine. But if you want to make the event extra memorable, serve up some margaritas, mojitos, daiquiris, mocktails, or anything else you think your guests may like. You could also whip up some pitcher cocktails.
Or you could even install an outdoor refrigerator to keep drinks chilled to make things extra refreshing. Creative cocktails are a great way to get people excited about your cookout, so you should consider switching it up if you want your party to be a success.
Take Time to Decorate & Upgrade Your Space
Another great way to take your cookout to the next level is to take the time to prepare your space. Invest in decorations that match the theme of the celebration if there is one. For instance, if it’s a birthday or graduation party, invest in some balloons and decorations to commemorate the moment.
Themed napkins or tablecloths will make the party feel more festive. If you have the budget, you could also invest in new patio furniture or a BBQ grill island to completely reimagine your space. A brand-new grill is a great way to kick off a celebration and make your cookout even more memorable.
Stock Up on the Essentials
A common mistake many hosts make when planning a BBQ cookout is failing to have enough supplies. So, make sure to stock up on paper plates, napkins, cups, utensils, trash bags, and anything else you think may be necessary to keep the party flowing smoothly.
You never know if additional guests will decide to show up unannounced or if the crowd will be extra hungry that day and go through more than anticipated. You can permanently save it for a future celebration if you buy too much. But stocking up beforehand can save you from having to make an emergency trip to the supermarket.
Charcoal or Gas?
There’s an age-old debate over which is better for cookouts – charcoal or gas? Some people claim to prefer the smokey flavor of charcoal. However, you can often get a similar taste if you know how to cook properly on a gas grill. But gas grills are better for your health and offer advantages such as quick start-up and control over the temperature. So, you’ll have to decide for yourself which approach you prefer.
Create Memories You Can Taste
Follow these hosting tips and with a little planning, some prep work in the kitchen and in the backyard, you can create memories with the experience you offer your guests, whether it’s the cookout menu, the laughs you share, the drinks you enjoy together, or the activities you choose. Or all the above. Happy grilling!