How to Have a Great Cookout

Cookouts are very popular around the holidays and summertime.  Having a cookout can be a lot of fun, especially with family and friends around.  But it can also be a headache considering preparation and the flow of the event.  But there are some things that you can do to ensure that you don’t have a stressful one.

courtesy Bing search
courtesy Bing search

Tips on How to Have a Great Cookout

  1. Ask guests to bring side dishes and/or desserts.  This cuts back on the amount of food that you have to prepare yourself.  That way you’re not spending all of your time in the kitchen, but actually enjoying the cookout yourself.
  2. Prepare some food items ahead of time.  Several foods can be made prior to the cookout.  Hamburger meat can be seasoned and formed into patties.  Fixings for the burgers can also be chopped and plated:  onion, tomato, cheese slices, lettuce, etc.  You can even purchase some items from the store like potato salad and dessert.
  3. Cook meats to proper temperature and keep cold items cold.  This is especially important if you are cooking outdoors.  Keep raw meats away from cooked meats, and make sure meat is cooked thoroughly so that no one gets sick.  Keep items like macaroni salad, potato salad, butter and sour cream on ice.  You can even choose to stay away from non-mayo based food items so that the temperature isn’t as much of an issue.  Try making a pasta salad with a vinaigrette as opposed to mayo, yogurt or sour cream.
  4. Keep the food safe from the elements and pests.  Ensure that food items are covered with foil and/or plastic wrap.  You can also use food tents to keep the flies at bay.
  5. Be sanitary!  Keep sanitary wipes or hand sanitizer available for quick cleaning of hands.  Fill a large bowl with liquid dish detergent and water for quick clean up and spills.
  6. Ensure that you have prepared enough food for your family, friends and guests.  Confirm days ahead of time how many people will be attending the cookout.  It’s always better to have more food than not enough.  Then your guests can take home leftovers.
  7. Have insect repellant available.  Nothing ruins a cookout like flies, mosquitos and ants!  Use citronella candles or give insect repellant bracelets to your guests.
  8. Keep calm and have fun!  Some things are bound to go wrong.  Don’t let it spoil your day.

How do you prepare for a family cookout?