Due to certain world events, inviting people over for a cookout has been pretty much impossible, so your skills might be a little rusty (though hopefully, your grill isn’t)! In this guide, we’re going to refresh your memory and show you how you can host a cookout party that will live on forever in legend.
Ready to learn more and start planning your next cookout? Then read on!
- Draw Up a Guestlist
The very first thing that you need to do if you’re planning a cookout is to figure out who you want to come. Which relatives and friends are you desperate to see? Unless you want to be grilling all day, there’s going to be a limit on the number of people that you can feasibly invite, so grab a piece of paper and think about who you want to invite.
Then, when you’ve put together a guestlist, you should send out invitations. You should ask guests to RSVP and also ask them whether they have any allergies. This will come in useful later.
- When and Where
When do you want to host your cookout? Throughout spring and summer, there are a number of holidays that you could host your cookout on, such as:
- Labor Day
- Father’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
If you don’t want to wait for a holiday to roll around, there’s no need to. You could also host a cookout on any weekend, so long as you give your guests enough notice.
When you know when you want to host your cookout, you should figure out where you’re going to host it. Do you want to host it in your backyard or do you want to host it at a local park, by a lake, or on the beach?
- Check Your Grill
The last thing that you want to happen on the big day is for your grill to malfunction. It’s worth testing out your grill with some burgers or sausages to check that it’s still working well.
If it’s not working, you’ll need to get a replacement. There are almost always gas grills on clearance somewhere, so you shouldn’t have any trouble getting a great grill at a good price. Even if it does work, maybe now is a good time for an upgrade?
- Plan Your Food
Now is a great time to plan what you want to cook for your guests. Take a look at your guests’ allergies and plan around them. there are some foods that are always great for cookouts, like burgers, hot dogs, steaks, etc. Yet what about sides?
Sides can be hard to cook on a grill, except for a few options like baked potatoes, so come up with some great cold sides that are easy to transport. Some awesome options include:
- Potato salad
- Pasta salad
- Tortilla chips
- Summer fruits
You should also think about the essential condiments and toppings that you’ll need for your food. There’s no cheeseburger without cheese slices! Other important condiments and toppings that you should grab include:
- Sliced onions
- Drinks and Other Supplies
Your guests are going to need something to wash this great grilled food down with. A favorite is always beer, yet for those who need to drive, don’t drink, and for any kids in attendance, you should have some non-alcoholic options too.
Staying hydrated is really important during the warmer months, so water is a must. Guests who don’t or can’t drink should also be given the option of soda, fruit juice, or another drink, too.
You’re also going to need other supplies for the cookout. For instance, for the grilling, you’ll need tongs, a spatula, foil, fuel, and a lighter. You’ll also need to grab paper plates and potentially some plastic cups too.
- Think of Some Activities
While the grill is the center point of any good cookout, you’ll need to have other activities planned too! There’s going to be time to kill while the grill is warming up and afterward when your guests are stuffed.
The name of the game with activities is portability. You don’t want to be lugging loads of equipment around with you, especially if you’re not hosting your cookout at home. Some great games to play with minimal equipment include:
- Ring toss
- Giant Jenga
You may also want to pack a football if you and your friends will want to have a quick game.
- Plan for Adverse Weather
While the weather may be nice right now, it can change at any time. If the weather turns bad or rain is forecast, it’s a good idea to have a plan in place. If all the guests are local, it may be easy to reschedule, but if not, packing a gazebo isn’t a bad idea.
This way, your guests can still enjoy the fresh air and eat some good food, even if it rains.
Enjoy Your Cookout Party
For a lot of us, it’s been a while since we’ve been able to enjoy a cookout party! Make the first cookout of this year the best one ever and enjoy hanging out with friends and family!
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