Tips for Hosting the Best Backyard Cookout

Tips for Hosting the Best Backyard Cookout

What else says welcome to summer than a gathering of your close crew for a backyard cookout? An outdoor bash—large or small—is a festive way to mingle together with your loved ones, sip on sunshine, spend quality time in the fresh air, and relish in delectable hot-off-the-grill grub.

If you’re planning on hosting some BBQs or cookouts in your outdoor space during the warmest season of the year, don’t fret about the details. We’ve compiled a general guide to make your alfresco meal a true success. Read on for a few top tips for hosting the best backyard cookout on the block.

Consider Lights, Layout, and Revelry

While there’s no need to plan these types of events down to an exact science, do consider how you can best set the scene for the afternoon or evening ahead. The size and scope of your space will dictate how to set up your layout for the cookout. Dedicated serving stations are a must. Make use of all your surface spaces to prevent a bottlenecking of guests or clutter.

Keep in mind seating areas as well. Whether you’re utilizing outdoor furniture or providing room for blankets and foldable chairs, be sure to provide options both in the sun and in the shade. If the bonanza plans to go after dark, hang up string lights, curate a suitable music playlist, and pull out the s’mores or games for entertainment.

Go Creative or Classic With Your Menu

Your core menu is the clear-cut foundation of the cookout. Ultimately, food selections will depend on personal and guest preferences. You can choose to stick the meaty classics of hamburgers and hot dogs, but take the time to think it out. Any vegans or vegetarians in the mix? Any party people with particular palates? Be creative with options, as dietary aversions, allergies, and restrictions are a fact of modern life.

Perhaps baked potatoes, sweet cornbread, fruit salads, and grilled veggies are ideal complements. For a leveled-up twist or for special occasions, you can choose to go gourmet and learn how to grill Wagyu beef like a master. Cooking gourmet meat takes care and skill, but it’s well worth the investment for a one-of-a-kind cookout. Be sure to serve cool beverages that pair well with the tasting menu.

Use the Right Grill for the Job

Speaking of grills, the cooking methods of your main course revolve around your choice of a grill. Utilizing a grill that suits your overall needs is one of the top tips for hosting the best backyard cookout. Yes, it’s simple, but charcoal grills, gas grills, and electric grills all have their own advantages and drawbacks. Charcoal grills provide that signature smoky flavor, but gas grills heat up quickly for efficient grilling in bulk. With a little consideration for these finishing touches, you can easily become the host or hostess with "the mostest."

GOOD MANNERS: Table Settings

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