Nothing says "summer" quite like a good barbecue. A good cookout doesn't necessarily require meticulous planning, but having some fun in the sun with your family and friends can leave you feeling stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed with tasks if you aren't prepared. Here are our tips for keeping the party manageable and fun.
A simple mistake people often forget when planning a summer cookout is making sure there is enough ice on-hand for your party guests. Keeping in mind the ice needed for your coolers, cocktails, and other beverages is essential for keeping your guests hydrated and happy. Also, keeping the coolers somewhere accessible within the house will prevent too much ice from melting depending on the day's heat.
Cooking several different thing on the grill at once can be incredibly tricky during the rush of a party. Different foods need to be cooked and turned at different times, and if you aren't paying attention, things can end up burnt, or worse, end up in flames. To be able to enjoy your time as a grillmaster extraordinaire, preheat the grill well before your guests arrival and cook nonessentials that can be kept under aluminum foil to maintain warmth. But save the essentials, like the steaks, chicken, and burgers, for the main attraction, and to get a kick out of your guests. And keep multiple timers going on your cellphone.
If you haven't hosted a cookout before, or if you don't have all the equipment necessary, you can still put on a great party. Not everybody has everything, and if you're in need of extra chairs, a spare cooler, or tables, asking some of your closest guests for a spare hand is a fair request. After all, you're hosting them.