When the weather is pleasant, you find yourself with the perfect opportunity to organize fun gatherings with family and friends, particularly over the weekends. A cookout or outdoor barbecue is a popular event that can bring people together.
During a weekend cookout, people can head to the beach or the local park with food to cook on a grill or open fire. It’s a great way to unwind after a long and hectic work week and to indulge in delicious food and refreshing drinks with great company.
If you will be hosting a cookout this weekend and you want to ensure a good time for everybody, here are seven tips from the experts to aid you in this goal.
1. Think outside of the box.
Burgers and hotdogs are easy to grill and they are all-time cookout favorites, but people already consume these in their own homes quite frequently. So, for your cookout, opt for something different because having something new to grill will be the “wow” factor for the gathering.
For example, have you ever thought of grilling different kinds of mushrooms? Or have you ever tried grilled eggplants and okra? They taste really good. A lot of children actually discover that they like grilled okra as much as popcorn. And here’s something truly out of the box: grilled pineapples and oranges. Give them a try because chefs all over the world say they’re mind-blowingly good.
2. Serve chilled fruit beverages.
To really quench the thirst on a hot day, serving a sparkling fruit beverage is always a good idea. And, do you know that you can use it to marinate and tenderize meats faster? Limon and orange sparkling beverages are great for seafood and chicken.
3. Create a food assembly station.
This station will allow everybody to interact with the food.
For example, if you prepare a great steak (almost as well as the best local steakhouse does), include that in your cookout menu, but make it go a long way. Provide ingredients that your friends and family can use to make steak sandwiches, steak tacos, and a steak salad. Alternatively, you could prepare different kinds of dipping salts for the steak if you do not use any special sauce for the meat.
The same goes for corn on the cob, which is a cookout staple. You can prepare an assembly station for it that would allow your guests to enjoy different flavors, such as Japanese mayo, lime chili butter, Parmesan cheese, paprika powder, and different herbs.
Letting your guests customize their own meal will add fun to the event.
4. Have recipes on hand.
If everybody often raves about the coolers or spritzers you prepare for cookouts, share the recipes by preparing recipe cards that you can easily hand out, and perhaps a special Mason jar containing the beverage that they can take home.
The recipe and the take-home drink will serve as a lovely giveaway or souvenir from the cookout. Also, they will allow your guests to continue enjoying the event long after they have left.
5. Create an intimate setting.
Set out tables with a runner and candles. Everybody will be sure to feel somewhat fancy when they sit down, even if they are at a cookout. Install bunting around the venue as well. And do not forget to create a music playlist! Providing background music for your get-together will definitely contribute to the joyful vibe.
You may also want to set out picnic blankets and a few cushions for the kids or those who want to stretch on the ground. Here, they can chat while sipping some cold spritzers and snacking on skewered fruits.
6. Invest in a pocket meat thermometer
This will ensure that all the meats you will be serving are cooked to perfection, which is a must. Provide everybody manning a grill with one.
7. Chill tubs of wet wipes in the fridge.
Cookouts can get really hot because of all the outdoor cooking and being out in the sunny weather. A simple solution to this is to purchase tubs of wet wipes and place them in the fridge to keep them cool until the arrival of your guests. When it gets too hot during the course of the day, offer these moist towelettes to help your guests freshen up.
Following the experts’ tips for a fun and fab cookout will make you a favorite host or hostess among your family and friends. These tips bring in novel and smart elements that can ensure everybody’s delight.
AUTHOR BIO :- Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Horeca Trade LLC with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.