Video:Tips for Throwing a Cookoutwith Lizzy Pribyl
Throwing a cookout requires some planning to avoid stressing over the party's logistics. Watch this tips video from About.com for a little bit of help before you host a cookout.See Transcript
Transcript:Tips for Throwing a Cookout
Hi, my name is Lizzy Pribyl and I’m here today with About.com to talk with you about tips for throwing a cookout.
Gather the Essentials for the Cookout
Throwing a cookout is intended to be a fun event with your friends and family but could become stressful if you don’t pre-plan. As you prepare for your cookout, make sure you have the basic essentials on hand. Decide what space you’ll be using, such as your backyard, nearby park or a friends backyard. Make sure the space is large enough to host everyone on your list. Gather enough outdoor furniture; one seat for each guest you’re inviting. Other items you’ll need are a grill, decorations, lighting, serving trays and disposable dinnerware.
Pre-plan the Food
The night before your cookout is not a good time to think about the food you’re going to serve. Talk with your friends in advance to decide the menu. Common foods served at a cookout include hamburgers, hotdogs, potato salad and a green leafy salad. You don’t have to take care of the food yourself. Instead assign a different plate to each of your friends, making it less expensive and time-consuming for you.
Have a Variety of Beverages
An outdoor cookout needs diversity of beverages. Remember, your guests will outside for a few hours and need to stay hydrated. Provide variations of beverages for adults and children alike. For example, serve iced tea, lemonade, chocolate milk and soda for people who prefer non-alcoholic beverages. For people who want to drink alcohol, provide cold beer, sparking white wine and an array of liquors that can be used to make mixed drinks. Always have plenty of bottled water on-hand. Some of your guests may prefer water over all other beverages.
Think About Safety at the Cookout
Safety is one area that many people forget to prepare for. If your outdoor cookout includes a pool, make sure the pool area is blocked off so young children can’t access it without an adult. Scope out the space you’ll be using and take note of any safety hazards. For example, if you notice the ground is uneven in a certain area, point it out to your guests before they arrive. The food you’ll be serving needs to either remain hot or cold. Don’t allow cold products to sit in the sun without being put on ice. Hot food items, such as hotdogs or hamburgers should be served right away. Do not allow these food items to sit out for more than 15 minutes.
Set the Cookout Atmosphere
You’ll want to create a fun and inviting atmosphere for your cookout. It’s a good idea to have appropriate music playing, such as dance music, rock music or instrumental music depending on the mood you want to set. Provide some game items, such as basketballs, frisbees and other outdoor activities.
For more information on outdoor entertaining, visit About.com.