Last Updated: Sept. 16, 2013
Hosting a cookout like a pro doesn’t have to drive you crazy. Stay sane with a few helpful hints.
First and foremost, know that you don’t need to do it all yourself. Trying to handle the planning, shopping, cooking, entertaining, and cleaning solo is enough multitasking to drive even Perfect Pam down the street crazy. If you don’t have something on hand, like an extra cooler or masterful cooking skills, ask around. Most likely, your guests will be able to bring something to the table.
Grilling is great because it makes cooking simple. Try to keep it that way. Stick with crowd pleasers like hamburgers and hotdogs, and leave the fancy soufflés for another time. Remember to add in alternatives for those with special diets.
A few yard games will keep kids busy for hours while the adults relax and sip something tasty. Add in versatile activities like cards, football, and bocce ball, and you have a perfectly well-rounded party that transcends age. For an added bonus, find a pool. Nothing beats a pool.
The ultimate goal of any cookout is to relax. Take it to a neutral location like a public park and team up with another family to split the responsibilities down the middle. Whatever you do, remember to have fun!