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Top 10 Tips for Backyard Cookout Success

By Editorial Staff

Top tips to throw the best backyard cookout of the seasonContributed by David Galassi, Top 10 Guru

The neighbors are vying to throw the backyard cookout of the season. Everyone has a plan for the biggest, the best, the most memorable event of the summer.

Here are my top ten tips for backyard cookout success, from the food to the entertainment and all the extras that will put your summer event over the top. And live on as the backyard party of legends.

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10. Music

Lynyrd Skynard is a the musical theme of a decade of backyard cookouts

Whether it be Lynyrd Skynyrd, classical or smooth jazz – music is a must. Tailor your music choice to the crowd you have invited. The v-neck tennis sweater wearing crowd will not want to listen to Country Rock and the NASCAR group will not be happy with Dave Koz.

9. Great grill food

Great grill food will whet the backyard cookout appetites

Spare no expense. People will remember the food. Large gourmet burgers, fat hot dogs and thick steaks. Make sure all the trimmings are fresh and tasty too. Have some chicken on hand for those non red meat eaters.

8. Vegan options

Vegan options will please non meat eaters at the backyard cookout

Each group has that one person who does not eat meat of any sort. In that case have a nice veggie shish-ka-bob ready to brush with teriaki sauce and place on the grill. A hearty veggie “burger” with fresh trimmings will work too.

7. Yard games

Jarts and other backyard games are a great addition to your cookout

A must to keep the boys happy and the kids from running wild. Jarts, horseshoes, volleyball, bocci ball, bad-mitten or croquet. Stock up on the basic equipment for outdoor games everyone will play. Keep the game area away from the grill.

6. Television

Have a television outdoors to satisfy baseball fans at your cookout

Any summer BBQ has baseball somewhere to be watched. Move an outdoor LCD TV to the grill area and put the game on. It will be a gathering place for the sports fans in the group.

5. Beverages

A pitcher of sangria is a refreshing beverage for your backyard cookout

Beer is the old favorite. But a nice summer sangria or punch will have the ladies very happy. Soda and ice tea for the kids and remember, CANS not Bottles.

4. Contingency plan

Be prepared for rain to wash out your backyard cookout

It happens. Rain right when your guests are lining up for their hamburgers. Clean the garage or put up a shelter or screenroom. Nothing spoils a BBQ more than wet guests and you don’t want all those muddy feet in the house. A clean garage with a few tables and chairs set up makes for nice venue when a summer rain takes place.

3. Pristine pool

A clean pool will welcome your backyard cookout guests

A hot summer BBQ will have everyone in the pool. Get your pool chemicals balanced, filter clean and water clear. If you are lucky enough to have one tell all your guests to bring their own towels and have a changing place for all of them ready.

2. Playing cards

Have poker cards and chips on hand for an impromptu backyard cookout game

After dark and when it gets cool some quests always want to move inside and play poker. Have an area and poker table set aside for that activity as well as some adult board games.

1. Late night snacks

Late night snacks will end the night after your backyard cookout

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For those guests who just never leave have some late night snacks available. Snack mix, chips, dip, veggies, fruit and leftovers set out makes for a great end to a perfect backyard cookout.


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