Tips on How to Plan a Summer BBQ Cookout

Tips on How to Plan a Summer BBQ Cookout

With warm weather comes huge gatherings of family and friends, and the inevitable: if you’re hosting, you’re probably cooking. Even if you aren’t, it can be hard to get and keep everything on the right track. The bigger the party, the more you’ll have to juggle. Here are five tips to help make your next summer cookout a blast, and so that you can enjoy it with everyone else.


When we think summer, we think warm, and when we think warm, we think sun. What if this amazing summer barbecue you’re throwing goes late into the night? You’ll want to be prepared. Nothing is more fun and relaxing than some string lights in the backyard. You can also get them in a solar-powered variety so that they fuel up during your party, and keep it going after the sun goes down.

Cooking Fuel

Keeping charcoal and propane on hand is critical, especially if the party grows, people want seconds, or you end up needing to cook all that extra food you grabbed. We sometimes underestimate how much fuel we’ll need, so there’s no reason not to make sure that propane tank is filled, or that you’ve got an extra bag or two of charcoal sitting around, just in case.

Keeps Bugs Away

Investing in citronella candles and torches has never been more important. Not only are bugs obnoxious, ruining the whole mood of a party, but mosquitoes and other bugs can be a nuisance, and downright dangerous. You can use a bug zapper, handheld paper fans or citronella, or even consider adding sage to a bonfire to keep bugs at bay.

Don’t Forget Dessert

With summer time desserts, you can keep it incredibly simple – think bake sale. Easy, rich flavors and cool treats are all a summer barbecue needs to keep moving along. Consider brownies, cookies, cupcakes, rice krispie treats, or even ice cream or fruit salad. Whatever is going to help contrast the salty, fatty main course everyone finds themselves in love with will work well.

Pre-Make Your Drinks

Not only is it perfectly acceptable to have bottled drinks (we recommend keeping the adult drinks in a separate cooler from the kids’ drinks) ready at a summer cookout, but pre-making your drinks is also a great idea. Making pitchers of mojitos or margaritas, or even an ice-cold Arnold Palmer save you the hassle and stress of having to keep up with people’s orders while you’re either already cooking or taking a little break and actually enjoying your super fun summer barbecue.


Nothing says summer barbecue like having a little bit of everything sitting around. Whether your specialty is cooking up summer food or party planning, whatever you do, just keep in mind you don’t need to tailor your cookout to any one person. You can always make dietary considerations and room for people with other needs, but the whole party is all about you and who you invite.

Back to recipes