Tips for Planning the Perfect Summer Cookout

This is a sponsored conversation written by me of behalf of Ball Park® brand. The opinions and text are all mine

Summer is often an opportunity to gather with friends and enjoy the weather. But let’s face it there are so many obstacles to pulling off the perfect gathering. No one wants to go through all the time and effort it takes to pull together a party and have it fall flat because of one forgotten detail. Today we are sharing our tips for planning the perfect Summer cookout. 

Don't let the stress of hosting a cookout or party stop you from enjoying time with family and friends! Here are Tips for Planning the Perfect Cookout!

Over the years, we have hosted many, many parties and get-togethers, but I have to say, when it comes to hosting a cookout there is nothing I enjoy more.

Summer Cookout table

First and foremost, keep it simple. We love serving our family and friends a bar – like a Hot Dog Bar. It’s easy to prepare all the ingredients for the toppings ahead, and simply set them out on the table when it’s time to eat.

Summer is the perfect time to brush up on your grilling techniques and recipes. You can join Ball Park in making BBQ history! They are hosting The Finest Grillathon in New York City and they are looking for grill masters, like YOU!

Ball Park’s Finest hot dogs are our new favorite! We recently used them to create our regional hot dog, the Chicago Hot Dog Recipe.  And the Grilled Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog is always a hit too!

Don't let the stress of hosting a cookout or party stop you from enjoying time with family and friends! Here are Tips for Planning the Perfect Cookout!

Here are some tips for Essential Party Planning Tips, whether you are hosting a large party or a small Summer Cookout:

  • Decide what kind of party you want to have.

Is it a holiday party or are you celebrating a birthday or other special occasion?

  • How many guests can I comfortably fit?

You’ll want to think about the weather, can I plan on expanding my party space into the house in case of bad weather? How large is your space?

  • What type of food do I want to serve?

Once you have decided on the menu split up the items and assign food items for guests to bring. Most people like to bring their special dish, allow them to be in the spot light as well.

  • What kind of drinks should I serve?

Pop, punch, alcohol. Consider if there will be young kids at the party, supply a variety of drinks but let your guests know that if they want a special cocktail or brand they might want to BYOB (bring your own bottle).

  • What type of decorations do I want?

Fancy or simple, paper or china? Make this fit the occasion and guests, if it’s a business cookout you might not want to serve of paper plates… just a thought.

  • Will we have games? Music maybe?

Make it fun but keep it within reason, don’t make guests uncomfortable with embarrassing games and don’t play the wrong genre of music… hip hop may not be the best choice for the Silver Anniversary celebration.Who to invite?

Will it only include family or will you invite friends to mingle. Which ever you decide make the invite list eclectic, you never know who will hit it off… the lawyer may hit it off with the biker.

  • When to begin party preparations?

5-7 days ahead

                -Plan your menu

-Make a grocery list

-Make a list of accessories if needed (plates, napkins, etc)

-Make a list of everything that needs to be done

3-4 days ahead

-Buy groceries

-Prep and pre-cook any ingredients that you can

2-3 days ahead

-Clean out fridge

-Do any “deep” cleaning that needs to be done, I clean finger prints on doors, stairway and walls

-Wash windows, not all of them, but the entry doors really needed it

-Get extra leaves for table and extra chairs

The day before

-Bake the cake, cupcakes or dessert

-Get out serving dishes and add a sticky note to each dish with the food that will be added

-Deep clean bathroom, be sure this room is well stocked and ready for lots of traffic

-Dust and sweep~ Make a time-line of when food needs to be done. I start by working backwards. Say you are eating at 5 p.m., then plan your dishes according to how much time they need to cook, write it down and even set a timer if you need to.

Party Day

Finish cooking food

-Get plates, etc ready

-Pick up house

-Swish and swipe bathrooms

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Ball Park. The opinions and text are all mine.

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