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5 Tips To Host The Best Summer Cookout

5 Tips To Host The Best Summer Cookout

Jul. 2nd, 2022

Summer cookouts are fun events where you can gather your loved ones and friends while enjoying great food and warm weather. Cookouts are oftentimes some of the best memories you will have with those you care about because you’ll come together for a big picnic.

However, sometimes planning a summer cookout can be a challenge. You might need to keep track of how many people are coming as well as decide on what makes the final menu.

Here are 5 tips to help you organize your summer cookout this year!

Plan Ahead of Time

Planning ahead is key for you to have a successful summer cookout. You’ll want to know all the details, from who is coming to what you’re cooking, in order to know how to best set up the event in advance.

Here are a few ways you should plan ahead of time:

  • Have a RSVP list. One of the most frustrating things that can happen to the host is preparing too much or too little food for their cookout guests. Make sure you keep a RSVP list of people who plan on attending so that way you can plan your cookout for the headcount.
  • Plan on the location based on the guest list size. If you’re only inviting a few friends and family members over, your backyard will likely have enough space. However, if you’re planning for a larger group, you might need to rent space at a local park to accommodate the number of people you’re hosting. Make sure you have enough space and chairs for everyone who wants to come to the cookout by scoping out a location in advance.
  • Prepare food in advance when possible. If you’re cooking meals that might take a long time to cook, preparing food the day before can help make the party setup easier. For example, you can cut and prepare fruits and vegetables the day before to help ease the burden of the cooking process.
  • Decorate the day before. If you have a specific cookout theme, such as Christmas in July, plan and prepare the decorations the day before the party. If possible, set up the day before, or find a way to get to the location a few hours early to set up.

Prepare for the Weather

With the summer season, you’ll want to make sure that you and your loved ones prepare for the weather.

One part of key preparation for warm weather that you should think about is bugs. In the summer, bugs are more likely to come out because they are cold-blooded, which means their body temperature is dependent on the temperature outdoors. When the weather becomes warm, bugs will feel more comfortable flying around, and you should prepare by offering bug spray to your cookout guests.1

Another way you should prepare for the weather includes wearing adequate sun protection. It is recommended by experts to wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 because it will reflect 97% of the sun’s harmful UVB rays.2

Furthermore, there is a chance it may rain on your cookout. You should plan by having a pavilion or building where people can go in case of a rain shower.

Have Plenty of Snacks

Snacks are a great way to keep your guests fed and happy, especially if you plan on the cookout lasting an extended period of time.

Your snacks should be quick and easy to prepare, such as offering bowls of chips or nachos with salsa. There are also healthier options you can offer such as watermelon slices, vegetable trays with dip, and lightly salted popcorn.

The snacks should be on a table in a self-serve buffet style. This will allow your guests to come and go for snacks easily when they’re waiting for their burger or need an extra snack during the party.

Another way to enhance your snack game is by asking your guests to bring one snack to share with everyone. You can tell people to bring in their favorite summer treat or share a homemade recipe they’re proud of. This can help fill the snack table with different fun flavors!

Plan Summer Activities and Games

Many summer cookouts are synonymous with enjoying summertime games and activities. You should plan on there being fun things for your guests to do, whether it’s a set of games or the ability to go swimming in a pool.

Here is a list of some activities perfect for your summer cookout:

  • Cornhole
  • Slip n’ slide
  • Marco polo in the pool
  • Board and card games
  • Volleyball
  • Summertime crafts
  • Frisbee
  • Mini golf
  • Ring toss
  • Water guns
  • Kites
  • Bubbles
  • Chalking

Ask Guests About Food Allergies and Needs

Whenever you plan a big party, you should find out what kind of allergies your guests may have in advance. Some people may be highly sensitive to certain foods, and you will want to make sure that you make something that does not cause a reaction in those individuals.

Furthermore, some guests may have dietary restrictions such as being gluten-free or vegan. You’ll want to ask those guests what you can do to accommodate their needs and work with them to bring something for them to eat at the party within their diet.

Another tip is to label food trays for your guests, including the ingredients that are used. This can help people avoid accidentally eating something they might be allergic to, as well as help people find what they’re looking to eat.

Are You Ready For Your Next Summer Cookout?

Now that you have some ideas on how to plan for your summer cookout, you can start preparing for the next one. Plan a time and day for your cookout, and gather your family and friends for a grand feast!

Saber Healthcare is an organization that provides services to more than 115 buildings across the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, Delaware, and Florida. To learn more about our company and services, click here.

Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.


  1. “From warm to swarm: why insect activity increases in summer.” The Conversation. 30 November 2021. Accessed 28 July 2022. Link:,interact%20with%20us%20over%20summer.
  2. “How to Choose the Right Sunscreen.” Saber Healthcare Group. 28 May 2021. Accessed 28 July 2022. Link: