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We love to host large cook outs. It is so much fun to have friends and family over. Since we do our cooking over our fire pit, its very relaxing to sit around the fire with them. No need to stress about having everyone over, here’s how to prepare for a large cookout so I can enjoy the cook out, too.
How to Prepare for a Large Cookout
1. Plan the Menu:
The fun part! If your having a lot of people over, it’s better to stick with tried and true recipes, instead of trying lots of new recipes. To keep things simple, I’m using the same menu for both cook-outs. My family doesn’t care, and the guest list is different for the cook-outs, so the guests won’t know.
Check out my post on How to Pick the Perfect Watermelon
A pretty simple, but crowd pleasing menu.
2. Gather Supplies
Now it’s time to check your supplies. Are you using real or paper plates, cups, silverware, etc.? Do you have enough? What about napkins, serving trays and the like? Start counting and add needed items to your grocery list.
3. Make a Grocery List
Check your menu against your pantry. This way, you won’t over buy. It will help you keep the cost of your cook-out down, if you shop your pantry first. Make sure you check your condiments, too. You don’t want to run out of ketchup or mustard.
4. Cook as Much as Possible Ahead of Time
I am a huge plan ahead and make ahead fan. Potato salad and macaroni salad actually taste better made the day before. The flavors have plenty of time to mingle. Once you figure out what you want to make ahead, it’s time to make a detailed cooking lists.
5. Make a Detail Cooking List
Thursday night – Start beans in slow cooker
Friday morning –
Turn off slow cooker
Peel, dice & boil potatoes
Grate carrots, peel and “stick” others
Peel eggs, dice
Assemble Macaroni Salad
Assemble Potato Salad
Make sauce for baked beans
Assemble baked beans
6. Make a Set-up List
Making this list ahead of time will help save you time. It will also save you headaches from trying to think of everything and forget nothing right before the guests arrive. Here’s mine:
Move tables, cover with tablecloths
Build the fire, don’t start it yet, just get it ready. Start at appropriate time
Place non-food items on tables: plates, cups, napkins, utensils, BBQ forks, tongs, spatula, plates for cooked meat, knife & tray for watermelon
Place non-refrigerated food items on tables: buns, chips, marshmallows, graham crackers, etc.
Bring out meats and start cooking
Bring out refrigerated food, do this right before you eat, so you don’t have to worry about anything going bad. Refrigerate leftovers promptly.
7. Enjoy Your Cook-out!
If you take the time to plan ahead and make these lists, your cook-out will go smoothly.
Enjoy your guests, and the great food you prepared!
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