Summer is upon us, which means barbecues, bonfires and backyard parties. It’s the best time of the year (well, at least IMHO) and is the time of year we spend most with our families and friends. In order to be prepared for outdoor party season, we’ve put together our guide for how to host a backyard cookout. We’ve outlined the essentials you need to know and helped cover some of the basics to get you up and hosting in no time.
1. Find a good playlist
Nothing sets the mood of your backyard party quite like a good soundtrack. You want something upbeat and easy, and if you’re into it, sometimes that nostalgic patriotic throwback song. Think Jack & Diane or Born in the USA type of songs.
We’ve put together a playlist of our own for you to tune into on Spotify. If you don’t jive with our playlist and want something a little more throwback, we’ve found another playlist by Spotify that may be more up your alley.
Fourth Home’s ‘Backyard Summer’ Playlist:
Spotify’s ‘Backyard Party’ Playlist:
2. Find a good grilling recipe
It should go without mention that in order to host a good backyard cookout, you need to have something good to…well…cook. Burgers are a classic option, and if you’re into something slightly healthier, there are actually some really decent turkey burger recipes out there. There are burgers, and then there are BURGERS. If you’re cooking for friends and don’t grill a lot, it’s important to follow a recipe to make sure they’re something people are going to enjoy. And they help you with the little things such as how high to turn up the heat and how long to cook. We’ve found a good hamburger recipe and turkey burger recipe that are easy to follow and widely loved.
If you are the more adventurous and daring type, check out Bon Appetit’s list of their favorite 80 grilling recipes. It includes grilling recipes you can use as appetizers and side dishes if you’re up for it.
3. Drinks, obviously
Drinks are obviously an essential part of hosting any backyard get-together. Or really, any get-together at all. Beer and wine cover the basics and are fairly fail-proof when it comes to a backyard cookout. In terms of wine, we recommend a refreshing white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc, and/or Rosé. To keep your wine chilled outside throughout your party, below are a few of our marble wine coolers that not only look great, but function great too.
It’s also a good idea outside of beer and wine to have a signature cocktail for the evening. Something light and refreshing will usually work best. Here is a list of 20 Best Big Batch Cocktails for Backyard BBQs and Lazy Sundays. If you’re looking for something that’s already made for you, and you just need to add alcohol, you can check out our friends at Simple Times Mixers to see their selection of various pre-made mixers. And just for the fun of it, boozy milkshakes are also never off the table.
4. Entertaining Essentials
Now that you’ve got the basics covered, the last piece to put together is stocking up on entertaining essentials. We’ve put together a collection of our top entertaining-ware that are sure to add both form and function to your backyard cookout.