How to Plan a Successful Labor Day Cookout

How to Plan a Successful Labor Day Cookout

The fun doesn’t stop during the summer months. Memorial Day has come and gone, Father’s Day is in the books, and Fourth of July is in the rear-view mirror. So now, before we flip the calendar to the fall season, it’s time to plan the final summer holiday cookout!

This one is for the working people. For those who work hard and fight through schedules of all kinds. We’re here to help make the planning simple and take the work out of your Labor Day barbecue. Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

Who’s Coming?

Whether you’re cooking for your immediate family or hosting a small get together with a handful of friends pandemic-style, it’s important to consider how much shopping you’ll need to do. After solidifying a guest list, follow up and check if there are any special considerations, like food allergies, you need to be aware of.

 

What’s on the Menu?

Days in advance of the party, begin to consider what you want to grill for your guests. We have the recipes to fuel an entire three-course meal, so you may as well go the extra mile and grill a feast!

 

Appetizers

Who doesn’t show up hungry to a cookout? With that in mind, grill up an appetizer or two and have them laid out as your guests arrive, so they can munch on a snack ahead of the main course. We have a couple recommendations:

  1. Pineapple Stuffed Shrimp Wrapped in Bacon
    Perfect for any summer occasion, this tasty appetizer is filled with loads of flavor and a great starter to your cookout. The unique tastes of shrimp, pineapple, and bacon all blend together seamlessly for a refreshing snack that can be grilled on a griddle like the Blue Rhino Razor!
  2. Grilled Watermelon
    Yes, you can grill watermelon! If you haven’t tried tossing a watermelon on the grill, it’s quite simple and delicious. First, let the watermelon slices drain for 30 minutes on wire racks. Then, run cold water over the slices to clean before applying oil to prepare for the grill. Finally, put the watermelon on the preheated grill, cooking each slice until the ever desirable grill marks appear on each side.
 

Main Courses

As for the main course, our options are endless. From burgers to hot dogs to seafood to pizza, we have a variety of delicious recipes. But for this cookout we’ve picked out a pair of our favorites for you to consider:

  1. Barbecue Cheeseburgers (Courtesy: BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com)
    You just can’t go wrong here. This juicy cheeseburger crushes the competition with an irresistible tasting chopped onion barbecue sauce! Not to be forgotten, the lettuce and tomato contribute to a cheeseburger that would surely warrant a 10-out-of-10 from your guests. Pro tip: Add two slices of bacon to each burger to make your taste buds go wild!
  2. Grilled Chicken Reuben (Courtesy: Tyson Foods)
    This is quite a delicious sandwich. This recipe calls for Tyson® boneless, skinless chicken breasts, coleslaw, ground mustard and pepper, and cheese topped with the classic Reuben topper – rye bread.
 

Dessert

After the main course, don’t leave your guests hanging. Provide a tasty treat to complete the meal! Here’s a dessert suggestion that never gets old – Triple Chocolate Marshmallow Cake.

We hope you like chocolate because, well, there’s plenty of that to go around in this recipe. With a 60-minute cook time, you’ll want to prepare early during your cookout. But, with all the chocolate involved, including chocolate chips, and marshmallows, it’s certainly worth the wait!

 

Grill Prep

The best grill is a clean grill. The fresher the grill, the better performance you get, and the better tasting foods for your guests! After each grill use, it’s important to brush the grill grates with a quality grill brush fit for your grid material and an onion if there’s enough damage. Need a refresher on how to clean your cooking surface? Check out this short video.

 

Execution

Juggling host and grill master is no easy task. But with the proper planning and a little bit of motivation along the way, you’re gearing up for another successful holiday cookout!

Need more tips to grill your guests’ food to perfection? We’ve got you covered.

  1. Ahead of the arrival of your guests, take some time to jumpstart the prep work for your food, such as pre-shaping burgers. Also, prep your grilling utensils, meat thermometers, serving plates, a cold beer, and anything else you might need to execute the grilling session.
  2. Don’t be shy in assigning an assistant so you don’t have to constantly run in and out of the house. It’s OK to delegate a bit, so you can focus on what matters most – grilling the food to perfection!
  3. Accomplish a fresh shine on your grill with a quick cleanse of its exterior and the grill grates, allowing you to promptly preheat and get grilling when necessary without hassle.
  4. You know who’s coming to your cookout, but do you know exactly how they like their food? Do your guests like their burgers with or without cheese? How do they like their steak? Want that bun toasted? Some of your guests may be picky, so you may consider getting head counts on specific requests.
  5. While grilling, don’t forget to use the upper cooking rack and your side burner. The upper cooking rack is a great place to melt cheese on burgers, toast buns, or keep the food warm until you’re ready to serve your guests. The side burner also adds versatility to your grill, giving you the opportunity to use it like your kitchen range. Boiling, sautéing, and frying different ingredients have never been easier when grilling!
  6. Lastly, don’t make the worst grilling mistake – running out of propane in the middle of a cookout. Instead, have an extra Blue Rhino tank on hand just in case. Check out our Propane Finder to locate the closest location that carries Blue Rhino.
 

If you can’t get enough of these helpful tips, head on over to our tips page to learn more. Now that you know how to throw a successful Labor Day cookout, it’s time to put things in motion. Hurry, your final summer holiday barbecue will be here before you know it!

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