Tips for Throwing a Backyard Cookout

Summer is heating up fast, and what better way to enjoy some fun in the sun than with a backyard cookout with family and friends? A backyard cookout is not only a great way to enjoy the summer, it's also a good opportunity to show off your yard and your home-grown fruits and veggies. But between the menu, preparing your yard and keeping everyone entertained, planning the perfect backyard party can be a bit overwhelming.

Whether the guest list is small or large, here are a few tips to keep in mind for throwing a backyard cookout for any occasion this season.

Prepare Your Yard

A tidy space makes for an inviting one, so make sure you jot down a list of yard tasks that need to be completed before your party. It's best to mow your lawn one to two days before your cookout to ensure it has a clean, crisp look when guests arrive. If you're planning to water your lawn, make sure you allot enough time for grass to dry prior to the party.

When it comes to cleaning outdoor seating areas, power washing your deck is a quick and thorough way of making sure the area is rid of any dirt and debris. Pressure washers like the FLEX Pressure Washer come equipped with a 40' hose and adjustable pressure regulator which make it easy to clear your patio, driveways and walkways.

Freshen up the Menu

While burgers and hot dogs are staple cookout options for any great summer gathering, don't be afraid to revamp your party's menu by incorporating some seasonal fruits and veggies. Try adding different flavors to your usual kabob recipe by pairing lemons or pineapple with your meats. Or opt for homemade strawberry fruit pops instead of popsicles to cool your guests down. No matter how you liven up your cookout menu, it is a good idea to prepare any fruit and vegetable dishes a few hours before guest arrive to keep them fresh.

When it comes to your meats, be sure to marinate them overnight for maximum flavor. And keep your guests entertained and full by firing up the grill at least an hour before the official start time.

Plan the Entertainment

Keep your cookout lively by incorporating activities all of your family and friends can participate in and enjoy. Put together a themed crafts table for the children for special occasions like the 4th of July. With pipe cleaners, stickers and disposable cups, kids can create star-spangled hats to wear. You can also make your cookout costume-themed to get your adult guests in on the fun.