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Casual Cookout Tips: Easy Grilling Ideas for Your Next Backyard BBQ

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Sunshine, warm weather, and the smell of a hot grill are three of our favorite things. But what’s on that grill is really what tops them all: beef.

If you’re gearing up for summertime and getting ready to host a casual cookout, let us break down the secret recipe for a flawless backyard BBQ.

Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a grilling newbie, these cookout tips will help make your next get-together extra special while keeping it casual and stress-free.

Step 1: Make Sure You Have Everything You Need

Make sure you have all the grilling tools you’ll need (think grill baskets, grill tongs, a spatula, meat thermometer, skewers, a cleaning brush, etc.), as well as serving trays and the like. Give them a good clean, set them up where you’ll need them, and you’ll be ready to go the day-of.

grilling tools checklist

Also, check that your grill is in working condition. If you have a gas grill (which 61% of U.S. grillers do), don’t forget to check the propane. No rookie mistakes here.

Step 2: Decide on the Grub

Don’t know what to serve? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. These easy grilling ideas will wow your guests and keep them coming back for more.


Prepare lemongrass beef satay with pickled cucumber and peanut sauce. This delicious treat not only serves 16 people, but the flavors of peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, ginger root, garlic, chili sauce, and rice wine vinegar will provide your spread with some Asian-inspired flavors.

Korean BBQ skewers are also an excellent choice. The beef soaks in a delicious marinade for 30-90 minutes before cooking and is then paired with bell peppers, onions, and any other fresh, beautiful veggies your heart desires.

The Main Event

You can’t go wrong with burgers. We recommend brisket burgers with comeback cabbage slaw. The beef patties are a combination of brisket, ground chuck, salt and black pepper, while the slaw calls for Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, ketchup, Dijon mustard, paprika, sriracha, and cayenne pepper. An all-around delicious combination if you ask us.

The “Craving You” sirloin burger is also an excellent option. Mix ground sirloin with chopped onions and mushrooms, then add Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. The patties are later smothered with Swiss cheese, while the buns are slathered with balsamic black pepper mayonnaise. Simply mouth-watering.

Step 3: Ask for Help!

When it comes to the sides, ask your friends to bring a dish to share. Salads are a great go-to: green salad, fruit salad, pasta salad, potato salad – the options are endless. (Corn-on-the-cob is a crowd favorite, too!) For dessert, you may want to suggest something fairly easy like cookies, brownies, or a box cake. This will let your friends feel more involved in the casual cookout vibe and will take the load off of yourself so you can enjoy more socialization time!

Step 4: Don’t Forget the Fun

In addition to the essentials like bug spray and a summer jams, pick a few yard games for the gang to enjoy while the meat is cooking. We recommend trying bocce ball, ladder golf, badminton, cornhole, or the like. They make great group games and are perfect for that competitive friend.

Step 5: Go the Extra Mile

Want to truly be the favorite friend? Buy some takeaway containers and let your friends take home the extra food; they’ll continue to enjoy your masterpieces (and sing your praises) for days to come.

Host the Perfect Cookout

There’s a reason why 88% of consumers choose to eat meat, steaks, or both at a backyard barbecue. That’s because the caramelization of your beef brought out by the flames improves the flavor and keeps all of us coming back for more.

If you master the casual cookout, here’s how to become a BBQ pit boss.

So why wait any longer? Invite the crew, it’s party time.

Check out more great beef recipes, the beef glossary, and tips for buying beef all on our website.

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