How to Be the Boss of the Backyard Cookout


How to Be the Boss of the Backyard Cookout

Our favourite summer gatherings take place no farther than our own backyard. We host friends and family all summer long, taking advantage of the warm temperatures and making the most of our green space. Because we’re frequently entertaining, I have to keep things simple and streamlined – after all, I want to enjoy the summer too! As a Coleman Get Outside Master for Cooking, I’m happy to share my tips for rocking the backyard cookout.

  • Plan ahead and stay ahead. Advance prep is key to a relaxed outdoor gathering. Pack a cooler with ice and drinks first thing on the day of your cookout. The Coleman 62QT Wheeled Xtreme Cooler will keep those beverages cold all day long. Guests can (and will) show up early, and you will be able to welcome them into your backyard with an ice cold refreshment.
  • Keep the food simple. Stick to serving foods you know and love – and you’ll be guaranteed a successful cookout. Maybe you grill brochettes on the grill attachment of the Coleman HyperFlame FryeSargent or cook up a skillet of sausages and boil a pot of corn on the cob. I like to prep ahead by searing off a seasoned filet of beef on the Coleman’s Hyperflame Swaptop Cast-Iron Griddle the day before the event. Then, I slice it and serve it cold, alongside assorted pickles, mustard and a horseradish cream. I ask guests to bring a salad or two, and the simple menu is complete.
  • Don’t sweat the weather. My backyard events take place rain or shine, and I try not to worry about the weather reports – it’s out of my control! We make great use of our Coleman Eaved Canopy during both spring showers and midsummer heat waves. It’s reassuring to know that we have a canopy that provides both UV guard (50+ UPF) sun protection and shelter from rain. After all, anything can happen during a Canadian summer!
  • Set the scene - then relax. If possible, set up your food table in a shady place. Ahead of time, lay out Coleman Melamine Family Dinnerware, Coleman® 12-Piece Stainless Steel Flatware Set, and plenty of napkins. Add a simple pot of herbs or flowers for a centrepiece.
  • Play it (food) safe. Any time you are serving eats and treats out doors in the summer heat, it is important to keep food safety top of mind. Don’t leave fresh snacks and finger foods out for more than two hours, and try to keep dips and spreads on ice. For the main meal, arrange family-style platters of food on the table and invite guests to help themselves immediately. Sometimes, you will even have to break hostess protocol and serve yourself first to set the example!
  • Remember that kids just wanna have fun. In my experience, when kids get together with their friends, eating comes second to playing outside. Don’t worry too much about sitting the young ones down to eat. Instead, let them graze and have the full run of the yard to explore. When dusk falls, give them the Coleman Divide & Twist Lantern – it’s perfectly safe for kids – and let them continue their adventures under the stars. Don’t worry, they will come in when they start getting hungry.

Getting outside is important for optimal health and integral to our national identity. I encourage you to move the party outside this summer and benefit from the fresh air and sunshine.