Are you planning a cookout? The food you serve will be the star of the show, and there is more to creating a delicious menu than just grilling technique. Good food starts with great ingredients, so it’s important to choose fresh, high-quality meat, produce, and spices if you want to impress your guests. Here are four tips to help you find the best food for your cookout.
Consider Unconventional Choices
Cookouts are almost synonymous with hamburgers and hot dogs, but what about grilled lamb or salmon? Take your cookout to the next level by breaking out of the box with unexpected menu choices. One of the best things about grilling is that you can make a variety of different foods at the same time, so serve up a few lamb chops, turkey legs, or fish filets alongside your juicy burgers and steaks.
Fresh ingredients are the secret to a great cookout. Fresh, never-frozen meats offer the best flavor and texture. Fresh food also cooks faster and more evenly on the grill for perfect results that are crisp on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside. Visit a fresh meat shopping market to find the freshest meats. If you must use frozen meat, you can achieve better results by allowing it to completely thaw first.
The best way to ensure that your cookout food is as fresh as possible is to source it locally. Food that was grown nearby is harvested at the peak of freshness instead of sitting in warehouses and traveling long distances. Visit a farmers’ market, or go directly to a local farm. Are you on a tight budget? You might be surprised to know that local meats and in-season produce are often less expensive than those that were grown far away.
Don’t Forget the Veggies
You might think that a cookout is all about the meats, but grilled veggies are a great addition whether served on the side or as a main course. Grill up some portabella mushrooms, bell peppers, or zucchini.. You can also grill some veggie burgers for your vegetarian or vegan guests.
Whether you’re having a big neighborhood cookout or a small get together, it’s important to take the needs of your guests into account. Asking about allergies or special diets in advance helps ensure that everyone can participate and have a good time.