My husband Brian and I recently moved from New York City to the Virginia countryside. In doing so, we traded a tiny roof deck for a seriously spacious backyard that’s going to allow us to make all our summer grilling dreams come true.
“Grilling dreams?” you might ask. “Yes, grilling dreams,” we might answer. “Tell me more about these grilling dreams,” you might say. “OK, gladly,” we’d reply.
After years of only being able to grill on the roof-deck friendly (teeny tiny) Smoky Joe, we’ve been pining for the day when we could grill on a real adult-size grill. So on the first sunny weekend here, we headed off to our local Target to buy one. While we were there, we stocked up on a few cookout necessities like ketchup, mustard, pickles, cheese, and buns. We also picked up the fixings for a few easy salads and simple sides. Then we got home and made the grilling magic happen.
So what do you need to put together a basic, but deliciously festive, cookout?
Summer Grilling Essentials: How to Throw a Relaxed, Festive Cookout! 1 of 6
Summer cookouts don't have to be complicated! Here are 4 simple summer grilling tips with everything you need to know for a laid-back and fun summer gathering.
The Grill 2 of 6
To achieve grilling greatness, you'll need a good grill. We love this standard Weber nothing fancy, just a streamlined charcoal grill that gives great flavor every time.
Great Meat 3 of 6
Great meat is important. Look for grass fed or hormone-free ground beef. When you're using the good stuff, all you need to add is a little salt and pepper for excellent flavor.
The Condiments 4 of 6
Put out an array of your family's favorite condiments. For an attractive table, I like to spoon my condiments into tiny bowls instead of setting out the big plastic bottles. And there have to be lots and lots of pickles (either homemade or store-bought is fine by me).
Simple Sides 5 of 6
Compliment your excellent burgers simply with a selection of healthy salads or roasted vegetables. Try a grain-based salad or easy slaw recipe.
The Plate 6 of 6
Once your burgers are cooked to perfection, pull up a chair, pile your plate with healthy sides, and get ready for one of the best meals of the summer!