A group of friends enjoy a backyard cookout at their new Pardee home at Weston, a new home community in Santee, California.

How to Host a Memorable Backyard Cookout

Posted on 15 Sep, 2020

The cooler fall months are a great time for al fresco dining at Weston. You can keep the grilling going and add some pizazz to your backyard cookouts with these tips.

Mix up the menu.
Ditch the burgers and dogs for a fall-inspired culinary treat. Why not plan a chili bar or homemade soup spread? Use the grill to warm a pot of chili, complete with all the fixings on the side. Or, stir up a couple of hearty soups to serve with dutch-oven cornbread. Bonus points: your main courses can be prepared in advance so there’s little fuss later. If the weather is still warm, consider a make-your-own pizza night using pizza stones on your grill. Finish off the evening with some homemade ice cream fresh from the freezer.

Stir up something special.
You can never go wrong with the traditional iced tub of bottled drinks, but why not step up your refreshments with something unique and fun? Your guests will savor a warm spiced cider as evening temperatures cool. Or, pay tribute to fall colors and harvests with a cranberry-infused concoction or pumpkin-flavored beers.

Add some ambience.
There’s nothing more enticing on a cool night than a cozy fire. If your home’s outdoor space has a fire pit or fireplace, make sure the space around it is secure and inviting. For serving tables, cover folding tables with colorful blankets, topped with vases of wildflowers and branches of berries. Add some twinkle with flameless LED candles or string weather-resistant outdoor lighting around the patio and trees.

Keep it entertaining.
Don’t be surprised if your friends and family naturally gravitate to your outdoor kitchen area. After all, it’s what we do inside as well! To liven up the fun, set up some yard games for a little pre- and post-dinner friendly competition. A backyard movie is a good way to wind down after that big bowl of chili, or tune the outdoor TV to a favorite sports game. Boulder Ridge Swim Club is a great alternative to your own backyard, complete with indoor and outdoor amenities and spaces to unwind. Want to just catch up with friends and family under the stars? Spread blankets around the yard, or create a conversation pit with outdoor seating, and let the tall tales begin.

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