Three Meat Dishes for Your Next Cookout

by Patak Online

Summer cookouts are one of the season's pleasures. With school out, extended daylight hours and national holidays, there are ample reasons to gather with family and friends. Add good food to the mix, and you have a recipe for delicious quality time. 

When choosing the best meats for your cookout, consider these points. Your main dish should be easy-to-prepare, reasonably priced to scale for large groups and appealing to a wide range of people. It’s also wise to choose dishes that cook quickly, smell great, and require minimal utensils. Here are three types of meat that work well for cookouts.

  1. Hamburgers: For a good reason, classic burgers are a staple at cookouts. They have a short prep time, require no utensils, and can be customized for different palates. Ensure you choose high-quality ground beef with a lean-to-fat ratio of at least 80/20 to enhance juiciness and flavor. You can also add other meats like bacon for additional flavor or ground chicken or turkey for a healthier burger. Burgers take around 15 minutes on the grill. 

  1. Hot Dogs: Another crowd-pleaser, hot dogs are easy to grill and come in many varieties. The aroma of a chargrilled frank will entice even the pickiest of eaters. Hot dogs cook best grilled at medium temperature and only take 10 to 15 minutes. A quick tip, prepare hot dogs by making a few diagonal cuts on the meat before cooking to enhance flavor. Serve your hot dogs on a warm bun with an array of toppings such as ketchup, mustard, relish, sauerkraut, onions, and cheese.

  2. Shish kabobs: Kabobs are another excellent option for serving large groups. They require slightly more prep work than burgers and hot dogs, but are delicious, impressive and fun to eat. For delicious kabobs, assemble your ingredients and cut them into similar-sized pieces. Consider marinating the kabobs for 30 minutes or longer to season the meat and vegetables. We recommend adding bacon to your kabobs to enhance the flavor. Group items with similar cooking times and cook on the grill until done. 

With your meat dishes in order, don’t forget about your sides! Some easy wins are vegetable salads like cole slaw or marinated cucumbers. Potato salad is a more filling side with a long history in Europe and the United States. Fruits are always popular, especially with children. Consider serving watermelon, grapes, berries or mixed fruit. For condiments at your cookout, the more, the merrier. Offer guests a range of sweet, salty, spicy and creamy options for dipping or dressing their meals. 

Lastly, cookouts are about spending quality time with people you enjoy and love. In that spirit, encourage guests to bring dishes to complement your food. Extra sides and desserts will ease your workload, add more variety to your spread, and create more topics of conversation. Happy grilling!