The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts


The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip

Celebrating America on the Fourth of July is a highlight of every summer for me! Even though everyone's plans and traditions look a little different this year, you don't have to miss out on everything you love about the Fourth. I've partnered with Kwik Trip to share everything you need to know to host a summer cookout - the perfect way to celebrate the 4th of July!

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip

When you think of Independence Day celebrations, you might picture beach + lakeside parties or even a poolside hangout. Most parades and big gatherings are canceled this year, but you can still have the best Fourth of July celebration yet! This summer holiday is the perfect excuse to have an at-home summer cookout (or at the lake, like I do with my family). Smaller scale, socially distanced events are totally doable - sometimes, they’re even more fun than huge parties! 

LET'S HAVE A COOKOUT


I’m definitely not a party-planning expert, but I have enjoyed my fair share of cookouts and parties over the years. I brought together all of my best summer cookout tips in this guide! This post is going to be geared toward 4th of July celebrations, but you can apply these tips + tricks to any summer cookout! The best part is, these types of celebrations are super easy to pull together last minute. Now, let’s get into the details!

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip
 

DECIDE WHO TO CELEBRATE WITH


First things first, figure out who you want at your cookout and make sure it’s a reasonable, safe amount of people to be in contact with considering the current state of the world. I actually don’t mind smaller sized parties because I can be a lot more creative with the decorations and planning. The obvious next step is to invite those people and let them know the party details! You don’t have to be fancy here - a text or phone call should work just fine.

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip
  

THE MENU + SHOPPING AT KWIK TRIP


All-American food straight off the grill is what perfect summers are made of. Fire up your grill (or if you’re like me, have your dad do it) and get ready to cook some yummy chicken, brats, hot dogs, and burgers. Pre-plan your menu ahead of time to make your shopping trip as efficient as possible. I love how convenient it is to grab just about everything you need at Kwik Trip! One-stop shopping is my jam because I don’t like to waste a single minute of sweet summertime. Here’s a quick list of some things I’ll be picking up at Kwik Trip for my Fourth of July cookout: 
  • Hot dog + hamburger buns
  • Onions
  • A variety of alcoholic drinks
  • Ground beef + chicken
  • Brats + hot dogs
  • 12-packs of soda
  • A bag (or two) of ice
  • Snacks + chips (the Cheddar Sour Cream ones are my FAVORITE)
  • Hershey's Bars, Graham Crackers, Marshmallows
  • Sliced cheese
  • Bottle of ketchup
  • Fresh fruit
  • Bottled water
Can we all just agree that it's beyond amazing that you can get ALL OF THESE THINGS at Kwik Trip?! One of the things I love most about Kwik Trip is that it’s truly a one-stop-shop for summer cookouts (or really, pretty much any occasion). Don’t forget to use the Kwik Trip rewards app when you’re shopping! It’s loaded with great deals and coupons, plus, you can earn some pretty great rewards.

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip
 

THE FUN STUFF

  
My favorite part of any party/cookout/event is the decor. I like to be a little extra here and go all out. A few of my must-haves for a Fourth of July cookout are: 

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip

You also have to make sure you have the boring (but necessary) things like: 

Now, let’s talk about activities. You don’t have to go crazy planning a ton of different games because let’s be honest, people probably aren’t going to want to play games the entire time. I keep it simple here with some yard games like Bags (Cornhole), Flickin’ Chicken, and Beer Pong / Flip Cup (if you’re old enough). My personal favorite cookout activity is making s’mores by the campfire as the night winds down!

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip
  

BRINGING EVERYTHING TOGETHER


Try to do as much prep as possible the day or morning before your cookout so you can maximize your relaxation time. Set up all of the non-food things like yard games, table + chairs, tiki torches/lighting, and your tablescape the morning before the cookout - You don’t want to be scrambling when it’s time to get started! 

I like to use “real” plates and bowls for events like this to make it feel slightly classier. When I say “real”, I mean these awesome 79 cent plastic dishes from Target (they’re dishwasher AND microwave safe). I have a bunch of grey ones that I save for cookouts and parties!

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip
  
If you’re looking to have a more relaxed cookout, it can be really fun to lay down rugs and blankets in your yard to make a comfy hangout area. Throw some pillows and poufs in the mix for a laid back party vibe! 

String lights are pretty much a staple for me, especially in the summer. I like to hang fun lights all over the yard for cookouts - life hack: use tiki torches as poles to secure the string lights and then you have two different sources of light!

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip
  

CHEERS TO FUN DRINKS


When the party gets started and the grill is lit, it’s time to mix up some drinks. I love trying out different mixed drinks for special occasions like the 4th of July! This year, I’m going the festive route with red and blue cocktails. These fun drinks are super simple to make! The red one is just cranberry juice mixed with vodka, and the blue one is lemonade mixed with Blue UV. It’s that easy, and they look so festive (and taste amazing)! 

I am obsessed with my mason jar cups + bamboo lids, and they are perfect for cookouts. They hold a lot of liquid, and the bamboo lid keeps all the bugs and nature out of your drinks! If you’re on a time crunch and want a similar vibe, you can use regular mason jars or grab some mason jar cups from the Dollar Tree. Baking cups (the paper things you bake cupcakes in) with a hole in the middle are another great way to keep bugs out if you don’t have lids!

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip
  

MOST IMPORTANTLY...


Once the food is cooked and everyone is full, you can consider your cookout a success! Above all, the most important thing to remember is to enjoy being together with whoever you celebrate the holiday weekend with! Don’t stress too much about the details - as long as there are food and people, it will be a great time. Play some games, eat lots of yummy summer food, and be sure to take lots of pictures to remember this fun cookout! 

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The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip
 
Kwik Trip is definitely my secret weapon for summer cookouts. I couldn’t pull together last-minute gatherings without them! They literally have everything you need to have the perfect patriotic cookout in one convenient location. Food shopping is the easy part because I know that I don’t have to go to a bunch of different stores and waste a whole day shopping. It only takes me about a half-hour at Kwik Trip to get everything I need! 

I hope this guide was helpful in showing you how to throw an amazing summer cookout. My mouth is watering as I write this post because I’m so excited about the food I’ll be eating this 4th of July weekend! 

I want to know - what are your plans this Fourth of July?! Are you having a family cookout or hanging out at the lake with friends? Leave a comment and let me know! 

The Ultimate Guide to Simple Summer Cookouts with Kwik Trip

1 comment:

  1. Love the post! I did not realize Kwik Trip was a one-stop shop for literally everything I need.

    ReplyDelete