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Best Summer Cookout Ideas

Griddling 101

Summer and cookouts are the perfect couple. Delicious meals and great weather. It’s that time of year that couldn’t get any better!

So, why not celebrate? Invite your family and friends over for a summer cookout packed in flavor, fun, and good times. And we’ve got the best ideas to make that a reality.

Read up and get in the spirit of summer!

Host a thematic summer party!

Get in the summer sunshine mood with a party that’s filled with energy!

Sink right into summer with a thematic party: decorate your backyard, dress up, and play some music!

Check out our suggestions to turn your backyard into a picture-perfect scenario:

Hawaiian Luau

Luau means feast in Hawaiian, and is packed with seafood and music. The party began in the 19th century by the Hawaiian Royalty and had social taboos – men and women ate meals separately, and the royals had a different banquet from the commoners.

But that all ended when King Kamehameha II decided to join everybody for a massive Luau! All the Hawaiians got together for their fave dish – chicken, taro leaves and coconut milk – a meal also called Luau.

Kings then began to host huge parties for the hawaiians. King Kamehameha III once hosted a Luau with around 270 roasted pigs, 3 thousand fish, 2 thousand coconuts and 4 thousand taro plants – talk about food for a crowd!

Still today, Hawaiians celebrate Luau parties, mostly on a kid’s first birthday and when they graduate from high school. Families decorate with flowers and listen to hula music.

Here’s how you can host your own Luau this summer:

  • Decorate your backyard with flowers and tropical leaves. Put vases of hibiscus and plumeria plants
  • If you want to keep it traditional like the Hawaiians, have guests sit on lahaula mats with low tables
  • Play hula music on a set of speakers. Pick your favorite music streaming service and search for a playlist!
  • Fire up the Blackstone griddle and cook up some seafood! Or cook up chicken with taro leaves and coconut milk for the complete Luau experience
  • Have guests wear Leis, the Hawaiian floral garland necklaces. Wear Hawaiian floral shirts too!

Mexican Fiesta

Mexicans love to eat food with family when the summer kicks in – and that means outdoor cuisine with a lot of spice!

Mexican outdoor cooking is deeply inspired by the Aztecs, who used a lot of chili peppers and cooked up on clay flat tops called comals – a griddle of the old times.

If you want to get into the Mexican spirit, you can decorate with traditional Cinco de Mayo items – cutlery in green, red and white – and papel picado banners hanging above. All the details are in our Cinco de Mayo Griddle article!

Now, here’s how you can host a fiesta right in your backyard:

  • Decorate with green, red, and white. That means tablecloths, banners, and even flowers. You can also use aztec patterns
  • Play some mariachi music on a set of speakers. Just log onto your music streaming service and let that latino sound fill the air
  • Get a piñata filled with candy for guests to swing at with a stick
  • Turn up the heat on your Blackstone Griddle. Cook up meals with the five essential Mexican ingredients!

Star-Spangled Banner Cookout

This is the cookout theme that goes perfect with summer and honor! It’s the time of 4th of July, and you can’t have this holiday without a party!

And when it comes to celebrating freedom and the honor of American heroes, you can’t go better than eating delicious food.

So, invite the crowd over to your house and honor the nation while enjoying the summer!

Here’s what you can do:

  • Decorate your backyard in the classic red, white, and blue. If you have the star-spangled banner, raise your flag on a mast. You can also buy banners to hang over the crowd
  • Fire up the Blackstone Griddle and cook up some burgers and hot dogs – or why not some wraps and snacks? What matters is that it’s delicious and feeds up the crowd!
  • Check out the laws in your town for fireworks. If allowed, seal the patriotic party with a sky of beautiful pyrotechnic lights!

Pool Party

There isn’t a better way to chill out in the backyard. A pool party makes everyone refreshed, relaxed, and entertains the kids.

All you need is a pool, refreshments, and great food. And if you’re a fan of decorations, why not add a surf vibe to your party? Print images of surfboards, waves, and beautiful beach landscapes. And then play some classic surfer rock to get everyone in the mood.

Make sure to have the essentials covered: buy sunblock and towels, just in case guests forget them. And make sure to check the weather forecast – it would be a bummer if it rains.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Play surfer music on a set of speakers. Create a beach ambiance with classic surf rock hits
  • Serve refreshments like lemonade, iced tea, and fruit punch
  • Buy extra sunblock and towels for safety
  • Cook up on the Blackstone Griddle corn fritters, fajitas, and mango tango turkey burgers
  • Have guests in the pool play a game like Marco Polo – this is especially great for the kids. Or just chill out by the edge of the pool while eating a delicious meal.

Summer Party Games

The Sun is out and the backyard is the place to be. Besides great food, you also need great pastimes. So get into action with some summer party games!

Water Balloon Dodgeball

This is a game to get everyone soaked and pumped. If you’ve got kids at the party, even better!

Basically all you have to do is separate the guests into two teams – it’s a good idea to warn them before the party so they can pack swimming gear.

Put the two teams on separate sides of the backyards and give each a bucket of water balloons – for starters, 10 each. Then, let the battle start! The guy who doesn’t get soaked wins!

Frozen T-Shirt Race

This is a tricky game. What you need to do is wear a t-shirt. Problem is, it’s rock-solid, straight from the freezer. Who’ll manage to put it on first?

Here’s how to prepare the game:

  1. Have a t-shirt for each player
  2. Soak each shirt in water, and then rinse it out. The goal is to keep the shirt damp, not drenched
  3. Fold up the shirts and put them in the freezer a day before. Place wax paper between each one, so they don’t stick.
  4. Take the shirts out of the freezer on the day of the event.
  5. If you need to travel until the cookout, take the shirts in a cooler to keep them frozen
  6. Now, hand out a shirt to each player – whoever manages to wear it first wins!

Backyard Bowling

This is the easiest game to make – but the most challenging to master. Turn your grass into a bowling alley and see who can knock over the most pins!
Follow these steps:

  1. Get 12 plastic bottles of 2 liters (67 oz) – can be water or soda
  2. Fill the bottles up with water and arrange them like bowling pins on the grass
  3. A bowling alley is 60 feet long, so if you can make guests play from that distance it would be awesome! But if your backyard isn’t that big, it’s no problem – just go as far as you can
  4. Now get a soccer ball and let people knock down those pins. Just roll it down the grass with your hand – who’ll get a strike first?

Griddle Recipes for the summer

When it comes to summer, the griddle is the perfect fit. Cooks up any meal quick and with a crispy, seared crust. So refresh guests with a dish packed with flavor.

Here’s what you can cook up easily on a sunny day:

And we’ve got a whole section of recipes for you to check out. Cook up anything on a griddle and make it awesome.


What’s your idea of a Summer Cookout? Comment below your tips! Oh, and if you’re going to have a summer backyard party with the Blackstone share us your photos – just put them on social media with #GriddleNation and #BlackstoneGriddles

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