Tips for Hosting a Summer Cookout from 55 Plus Communities in Texas

Fire up the Grill and Get Cookin’


There’s nothing quite like hosting a cookout in the wonderful Texas summer! It’s a great way to enjoy the weather and spend quality time with friends and family. However, planning and hosting a cookout can be difficult. To make it enjoyable, you’ll want it to be low-stress and manageable, meaning you need to prepare ahead of time. Here are some tips for making hosting your cookout a breeze from Sunshine Retirement Living’s over 55 communities in Texas:

Send invitations early and ask for RSVP

It’s essential to know how many people will be in attendance when planning your cookout. This will give you an idea of how much food and seating you will need to have prepared. Additionally, this may impact what types of plates and cutlery you plan on using.

Plan your food offerings

The whole point of a cookout is to enjoy a delicious meal with friends, so you want to plan your dishes in advance to get all of the ingredients you need. Here are a few ideas for Texas classics that will delight your guests:

  • Texas-style smoked brisket and pork ribs
  • Pickled and crispy-fried okra
  • Texas cornbread
  • Iced tea
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Sweet potato casserole

Keep it simple

While everything is bigger in Texas, it doesn’t mean it can’t be simple! Consider selecting a combination of pre-made items and homemade items to serve at your cookout. This will make it easier to prepare and reduce your workload. Plus, you could find a local caterer or restaurant for authentic local dishes!

Ask guests to bring side dishes

We know that everyone has varying taste buds, and you have a lot on your plate for preparing this cookout. So, why not encourage your guests to bring their favorite side dish? This could be snacks, appetizers, drinks, desserts, or whatever else they may choose. If you decide to do this, make sure that you coordinate with guests so that not everyone brings the same thing! Of course, if you have a smaller cookout, you can opt out of asking guests to bring side dishes if you would like to handle them yourself.

Prepare food in advance of your guests’ arrival

To model that famous Texas hospitality, you’ll want to prepare all of your dishes before your guests arrive–or at least as many of them as possible. This will prevent guests from getting hungry, but it will also allow you to sit back and enjoy the company! When guests arrive, it would be great if your side dishes and snacks are out and ready for grazing, and any meat is on the grill.

Keep the bugs away

55+ living in Texas has very few downfalls, but this gorgeous year-round weather does come with bugs! Bugs can be a buzz-kill when it comes to outdoor cookouts. To help ward them off, make sure that you keep any food covered (use towels, strainers, mesh, or food-safe wrap). If you have the space to do so, consider keeping side dishes and snacks inside to avoid bugs–this will also make it less crowded for grilling outside! You should also use bug-avoidance items such as citronella candles and torches, big traps, a running fan, and mosquito repellent.

Ensure there is adequate lighting

It will get darker at night, so you want to ensure you have adequate outdoor lighting for guests to continue mingling. Consider hanging string lighting across your yard if possible. You can also incorporate citronella torches.

Set the atmosphere

To bring the cookout together with some finishing touches, you’ll want to set the atmosphere. Consider decorating your space with things like checkered tablecloths and setting the mood with some excellent music. In addition, you can include any fun yard games that your guest may enjoy, such as cornhole.

If you plan on hosting a cookout this summer, refer to these tips to help the process go more smoothly. Then, remember to make the most of it and have fun! At our Sunshine Retirement Living Communities in Texas, we love hosting cookouts and other events for our residents to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery.

Learn more about our Retirement Living Communities in Texas. Feel free to contact our friendly team today by email or reach out by phone at 541-323-3456.

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