Nothing brings the family together like a nice cookout, but sometimes it can be difficult to come up with new cookout ideas to keep each occasion fresh and exciting. A great place to start is to evaluate your family’s typical cookout foods. Do you always have fried chicken and hot dogs? Maybe your family is always stuck with the same potato salad and coleslaw side dishes? In an attempt to get your creativity flowing, we are going to look at a few easy cookout ideas that are sure to throw a spark back into your family cookouts or inspire some great ideas of your own!
This first recipe is so easy and you don’t even have to use a grill—you can bake these in the oven and easily transport them outside for an alfresco meal. You will need ground beef (the amount depends on how many people you are feeding), peeled and quartered potatoes, peeled and sliced carrots, French-cut green beans, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and aluminum foil. Cut the aluminum foil into foot-long sheets. Shape the ground beef into patties, again, the number of them depends on how many people you want to serve. Place one patty on each sheet of aluminum foil. Top with some of each of the vegetables, a little drizzle of olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. If you have other herbs or spices you wish to add, now is the time to do it! Seal the ends of each aluminum foil “dish”—make sure that no juices can escape but also try to create a tent-like shape to allow air movement for even cooking inside the aluminum bag. Place the bags on a baking sheet or onto the grate of the grill. If cooking in the oven, bake at 375 degrees F for about 45 minutes, or until the meat and vegetables are thoroughly cooked. If using a grill, cook on a medium heat until all of the food is thoroughly cooked.
Another great main dish to add to your list of cookout ideas is chicken on a stick. I know it sounds simple—and it really is—but it’s great for all members of the family, especially kids! You can also put together an assortment of dipping sauces so that everyone’s tastes are catered to. You will need enough chicken breasts to feed your family (and guests, if you have them), three tablespoons of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of lemon juice, half a cup of coconut milk, a cup of shredded coconut, and wooden skewers. In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, lemon juice, and coconut milk. If you have a particularly large family, you may need to increase the amounts of the sauce’s ingredients. Cut the chicken breasts into long strips and slide each one onto a skewer. Toast the shredded coconut in a frying pan until golden brown. Pour the coconut into a bowl and allow it to cool. Once it has, crumble it further with your fingers. Baste each chicken strip with sauce and then place them onto the grill (preheated to a medium heat). Cook all sides of the chicken evenly until it is thoroughly cooked. In the last minute of cooking, baste each chicken strip with the sauce. When they are cooked, roll each strip in the shredded coconut for an even coating. Serve on its own or with dipping sauce.