One of the all time favorite ways to entertain during the summer time is to invite friends over for a cookout. This type of entertaining lends itself to informal, casual entertaining and can be easy on the pocketbook if need be. Hotdogs and hamburgers are a popular main course and can be dressed up with side dishes that feature plentiful salads and vegetables. If a more sophisticated menu is desired, chicken or steaks can prepared deliciously on the grill and are just as easy to cook following a few simple procedures. When preparing a nice piece of red meat often porterhouses are the chosen cut for the grill due to their excellent taste and tender quality.
It is important to remember a couple of simple rules when grilling a piece of meat to get the most flavor regardless of the cut. Most people like to sear the red meat on a hot grill to make sure the juices are sealed inside the hunk of beef rather than allowing it to leak out leaving a dry piece of meat. For the very same reason, conventional wisdom is to never pierce the meat with a fork but to turn it with cooking tongs leaving the juices intact. Another bit of advice that most grill masters adhere to is turning the meat only one time. The purpose of this is to get good grill marks on the beef for presentation and it makes it easier to assign a cooking time for each side based on the thickness of the meat.
Usually, invited guests will offer to bring something to a cookout and that is an opportunity to save some time and expense on the cost of the party. This is also a chance to ask friends to bring their specialty dish to accompany the meat you are preparing and will ensure that you have a variety of dishes to set out with your meal. It has to be mentioned that we all know someone who is not a cook nor cares to be one. If this person asks to bring something it is wise to assign them the task of purchasing beverages, chips or even disposable table wear so that they are included in the preparation but there is no chance of a botched dish at your cookout. Another tip is to make a note of who is bringing what dish so you do not end up with several bowls of potato salad or coleslaw. A variety of side dishes will enhance the picnic and provide a more balanced table and plenty of eating choices.
It is a thoughtful idea to always include plenty of non-processed foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables when you are having a cookout. Many people are making an attempt to eat in a more healthful manner these days and will appreciate having this choice. They will enjoy passing up the calorie laden pasta and potato salads and opting instead for the guilt free fruits and vegetables and will thank you for it.