Cookouts take time—the whole point is to enjoy a relaxing afternoon that glides effortlessly into evening. Whether you’re grilling meat, fish or veggies—this is a process that must not be rushed. If you want fast food—head to Mickey D’s. These five cookout essentials can take the sting out of waiting.



A mellow cookout requires a soulful playlist. There should be a little sumthin’ sumthin’ for everyone. Don’t forget to include jazz and old school selections. Note to Millennials and GenXers— if you don’t have any Parliament Funkadelic, Earth, Wind and Fire or Stevie Wonder on the playlist, your Black card may be revoked.


Whether it’s as simple as Ritz crackers or potato chips, or as elegant as shrimp salad or marinated tomatoes on a baguette, crowd control best practices demand you have something prepared for your guests to munch on upon arrival.




While obnoxious children and annoying neighbors may be a nuisance—nothing kills a cookout like mosquitoes. Make sure you have plenty of citronella candles and mosquito repellent on hand.



If there’s no bid whist game, it’s just a barbecue. Nuff’ said. But, if you insist on trying something new, check out Black Card Revoked or Cards Against Humanity.



While you’ll need lemonade, iced tea and water, adult beverages are essential. Stock the bar with beer or wine, vodka or brown liquor, if you forget or don’t have enough – your cookout may end before the first slab of ribs comes off the grill.