6 Dishes You Should Never Bring to a Cookout
Summer is officially here — the days are longer, the weather is warmer, and we’re spending more time engaging in outdoor activities, cooking and eating included. Grilling is a quintessential part of summer eating and most of us would agree that it just wouldn’t feel like summer without a cookout or two. If you’re planning to attend a barbecue this summer, make sure you know what to make so that you can avoid bringing a dish that can’t hold up under the summer sun.
We all know what we should bring to a cookout (dishes like ready-to-grill kebabs or homemade burger patties, a whole watermelon, or that famous triple berry pie of yours) but do you know which foods are most likely to cause foodborne illness at a cookout, for example? Or which dishes will attract the most bugs?
There are a few foods that just aren’t very well-suited to outdoor conditions like heat, sunlight, or pests, so before you whip up a batch of creamy coleslaw or frosting-swirled cupcakes, make sure your go-to cookout dish isn't on this list. And, if it is, make sure you take the extra steps to keep it fresh and delicious.
Save the cheese for topping burgers — avoid bringing cheese plates to a cookout. Not only will cheeses go bad in the hot summer sun but most are too fancy for a casual cookout. If cheese is a must, bring a small cooler so that you can keep the cheese fresh all day long and serve it with something simple like crackers or thin slices of crusty bread.
Creamy Salads and Slaws
Potato salad, macaroni salad, and coleslaw are summer cookout staples but they’re only safe to eat if they’re kept cold (which means they need to be stored in a cooler or refrigerator). If you’re a guest at a cookout, don’t assume the host will have space to keep your salad in cold storage — try making a vinegar-based salad instead. Or, coordinate with the host to make sure there’s ample room in his or her refrigerator or cooler.