12 foods to skip for your next cookout | TribLIVE.com
Food & Drink

12 foods to skip for your next cookout

Everybody Craves | Meghan Rodgers
Just say no to sushi for a cookout.
Deviled eggs can go bad in no time during a hot picnic.
No one wants to eat a wilted green salad.

What’s a backyard cookout without burgers, dogs, and fresh fruit salad? While we welcome these summer staples, there are a few other dishes that just don’t belong outside for long periods of time.

If you’re planning an outdoor feast for this weekend, you should probably skip these 12 foods:

Anything fried

Enjoy your burger and fry combo another day. Outdoor cookouts are no place for fried foods like French fries, onion rings, or mozzarella sticks. They’re all delicious finger foods, but they’re best eaten hot and fresh. Let them sit outside on the buffet table, and they’ll just get cold and soggy.


There is really no way around this one. Anything chocolate is going to melt and make a mess.

Cheese plates

A cheese plates is an elegant appetizer for a dinner party, so save it for that type of event. Your summer barbecue is for foods far less finicky. Cheese needs to be stored at chilled temperatures, and sliced charcuterie meat can attract flies in no time.

Ice cream

It’s one of the most iconic foods of summer, but save it for some other night. Even the most tightly sealed cooler is no match for ice cream on a hot day.


Your whole gang may go crazy over sushi night, but not everyone loves raw fish. It’s more fun if you bring something most people will enjoy. Plus, sushi needs to be kept cold if you want to avoid food poisoning.

Mayo-based salads

What’s the fastest way to clear a party? Everyone leaving sick from eating mayonnaise that sat out in the sun. Try a vinegar-based side dish instead.

Hot soups

Soups are great for potlucks, but when it comes time for a summertime spread, you should skip it. Not every cookout is stocked with bowls and spoons, so you would have to bring those if you did, but aside from that, it’s just no fun to stand around eating hot soup on a hot day.

Green salads

Applause for wanting to get your greens in, but it’s best to just stick with a veggie tray if you’re looking to snack healthy. Fresh greens will wilt before anyone gets a chance to enjoy them.

Only foods suiting your diet

So, you’re on the Keto diet. That doesn’t mean it’s OK to skip having burger buns, fruit salad, or corn at your cookout. Unless you and all of your guests are on the same diet (perhaps a party for vegans?), you’re going to want to serve foods that give people choices instead of forcing them to eat your way.

Deviled eggs

People love this little bite-sized eggy appetizer, but that egg-yolk-and-mayo filling is a big no-no if not refrigerated. Deviled eggs can spoil pretty quickly, so it’s best to serve something else instead.

Fatty cuts of meat

Eating chunks of fat isn’t appetizing, nor is it easy to cut off with a plastic fork and knife. Skip the fatty cuts of meat, and go with a leaner steak for a cookout.

Anything in glass

If you’re hosting a cookout in your backyard, at the beach, park, or anywhere people are likely to walk barefoot or sit down, it’s best to skip serving drinks in glass containers. Keep your drinks canned or provide guests with plastic cups to pour their wine.

Article by Meghan Rodgers,
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