Think cookouts are all about freedom - cook what you want, how you want, when you want? Yeah, sure, if you’re cooking for one. But if you’re hosting or attending any cookouts this season, and hope to see these people again in the future, you are bound by a surprising number of codes of conduct. Ironically, these issues come to the fore as Independence Day approaches.
Now’s the time to stare down any hot topics so you know where you stand on each. Below are the ten key questions you will inevitably need to ask your host, or answer for your guests, before a single coal or burner is lit.
So you have to ask yourself: Do you want to get on their good side (or at least avoid their bad side)? And would you like to be invited to their party? Bottom line: No, you don’t have to invite anyone, but it’s way more complicated than, say, deciding if you’re obligated to invite your neighbors to your Proust reading group.
2. What should I wear?
3. Is it best to bring meat, beer, or a side?
4. Can I bring my own sauce to a party?
5. How about my dog?
6. Is it wrong for me to tend the grill if I see the host is preoccupied or doing it wrong? (Can I flip a burger if he's not around?)
7. As a host do I have to offer a veggie option?
8. Will it bother the neighbors if I use my stinky/smoky charcoal grill...on the teeny patio of my apartment building?
9. The invitation says 4 p.m. What time should I get there?
10. Can I bring up the fact that “grilling is not barbecue” to my hosts who think they’re fancy because they have a shiny electric Weber Genesis E-310?
Got an etiquette question Cury can address? Share it in the comments below.