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The warm weather has arrived, but I can’t truly declare it summer until the fire pit has been christened for the season. Sitting around a fire at night with friends is one of my all-time favorite activities of the summer. Good company and delicious food – what else could I ask for? It’s a perfect summer night and a wonderful party idea. Here are some bonfire cookout ideas to help you welcome the long summer nights and have a party outdoors.

Tips, Tricks and Snacks

Safety First – The first thing to think about before hosting a bonfire cookout is making sure that you’re being safe. Make sure to follow the appropriate regulations where you live. After that, make sure your fire is contained in a place that won’t allow it to spread anywhere you don’t want it to. It’s also a good idea to have a water source close by in case you need to put the flames out quickly.

Have a Designated Fire Master – We all have them, the friend that LOVES building the fire and won’t let anyone else touch it. This is the perfect time to invite them over and make them in charge of keeping the fire going and the coals warm. Having toasty coals in place throughout the night is key to having a fun night and roasting your food!

Tools – Besides having wood and kindling ready, there are a few other tools that could come in handy for a cookout. Having long, campfire skewers are great for putting food on and being able to reach it into the hottest part of the fire. And if you do need to get closer to the fire for any reason, there’s even special mitts to keep your hand safe from the heat.

Cookout Ideas
– Need inspiration for what food to serve? No problem. Here are some cookout ideas to get you started (really, this is just the tip of the iceberg):

• Dogs: I know hot dogs are the first thing that come to mind, but there’s a good reason for it, they are a convenient main dish to serve at a bonfire cookout. Keep up the tradition by having an assortment of dogs ready for your guests. My favorite way to eat them is warming up a bun with cheese on it by the edge of the fire while I am roasting my hotdog, and putting some onions and mustard on top.

• Campfire nachos: Really, this is a thing. Layer all your favorite nacho ingredients into a cast iron and throw it over the fire until it’s all melty and delicious. Covering the cast iron with foil will help it melt evenly. Utensils may be required!

• Corn: Wrap a piece of corn in foil and find a nice hot place to let it cook in the fire. When you take it out, be ready to throw some Tillamook Butter on it for the most tasty ear of corn you’ll ever have.

• Ice Cream: Okay, so maybe this isn’t something to put ON the fire, but Fireside S’mores Ice Cream is the perfect dessert!

Be Ready for Weather – Even though you’ll be around a fire, you may want to have some blankets ready just in case someone dresses a little too light for the night. The worst thing is to have uncomfortable guests at a party. Have some blankets you don’t mind going outdoors ready just in case anyone gets a little chilly.

Have you had a backyard cookout? What did you make for it?

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