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Summer is the time of the year when ice cream, shorts, and beach days become the norm. But passionate cooks are undoubtedly most excited to start barbecuing again. If you’re planning a yard party this summer, reduce your stress levels and make your party the best it can be with our cookout tips.

To get your barbecue going, ignite the coals in a discarded egg carton and watch it heat up with ease. Ensure you have enough propane to keep your barbecue up and running for the duration of the party; dousing your tank in hot water and feeling for cold spots, which indicate propane, is a good strategy. A warm tank is an empty tank.

Here’s one of our favourite tips featuring aluminum. Bring out your kitchen’s aluminum foil and crumple the foil up into a ball to scrape down your grill, leaving it clean and clear in no time. If you’re looking to cook more aromatic foods, consider putting whole dried herbs on top of the flames for flavour-infused smoke. For seafood, cut citrus fruits into thin slices and cook the fish on top.

A cookout wouldn’t be complete without hamburgers and hot dogs. Spiral cutting wieners will help them cook more evenly, while making a depression in the center of hamburger patties will allow them to stay the same size and shape as they cook. Before cooking any type of meat, with the exception of fish, let it sit out for twenty minutes or so to allow it to stay juicy.

Grilling veggies is simple with wooden or aluminum metal skewers. Coat them in your choice of seasoning and watch them char beautifully on the grill. Set out a kiddie pool for any accompanying foods you have, like salads, pastas, or fruits, and fill it with ice to keep everything cold.

Muffin holders are great for holding condiments. Put sauces and toppings inside them with spoons for quick distribution and cleanup. If you have chips, fold down the top of the bag so they can be accessed more easily. Both of these tips will save room on the table, too.

When your guests are finished eating, direct them to your labeled garbage and recycling bins so everything goes in the right place. Set out a labeled dirty dishes bin if you used kitchen plates and cutlery. Tidying up becomes a lot less tiring when you plan ahead. Leftover food can always be easily stored in aluminum foil or in an aluminum sheet pan.

Backyard cookouts shouldn’t be a stressful experience - they should be all around enjoyable. By using these tips, everyone will enjoy the food and have fun. Not to mention, you’ll spend way less time cleaning up after your guests leave. Now you’ve got yet another reason to party!