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my top five cookout must-haves

Hey all! This amazing company, Man Crates, reached out to yours truly to find out what my absolute must-haves are for a summer cookout given we’ve still got at least one more weekend to rock n’ roll outside. Man Crates has unique gifts for men, or meat/beer/whiskey loving ladies like myself! This is easily going to be my one-stop shop for all the wonderful dudes in my life.

Also, this happens to be my 100th post, so I’m thrilled to celebrate by sharing this list given eating meats outside with my best pals is my favorite thing to do. So what would be in my ultimate summer cookout, Man Crate? Here we go!

#1. Beer Koozie
This is an absolute essential to hold your cold, frosty beer – preferably one that declares your love for America or has a saying that makes you giggle.

Exhibit A:


#2. Bacon
Duh. Whether it’s in the potato salad (see below), the dip, or just laying on a paper plate ready to be devoured, all summer cookouts must have bacon. And yes, Man Crates has a Bacon Crate, because they know what’s up.

Potato Salad

#3. Sleeveless T
Hey, it’s hot out there over the grill. See acceptable examples below, and yes I did shimmy around my living room taking selfies, forgive me.


#4. Homemade BBQ Sauce
This might seem like a lot of work, but it’s not! And I’m lucky enough to have Sir Dave prepare excellent sauce every time we have a cookout! It’s all about throwing stuff in until it tastes how you want it to. It’s perfect on ribs, pulled pork, or even just a burger topper! Here’s his base which he got from with a few tweaks:

2 tbs chili powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup steak sauce
1/4 cup dark molasses
1 tsp hot sauce
1 cup dark brown sugar
dash of Franks red hot sauce and liquid smoke
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves minced garlic

First mix the chili powder, black pepper, and salt. Then in a large bowl, mix the ketchup, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, steak sauce, molasses, hot sauce, brown sugar, Frank’s red hot sauce and liquid smoke. Next over medium heat, heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic and saute until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for another minute. Add the dry spices and stir for two minutes. Finally add the wet ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes with the lid off so that it thickens. Taste and adjust, we often add a bit more sugar. Once you’ve got it to your liking, strain the onions and voila, homemade delicious sauce!

Check it out in action!


#5. Rock and Roll Soundtrack
Nothing sets the tone better for a night outside with good friends then some loud guitar. Whether it’s some good old Rolling Stones, Bob Seger or Zeppelin – nothing pairs better with barbecued meat than some late night singalongs. Stairway to Heaven anyone?

Led Zepplin

And that’s a wrap! If you can wrangle these five fool-proof ingredients you’re set for a perfect night grilling and catching fireflies. Hope everybody has a meat-filled labor day! Cheers everyone!

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