What’s a backyard cookout without burgers, dogs, and fresh fruit salad? While we welcome these summer staples, there are a few dishes that just don’t belong outside for long periods of time. If you’re planning an outdoor feast or the 4th or any other hot summer day, you should probably skip these 15 foods:


Fried Foods

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.


12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_chocolate

Chocolate

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

12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_cheese

Cheese plate

Cheese plates are 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 need to be stored at chilled temperatures, and slice charcuterie meat can attract flies in no time.


12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_ice cream

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.


12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_pasta salad mayo

Mayonnaise-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.

12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_soup

hot Soup

Soups are great for potlucks, but when it comes time for a summertime spread, you should skip the soup. 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.


12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_sushi

Sushi

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.


12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_lettuce

Green salad

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.


12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_your diet

Only foods that suit your diet

So, you’re on the Keto diet. That doesn’t mean it’s okay 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.


12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_deviled eggs

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.


12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_fatty meat

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.


12 foods you should definitely not serve at your cookout_glass bottles

Drinks in glass containers

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.


Also see, Star-spangled Sangria recipe.

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Author

Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.