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cookout potluck etiquette

so, we decided to invite 4 couples over for a pot luck cookout, but now I am having diffficulty figuring out how to arrange all of this. One of my thoughts is to provide all the alcohol and basic stuff for the grill, burgers and kielbasa maybe, and also bake a couple of desserts. I'm thinking of asking everyone else to bring apps and sides. I'm feeling a little guilty not doing all of the food...suggestions?

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  1. It's a potluck. If others don't bring parts of the meal then it isn't a potluck. I'd pass off the dessert to someone else in addition to what you've named. One can bring an app, two can bring sides and one can bring dessert. Easy peasy.

    1. GG, I think it's much more fun when everyone contributes! And so many people WANT to bring a dish to share. My gosh, WHO can afford to provide everything anymore? Perhaps have 2 couples bring sides and 2 bring desserts? For our annual summer party at work, boss provides lobster...everyone else brings WHATEVER...it's always fun because everyone brings something very different. Just my two cents! Hope you have a good time no matter what you decide.

      1. +2 For all potlucks that were cookouts, I knew it was BYOB besides the wine or beer the host STATE they will provide, if they don;t state it, it's BYOB (hosts usually always doe provide soft drinks) So you providing Alcohol is right off generous.
        Almost all cookout potlucks I've attended over way too many (but FUN!) years say, we provide the basics: Grill, charcoal, beer, plates etc, hot dogs, burgers, Bring a side a dessert and anything else you might want to grill.
        HeHeHe folks just can't seem to resist showboating at a cookout potluck.

        I think you are being a generous host.

        1. The host should provide everything, and the guests nothing. You are already grilling burgers and kielbassa and making desserts, what would the extra expense be of an iceberg salad with tomato and cucumber. You could also serve chips instead of potato salad. You are 90% there, go the extra 10%.

          6 Replies
            1. re: c oliver

              +1 You musta missed the PotLuck part of the post.

              1. re: Quine

                I did see that the poster was wanting to have a potluck, but they were making the main course, several desserts and refreshments, all that was left was a salad. Besides I hate potlucks. Either you host a party, or don't invite people over to bring their own food to your house.

                  1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                    See dfrost's reply below (4/15 at 7:06). In my circle of friends, a dinner party where the host has the financial responsibility for a main, sides, desserts, and alcohol is just *not possible*. We are all in our mid twenties to early thirties, some still in grad school, some working their first careers, some still struggling in crap hourly-wage jobs. Not everyone has the liquid assets to provide all that stuff. If you do, great -- host away! :)

                    1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                      Whether you can afford to host or not isn't the only point, either. You dislike potlucks -- fine. But some people like them!

                      Potlucks encourage sharing of recipes, and you also have the fun of chatting with your friends to coordinate who brings what and what will go together well. It's a group effort rather than a solo one, everyone gets to show off their favorite dish, and no one has so much work to do that they can't relax. It's simply a different experience from hosting a whole dinner.

                      My thought is that the OP is trying to make too much and should delegate out more.

              2. Why call if a potluck if you're going to do all that? If it were me, I'd provide the grill and charcoal since it'll be at my place. I'd offer to provide one meat and a side dish; maybe one alcoholic beverage, soft drinks & ice. Then I'd tell everyone else what I'm providing & let them bring what they want. Otherwise, you may as well tell them it's an invitation to dinner & provide everything.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Cherylptw

                  Exactly, Cheryl. Either have a potluck or have a cookout/dinner party. One or the other.