This Weekend, We're Staying In, but Cooking Out—Join Us!

Here's why we plan to #stayincookout on Saturday.

March 27, 2020
Photo by Bobbi Lin

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.

Life has changed a lot in the last two weeks: We're self-isolating at home, scheduling virtual happy hours and all sorts of remote hangouts (read: FaceTime charades), and trying not to check the news every five minutes. One thing that's giving us comfort right now, as it always does, is cooking.

Whether it's pantry dinners, freezer-friendly recipes, or hearty soups, we've been spending a lot of time inside and around the stovetop. But it's also almost April, which means the weather around many parts of the U.S. has been warming up (and in some cities, it's been downright beautiful out).

Normally, we'd say now's the perfect time to invite a bunch of friends over and throw a big ol' cookout. And while that's not possible right now (or, at least in the way it normally looks), our friend Scott Moody—co-owner of PK Grills and a partner in the Fire & Smoke Society—has a solution. He's helping us head to the backyard and grill up a recipe or two in the company of good friends, all while social distancing.

Scott's started a mini-movement, #stayincookout, and it's all going down this Saturday, Mar. 28.

Here's the gist: On Saturday, professional chefs, BBQ experts, and home cooks (that's you!) everywhere will get friendly with fire, grill up their best recipes, and share videos and photos of what they're grilling throughout the day, all on social media. This means you can check out what everyone else is cooking up, give someone a virtual high-five for their perfectly charred center cut, or ask any burning questions you might have.

"The simple act of cooking and sharing food with friends (complete with cold beverages and one-liners), seems particularly appealing and even essential during these very strange times," says Paula Disbrowe, author of Any Night Grilling and Thank You for Smoking. "So, my buddy, Scott, figured the best alternative was a virtual barbecue, which allows our community of live-fire cooking enthusiasts to connect."

"The industry response has been tremendous, and the crowd continues to grow," she says. "Best of all, this cookout is for everyone, from enthusiastic weekend grillers to professional pitmasters. Several chef friends are joining in the fun, so there will be plenty of inspiration and pro tips, to boot."

To participate, just decide what you're going to grill up (we've included some ideas below), post a photo or video of your creation on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or all three, and use the hashtag #stayincookout. Even if you don't have a grill or backyard, you're more than welcome to join. Try using a grill pan or your oven's broiler, and sit and eat in a patch of sun (outside or inside both work wonderfully). For bonus points, tag #f52community, too—we want to see what you're making, too.

Think of it as the biggest cookout to ever hit the internet. We're in—are you?

A Few Cookout Favorites

What will you be cooking up this weekend? Tell us in the comments below!
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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • Smaug
Erin Alexander

Written by: Erin Alexander

Erin Alexander is the Managing Editor of Food52.


AntoniaJames March 28, 2020
I’m taking advantage of the time these days to perfect my procrastination skills, with particular emphasis on (not doing) housework. I’ve got some procrasti-baking planned for tomorrow, and its outdoor counterpart, procrasti-biking, for this afternoon, once it warms up a bit here. I'll be grilling next weekend, I hope - exactly what, well, that will depend on what's in the grocery store when I'm shopping. Among a variety of cooking and baking projects planned this weekend is this new-to-me recipe, Creamy White Bean and Fennel Casserole from Aaron Hutcherson

I made another of his recipes (the first of his that I've tried) a few weeks ago - it's excellent

Stay well, everyone. ;o)
Smaug March 28, 2020
Hmph- this is usually well into grilling season here in NorCal, but we've had an unusually cold and drippy March after a summery February- maybe next week.