I meant to say something about the "we'll bring the grill, you bring the meat" kind of parties.
I don't really consider that a pot luck per se, as everyone is essentially bringing their own main dish. I've never been to one of those kinds of parties. I've heard of them but never known anyone who had one. The idea of it strikes me as problematic. Firstly, I don't want to go to a party then stand over a grill cooking. I want to eat already prepared food and socialize. Secondly, you're sharing the grill -- so do two or three people stand at the grill at the same time? Do you end up watching other peoples' food if they walk away? Do you have to wait your turn to cook so some are eating while others are standing around with their raw meat languishing? I dunno, the concept just doesn't work for me.
I have had huge successes with "Bring your own meat" parties in the past. (My annual horseradish party -- I've posted about this many times before, hope you all aren't sick of me talking about it by now.
I consider it to be a fully hosted event because I provide all the sides, apps. and drinks. The only thing I don't provide is the meat because I can't really afford 30+ steaks. Plus, this way, people can bring their favorite cut of steak or brats or ka-bobs or whatever. I've had a vegetarian or two bring things like portabella mushrooms or veggie burgers and there was no problem covering a portion of the grill with tin foil and grilling to their specifications (uncovered so as not to get the meat smoke residue.)
The main meal is staggered so that not everybody is eating at the same time. There is no set time for "dinner" so all the meat is not thrown on the grill all at once. The invite states the party starts "Anytime after 2:00 p.m." So some people show up at 2 and are hungry for their steaks right away (late lunch.) Others show up at 3 or 4 and won't want their steaks until 5 (dinner) . . . It's very casual that way.
I have 2 grills going and there's usually a good handful+ of men hanging out at the grills doing the manly thing Oh-oh-oh-uuh-ohhh (how do you spell that Tim Allen style?
) who are more than happy to cook your meat for you. If you prefer you can grill your own.
If you are particular about how your meat is cooked? The best thing to do is bring the grill-chef a fresh beer
as a tip, then hang out at the grill if you want to supervise.A lot
of socializing is done grill side.
I can understand that these types of parties can be problematic if everybody (20+ people) wants to eat at the same time and there is only one small grill available.