Terrence Nelson, TV producer: It’s all about the aroma and the music . . . and maybe a little wine.
Nichele Benton, administrative officer: Keep the bugs away so people can enjoy their meals. Cover the food with food nets, keep fans blowing to prevent mosquitoes from landing, check for beehives, and keep the smell of mint and citronella candles blowing.
Jay Garrett, program analyst: Do as much the day—or days—before the cookout as possible, like preparing sides or marinating the meat.
Rachel Grier, risk analytics consultant: Wrap corn-on-the-cob in aluminum foil with butter and Old Bay. Then throw it on the grill. A Baltimore staple!
Emily Martin, advertising account director: Kabobs are popular at our house because they don’t require constant attention. Plus, your guests get a variety of veggies and protein—all skewered and grilled to perfection at once.