It’s peak barbecue season and backyards are filling up with friends and relatives. Now, we’re not going to tell you what you should be grilling or how you should be grilling it — we know you have your own ideas about that. But what we do have are some suggestions that should help set the tone — letting everyone know you’re ready to cook and ready to party.
The Ultimate Grill Supply SetCuisinart Deluxe Grill Set
Yes, this is nearly as obvious as suggesting to make sure you have a grill. But you need to know about Cuisinart’s Deluxe Grill Set. The 20-piece set comes with a large spatula, tongs, silicone basting brush, multiple kebab skewers, corn holders — plus a digital temperature fork to make sure your meat is perfectly cooked. It all stores neatly in its own aluminum case.
Gather Around the Picnic TableLifetime Folding Picnic Table
This six-foot folding picnic table from Lifetime Products is tough enough to leave out in the backyard all year long, some reviewers claim. Just take a high-pressure hose to it at the beginning of summer and it’ll be ready for guests to sit comfortably on the sturdy polyethylene benches.
Make Sure Your Tablecloth Stays in PlaceProdyne Tablecloth Weights
"After years of frustrations of plastic or metal clips that break due to cheapness or different sizes of tables, I'm so happy I purchased 2 sets of these," one reviewer says of Prodyne’s metal tablecloth weights. They come in assorted motifs, from bunches of grapes to winged insects to a medley of BBQ-themed objects.
Portable Speaker and Table LampDIKAOU LED Flame Table Lamp
DIKAOU’s LED flame table lamp is a perfect centerpiece for tiki-themed barbecues, and not just because it can mimic the flicker of candlelight with 96 LED diodes. This elegantly designed piece of equipment also includes portable stereo speakers, which can be connected to your laptop or smartphone via Bluetooth. You can even sync up two or more speakers, bringing music to every corner of your yard.
Environmentally Friendly Dinner PlatesMelange 6-Piece Dinner Plate Set
This reusable six-piece dinner plate set, designed by Melange, provides an earth-friendly alternative to throwing away a bunch of flimsy paper or plastic plates. "They don’t look or behave like plastic," one reviewer says of the colorful plates, which are made out of an organic compound called melamine. "They seem to be indestructible."
Sturdy and Elegant Wine GlassesStemless Stainless Steel Wine Glasses
When it comes to drinking wine at an outdoor party, plain plastic cups get the job done, but they don’t feel very fancy. If you want to use real wine glasses, though, you’ll always be worrying about how many of them might accidentally break before the day’s through.
Keep Your Food Bug-FreePop-Up Mesh Food Covers
These pop-up mesh food covers from DealGenius are perfect for keeping flies, bees and other insects off your food while your friends are making their way to the serving table. They have a wide base — 17 square inches — so you can fit several small plates or bowls under a single tent.
Serving with StyleAvilla Napkin and Flatware Storage Caddy
It doesn’t take much to add fancy touches to your barbecue. Something as simple as this steel storage caddy, part of Mikasa’s Gourmet Basics line, lets you provide your guests with plates, napkins and flatware elegantly and efficiently.
Earth-Friendly Wooden FlatwareWooden Disposable Cutlery Sets
Plastic cutlery was created as a cheap, disposable alternative to having to clean "real" silverware after every use. But over the decades, our nonchalant approach to consumption has taken its toll on the Earth’s environment. Perfect Stix provides a green-friendly option with their disposable cutlery sets, which includes an assortment of wooden forks, knives and spoons.
Condiments and Garnishes, Chilled to PerfectionIce Chilled Condiment Server Caddy
You could just leave bottles of ketchup and mustard out on the table, maybe slide a couple pickles on to a plate and let them sit in the sun. Or you could break out this ice-chilled condiment caddy from VEBO, which lets you serve up to five different condiments and garnishes in separate containers.
Keep Your Drinks CoolBuddeez Party Beverage Dispenser
Buddeez’s 1.75-gallon beverage dispenser has a base that can be loaded up with ice. Plus, another section up top where you can add more ice cubes, ensuring that your second or third cup will be just as cold as your first. You can load it with water or get creative — try mixing a giant batch of Arnold Palmer or fruit punch. (You can let folks know what’s inside with the miniature chalkboard that’s included.)
A Convenient CoolerIgloo Insulated Party Bucket
Coolers are great, but if more than one or two people are searching the ice trying to find their favorite can or bottle, it can bring the party to a standstill. Igloo’s 20-quart party bucket solves that problem, because it’s approachable from all sides. "You couldn’t ask for more from a tub cooler," says one happy owner.
Who’s Up for Bocce?Bocce Ball Set
"I bought this for a family reunion that included my 94-year-old mother-in-law," says one reviewer of the Hey! Play! bocce ball set. "She’s the one who's the bocce pro in the group! She said this was a great set ... much better than anything she was used to." It’s a basic kit — two sets of four balls, plus the smaller pallino that establishes the target for each round.
Our Next Event: Cornhole!GoSports Wood Cornhole Sets
Cornhole traces its roots back to the late 19th-century, when a man named Heyliger de Windt filed a patent for an indoor alternative to horseshoes that involved throwing bean bags at a slanted board with a small hole cut in it. Over the decades, the game migrated back outside and is now a popular summer pastime.
Yes, It’s Basically Giant JengaGoSports Giant Wooden Toppling Tower
If this giant wooden toppling tower from GoSports reminds you of a much smaller game, you’re not imagining things. But this is no flimsy knockoff! The wooden blocks are made of solid pine, and the tower can rise several feet in the air.
Let’s Check the ScoreboardTandem Sport Deluxe Score Keeper
The Deluxe Score Keeper from Tandem Sport may seem like a weird accessory for a barbecue party, but if you have this along with your bocce kit, cornhole boards or badminton net, you can settle a lot of arguments before they even get started.
Spice Things Up With a Slow CookerPresto Nomad Traveling Slow Cooker
Everybody loves burgers, hot dogs, chicken wings and all that. But what about the side dishes — the chili, the baked beans, and the mac and cheese? That’s where Presto’s Nomad 6-Quart Traveling Slow Cooker comes in.
A Whiteboard that Doubles as a MenuTabletop Magnetic Easel & Whiteboard
The tabletop magnetic easel and whiteboard from DasKid might seem like another counterintuitive must-have for an outdoor barbecue. Think about it, though — how many times have you had to field questions from antsy kids (or adults) who want to know what’s cooking, or how long it’s going to take?
Shade IncludedALPHA Camp Chairs with Canopy
"The best lawn chair I have ever had," raves one reviewer about the ALPHA CAMP
Portable CupholdersDecko Outdoor Beverage Holder Stakes
Decko’s heavy duty outdoor beverage/drink holder stakes are a great solution when you have no-frills lawn chairs and you don’t want your friends to be stuck holding a half-empty can or bottle all the time. Just push the stake into the ground, and the two-prong base provides a sturdy foothold so you can set your drink aside without worrying it’ll fall or get knocked over.
Get Serious About SunscreenBlue Lizard Australian Sunscreen
Some of you are probably thinking, "I don’t need to be reminded to wear sunscreen at an outdoor barbecue." If so, good for you! But some of you weren’t thinking that, so we’re going to remind everyone anyway, because it’s important to do everything you can to shield yourself — and your family — from the sun’s ultraviolet rays and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Turn Your Backyard into a Water ParkRocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Slide Bouncer
How do you keep a bunch of small children entertained until their burgers and hot dogs are ready? The Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Slide Bouncer rises to the challenge, providing what one reviewer calls "perfect summer fun."
Backyard RelaxationVivere Double Cotton Hammock
With Vivere’s freestanding hammock, you don’t need a pair of trees in your backyard to enjoy a relaxing nap. The steel stand lets you set up just about anywhere, and the cotton hammock holds up to 450 pounds — enough to accommodate a romantic couple or a small family. You can also sit up straight in the middle, turning the hammock into a very fancy lawn chair.
A Wine Cooler That Doubles as a TableOutdoor Patio Pool Cooler Table
Display4Top’s rattan-style cooler table is an ingenious piece of backyard furniture. Closed, it looks like an ordinary end table with a rattan base. If you pull up the lid, though, you’ll find a bucket inside that’s perfect for keeping a few bottles of wine on ice.
A Sturdy and Versatile Trash CanCamco Collapsible Utility Container
Even if you’re just having a few friends or relatives over, a good BBQ party can quickly generate a significant amount of rubbish. Camco makes a collapsible utility container that makes dealing with garbage quick and easy. Fully open, it’s the perfect size for a 30-gallon bag, which you can then take out, tie up and set aside until trash day comes. Or set one out to collect bottles and cans for recycling!
Outdoor Mood LightingLemontec String Lights
If you want to keep the party going past sundown and you havet electrical outlets on the outside of your house, Lemontec’s string lights are "perfect for patio lighting," says one reviewer. The strings are 25 feet long, with bulbs spaced a foot apart, and an additional six feet of cord at either end. (You can string up to three sets together to cover more ground.)
Keep Mosquitoes Away in StyleMolded Glass Table Torch
Sure, you’re going to spray yourself and your kids with insect repellent. But you also want to keep the bugs away from your table — which is where TIKI’s molded glass table torches come in. The tabletop torches are a cute addition to your party’s decor, coming in an assortment of red, green and blue glass.
The Perfect Fire PitRoman Fire Pit
String lights are great, but they won’t keep you warm if the temperature drops at night. That’s when you need Fire Sense’s Roman Fire Pit.
This small, portable fire pit sits close to the ground, perfectly designed for bringing a small group together, whether you’re enjoying a few drinks or breaking out marshmallows for toasting. There’s also a screen to keep embers from the fire from flying up and landing on you or your lawn. And, once the fire dies down and the ashes cool, it’s easy to clean and store away until you need it again.