Summer isn’t complete without an epic BBQ and our guide will help you host the season’s most beloved activity by transforming your backyard into an enviable grilling location. From the best cooking equipment to perfect platters and décor, here are our favorite summer barbecue ideas to make your place a headquarters for fun, friends, and food.
Grill to Perfection
It doesn’t matter how great your backyard is if the food fails to impress. Great barbecues start with great grills, like this Thermos four-burner propane grill. The sleek design features stainless steel burners and porcelain-coated grill grates so your food won’t stick. If your space is small, or you simply do not want to use gas or charcoal, opt for this patio bistro electric grill, which uses a TRU-infrared system for even grilling. Don’t forget the meat thermometer to ensure you’re grilling to perfection.
Dress to Impress
There’s no reason to not look good while you’re cooking for your friends. This denim barbecue apron has leather straps and folds up easily to grab and go. It also features pockets in which to keep all your cooking tools accessible.
Handle With Care
Once your meat is grilled to satisfaction, these bear claws will help you handle it without making a mess. They’re ideal for pulled pork, chicken, and other sizzling food. Prefer to get even more hands-on? These heat-resistant gloves have a great grip and allow you to use all your fingers. It’s a good idea to always have some durable tongs nearby too. Feeling more and more like the Grill Master yet?
While you’re busy cooking veggies or tossing fresh greens, keep food hot with this fashionable serving platter, featuring a cast iron plate and bamboo board. Use it for steak, sizzling fajitas, or even hot veggies.
Sit or Swing
Instead of rounding up all the mismatched chairs in your house or resorting to having guests sit on the ground, invest in some portable folding stools. They’re ultra-comfortable and easily collapsible, so you can stow them away quickly when the party’s over. A hammock is a great way to hang out at a barbecue, and this one adds a dash of color to the scene.
Throw Good Shade
Don’t let your barbecue result in a sunburn. Keep things cool with an outdoor canopy. Sturdy and wear-resistant, this canopy lets you throw shade in the best way possible and even provides shelter from the rain in case your summer barbecue gets hit with an unexpected drizzle.
Keep drinks on ice in this 80-quart party cooler, which features a bottom tray for convenience, and wheels so you can roll drinks around to all your party guests. Beer stays cold for up to 48 hours — and you never know how long your epic barbecue will go on.
Keep It Lit
When the sun sets, keep the party going by adorning with fairy lights or dreamy lanterns. After all, the food will still be hot and the drinks still cold. A summer barbecue is truly epic when guests don’t want to leave. Who says you can’t sleep in a hammock?
Prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
Erica Garza is an author and essayist from Los Angeles. Her writing has appeared in TIME, Health, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Women’s Health, and VICE.