It’s time to go outside and light up the grill. Well, you’ll probably need to clean it first but right after that it’s time to fire it up and cook some food! Don’t let your hard work go to waste. If you’re going to host an outdoor BBQ, you might as well get the most bang for your BBQ.

Outdoor BBQs can be a lot of work and they can be a heck of a good time. Anything worth doing takes some work. But why not enjoy the process? Here are some BBQ essentials and ideas to spark an awesome BBQ party. Grab your tongs and let’s go.

BBQ Tool Set.

There’s nothing like having a great BBQ tool set complete with a cool and rugged case. Not only do guys really enjoy pulling out a tool case (for any occasion), it’s also really helpful when cooking a wide array of food. Here are the basics of a good tool set but you can go big and elaborate, or as simple as they come.

  • Metal spatula with a grill length handle (don’t burn your hand!).
  • Metal tongs for those slippery and awkward food items (think corn, potatoes and large chunks of meat).
  • Metal tongs fork – because sometimes you gotta stick it.
  • Basting brush – integrating flavors during cooking can really elevate your BBQ.
  • Metal skewers – everyone loves a kebab.
  • Metal corn holders. Ouch, don’t burn those fingers.
  • Big, metal grill scraper – you’ll use this every time.

The Dishes.

You can choose to use your nice, glass or ceramic houseware, but why risk it? If you don’t want to risk breaking expensive houseware, then consider one of two options. You can buy disposable plates, cups, and utensils. Or you can buy plastic plates, cups and utensils. If you want to use and throw it away, go with the disposable. But if you want something you can use again and again, find a good set of plastic for your outdoor BBQ. Either way, it’s kid friendly, it won’t break and both will save your good kitchenware.  

Chill Outside.

Why have a cooler when you have a whole fridge inside? Not only will an outdoor cooler keep in and out traffic to a minimum, but cool refreshments are an arms length away. It’s a win-win. There are a ton of creative coolers that have dual purposes. Some coolers double as tables and others are simply awesome decor pieces.


If you don’t have trees in your backyard, consider some large umbrellas or a canopy. Even though the temperature says 90 degrees, it will feel 100 degrees plus. Cook the food, not your guests.   

Bugs! Be Gone.

Nothing  can put a damper on outdoor fun like bugs. There are dozens of different options for keeping the bugs away. There are traditional bug sprays, ultrasonic pest repellers, slow-release essential oils, candles and more. Each offer pros and cons so consider your chemical tolerance, their efficacy, and what works best for your family and location.  


The sounds of the outdoors can be nice, but some great music can really liven up an outdoor BBQ. If you don’t have outdoor speakers, consider a weatherproof patio bluetooth speaker. The sound quality can be great and all you need is a smart phone and Pandora or Spotify. Bluetooth speakers range from $100 to $400. Kick on your favorite playlist and enjoy.  


You might have a plethora of good jokes, but eventually you’ll run out. Consider a few fun outdoor games to keep your BBQ lively and entertaining. Cornhole is a fan favorite but there are plenty of other options. You can get a giant yard pong set, a bocce ball set, horseshoes, a croquet set or a simple frisbee. Games are fun and help people bond and interact. Play and enjoy.

Sit or Stand?

After all those fun games, your guests may want to take a load off. If you don’t have a posh outdoor patio set, consider some inexpensive folding chairs and tables. There are a bunch of options ranging from $30 to $300. Plus, you know all your friends have tailgating chairs they can bring!

Cold and Spiked.

On a hot summer day with the grill blazing, there are two things that bring instant refreshment. Ice cream and adult beverages. You could have drinks and then ice cream or you could combine the two! Tipsy Scoop Boozy Ice Cream makes ice cream spiked with some of your favorite mixes. Cake batter vodka martini, dark chocolate whiskey salted caramel and spiked hazelnut coffee are some of their decadent options. But, if you’re more of a traditionalist you can make some perfect BBQ inspired drinks with gin, rum or whiskey. For some great ideas on BBQ adult beverages, check out this post with 29 Awesome BBQ drink ideas.

Outdoor BBQs can be as traditional or creative as you like. The point is to have fun, enjoy the company of family and friends and spend some time outdoors. If you have suggestions for more outdoor BBQ essentials, feel free to leave a comment below and let us know what makes your BBQ pop and sizzle.

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