Summer means barbecues. It means it’s time to head to the backyard, fire up the grill, and enjoy some quality time with friends and family. It means pool parties, lounging in the shade, and chowing down on anything and everything that can be flame-grilled: brats, ribs, pineapple, veggie burgers, kabobs, you name it! It’s a time for friends, family, and neighbors to gather and catch up, play a few games and enjoy some time off, and watch the kids run through the sprinkler. It’s a time to relax and unwind in the sunshine and enjoy the grass between your toes.

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But there’s a lot more that goes into a summer cookout than a great menu. Spice up the experience, whether it’s in your own backyard or someone else’s, with everything you need for the perfect summer barbecue and enjoy the experience like never before.

Portable Charcoal Grill

You don’t need a $300 grill to enjoy a summer cookout, especially if you’re planning to take the party on the road, say to a nearby park or poolside in a neighbor’s backyard. A portable charcoal grill could be just the thing you need. All that’s required is a bag of charcoal, a bottle of lighter fluid, and a box of matches and you have yourself a grilling setup that’s ready to char some meat. Check out our recommended grill HERE.

Bamboo Torches

Add a little ambiance and festive atmosphere to your summer barbecue whether or not the invite reads Luau. Torches can provide light into the night, a fun tropical vibe, or simply decoration, and if you fill them with citronella oil, they also keep those pesky bugs away, too. That’s something everyone can support. You can find the perfect torches HERE.

Beverage Dispenser

There’s nothing worse than warm lemonade on a hot summer day. Keep it frosty with a couple of cold drink dispensers. Ice inside and below the vessel is kept separate from your iced tea or fruit punch so beverages stay chilled, but don’t get watered down as the ice melts. It’s an essential addition to your perfect summer barbecue, and you can see our top pick HERE.

Biodegradable Plates and Utensils

Nobody wants to do dishes after a cookout. But using up four trash bags full of plastic utensils and paper plates that are going straight to the landfill isn’t very green. The solution: biodegradable plates and utensils. Made out of palm leaf, wood, or bamboo, they will break down much faster than plastic and coated paper plates, and if your municipality offers composting services, it will be transformed into usable soil or mulch in no time flat! Find your perfect eco-friendly utensils HERE.

Bean Bag Toss Game

What’s a perfect summer barbecue without games (and a little friendly competition)? With this bean bag toss game, colloquially known as corn hole in these parts, you can set up in minutes and play the day away. You don’t even have to set down your soda. And since it’s portable, it can accompany you to the street fair, company picnic, or family get-together, too. Check out this party favorite HERE.

BBQ Grill Accessory Set

Never be caught without the right tool again. This barbecue grill accessory set contains everything you need to tend to the contents of your grill. Check to ensure the meat is done with the thermometer, skewer a few vegetables for kabobs, get flipping with the tongs, and when the night is over, scrub your grill squeaky clean so it’s ready to go next weekend. The best part: it’s easy to keep it all together in the handy storage case. Your barbecue right-hand man can be found HERE.

Citronella Candles

Nothing can ruin an otherwise perfect summer barbecue better than mosquitos. Keep them at bay with citronella candles placed strategically around the yard: at picnic tables, on patios, and next to the grill. That way, you can keep enjoying time with friends and family well after dusk. They smell great, too. Check out these multi-purpose candles HERE.

Portable Speaker

Don’t be tethered to a sound system when it’s time to head outside. Get a portable Bluetooth speaker HERE instead. That way you can keep your phone on hand to capture summertime memories (or text directions to your cousins) and still pump your favorite tunes while you barbecue. This model is also waterproof so you can use it by the pool or the beach without fear of a little H2O getting splashed in its direction.

String Lights

Another great way to add ambiance to your cookout, as well as light up the night, is with twinkling string lights. The glowing globes provide an ethereal atmosphere and invite one and all to pull up a chair and relax. Even when the sun goes down the party can still continue! These are rated for indoor and outdoor use, so you can leave them up all season long. Light up your barbecue with these lights found HERE.

Lounge Chairs

Speaking of chairs, no one wants to spend the whole day on their feet! And while any old chair might do, these zero gravity lounge chairs are the epitome of comfort. You and your guests can sit back, sip a frosty beverage, put your feet up, and stay all day if you want! And since they fold up to about the same size as a regular folding lawn chair, you can take them with you when you barbecue hop this summer. Backyard lounging has never been so comfortable with these chairs HERE.

Barbecue with Confidence

Everything you need for the perfect summer barbecue is within reach. Add just a few extra items to your pre-event checklist and you’re practically guaranteed to put on a swell backyard soiree filled with fun, laughter, and togetherness. So before you schedule your next cookout, send invites, or head to the grocery store, stock up on these other essentials to ensure your backyard festivities will be the best of the season.

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*Disclosure: Some of the links included in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.