Hosting the perfect BBQ seems like it should be an easy feat—all you really need is a grill and some beers, right? Wrong. With the Fourth of July less than a week away, people all over the country are all beginning to internally panic as they realize they are ill-equipped to actually host the BBQ they thought would be "a fun, casual get-together," which has since snowballed into a much bigger affair.
You may need help planning your perfect summertime BBQ because A) you've never actually thrown a BBQ (grilling is no joke, and people expect grilled meats on national holidays, FYI) and/or B) you've just been too lazy to prepare or think about what you'll cook.
But look at it this way: Get this party under your belt and you'll be in the clear for the rest of the summer (until Labor Day, that is). If you're still in a bit of a panic, don't worry, we've got you covered.
Here are the 10 items you need to throw the perfect BBQ all summer long.
A Multiuse Tray (or 5)
Trays in general are extremely useful to have on hand (for organizing, for your coffee table, etc.), but when throwing a BBQ, you should have some pretty ones that can go straight from grill-side to your dinner table.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $55 for 3
A Crowd-Pleasing BBQ Sauce
Well, this is a no-brainer. Gotta have a quality BBQ sauce if you're going to have a BBQ! This is one of our favorite sauces. Yum!
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $11
Some Menu Inspo
Not sure what to make but don't want to go deep down a Pinterest rabbit hole? Buy this gorgeous grilling book, filled with delicious and inventive ideas, and then an added bonus—it doubles as a beautiful coffee-table book.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $25
A Basting Brush
There are a few key grilling tools you'll want handy, and a good silicone basting brush is one of them. The silicone doesn't trap in odor and they're usually dishwasher safe.
SHOP NOW: Amazon, $7.99
Condiment and Snack Vessels
Just as you can never have too many pretty trays, you can never have too many little dishes such as this. Having vessels around this size are a pretty way to put out snacks for your guests, or to present condiments so you don't have a bunch of ugly bottles on the table. Plus (since we're all about investing in pieces that play double duty), these can also work well as jewelry holders and soap dishes when they're not being utilized at your dinner parties.
SHOP NOW: Super Good Thing, $24
A Meat Thermometer
Yes, this is another handy (but quite frankly necessary) tool for grilling. No one wants to get sick on the Fourth of July!
SHOP NOW: Target, $9.99
Grill + Serving Tongs
No need to stick with your run-of-the-mill boring silver or plastic tongs—these gold ones are the gussied-up version. They're great not just for flipping your meats—give 'em a wash before dinner and use them for serving too!
SHOP NOW: JC Penney, $17
It's all fun and games until good ol' Steve has one too many beers at the BBQ and breaks another three of your everyday plates. Instead of taking the risk, invest in some melamine plates. There are sooo many pretty options out there now, but we are partial to these guys from Food52.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $28–$45
Aesthetically pleasing mixing bowls are a thing of beauty. Toss a salad together in one, marinate meats in another, throw some grilled veggies in the third! They're hard-working and utilitarian but also pretty enough to bring to the table.
SHOP NOW: Macy's, $67
Quality Hot Sauce(s)
At a BBQ of more than a handful of people, there's bound to be at least one person who likes to spice things up a little—our hot sauce expert (don't ask questions) loves Queen Majesty, and this sampler of three is good for your guests to have a little variety.
SHOP NOW: Queen Majesty, $15
Of course you're gonna need a cooler or ice bucket for beers, but in lieu of having to make a million cocktails, make a batch drink and pop it in a large drink dispenser for easy self-serving.
SHOP NOW: CB2, $100
Not Your Average Plastic Flatware
Finally, plastic cutlery that won't break in half the minute you try to cut your steak! This very durable flatware is machine washable and reusable but still serves all the same purposes but without the waste.
SHOP NOW: Food52, $76