Summer is here, and that means grilling! If you have a grill that’s been sitting on your back deck for the past season, it’s probably ready to lose the weather-proof cover and get cranked up. As it starts to look more and more like households across the U.S. will get to enjoy major grilling holidays with friends and family this year, you’ll need to stock up on the best accessories for your grill. If you’re looking to host the ultimate summer cookout, here are some of the best grilling accessories out there to ensure your event is successful!
- A Durable Yet Fun Apron. When you’re grilling outside, it’s easy to get messy — with the flames spitting burger juice and grease everywhere, you don’t want to get your party clothes dirty or stained! That’s why a good apron is absolutely necessary for your ultimate summer cookout. There’s no point in grilling all the good food before guests arrive, but that means you’ll be manning the grill until it’s time to eat during the actual event. No time to change your clothes! That’s why a durable apron is essential for grilling this summer. You can even find fun custom aprons that are perfect for your personality!
- A Charcoal Starter. Sometimes getting your grill started can take a long time — much too long for any good party to get started. And, let’s face it — sometimes we run a little late. In those situations, it’s helpful to have a charcoal starter on hand. The fire will get your coals ready in no time, so you can get to grilling without having to wait around all day. Plus, your food will have that delicious, charcoal grill taste without the hassle. Perfect for your first summer cookout in over a year!
- A Heat-Resistant Grill Brush. Build-up on your grill racks is disgusting and a total pain to deal with. A heat-resistant grill brush is essential for any successful summer cookout. It’s important to keep your grill clean because it makes it easier to cook with. Your food will cook more evenly and taste much better. Plus, the heat-resistant feature means you don’t have to wait for hours until the grill cools down completely to start removing the buildup on your grill.
- A Cutting Board. Did you know that cutting boards are for more than chopping up food? That’s right — cutting boards are perfect displays! Lay out all the good selections from the grill on a cutting board for everyone to enjoy, or plate up all the necessary condiments. You could even slice your grilled meat to order right there on the cutting board. If you’re attending a summer housewarming, cutting boards also make for the perfect summer gift, so bring one to the cookout and watch as it gets used instantly!
- A Tool Set. Sometimes, getting everything in a set is much better than accumulating individual items. If your grilling tools haven’t been used in a while, or they’re looking a little worse for wear, consider getting a tool set! They conveniently come with all the necessary tools — and maybe even a couple of extra you didn’t realize you needed. A tool set will make your grilling experience much more seamless and efficient, so your ultimate summer cookout will go off without a hitch!
- A Wall Sign. Let your guests know that it’s your grilling area they’re walking into with a fun wall sign! Get it personalized with your name or your address for a fun addition. Mix it up a bit and use a garden sign instead of a wall sign. Place it right by your grill for everyone to see. Your guests will love it!
You don’t have to choose something that’s related to grilling for your wall or garden sign — something fun and summery will do the trick, too. Either way, adding some decor to your grilling space will ensure your cookout looks great. Don’t forget to spruce up your back patio, too — fresh throw pillows, a new outdoor rug and maybe even some new outdoor cutlery and dishware to really make the space shine.
- Cooking Trays. You can cook all sorts of things on your grill! Why waste time running back and forth into the kitchen when you can cook all your vegetables and even dessert on your grill? A set of grill-friendly cooking trays is a great accessory for every aspiring master griller out there, especially if you want to host the ultimate summer cookout. Your guests will be so amazed at all you can do with your grill — some of them might even be a little bit jealous!
Cast iron skillets are also good tools for your grill, especially for desserts. While they might be a little bit more expensive, they’re versatile and will last you for years.
- A Good Meat Thermometer. No one wants to be the person who serves undercooked — or overcooked — meat. Having a good meat thermometer on hand that can withstand the heat of your grill is essential for hosting the ultimate summer cookout. When people attend cookouts, they really care about the grilled items, so having a meat thermometer that will tell you precisely how cooked (or not!) your meat is will go a long way in ensuring you have a successful event that your guests will remember for years to come.
- A Smoker Box. There are grills, and there are smokers. Then, there are grills that can become smokers. Yep, even your gas grill can still get that smoker effect! Get yourself a smoker box that you can put wood chips in for an instant smoky flavor in your grilled food. Be careful, though — too many wood chips will make your food taste less smoky and more like you’re eating the wood chips themselves. Start out small and taste test before trying it out with a crowd. Your guests, and your tastebuds, will thank you!