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4 Unexpected Summer BBQ Essentials

The summer is in full swing. You’ve been to at least a half-dozen barbecues. You’ve scouted the competition. And you’ve seen enough frozen burgers and melted Kraft singles to know that the summer grilling crown is up for the taking. But to secure the title of neighborhood BBQ champ you’ve got to do more than just perfect your marinade. It’s all about mastering the often-overlooked elements that can make or break a backyard fete. Here are a few unexpected but easy entertaining wins to help you host your next BBQ in style.

Festive, Long-Lasting Dinnerware

Dump the cheap paper plates that wilt under the weight of ribs. Instead, serve your grillables on something more eye-catching, substantial, and re-useable. A good option: these striped plastic serving plates from Crate & Barrel. Made of durable melamine, they’re perfect for outdoors. And their rectangular shape will give the buffet table Instagram-worthy style.

Top-Shelf Towelettes

Standard paper towels are serviceable for a one-person TV dinner. And alcohol-laced American flag nappies are fine for roadside greasy spoons. But your gathering will go from good to great if you supply your guests with next-level towelettes. The eucalyptus or lemon varieties from Herban Essentials are perfect for simple BBQ sauce removal—but more importantly for a calming, refreshing pause following the feast.

Sun Protection for All

Odds are, at least half of your guests won’t come prepared with sun protection. Give them a welcome surprise by stashing some on the side tables or near the bar. For a hands- and mess-free option, try Raw Materials SPF 30 Stick. The food is bound to be finger-lickin’ good, and SPF on the hands shouldn’t besmirch such indulgences.

Your Grill Master Game Face

Remember: You’re master of ceremonies, guide, and pit boss all in one. So look the part. Instead of juggling a handful of implements, reach for an all-purpose grill scepter, like this multi-tool from Quirky. And throw on a sturdy apron, which will both identify you as the host and also keep your clothing protected.

Bobby Schuessler

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