Summer is here and it’s time for a barbecue! Whether you’re planning a small backyard cookout for the family or a big barbecue party, there are a few essentials you need. From the food to tools for the grill and cold drinks to table settings, a checklist of everything you need will ensure you don’t forget a thing.

The grill is the heart of any great barbecue. While grills come in all shapes and sizes and every backyard chef has their preference between gas and charcoal, the tools you need are all the same.

An investment in a good set of barbecue tools can last for years. Ensure that you have a stainless steel spatula, tongs, and a grilling fork that can stand up to the heat. A basting brush will also come in handy, as will a flame-resistant glove and an apron. Don’t forget the extra gas or charcoal for the grill, either!

The Grill Checklist

  • Spatula
  • Tongs
  • Grill Fork
  • Grill Glove
  • Apron
  • Gas or Charcoal
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Oil
  • Towel

A good supply of drinks will keep everyone cool and refreshed. There are many beverages that are ideal for a backyard cookout, so you’re sure to find something for everyone.

Drinks for Everyone

Offer a variety of nonalcoholic drinks for kids and guests who don’t drink alcohol. The most important drink, especially if it’s a hot day, is water. Be sure to have plenty in stock so everyone can stay hydrated.

Fruit punches are perfect for a summer cookout and a pitcher of homemade lemonade is always a hit. You can also offer other fun recipes like the sparkling cranberry punch or the cardinal punch.

Drinks for Adults

Filling the cooler with ice-cold beer is a barbecue tradition. While you can pick up a case of your trusted go-to brand, there are many fantastic beers to explore.

Pairing barbecued foods with wine is another adventure that can keep you busy all summer. It’s fun to discover the “rules” of finding a great cookout wine and you’ll often find that inexpensive red wines are the best picks.

You can also show off your bartending skills and there are many fun cookout-worthy cocktails. They’re typically easy to mix and play up the freshest fruits of the summer.

The Beverage Checklist

  • Beer, Wine, Cocktails
  • Lemonade or Nonalcoholic Punch
  • Soda
  • Water
  • Plastic Cups
  • Cooler
  • Ice
  • Bottle Opener
  • Corkscrew