Barbecues are the quintessential summertime social activity and there are plenty of budget-friendly options for your next outdoor soirée.
Summer barbecues are back in fashion thanks to their recession-friendly hosting costs and the number of inexpensive, cool gadgets that take entertaining up a notch, but keep the party price tag low. Here are a few great and affordable items that will make your next BBQ a little bit more enjoyable.
1. BBQ Board. This multipurpose number is great for segmenting your BBQ responsibilities. You can do the prep work on one side and the carving and presentation on the other. We love the deep side grooves that catch the juices, plus the engraved tips that ensure you’re BBQing meat to perfection. $25.
2. Skewers. These extra-wide stainless-steel skewers not only look fab, but they’re functional, too. The thick design means slippery foods, like tomatoes and fish, don’t slip off. They’re chic enough to serve on and you can’t beat the price. $15 for a set of 6.
3. Pizza Tools. Just because it’s barbecue season doesn’t mean you can’t splurge for a nice pizza pie … on the grill. Grillpro’s Pizza Stone Kit comes with a 13-inch stone, wire support and pizza peel. $20.
4. All-Purpose Spice Rub. This spicy, smoky blend of paprika and chipotle is just what the grill master ordered. It works on everything from seafood to ribs to beef so it makes prep work super easy (and price-friendly). $8.50.
5. Lanterns. Nighttime entertaining requires great lighting. Our pick are these recycled lanterns that add candlelit ambiance to your tabletop, patio or deck. $20 each.
6. Acrylic dishware and platters. They’re hip, stylish and complete unbreakable! The twist melamine dinnerware and serving pieces allow you to entertain outdoors in style without the headache of broken dishes. $8 to $9.
7. Griddle. This double-side griddle features a smooth side for grilling just about anything from eggs and pancakes to sandwiches and flatbreads and a raised grooved side for taking the BBQ effect indoors. $26.
8. Tools. We’re guessing this 18-piece Stainless Steel BBQ Tool Set contains every single tool ever produced for the grill. It’s got corn holders, a grill brush, knives, tongs, you name it. Plus, it features extra-long easy-to-handle rubberized grips and a carrying bag so you can strut around the yard. $30.
9. Barbecue wok. Finally, a way to perfect veggies on the grill. This baby doubles as a steamer or stir-fry depending on your palate. $20.
10. Grill baskets. These baskets provide the easiest way to flip fish, seafood and bite-size cuts of meat. We love this style because the small holes prevent food from slipping through. $17.
11. Cooking Bands. In lieu of toothpicks, twine or any other flammable ties used by your butcher or fish monger, test-drive these BBQ-friendly cooking bands. They’re color-coded so you can appease your guests’ preference on meat doneness. $5.
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