Your Non-Food Summer BBQ Checklist

If you have ever thrown a BBQ, you’re aware there is more to it than meats…the eye (that one is for the grill daddies). You have to go buy the meats (or vegan meat alternatives), sure, but you also have to have the tools and tricks necessary to host a large group of people at a cookout in your backyard. Don’t know where to start? Been a long time since you hosted a BBQ (because COVID)? Well, don’t you worry, we aren’t going to grill you on it, instead we are kicking off the summer with this here (non-food) BBQ checklist just for you, babygrill.

(Yes there will be lots of puns in this article, it is a grilling article, after all. Don’t worry though, they will all be fire.)

Long Lighter

One of the most fun things about grilling is how comically long all of the utensils are. I don’t know if anyone else feels this way, but whenever I see a lighter whose lighty tube is the length of my forearm I giggle a bit. Can’t explain why, maybe that is something I need to bring up in therapy, but what I can tell you is that there is an actual practical reason for the length of these grill tools, and that’s so you don’t ever have to get too close to charcoals that have been doused in lighter fluid. Safety first, people! They’re great for lighting candles, too. Add one of these lighters to your BBQ checklist so you’ll have everything you need to make your BBQ lit.

Citronella Candles

Do you have mosquitos where you live? Of course you do, silly—you live on Earth! (And if you don’t, it’s rad that this is the publication that first introduced space aliens to human grill culture). Anyway, mosquitos are an issue, not to mention vectors for some narsty diseases, so if you want to protect your friends without having to walk around with a bottle of deet yelling “Who needs bug spray?!” and accidentally getting the very inedible substance in the previously edible food, just use citronella candles. They smell nice, they do the trick (well enough), and no one has to accidentally eat poison. Plus, if you are lucky they will leave behind a glass slipper and that’s fun. Wait, that’s Cinderella (I know, not funny. But ask yourself this: Would it be an authentic dad joke if it were?). Anyhoo, add these to your checklist for a BBQ (hey that rhymed).

Ice (one coolerfull for storing drinks in and one coolerfull for storing in drinks)

Fun fact about summer: It’s hot. Number one thing that is cold? Ice, ice, baby. Make sure you have two different coolers of ice, one for storing your drinks (beer, sodas, and seltzers—oh my!) and one for storing the ice to go in said drinks should people want them poured over ice. Oh, and make sure you have plenty of warm ice, too (aka water).

Fire Extinguisher 👀

Safety first. Grills is flames, my dudes. You want to be able to sing “We Didn’t Start the Fire” at your BBQ and also have that hold up in court.

Plates, Napkins, Utensils

With a large enough group of people, it’s just easier to buy disposable ones at the store. Plus, if you are concerned about the environmental ramifications of disposable dishes and utensils, don’t even trip, they make compostable ones now! So you can have your friends over AND avoid dishes AND still care about the Earth, creating the greatest good for the greatest number of people like the true ut(ens)ilitarian you are.


So no one told you life was gonna be this way? Don’t worry, your job may be a joke, you may be broke, and your love life could be DOA, but you can still have your pals over for a BBQ. Just don’t forget to invite them. I’ve been burned before (ironically, I remembered the fire extinguisher just not the invites).

Really Long Tongs/Flippy Spatula

These are just as funny, if not funnier, than the really long lighter, and they’re just as necessary, whether you are making burgers, sausages, or history. Make sure you have some long grilling tools so you don’t accidentally singe off all of your arm hair (and/or burn yourself) reaching over an open flame. Extra points if you name the tools Flip and Tongston—there’s no real joke there, I just think it would be super cute if people named their weirdly proportioned grilling tools.

Now go make your BBQ checklist and have a grand ol’ BBQ-filled summer. You got this, babygrill!

cookout week sporked

It’s Cookout Week at Sporked!

To kick off summer, we’re highlighting all the best foods and drinks you should be buying for cookouts, BBQs, grilling seshes, or any other type of al fresco partying and eating you’ll be doing this season.

About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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