7 Easy Upgrades That Will Make Your Next BBQ Awesome

Summer is universally accepted as BBQ season, but our favorite time to grill out is when summer turns to fall—when you can enjoy the warm days and cool nights without melting in the summer heat. And when we cookout, we do it right. Here’s a look at how:


Beer? Check. You can’t have a barbecue without that staple. A bottle or two of wine doesn’t hurt either. But throwing together a batch cocktail or even providing the ingredients for guests to make their own is an easy way to elevate your cookout. Keep your time and effort in check with cocktails that only require a few ingredients.


While the food’s cooking, you’ll want to get to the drinking and snacking. No need to get fancy here - go-to chips, salsa and guac are always crowd-pleasers. Popcorn is also a favorite and usually unexpected. And you can easily step it up with cheese, pepperoni and crackers. When in doubt, crowdsource by asking your friends to bring a dip or app along.


Cook up some killer meat without breaking the bank. Besides burgers, opt for chicken legs and thighs over breasts for a more flavorful, less expensive addition. Want to mix in some steak without splurging? Look for cuts like skirt or flank steak—grill-friendly without the crazy price tag of more premium cuts.


Photo by: Huckberry

Your standard buns and american cheese will give you a standard burger. But offering a little variation is a fairly inexpensive way to make the meal a little more interesting.  Try grabbing pretzel rolls or ciabatta bread in addition to your usual buns, and mix in options like cheddar cheese, pepper jack or blue cheese for another twist.


Whatever you do, don’t forget the sweet stuff. Our go-to? Gather some sticks, grab some mallows and make s’mores on the grill. Otherwise, ice cream and popsicles in the cooler are simple, cheap and damn good options.


With all the moving pieces in place, the music’s easy to overlook. You could queue up your standby Pandora station, or you could put some thought into it— but who has the time? Because we’re real pals, we put together a playlist for you. Think of it as chill alternative with just enough crowd-pleasing for people to have a good time and just enough under-the-radar for your friends to think your taste is pretty killer.


Photo by: Kinfolk

Over planning for your BBQ never goes to waste—extras means leftovers. You can sprinkle the meat with water or barbecue sauce the next day, wrap it in foil, and cook over indirect heat for 5 minutes.