Everything You Need to Host an Unforgettable Backyard Barbecue

Hosting an easy going barbecue should be stress-free. Many of your worries can be waived with a mere change of attitude. Can't decide on a menu? Turn the party into a potluck. Let your colorful spread of foods stand in for decor. If guests offer to tend to the grill or help clean up, let them! There are only a few things you really need to ensure your party goes swimmingly. Read on for 12 ways to pull off a backyard barbecue without a hitch.

Houzz outdoor dining table
Houzz handmade burlap table runner with bee on it photo

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Bee Burlap Table Runner

There's no reason to go overboard with decorations at a casual barbecue. A simple table runner will go a long way in dressing up the patio. The bee on this handmade burlap runner practically screams summer. Available only on Houzz.

Price $50

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Houzz oversized Jenga game photo

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Giant Wooden Blocks Game

There's nothing like a good game to kick off a party. A tumbling tower of giant blocks will surely break the ice as friends and family arrive. Lawn games set the mood for a laid-back party. They're especially helpful at occupying folks if dinner is running behind schedule and, of course, for keeping kids entertained.

Price $139.99

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Houzz patio umbrella with LED lights photo

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Deluxe Solar Powered LED Lighted Patio Umbrella

This two-in-one umbrella provides shade during the day and mood lighting at night. The 24 LED bulbs are solar-powered and last nine to 12 hours. Supplement the light-up umbrella with candles, lanterns and sconces for a warm and friendly glow.

Price $96.99

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Houzz serve bowl with built-in ice bucket photo

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Prodyne Dip Bowl

Thanks to warmer weather, summer parties tend to last all day. A serving bowl with a built-in ice bucket will keep dips and appetizers chilled throughout the whole shindig, so you don't have to refresh the snack station every 30 minutes. Go ahead, enjoy the party.

Price $16.99

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Houzz bar set with island and matching bar stools photo

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Oneida Outdoor Bar Island Set

Elevate your get-together with a new outdoor bar. This wicker furniture set includes two bar stools for extra seating and a sturdy island to gather around. There are two shelves behind the bar for storing mixers, dinnerware and paper towels. Stock it before the party to eliminate trips inside for forgotten items.

Price $236.99

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Houzz glass charms shaped like squirrels photo

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Social Climbers Squirrel Charms

It's every host's frustration to find half-empty glasses abandoned around the house. Beverages are misplaced or mistaken for someone else's. These common party fouls seem difficult to avoid, but these squirrels are up for the challenge. These colorful little guys are drink charms that slip right onto the stem of a wine glass. Designate one to each guest to help them keep tabs on their glass. Cheers to minimizing waste!

Price $23.99

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Houzz outdoor tea towel with funny saying photo

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"Outdoorsy" Flour Sack Tea Towel

Here's another useful linen that doubles as outdoor decor. Keep it near the bar for handling spills on the spot. It's machine washable, so don't hesitate to get some use out of it.

Price $17.99

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Houzz ice bucket with remote-controlled LED light photo

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Maui LED Ice Chest With Handles

No more tripping or feeling your way through the dark to the cooler. This remote-controlled LED ice chest has 16 color options and four color-changing modes. Use it to brighten a shaded corner on the patio during the day and then move it by the bonfire to end the night with a toast.

Price $219.99

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Houzz Berghoff barbecue tools set with spatula, tongs, and more photo

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Eclipse 33-Piece BBQ Set With Ergonomic Handles

Get ready for grill season by arming yourself with every barbecue utensil imaginable. This 33-piece set includes must-haves, like a spatula and tongs, and nice-to-haves, such as skewers and a basting brush for county-fair-grade sweet corn. Prepare to add a whole roster of grilled goodies to your menu with these barbecue tools on your belt.

Price $335

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Houzz outdoor pizza oven photo

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Wood Pellet Pizza Oven

Spice up a summer tradition with an unconventional menu. Pizza anyone? This bite-sized oven heats to over 900 degrees Fahrenheit and bakes 12-inch pizzas in minutes. If you really want to go all out, set up a toppings bar where guests can customize a personal pie. If you're expecting a lot of guests, move this hands-on idea to the kids' table.

Price $399.95

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Houzz dinnerware set with blue and green plats, bowls, and cups photo

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16-Piece Melamine Dinnerware Set

Reusable dinnerware is a worthwhile investment for hosts. You'll cut a lot of cost, waste and clean-up time in the long run. Plus, they look nicer than paper plates and plastic cups. Set a festive table with this patterned dinnerware. Aqua, navy blue and white is a classic combination this time of year, but these dishes are also available in coral and green. This nearly indestructible melamine set is even dishwasher-friendly.

Price $49.99

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Houzz outdoor heater made of copper photo

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Copper Commercial Patio Heater

Post-dinner is usually the time when hosts feel like they can finally relax and socialize. You won't want the chilly evening breeze to persuade friends to go home early. A patio heater keeps the party going well past sunset. You'll need a 20-pound propane tank to fuel this heavy duty heater, but then it's maintenance free. It features an automatic shut-off tilt valve for safety and wheels for mobility.

Price $334.99

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