Ideas for your July 4th Cookout

Or any cookout, really. My husband is always looking for neat-o products to add to his grilling collection and I love to have the family sit down to eat while enjoying the outdoors in the evenings. Of course, in Texas we have like two weeks out of the year that this can actually happen, but you take what you can get. A lot of these items focus on the grill and the remainder are for your picnic table.

Kabob Grilling Baskets

Surely, some of you must know the horrors of losing your kabobs inside the grill just as you are about to remove them for eating. All that hard work of chopping and stringing just to lose them in one small motion…and once they’ve touched the coals there is really nothing to do but give them to the dog, who is none too happy to accept a treat. I am thinking these little grilling baskets are a lifesaver in that case and could potentially save you some money because you wouldn’t have to buy the actual kabob sticks because everything is neatly closed up inside the baskets without having to string them onto sticks. Fantastic invention!

Side note: I would recommend the nonstick variety for obvious reasons.

Burger Press

If you don’t have a burger press, GET ONE! I have a sensitive stomach when it comes to raw meat, I hate having to mess with it let along make hamburger patties with my hands. Blech. I bought a burger press a few years ago and I will never go back to NOT using a burger press. It makes the perfect size burger, it presses the meat together and best of all, I never have to touch it!

This particular press comes apart into three pieces so that you can put the burger directly on the pan or grill easily.

Motorized Hotdog Griller

I mean, it doesn’t get any easier than this. It’s like being a kid again and going into the gas station and watching the hot dogs go around and around on the hot dog machine….or was that just me? Either way, if you have kids or are a hot dog lover, this is a cool gadget to have in order to grill up a lot of hot dogs for the family and friends. It is motorized, so it rotates on its own while cooking your hot dogs to perfection!

Turner Tongs

This is another super cool invention that is designed with the clumsy cook (me) in mind. With regular tongs, both sides of the tongs are the same size which can sometimes make flipping difficult on a grill because of the ‘overhang’. With these tongs, the larger side goes under the food, like a spatula, while the top side of the tongs are smaller which allow for easier flipping.

Condiment Holder

I never know exactly how to set up my condiments on the table for guests because sometimes you have germ freaks who don’t want their condiments out in the open for everyone to touch or breathe on, but then sometimes you have those that will dip their fries directly into the communal ketchup bowl (the spoon was literally RIGHT THERE!). This caddy is a great alternative that should make everyone happy because there is a lid to blocks coughs and sneezes as well as those people that think its OK to dip directly into the bowl.

There are tongs and spoons included as well as a compartment on the bottom that will keep the condiments cold if you are outdoors. As you can see from the pic, you can also use it for small vegetables or fruits and the lid will keep bugs away as well.

Chip & Dip Set

I’m not sure about everyone else’s family but we always had some kind of chips and dip set up at every gathering. Whether it be salsa, french onion, queso….it was always there. I have carried on that tradition of my people and have several sets of dishes that can accommodate dips and dippers. I am always on the lookout for unique appetizer dishes so take a look at some of these and let me know what you think.

Set from Bed Bath & Beyond

This one is from Bed Bath & Beyond and is a little more classy with the sleek, white design. The dip bowl is suspended above while the larger bowl at the bottom holds chips, bread, etc.

Chip and Dip Set from Home Depot

This next one is from Home Depot and is much less formal but is still a neat design. It looks like it would be easy to transport in and outside and something kids would enjoy using.

Bowl from Bed Bath & Beyond

Finally, this is an appetizer plate that I would probably choose for my own home. I love the bamboo look and have several pieces already in my kitchen that this would match well with. This one also comes from Bed Bath & Beyond and is a bit more expensive that the others.

Carry your drinks in style

I just ran across these at Walmart and I thought they were really cute. My kitchen is halfway decorated in mason jars (the other half is decorated in random mess) so these will make a good addition as decor when I am not using them for serving. I snapped a quick picture of these on the shelf and, being a Walmart item, they are a pretty good price as well.

Have a great summer!

I hope you are enjoying your summer so far, we are trying our best to enjoy the sun ourselves without melting here in Austin. How are you surviving the summer? Do you have any cookout gadgets that you use? Comment below and tell us about them!

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