10 Secrets to a Perfect Summer BBQ

There’s a primal satisfaction that comes along with every summer barbecue. Something about charbroiled meat in the open-air brings out our inner fun-loving cavewoman, and we like it. And although a BBQ’s simple pleasures are half of its charms, it’s possible to give them a very 21st-century upgrade with high-tech tools and unexpected ingredients your (truly) paleo ancestors wouldn’t recognize. Here, SwearBy’s foodie favorites.  

Mike's Hot Honey

“We’re obsessed with this stuff. Hot honey is the movement of the future. Throw on veggies, rice, PIZZA, bruschetta, BBQ… it goes with almost everything. MUST HAVE for your next make your own pizza night (do people still do that?).”—Emily Snider

Pro-Iroda O-Grill

The O-Grill is perfect if you don’t have a lot of space. It can be used on a deck, taken on camping trips. We have had ours for four years. It has traveled in our car– a little banged up but works great. The older model (the one we have) does not have the temp gauge on the top. The newer model does. A price difference of about $50. They also sell a O-Grill O-Dock Collapsible Table for O-Grill Portable Barbecue Grills — which I suggest. The reason we got it for camping — it puts the cooking safely away from kids. Lots of campgrounds have pit fires — not safe for small children. This makes great burgers, steaks and grilled corn no problem. It is worth the investment.”—Sarah Thornton

MEATER+165ft Long Range Smart Wireless Meat Thermometer

This thermometer is perfect for Dad’s who love to grill. The wireless feature lets you move up to 165 feet away, while you track your food’s progress from a smartphone compatible app. The end result is meat cooked to your preferred perfection.”—Maya Gandara

Beyond Burger™ Plant-Based Patties

While initially skeptical, I can’t say enough about how delicious, satisfying and so much like a burger this is — and what a great source of protein (20g/patty). I air fry the patties for that sizzling taste of a traditional burger. Who knew vegan food could be so yummy?”—Christine Morrison

Vrac Boxed Rosé

OK. I know what you’re thinking. Boxed wine?! But let me tell you. Boxed wine is awesome. The nature of the packaging keeps it airtight, so it doesn’t go bad after it’s opened, and then you can drink it at your own pace. The packaging cuts down on the cost as well, so it’s very affordable and less wasteful since it won’t go bad and down the drain. There’s a ton of pleasure in pouring yourself a glass as you bake or cook in the afternoon. If I’m just in the kitchen for leisure and winding down my day, waiting for something to come out of the oven before dinner, I’ll pour a little into a small tumbler or jar. I almost never use a wine glass. Vrac Rosé is my favorite right now. To buy wine “en vrac” in french means “in bulk”, direct from the winemaker. With this box, you’re getting approximately four bottles for about the cost of two or three. I buy it at my local wine shop, the Greene Grape.”—Caroline Schiff

Pure Flake Finishing Salt

They simply make the best salts, and bonus, they’re good people. I use this for finishing everything from rib eyes to salads. I also use their kosher salt for cooking. A must for any foodie!”—Krista Simmons

Spindrift Lemon Sparkling Water

Okay girl, let’s get real here. I love LaCroix. LOVE it. But it’s not quite…enough…all the time. Sometimes I need something with a stronger flavor. Spindrift is the STUFF. It’s got real fruit juice and adds that extra punch of flavor. Blackberry is my favorite, but I’m going to tell you that they are all delicious. There is not a single flavor that I don’t like. They’re not zero calories, but they’re close, and those five calories are worth it. They’re also an ethical company and support local farmers. Go check it out!”—Caitlin Kimmet

Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream

“Step 1: Find a store that retails this ice cream. Step 2. Go there, post-haste. Step 3: Toss all the Ben & Jerry’s and Haagan Daas out of the way. Step 4: Find the Honeycomb Van Leeuwen ice cream. Step 5: Rush home, get out a spoon, put on stretchy pants, and eat the ice cream. Yes, it’s a little melted from the journey home. Leave it that way.”—Julie Bourne

Fly By Jing The Triple Threat

“This is by far, hands down, the best hot sauce ever. That is a bold statement, but I stand by it. Developed by the brilliant chef Jenny Gao, Fly By Jing’s hot sauces are made with 100% premium ingredients from Guizho. It’s intense, but won’t burn your face off and pairs well with literally anything, from eggs to ice cream. Add it to your summer burgers, salads, and desserts. You won’t regret it.” — Sara Tan

Holy Smoke Smoked Olive Oil & More

“First cold pressed extra virgin olive oil that’s cold-smoked with hickory in Charleston, SC. Buttery, Smoky & Peppery. “It’s like liquid bacon that’s good for you!” Natural, Raw, and Vegan.”

Hi! [Insert waving blonde emoji here] I'm a Colorado-based freelance writer, and I'm Niles Crane-level picky about everyyyyything.