You’ll need meat and beer, of course. After that, use this gear to ensure your Labor Day party goes down as the best ever.
PK Grill and Smoker ($370)
I love this grill because it makes cooking easy, thanks to the cast aluminum top that keeps an even temperature over a long period of time—great for slow roasting your favorite cut of meat. It’s not the biggest grill on the market, but still provides ample cooking space for several steaks, plus the attachable tray holds all your tools, sauces, and plates.
Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter ($18)
I don’t use lighter fluid on my coals because it can affect the taste of the food. But I also hate standing over a grill waiting for the coals to take. Enter the Rapidfire: just fill it with the desired amount of charcoal, start a small paper fire underneath, and finish your beer while the coals get white hot.
Stanley Classic Vacuum Pint ($23)
Pour your beer into this insulated pint so it stays cold as you man the grill. Bonus: there’s a built-in bottle opener in the lid.
Timbuk2 Shop Apron ($45)
Buy this apron for the party, then take it to the garage to wrench on your bike. The burly tarpaulin construction ensures food or chain grease won’t soil your duds, while multiple pockets house tools for everything from flipping burgers to replacing brake pads.
54 QT Coleman Steel Belted Cooler ($150)
This cooler will hold 85 beers, which should be enough to keep the party going for a while, unless, of course, you live at a frat house. It’s sturdy enough to sit on if you need to take a break from all the grilling and we dig the old-school design, which adds a touch of style to your outdoor setup.
Nemo Victory Blanket 4P ($80)
Use this blanket as overfill seating. A sturdy waterproof base ensures you won’t feel the wet grass, and the generous padding is nice on the bum. Don’t worry if you or the kids spill their drinks: my blanket has miraculously absorbed over half a dozen beers and a couple glasses of white wine and still doesn’t stink.