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24 Things That Make Eating Outdoors Even Better
Your patio party or picnic outing will be a breeze with these clever tools, gadgets and other must-have picnic things.
Outdoor Table and Wine-Holder
Wine and dine in style in the great outdoors! This bamboo table ($23) is the perfect addition to your picnic. Collapsible and very portable, the leg acts as a stake in the ground to secure the table. The table is big enough for small appetizers and snacks, and, best of all, has two cutouts to hold wine glasses.
Bugs be gone! These food cover tents ($18) will keep your spread safe from the creepy crawlies trying to get in on the goods. Plus, the mesh material is great for making sure guests can still see what’s under the cover. This set offers five different sizes, including extra tall as well as extra wide sizes for bigger dishes.
Outdoor Cooler Table
Splurge a little on this patio cooler table ($70). The 7.5 gallon ice compartment will keep bottles and cans cool, while the top lifts and locks into place to be the perfect cocktail table. It’s also equipped with a drain plug to easily clean out the compartment after use.
Collapsible Salad Bowl
Meal prep for your picnic like a pro. This collapsible salad bowl ($20) holds up to five quarts. Once the picnic is done, the bowl can be collapsed to a third of its original size, meaning less bulk for the trip home.
Ready to get cooking? Here’s a look at the best potluck salads to feed a crowd.
Flavor-Infusing Grill Wraps
Take your grilling to the next level. Use cedar grill wraps ($11) to give your food the subtle flavor of a wood smoker without the hassle (or cost). Simply wrap up your food and place on indirect heat. Unwrap, and get a waft of delicious food cooked with Pacific Red Cedar wood.
Portable Espresso Maker
Serve up some espresso after your fabulous picnic feast. The MiniPresso portable espresso maker ($50) is super lightweight, perfect for your picnic basket. People swear by the exceptional quality of the espresso it makes, too. You’ll be the savior of the party when you pull out this food coma-busting gadget.
This picnic backpack from HapTim ($40) has enough plates, cutlery, napkins and glassware for four people, as well as salt and pepper shakers, a bottle opener, a knife and a cutting board—all secured in the front compartment. It also comes with a fleece blanket that attaches to the side of the pack, and a wine cooler on the other side. The insulated lining on the main compartment will keep your food cool, and the bag itself is waterproof should you get caught in a downpour.
Nothing ruins a good glass of rosé faster than some unwelcome bugs. Keep insects and debris out of your glass with these handy wine covers from Wine Tapa ($21). The underside has a rubber and foam seal to make sure your drink is securely covered, and the multiple color options will make it easy for guests to tell which glass is theirs.
A pizza stone is a great way to get that brick oven taste on your very own grill. The stone distributes heat so that your crust is done to golden-crisp perfection, every time. This great pizza stone set ($40) comes with a stone, peel for setting and removing your pizza and a pizza cutter for serving up hot slices.
Stone hot and ready to go? Check out our All-Time Best Pizza recipes.
From salad dressings to dessert parfait, canning jars are an adorable way to store your picnic necessities. Easily shake up homemade salad dressings on the spot, or create a cute layered salad for guests. These multi-purpose al fresco staples are a must-have for any avid picnic goer. This 12-pack of Mason jars ($20) have a wide mouth, making it easy to eat right from the jar.
Mason jars are incredibly useful around the house, too. You can find all sorts of creative ways to reuse glass jars.
Eco-Friendly Disposable Plates
Protect the planet you’re picnicking on with these awesome biodegradable plates ($10). The plates are made of bagasse, a by-product from processing sugar cane that is normally thrown out. These plates are 100% non-toxic, unbleached and have no chemical coating. They’re also super sturdy, strong enough to hold even your grandmother’s potato salad recipe.
Insulated Food Carrier
Don’t get stuck with a lukewarm dish at your picnic! The Arctic Zone insulated food carrier ($35) holds a 9×13 dish, perfect for casseroles, dips, and bakes. Its leak-proof lid and track record—it keeps hot food hot for hours—makes it perfect for the foodie on the go.
A large beverage dispenser requires way less maintenance during your patio parties than a pitcher you have to constantly refill. Your guests can refill their glasses easily from the spigot, and the ice cone inside keeps beverages cool without diluting the taste. Whether you’re serving up iced tea or sangria, keep the party going with this 3.5 gallon beverage dispenser from Buddeez ($61).
Dirty grill? Welcome to the future, where the Grillbot grill cleaning robot ($130) does the cleaning for you. The three motors and replaceable, dish-washer safe wire brushes will make sure every inch of your grill is scoured clean. Set the timer, and leave the robot to work its magic.
Although they are more fragile than a steel or plastic knife, a ceramic knife set ($24) has serious picnic potential. Not only are they lightweight, but they also never rust or dull, so you don’t have to worry about sharpening after your picnic gear has been in storage. Throw it in your kit, and forget about it!
Take the barbecue with you wherever you go! This tabletop grill from Cuisinart ($150) weighs only 13.5 pounds and has a large handle, so it’s easy to carry to your picnic destination. It’s small, but mighty—the grill can cook up to eight burgers at one time.
Steel Wine Tumbler
Keep your beverage cool and insect-free with these double insulated tumblers ($10). Whether you’re drinking juice, coffee, soda or something a little stronger, your drink will be picnic-proof. Maars has tons of colors to choose from, and their lids even have an opening for a small straw. Bottoms up!
Table Cloth Clips
Don’t let a stiff breeze take your al fresco feast. These sturdy table cloth clips ($14) will keep your meal on the table, where it belongs. Made from stainless steel, the rust-free clips will look new for years to come.
Make the perfectly packed burger with this burger press from Weston ($22). If you’ve wanted to try making your own stuffed burger, this is the tool for you. The adjustable burger press allows you to make consistent burgers from 0.25 to 1.5 inches. Plus, the spring plunger works as an ejector, so you can easily remove your patty.
Don’t let your wine water the grass! These wine glass stakes hold your glass so you don’t have to. The full wine holder set from Mind Reader ($15) comes with stakes for four glasses, as well as a stake for the bottle.
Himalayan Salt Block
This beautiful Himalayan salt block ($25) is perfect for adding flavor to your dish right on the grill. The block can hold up to 500 degrees, but you can also freeze it to use as a platter for chilled dishes. The metal tray in this set from Zen is great for serving your grilled or chilled meal directly on the table.
Easily cook all your barbecue favorites with this grilling basket ($21). You’ll never have to frantically flip your food again—simply turn the basket over when one side is done. The basket is large enough to cook food for two to three people at one time, and the wooden handle ensures that you don’t need a glove while handling the basket.
Note: Every product is independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.