It’s that time of year again!  If you haven’t already, it’s time to dust off your grill and get it ready for the summer months. Having a backyard barbecue is one of the most quintessential ways that Americans enjoy good food, good weather and good company. We happen to live in a time when we rely heavily on technology to get through the day so why not use it to make your next gathering a success?

Weber’s on the Grill

This handy app can help you create the kind of food that will make you a grilling legend. Featuring 280 classic Weber recipes in addition to the 40 recipes for marinades, rubs and sauces, you will not fail to find something to meet the needs and tastes of your guests. It will even generate a master grocery list so you’ll never be without the essential ingredients!

Accuweather

For the most part, a lot of planning goes into having a backyard barbecue. While the atmosphere is relaxed, hosts typically spend a lot of money on prepping food and drinks for everyone to enjoy. How awful is it to get everything ready only to discover that it’s pouring outside? The Accuweather app gives long-term forecasts as well as up-to-the-minute updates about local weather. It can definitely help you avoid surprises!

Starmap

As the sun sets and the stars come out, take some time to look up at the sky and marvel at the natural beauty in this world. The Starmap app is a great compliment to stargazing since it pinpoints your exact location and allows users to see and zoom in/out of the sky in real-time.

Spotify/iHeartRadio/Pandora

There are so many streaming services available for music right now so choose whichever one you like best, connect your device to some outdoor speakers and add some music to your cookout. Consider creating a playlist to include some of your favorite songs and maybe even have a limbo contest!

MyFitnessPal

While it’s great to be carefree during the summer months, the calories in snacks, barbecue food and cocktails can really add up. Consider downloading the MyFitnessPal app to keep track of your eating habits to avoid overdoing it. It pairs up with the MapMyRun app seamlessly so that you can monitor your activity levels too. So, go ahead and have that mojito and then go for a walk and burn it off!

Smartphones and other devices can definitely help to keep things organized and entertaining but remember that nothing replaces face-to-face interactions. Use technology to get things set up and then put your devices aside so that you can focus on spending time with your guests.