The 4th of July is a holiday celebrating America’s independence from British rule. We honor our freedom by doing something America does better than any other country; stuffing our faces. Our independence day conveniently lands during the heart of the summer, prime barbecue season. It’s now just a given, the 4th of July means having a BBQ.
But a barbecue can mean a bunch of different things. The lone constant really is that you will feature some sort of grilled meat. But what meat should you grill this holiday? Here are some thoughts.
This is the choice for you if you’re lazy, poor, or incompetent. Hot dogs are cheap, quick, and take almost no skill to make. If you plan on hosting a BBQ but you also plan on getting blackout drunk, than stick to Hot Dogs. It will save you more money for beer.
But if you have to go with hot dogs you can at least try to spice it up a little. I know ketchup and mustard is standard but you can do so much more. You’re not 12 any more.
- Set out Some Toppings – Cheese, onions, peppers, bacon; all great topping choices.
- More Condiment Variety – There’s 30 types of mustards now. Make sure you have at least three.
- Spiral Cut your Dogs – This makes more surface area meaning more exposure to the flames.
- Serve a Variety of Sausages – Just like mustard, there’s tons of new sausages out there. Why stick to the boring old frank?
A lot of what was just written about hot dogs applies to burgers too. The standard cheeseburger we all know is great, but there’s always room for improvement. With all the various condiments and toppings you never have to eat the same burger twice. Check out the site The Cheese & Burger Society for some inspiration.
Steak is amazing. For most guys, it would be our last meal choice. But steak can be expensive. Do you really want to serve Rib-eye for 25 people at your BBQ? If you do, can I get an invite? But there are some cheaper options if you really want to make some steaks.
Cheaper cuts like flank or skirt are more affordable and can be very good with the right preparation. The cuts are perfect for marinating. No, it won’t be the same as Filet but a flank steak with a good marinade might be a better fitting for the 4th.
Chicken may seem boring but it doesn’t have to be. Grill up some chicken and serve it with a variety of sauces. This isn’t hard at all but will be received well by your guests.
No one thinks to make Seafood at a BBQ but you should really consider it. Grilled shrimp skewers is one of the greatest things in the world. Make some of those and grill a big piece of fish like Salmon or Tuna along with it. Grilled fish is better than you might think. It’s really an underrated BBQ dish.
If you have the time, then you should make some real BBQ. Low and slow with wood. That’s the way to do it. You don’t even need a smoker to smoke meat. You can even smoke using a gas grill. Ribs, chicken, brisket; all amazing BBQ dishes. The problem is that smoking takes so long. If you want to make ribs, and have them ready before 4:00, then you’ll have to start at 6 in the morning. That’s no way to spend your holiday.
But you can get real BBQ that doesn’t take 10 hours to make. Look for something called tri-tip. It’s a big cut of beef almost like a roast. Since it’s beef, it doesn’t have to be cooked nearly as long. You can smoke a good size tri-tip in 3 hours. And it’s really not too difficult.
I’ve given you some ideas and they’re all good. Tri-tip is the best one though. Make that if you can.