HAPPY 4th of JULY!
Independence Day is right up my alley. More people grill on the 4th than any day of the year. And, this year is expected to be a record breaker with gas prices so high. Don't feel bad if you can't go to the beach or off somewhere exotic. Just crank up the grill and have fun at home.
You don't need lots of fancy equipment to have a barbecue at home. I typically use our 22 inch Weber kettle grill, but I also use our small tailgate grills for smaller groups.
Hamburgers are always a good pick. You can cook a lot at once, so if you're having a group over, you're not stuck at the grill all evening.
If your hamburgers don't turn out as great as you'd like, check out my Great Grilled Burgers Guide. It's not hard to do burgers, but there are some tips that will make a big difference in how they turn out.
You might consider a Mexican themed barbecue for the 4th.
Tex Mex creations have grown more popular every year. And, of course, recipies have been adapted for the grill.
You can make shish kabobs as above and then serve with soft taco shells and the fixings for tacos. Actually I find it works out better to get the bigger burito wraps, since grilled foods are kind of chunky.
Kabobs can be a little tricky, so see my Kabob Guide if you need a little extra help on those. I call that guide "Pain in the Kabob," but if you're serving them as soft tacos and don't have to cook so much, it's not a bad pick.
If you go with the taco idea, be sure to try some Grilled Nacho Chips. I was playing around one day and tried this. Super easy. Super fast. The only trick is to get them on and off fast.
Be sure to mix up some Pica de Gallo to go with the chips and tacos. Pica de Gallo can be made ahead and chilled - ready to put out when it's time to eat.
If you're looking for interesting grilled side dishes, consider some grilled hash browns. My boys love them. We put on a big pan and can feed a lot of people too, so it's a nice pick for a party.
Another favorite around her is grilled corn on the cob. We make them in tin foil and also in the husks. Both ways are great. See my Grilled Corn on the Cob Guide for details.
If you want to try something a little different, make some grilled Texas Toast. Again, this is super quick. Just put the bread on after the meat. You'll have hot bread with a smoky flavor in minutes.
Another fun grill recipe is Beer Butt Chicken. That one always makes everyone laugh until they eat it. Then, they see why folks make Drunken Chicken. Very tasty.