Thursday, July 01, 2010

Fire Up the Grill for the 4th of July with Ideas from the Barbecue Master

The 4th of July may (or may not be) the hottest day of the year when it comes to temperatures, but it is the hottest day when it comes to barbecue in the United States. More people grill on the 4th than any other day of the year.

So, YES, the 4th of July is one of my very favorite holidays - and for many reasons.

If you're cooking for a family or friend crowd, then I say - KEEP IT SIMPLE. There are 363 other days of the year to try out brand new grill recipes. For the 4th of July, it is nice to toss on a sure thing and relax and enjoy the day.

Some of our Family Favorites Grill Recipes for Independence Day are:

Hamburgers - It is hard to beat a juicy hand patted burger with cheese melting down the sides. Check out these tips so that your grilled burgers will be full of flavor and not like hockey pucks.

Brats - Sausages (and that includes hot dogs) are economical, and they really are basically heat and eat. If you want really great brats, then try out this recipe where you simmer the brats worth in beer and butter before rolling them on the grill.

Boneless Chicken Breasts - If you get boneless breasts, you have a super easy grill day, and they are quick.

Steak - It's a holiday. If you want to splurge, then fire up the grill and toss on the steaks. But, be sure you get it right. You don't want to wreck expensive steaks especially with friends and family over.

On the Side - 4th Of July Favorites Side Dish Recipes

One option is to keep it all outside and do the sides on the grill too. If you have a lot of food going, it is nice to have a second grill for sides, but it is possible to juggle the meat and the sides on the grill - especially for smaller groups.

Corn on the Cob - It's hard to beat corn on the cob on the grill, and it's easy to do. You need more space with whole corn ears, but they sure do taste great on the barbecue grill.

Greek Potatoes - This is a new recipe for us. I made Greek potatoes in the oven and decided to try doing them on the grill. Whew. They blew us away with the smoke flavor. These do take longer to make though, so get started early.

Hash Browns - This is not a healthy recipe, but it sure is good. The boys call these Butter Tators. A big pan will feed a lot of folks, and we always have an empty pan at the end.

Make Ahead Sides are a Good Idea Too

For holidays, it's nice to have some of the work done ahead. Here are some of our best make ahead dishes that are great at barbeques.

Favorite Potato Salad - This is my favorite potato salad. It is not as heavy on mayonnaise as most. One of the church ladies gave me this recipe, and it is really good.

Traditional Potato Salad - If you want potato salad like Grandma made, then this is the recipe my Grandma did make.

Baked Beans - These are classic. What is a cook out without baked beans. This recipe has hamburger for even better tasting beans for the 4th.

Black Eyed Pea Salad (or Texas Caviar) - This cold dish hits the spot and works well with most any grilled meat.

Desserts for the 4th of July

When it's time to celebrate, it's time to have a dessert too. These are some of our favorites for barbecue cook outs.

Grilled Pineapple - If you're keeping it all outside, then it is hard to beat pineapple on the grill to finish off the meal. This is an easy recipe too.

Banana Pudding - You have not tasted banana pudding until you have made it really from scratch. This is another of my Grandma's recipes, and it is the only banana pudding that I eat.

Strawberry Punch Bowl Cake - I kept getting requests for this super easy but fabulous dessert, so I put it up online. This is one of my most popular dishes.

Key Lime Pie - Another easy dessert recipe. This citrus flavored pie is really nice on a hot 4th of July day.

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