68 percent of Americans claim they don’t need a special occasion to fire up their grills, but Independence Day is the most special of occasions. It’s the biggest moment of the BBQ season, and it needs to be treated as such. If you’re hoping to host the year’s greatest 4th of July BBQ, all you need are three things: cold beer, fun tunes, and—most importantly—a ton of grilled foods. Throw some veggies on the grill if you must, but the meat is what’s going to draw people to your place on the 4th of July. Needless to say, you better do it right. Here are three tips for throwing a great Independence Day BBQ.
Prepare Your Grill
Get up early to get your smoker or grill up to temp so that you can start cooking your prepped brisket, pork shoulder, or ribs in a timely manner. This simple act will have two benefits. The smoke will act as an olfactory and visual signal for miles around, telling the world that your backyard is open and that it’s time to party. Second, you’ll be able to humble brag all day about how early you got up to cook for everyone. Plus, if you start early, larger cuts of meat such as pork shoulder will be able to come off the grill sooner; your guests can eat that while your other offerings are still cooking or resting.
Appease the Masses
Once you’ve prepared your grill, get the burgers, bratwurst, and hot dogs on the grill for the horde of hungry kids. Put those offerings out early to keep the younger crowd occupied: odds are the kids will prefer the simpler foods, so don’t feel bad about serving them hot dogs while the adults enjoy more of the good stuff, such as the ribs, steak, and brisket.
Spit Roast for Glory
The magic you can make on a rotisserie cannot be matched. Get your protective black cooking gloves on, hang the tongs from your belt, and get ready—this is where BBQ legends are made. Light the fire and move the coals to either side of the grill. Skewer large cuts of meat such as prime rib roast and whole chicken together. When you open up the grill to check the internal temperature, don’t be afraid to dip a chunk of bread into the drip pan and taste that little bit of heaven. While the meat is cooking, we suggest peeling and trimming a whole pineapple to get it ready for the spit. Run the spit through the middle of the pineapple and roast it on high heat for an hour for an amazing, smoky-sweet treat. Save the rotisserie for last—it won’t take as much time, but it requires more attention than the smoker. Plus, anything that comes off the spit is sure to be a showstopper at your 4th of July BBQ.