Ready to celebrate America's freedom?
Since it's traditional to have a big barbecue bash on the Fourth of July, there's no reason to fight it. Grilling food is delicious, easy and a lot of fun, but if you don't know what you're doing, there's no denying that it can be a little lackluster, with guests picking at charred hot dogs and cardboard burger patties that didn't get enough seasoning love and were left on the grill for way too long.
Don't let this happen to you, and don't worry! Grilling is pretty easy, and there are a lot of really exciting foods you can make this Independence Day. Just be warned: If you follow these recipes, your guests might expect you to do the cooking every year.
It's pretty likely that you're going to have burgers -- this handy guide will give you everything you need to know to avoid serving hockey pucks to your loved ones. Want to do something a little more decadent? Stuff your burgers! Here's how.
Ribs are actually pretty easy to cook on the grill, as long as you are able to get them set up a few hours early. If not, you can braise them for a while in the oven first (feel free to do this before your guests arrive) and then throw them on the grill with all your other food until they get a little browned. Here's how to whip up an assortment of easy homemade BBQ sauce that you can serve on the side or slather on your ribs the last 20 or so minutes of cooking.
These easy, lean kebabs are such a nice change of pace from all the red meat, carbs and fatty, delicious sides and snacks you'll probably be gnawing on. If you want, you can make these vegetarian by leaving out the meat completely or replacing it with tofu (here's a great way to grill it), mushrooms, zucchini or whatever else tickles your fancy.
Pizza sounds really difficult to make, but using store-bought dough takes out a ton of the work and mess, plus grilling it is not only super easy, but the high heat replicates a pizza oven way better than a regular oven does. The sweet potatoes add an unexpectedly excellent texture, although you are free to use any toppings you want -- just make sure to cook them first, especially if you're using meat. You know what would be awesome? Grilled shrimp with white sauce.
Your guests will probably expect burgers and dogs, but if you want to diverge a little from that while still satisfying them with big hunks of beef, this is a great way to make your meal a little fancier. Plus, the orange relish/salsa adds a brilliant pop of freshness -- you might consider making it as a side even if you aren't doing these steak kabobs.