What are you grilling for Fourth of July?

Anything special? I’m thinking some classic grilled hot dogs and buns, topped with mustard and sauerkraut. Along with some corn, coleslaw, and baked beans. To me, this is the 4th of July, though I think we could use a few more ideas. And you? Let us know in the comments.

74 Comments

  1. Shannon

    We normally grill on the 4th too, but to me 4th of July food is red and blue jello squares on a white plate. As for the grilling, I usually have chicken or turkey burgers.

  2. Matt

    That sounds about right to me. Just make sure they’re Hebrew National or Nathans… throw in some hamburgers and you have a BBQ.

  3. Lou Doench

    I’ve been asked for an encore of the slow smoked beef brisket I did last year. And I’m bustin out my deep fryer to make corn dogs for the kids!

  4. radish

    Steamers – definitely, with butter! strawberry shortcake or sour cherry pie! I just found some sour cherries at our neighborhood green market and picked up 2 pounds!

  5. Sandra

    We will be grilling stuffed hamburgers. We pat out ground beef into a thin, flat patty. Then we place sauteed baby portabellas (cool them first) and blue cheese crumbles in the center of the patty. THEN we place another thin hamburger patty on top and seal the sides. Grill and enjoy!

  6. Aaron

    Anything and everything.
    My lastest favorite is to grill sweet potatoes.
    Peel, slice 3/4 of an inch thick. Toss with olive oil, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
    Grill over medium, turning regularly. They are done when they are easily pierced by a fork.

    AO

  7. dksbook

    Cauliflower salad – with green onions, sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon bits.

    Mr. dks’ burgers – 2/3 lb burgers on Costco ciabatta rolls (split, buttered, garlic’ed and broiler-toasted), salted and peppered. PIckles on the side (sweet and dill).

    “Chili Beans” – pintos cooked in beer, onion, bacon, jalapenos, with diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro stirred in the last 15 minutes of cooking.

    Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Homemade vanilla-bean ice cream (custard-style).

    Margaritas, beer, iced tea (unsweetened), Coke, and Diet Dr. Pepper. Chips and queso.

  8. khentdooner

    Every 4th of July we barbecue ribs, and serve them with coleslaw and potato salad and baked beans and blueberry or sour cherry pie. Here in the northeast the corn isn’t worth eating until nearly August. We use different rubs and basting sauces with the ribs but they are always wonderful. Beer and lemonade too. It’s worked for us for thirty years or so.

  9. lydia

    Shish taouk (garlicky chicken with lemon, on skewers), that will be stuffed into pitas with tomato, lettuce, and cucumber. Happy 4th!

  10. Kalyn

    I’m channeling you because I’ve been working on a post about what I’d cook on the fourth of July. Probably one of my favorite grilled chicken recipes for the main dish! I won’t be grilling this year though; I’m going to a big party for my friend Mary’s father and husband who both have birthdays on the 4th. I’m taking a salad, probably tomatoes with basil vinaigrette and goat cheese, and maybe I’ll experiment with a new recipe for the occasion too.

    So many great grilling suggestions from your readers; what a fun idea!

  11. Rick

    I do like grilled sausages — particularly if they’ve been simmered in beer for quite some time.

    If you want to “spruce” up the dogss, you can stuff them (cheese; pickles or jalapenos; bacon). (And, of course, “jalapeno-stuffed dogs” are “hot dogs.”)

    If you’re on the coast, seafood is always a winner (both unexpected & easy). Clams are super simple & marinated fish works well.

    Grilled mushrooms always seem to work. Ditto with bacon-wrapped ANYTHING (try Raichlen’s bacon-wrapped pickled watermelon rind!).

    I’m a big fan of doing SOMETHING with a long cooking time (beer can chicken, brisket, pork shoulder, etc.) as a sort of “coup de gras.”

  12. jan knezevich

    How about steaks, marinated in your favorite marinate for a couple of hours then cooked on the grill. Potatoes and corn cooked on the grill. red, white and blue jello salad, watermelon, fresh lemonaide or sun tea with lemon slices. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  13. Jessica

    If we bbq on the 4th (not yet sure), I’ll grill chicken, a la my uncle Jon. He swears by this and, now that I’ve tried it myself, so do I.

    First, at least an hour before grilling (overnight is better!) apply a generous coating of rub to the chicken. Then sear the chicken on a very hot grill until it’s got great grill marks (or perhaps char) on both sides. Then reduce the heat and cook for 1-1/2 to 2 hours and apply the sauce liberally and often. CARAMELIZED and DELICIOUS.

    Rub is equal parts of:
    Paprika
    Coarse salt
    Ground black pepper (less if you don’t want it too hot)
    Garlic powder
    Sugar (I like using brown sugar — he uses white)

    Sauce is equal parts of:
    Raspberry jam (good quality, of course)
    Thai sweet chili sauce

    YUM

  14. Jessica

    Oh — Kelly made me think of a delicious fruit to grill: Fresh figs stuffed with a little mild goat cheese. Put them in a foil pouch and grill until melted and gooey. Absolutely delicious.

    Last year I grilled some peach halves until they had nice grill marks and were a little soft. Drizzle with aged balsamic vinegar. A little marscapone on the side would work.

  15. Jodi

    We did our cookout today and had lime chicken with avocado salsa.

    I posted the recipe with photos on my site.

    Happy 4th!

  16. Katie

    Shrimp, sweet corn and potatoes. I want to make a red white and blue breakfasty type food as I have a meeting and then a job interview… no Independence Day in the Cayman Islands!

  17. Marc

    I’m not grilling on the 4th (don’t own a grill), but will be in a few weeks at my street’s block party. One thing I am certain to try is grilled halloumi cheese (a firm Greek cheese made from sheep and goat milk), perhaps on lemon leaves, perhaps in kabob form. A kabob recipe is here at KCRW’s Good Food.

  18. Erick Ibarra

    We are going all out starting with Prosciutto wrapped asparagus, salmon on top a crème fresh dill cream with a garlic-roasted banquette and BBQ shrimp wrapped in mozzarella and bacon for appetizers. Our main dishes will be tri-tip that will be smoked for 5 hours and rosemary whole chicken. Our sides will be citrus corn, spinach salad with mustard vinaigrette, grilled artichokes with Cajun and parmesan dusting, spiral pasta with homemade pesto. And to end it off with a chocolate fudge flag cake.

  19. GG Mora

    There are really people who would eat something besides hot dogs on the 4th? I’ll be grilling hot dogs, and we’ll eat them topped with VERY strong mustard, chopped raw onion and hot dog relish (s’ok, I make my own). If I have time…I have a bag of Rancho Gordo Swedish Brown beans just dying to be turned into baked beans. And cole slaw goes without saying. As does strawberry shortcake (the strawberries in Vermont have been great this year).

  20. Jon

    150 people on a Manhattan terrace. Yeah, fun.

    Sesame chicken and scallion skewers.
    Beef satay with penut sauce.
    Basil/Garlic/Cayenne shrimp.
    Chipotle something (swordfish? more shrimp?) with Mango Salsa.

    Not sure about the veggie stuff yet…

  21. rebecca

    I don’t know much about the grilling process, but I think we’re definitely planning on shrimp (it’s my favorite). And I’ve heard talk of lobster . . . whatever is going on, it sounds good to me!

  22. Teri

    Shaub’s famous black tritip and chicken thighs with Mesquite dry rub from Costco. Shaub’s is a high-end deli and meat market in the Palo Alto shopping center. The meat really is black from their secret marinade — before cooking!

  23. amdsun

    My family tradition on the 4th, for the last 80 years or so, has been to get a bushel of steamed blue crabs, coated with plenty of Old Bay seasoning. (It’s a Maryland thing…) We do grill some burgers and corn on the cob, and I’m thinking some Bleu Cheese Cole Slaw would be nice too.

  24. dani spies

    I’m trying something I’ve never done before…marinated and grilled Bison ribeye…yep, Bison. We have a vendor here at the farmers market in Southern Cali. I’ve tried bison burgers and fillet before, but never this big ribeye. Come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve even made a beef ribeye before…anyhow, I can’t wait to see how it turns out, it’s been marinating all day.
    Oh yeah…and I’ll be serving that with some “husks on” grilled corn…hmmm, wonder where I got that idea from?!?

  25. Cathy

    I usually make bbq ribs & chicken wings,every year!
    But this year I am going to let someone else do the cooking.
    Like there are a couple of carnivals around here that have the food, so I would rather pay for it than cook it because I won’t have to clean up after everyone. Just keep it simple.

  26. Evelyn

    I’m the only true vegetarian in a family of meat eaters so I always take my own “meat” to family gatherings. This year I will be taking a marinated Quorn Naked Cutlet and a large tossed salad.

    Since this is a pot luck gathering and our family is diverse we may end out with a pot of steamed rice, strudel and tamales along with hot dogs and steaks.

    Enjoy your 4th and celebrate our diversity!

  27. Sarah

    My husband’s in charge of the grilling, I’m doing the desserts. One of the things I’m going to try is strawberry shortcake and blueberry shortcake. :D

  28. Delilah Hinman

    I’m making a strawberry Jello flag cheesecake with strawberries and blueberries on top making the stars and stripes of the flag.

  29. Jesse Gardner

    You’ve got to try this unusual grilled treat that some friends from Uruguay showed me:

    Get some really good, hearty provolone and cut it into 1/2″ thick slices. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with oregano, then put them on the grill, medium heat.

    Now, you have be to extremely fast here; let them grill long enough to melt slightly, but not enough to melt into the grill. (Two cooks are better than one here!) Flip them over and do the same for the other side. Sprinkle on more oregano. Keep flipping it and adding oregano every 10-15 seconds until it’s nearly lost it’s shape. Take it off and serve it up–a wonderful South American treat, especially for cheese lovers like me!

  30. Gary in Massena

    Jesse,

    I do the Provolone trick in my smoker (at about 250F). You can leave it in a lot longer than if you have it on a grill and it will really absorb some flavor. Mesquite is my wood chip of choice for this.

  31. Wendy

    Here in western Washington, the 4th of July is all about salmon — my mom wraps it in foil, with sliced onion, lemon, and a strip or two of bacon. I sometimes mix it up a bit, with garlic and butter and wine, or shallots and herbs. So easy, and it’s not really the 4th of July without salmon. Also potato salad (russets, eggs, dill pickles, green onions, mayo, mustard — none of that sweet crap) and stone fruit.

  32. Kristina

    Lemon & garlic marinated pork tenderloin, accompanied by corn on the cob, husked, sprayed with butter-flavored cooking spray, and sprinkled with Goya adobo & pepper, as well as asparagus, snapped at the woody ends, dipped in olive oil & sprinkled w/ adodobo & pepper Yum!

  33. Nancy Liedel

    I’m going to try a brisket. I’m going to have some hot dogs as a backup. I’m a little nervous. I’ve never done indirect grilling before.

  34. donna

    WOW! I may change some things on the menu after reading what everyone else is having. Our host will be smoking pork butt, chicken and king mackeral. Jessica, I too grill figs stuffed with goat cheese, but I wrap them in either grape leaves or prosciutto then skewer and grill them. Drizzle with a little honey when they are hot off the grill. YUM! Of course we will have the usual baked beans, hot dogs, potato salad, and grilled veggies to complete the meal.

  35. Taiyyaba

    Tandoori chicken! Classic South Asian masala make it a smoky, spicy bright red flavour and color. Cooked on a charcoal grill….mmmm…perfect! (You could do it from scratch of course with fresh spices, but Shan makes these excellent boxed spice mixes)

  36. Amanda

    We’re learning about American foods at the moment, specifically chosen so we could celebrate 4th July. We’ll be having a rack of ribs, corn on the cob, coleslaw and jacket potatoes followed by some red, white and blue dessert yet to be decided. I doubt we’ll be bbq’g though as the forecast is rain, rain and some more rain!

  37. Kitchen_Cutie

    My friends and I usually just go for grilled beer-can chicken, taco salad, some corn on the cob, & jello cake. Toss in a nice frosty beer-keg and some late night fireworks, the night is complete! :)

  38. Sam

    I would love a recipe for this cauliflower salad that dksbook posted, but s/he doesn’t have an email addy!

    “Cauliflower salad – with green onions, sour cream, cheddar cheese and bacon bits.” Any ideas??

    And just reading all of these things has made me SOOO hungry! :)

  39. Elise

    Hi Sam – regarding the cauliflower salad, it sounds a lot like my broccoli salad, just sub out the cauliflower for the broccoli. It’s a truly great salad.

    To all – I LOVE all of these ideas! Gives me inspiration for even more fun things to make for the 4th. Thank you!

  40. jMattD

    Definitely sticking with the classics. Gotta do some burgers, dogs, and corn. Last weekend tossed some grilled vegetables with couscous and topped it off with grilled chicken. Used a great honey-mustard style vinaigrette as marinade for both chicken and vegetables. Simple and delicious. Support your local farmer’s markets and eat healthy!

  41. Claudia

    Here on Kachemak Bay in Southcentral Alaska, July 4th means fresh grilled red salmon. When we can grill a fish just hours after it is caught, we keep the hot dogs for a less fruitful day! Even the kids fight for the last bite-

  42. Peggasus

    We had people over yesterday and we made the Lexington Pulled Pork shoulder and spicy vinegar sauce from Steven Raichlen’s BBQ USA. Smoked for 6 hours, it was fabulous. I also made baked beans (much like your recipe above, except I put a smoked ham hock in it instead of the bacon, in the crockpot, couldn’t be easier), and a zucchini casserole, made with (besides the zucchini) layers of potatoes, celery, onion and tomatoes, with cheese on top. No one complained.

    I love the 4th of July, it’s my favorite holiday!

  43. Charles Cook

    Garlic burgers. A clove coarsely chopped per 1/3 pound patty, salt and fresh cracked pepper. Served with lettuce, tomato and red onion on a grilled bun with siracha mayo. Total make out food.

  44. Liz

    I’m with Teri – I would love to do some Fred’s Steak…. We missed that a lot when we were in Illinois. We are now back in California, but a little far north so it will be a rarity to get Fred’s. I think I’ll start drooling now! :)

  45. Amy Kilpack

    We are going to grill up some carne asada, with some of my fresh homemade salsa (people request this all year long) some red and blue jello jigglers, michaladas (not sure if the spelling is correct) essentially all it is, is about 1/4 cup lime juice mixed with beer served in a salted rim. MMM..tasty especially on a hot day. It’s suposed to be over 100 degrees here on the 4th. We will top off our BBQ with our annual sidewalk of fire. It’s a great time had by all!

  46. jonathan

    I’m going to grill my wife as to why I always have to do all the grilling :(

    Seriously, try this one from Union Square Cafe in NYC. 2 lbs red onions, peeled, sliced 3/4″ thick. Olive oil a 13×9 pan, lay the onion slices, not crowding them, keeping rings intact. Oil tops, salt & pepper, roast in 400 oven for approx 30 min (til soft – can prepare a day ahead). Let cool, grill over med heat approx. 5 min to get those pretty gril marks on ‘em, flip over (keeping rings intact ALWAYS – use a spatula!), 5 min again. Plate and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, garnish with parsley. People will fall in love. Sweet, smokey, caramelized red onions. Happy 4th!

  47. Larry

    Happy Independence Day, Elise!

    I went to a bbq on Sunday where my hosts did bbq chicken, applewood chips and dripping with a homemade KC-style sauce, on their big ol charcoal Weber–there is no comparing gas and charcoal grilling. I’m jockeying for the recipe for the sauce–it was amazing.

    for the fourth, my partner and I are doing flank steak, marinated in a light vinegarette, and then we’re also doing grilled romaine and radicchio. if you’ve not tried grilling these flavorful lettuces, you should! it gives them a nice smoky flavor that really is unique.

  48. Annette

    It’s so interesting to hear what’s considered “traditional” for different areas of our country. I’m from the southern region so my menu will be more “downhome” and easy…so that I can enjoy the holiday also!! My menu consists of grilled pork ribs with Bar-b-q sauce on the side, potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs, fried cabbage, sliced tomatoes, lemonade, and apple strudel and/or blueberry pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert. I just love Independence Day!!

  49. Regina

    Here in Alabama, it’s gotta be Conecuh sausage on a charcoal grill, served with pasta salad, potato salad, cole slaw, SWEET tea (no, you can’t just add sugar – it’s not the same!), cokes, beer, and maybe some other grilled meats – but we HAVE to have the Conecuh sausage! It’s a RULE! I think some churches around here are doing the “smoked pork butt sale” thing (they smoke 80-100 pork butts, and sell them for $20-25… worth it so you don’t have to do it!)

    But it might rain, so we may have to improvise…. I need to get a pop up shelter to go over the grill! :)

  50. Christine

    Our Fourth of July feast will include grilled locally caught salmon in an Asian-style marinade, a bulgar pilaf with a medley of grilled veggies including portobellos, a green salad loaded with tomatoes, cukes and bell peppers, corn on the cob and a cherry clafoutis for dessert. We have a crowd of 14 for the 4th this year. Lots of people to feed.

  51. John

    Smoking a boston butt tonight my Big Green Egg. It will be ready to be pulled early tomorrow afternoon. It doesn’t get any better than some GA pulled pork.

  52. Flyfishrjs

    Pork ribs, homemade potato salad, icebox salad, baked beans, key lime ice cream, and ice cold margaritas, then it’s off to the foot of the Tetons for the fireworks. Happy 4th everyone!

  53. Tim R.

    This year I am deviating from the norm. On the menu are kabobs consisting of citrus shrimp, garlic butter scallops, rosemary fillet cubes, and orange tarragon chicken.To round out the skewers, pineapple, red potatoes, pearl onions, cherry tomatoes, and various colored bell peppers. Macaroni salad with jack and sharp cheddar, green and black olives, white corn and black beans with peppers and onions in a sun dried tomato vinaigrette, Home made Tuscan bread, fresh corn, lime coconut pie with coconut macadamia nut crust, and a few bottles of wine…Now I’m hungry!

  54. Michele

    I’m the “Pit Queen” at my house. I’m barbequeing pork & beef ribs, burgers, hot Italian sausage, (or “eye”talian as some say here in Indiana), & several ‘drunk’ chickens-(slow smoked)w/open cans of Budweiser for their pedestals. We’re also having grilled corn w/garlic-herb butter, oven- baked beans(great northern mixed w/kidney)and sweet & sour slaw. We’ll top it off with anyone’s choice of ice-cold sliced Watermelon, homemade vanilla custard-style ice cream & lemon chess pie. Everyone’s menus sound so good. Have a safe,fun-filled 4th.

  55. Susan

    Yay grilled food! A bunch of friends will be getting together. I’m contributing sausages, corn, and Zuni Cafe’s pickled red onions (recipe can be found on MattBites). The pickles took some time, but none of the steps are hard…and I think they came out deliciously! In addition, I don’t think you can go wrong with grilled squashes or anything involving heirloom tomatoes :P Happy 4th to you!

  56. Katrina

    Mother-in-law and sister-in-law are joining us and they don’t eat meat on Wed, Fri, Sat. So, there goes the traditional BBQ. I’m going to try salmon. Maybe wrap it in foil first so it doesn’t stick to the grill! And some grilled vegies (first time for that – wish me luck!) potato salad and fruit salad. (just fresh fruit w/ raspberry balsamic dressing) I’m serving shrimp cocktail along with chips and dips for appetizers. Dessert is a mystery – they are bringing it.

    Should be different, but tasty, and anyway it’s about the people.

  57. mark

    Living all over the world I’ve seen a lot of different kinds of grilling. All are good. But living in Hawaii for several years I found some new ones. Spam, for instance when sliced about 1/4th in or so thick and marinated in a sweet garlicky teriyaki sauce then marked well on both sides on a hot charcoal grill and served on hot dog buns are great. next, oysters. Shuck a few dozen of your favorites, mine are Blue Points or living in the South now, Bon Secours are the best. Leave them on the half shell but sever the muscle. Don’t drain and place on same charcoal grill. Before hand make these sauces… #1 equal parts good soy sauce and red wine vinegar mixed with a generous sprinkle of red pepper flakes. #2 same proportions of sherry or malt vinegar w/chopped shallots. When oysters start to curl at edges, spoon on generously with both. Let oysters cook until juices start to bubble and remove. Eat Now! Yum

  58. Jamie

    A very American BBQ: beef, beef, beef, and more beef.

    We use what we call “the method” – rub a prime steak (normally a strip) with good olive oil. Sprinkle liberally with kosher salt and fresh ground peppercorns. Sear to rare. Dive in, with some horseradish on the side if you like (i do!).

    I also plan on doing corn on the cob – I’ve even already made your cilantro lime butter for it :)

  59. Melanie Neichin

    We are grilling hot dogs, hamburgers and are also making meatball hero sandwiches, sauerkraut to go with the hot dawgs, iced coffee and iced tea and cirpirniahs for the drinking set. For dessert it will be a surprise, haven’t decided yet though I am thinking a large fruit salad with a red, white and blue theme -raspberries, strawberries, blueberries topped with whipped cream.
    Happy 4th to all.

  60. Ken

    Baked beans with smoked sausage, onion and bacon mixed in; soft drinks; hot dogs, brauts, hamburgers and turkey burgers, 4 bean salad, deviled eggs and potato salad; for dessert, chocolate cake with strawberry compote, pineapple rings and ice cream choices. I think that ought to do it for this year.

  61. Mimi

    Can anyone give me a recipe for old-fashioned (as in fattening) ice box salad?

    Thank you, I can’t seem to find one anywhere.

    Mimi

  62. Maureen

    Cucumber salad is a terrific side that can be prepared the night before the barbecue or even several days ahead.

    2 very firm, large cucumbers (about 8 in. long or so)
    1 Tablespoon salt
    3/4 cup vinegar
    2 Tablespoons sugar
    1/4 teaspoon pepper

    Do not peel the cucumbers, but rather merely score the skins by running the tines of a fork lengthwise along each one. Then slice the cucumbers paper-thin, discarding the ends. (I use my old-fashioned, ultra-simple Feemster’s vegetable slicer [available from Lehmans.com or on Ebay].) Layer the slices in a deep bowl, distributing a total of 1 Tablespoon of salt every few layers and finishing with an unsalted layer. Then weigh the slices down with a plate nearly as big around as the bowl and place a very heavy object (such as an extra-large can of fruit) on top of the plate. Leave on the counter for two hours, then pour off the accumulated water. Press down hard on the plate to squeeze out even more water from the cucumbers and drain again. Then pour the vinegar on top of the cucumbers and mix in the sugar and the pepper. Refrigerate the cucumbers in the vinegar, sugar and pepper liquid at least overnight, or until needed. Remove the cucumbers from the liquid with a slotted spoon and serve. (4 to 6 servings.)

  63. Cynthia Samuels

    I’m excited. Grilling Kayln’s Kitchen chicken in balsamic vinegar marinade (http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/05/recipe-update-grilled-chicken-with.html) (Balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, shallots, parsley, thyme, olive oil), Ken’s Kosher sausages (from LA – too good to be true) and corn. Pot luckers are bringing cole slaw, blueberry pie and a blueberry tart, sweet potato salad, zucchini salad and who knows what else! 8 grown ups and 6 kids under 5. Who could ask for more?

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