Firing up the grill for the 4th of July is a national pastime. Nothing says “land of the free” quite like Uncle Horace having a fifth bratwurst while he tosses a football six feet over someone’s head, after all. But there are BBQs and there are BBQs; you want to grill like a boss, providing finger licking deliciousness for every guest. Here’s a one stop shop guide to wowing your family and friends, complete with strategies and recipes that will have everyone asking for more. Of course, you’ll be able to use them for every summer BBQ too!
Good preparation starts early. Know how many people you’re cooking for, and start the prep the night before. You’ll want side dishes that aren’t going on the grill – baked beans, mashed potatoes, plus salads for Grandma and that one annoying sister-in-law. French fries are always a hit with kids.
Prepare your marinades (recipes below). You’ll put your choice cuts in the fridge, marinading from the night before.
OK – it’s go time. You want to have a first round of appetizers and small sandwiches coming off the grill at the beginning. Grilling corn on the cob, hot dogs, and wings as your round one is the way to go. They all cook quickly, so keep an eye on the grill! Have the proper condiments ready – ketchup, mustard, BBQ sauce, and mayo are the basics.
Round two is for chicken – both on and off the bone. You’ll want to marinate the chicken for a few hours. Turkey grills well, though gets dried out quickly. Switch things up and make Aunt Edna happy by having some grilled fish, too – fish is delectable when grilled! Salmon and tilapia are can’t-miss options here. They also go well with chicken.
Round three is for burgers, and some extras from rounds one and two. Grill some onions and tomatoes along with the burgers – grill some bacon as a topper, too.
Round four is for steak. The grill is at its hottest now, the grates dripping in glorious fats. Bring on the best! Your marinades will take even average cuts and tenderize them to perfection, and a little searing will lock in the juice. You’ll want to have some steaks rare, others well done, so everyone has a steak they’ll enjoy.
Round five is dessert. Step away from the grill, and tuck into some pies and cakes. You earned them, grillmaster. If anyone has a hankering for something else, just toss it on. At this point, everyone is eating for taste.
- 1 and 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 large lemons separated, you’ll use zest and juice
- 1/2 tablespoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons Italian flat leaf parsley chopped
- 3 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
- 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 tablespoons honey separated
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Combine the vegetable oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, about 3-4 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, black pepper, chopped parsley, prepared yellow mustard, 1-2 teaspoons minced garlic (for a more intense flavor use 2), and 1 tablespoon honey in a large bowl.
Set aside 1/3 cup of the marinade and reserve for later.
Remove fat from the chicken and pound the chicken to an even width (about 1 inch wide everywhere.) This ensures even grilling.
Place the chicken in the marinade and marinate for at least 30 minutes to 6 hours. The chicken is best at 5-6 hours. Too much longer and it tends to get salty/cooked by the vinegar.
Make sure your grill grates are clean and greased. To grease, dredge a paper towel in vegetable oil and holding it with tongs rub it all over the grate.
Preheat the grill to medium heat about 375-450 degrees F. Don’t go hotter than 450 to avoid drying out the chicken.
Grill the chicken until completely cooked through (about 4-6 minutes per side depending on heat of the grill) Chicken should be at 165 degrees F at its thickest part.
Generously brush chicken with the reserved marinade mix as it grills.
Steak Marinades – 7 To Choose From:
The Marinating Timetable:
Different cuts of meat require different amounts of time to marinate to perfection.
Coffee As A Marinade?
You’d be surprised, but it tastes heavenly! You can grill like a boss and impress everyone – they’ll think you’re a foodie after this!
The Secret To Every Marinade:
Every steak marinade needs four elements—oil, acid, flavoring, and salt. Once you understand the basic ratio and timeline of how to marinate steak, you’ll never need to look at another recipe again.
See more, including possible ingredients, here.
How To Cook The Perfect Steak
There you have it! Now you know how to grill like a boss, and impress your family and friends – have a happy Fourth of July!