4th of July Cookout & BBQ Recipes

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With its distinctly independent spirit and the added freedom of warm summer weather, the 4th of July is the perfect holiday for a barbeque cookout gathering. Entice your guests with traditional American favorites and a few grilled surprises.

Chicken and Ribs on the Grill

These delicious variations of traditional favorites will have your guests coming back for more:

Orange BBQ Chicken Recipe

Yield 4 servings

Calories per serving: 612

  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups of cider vinegar
  • ½ cup of orange marmalade
  • 4 teaspoons of salt
  • ½ teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of sage
  • ½ teaspoon of marjoram
  • ¾ teaspoon of thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 pounds of chicken, cut in pieces
  1. Preheat grill to medium.
  2. Heat oil, vinegar and spices in a skillet over low heat, stirring constantly.
  3. When sauce starts to bubble, stir in orange marmalade and remove from heat.
  4. Arrange chicken on the grill and brush with sauce.
  5. Grill for at least 45 minutes, until cooked through, turning and re-brushing with sauce about every 10 minutes. When juices run clear, chicken is done.

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Honey BBQ Ribs Recipe

Yield 4 servings

Calories per serving: 919

  • 2½ pounds of pork spareribs
  • 2 18-ounce bottles of honey barbeque sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. In a large stockpot, arrange all ingredients and add enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat for about 40 minutes.
  2. Preheat grill to high.
  3. Remove ribs from pot and grill on lightly oiled grate for an additional 20 minutes, turning and basting frequently with the cooking sauce.

Favorite Cookout Side Dishes

Come out of the kitchen and cook these classic BBQ side dishes on the grill, along with your main fare:

BBQ Grilled Beans Recipe

Yield: 6 servings

Calories per serving: 195

  • 2 15-ounce cans of baked beans or pork and beans
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar
  • 1½ teaspoons of dry mustard
  • 1½ tablespoons of molasses
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup of ketchup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 slices bacon, cut in half
  1. Mix all ingredients except bacon together in a foil pan.
  2. Top with bacon slices.
  3. Place foil pain on grill and cook for about an hour.

Sweet Corn on the Grill

Yield: 10 servings

Calories per serving: 179

  • 10 ears corn
  • 10 tablespoons butter, softened
  • salt, pepper and/or any other desired seasonings such as garlic powder or salt-free spice blends, to taste
  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Peel open cornhusks and butter each ear with 1 tablespoon of the butter.
  3. Re-close husks and wrap each ear in foil. Grill about a half hour, turning occasionally.

A Taste of the Sea

Bring a beach party atmosphere to your 4th of July cookout with these juicy grilled clams:

Garlic Butter Clams

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 250

  • 24 clams in shell
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of key lime juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon of shallots, minced
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger, minced
  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Grill clams about 4 inches from the coals, turning frequently
  3. When shells open, remove clam meat.
  4. Melt butter and mix in other ingredients.
  5. Serve clams with butter-garlic dipping sauce.

Grilled Sandwiches

Introduce some fresh veggies to your BBQ menu, and start a new Independence Day tradition with this delicious grilled sandwich recipe:

Grilled Veggie Sandwiches

Yield: 4 servings

Calories per serving: 419

  • ¼ cup of mayonnaise
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup of sliced mushrooms
  • ½ cup sliced red bell peppers
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 pieces of rosemary focaccia, split horizontally
  • ½ cup of grated cheddar cheese
  1. Mix together mayonnaise, garlic and lemon juice in a bowl and refrigerate.
  2. Preheat the grill to high.
  3. Brush vegetables with olive oil on all sides and lightly oil grate.
  4. Place vegetables on grill and cook for about 3 minutes.
  5. Remove vegetables from grill and set aside.
  6. Divide garlic mayonnaise mixture and spread on cut sides of focaccia bread, then add some grated cheddar cheese on each.
  7. Grill bread, with BBQ lid closed for about two minutes to melt the cheese, checking carefully to make sure the bread doesn't burn.
  8. Remove bread from grill and top with a mixture of grilled vegetables to form open-faced sandwiches.

So fire up your grill and celebrate our independence! When you serve up great tasting choices of meat, seafood and vegetables your guests can exercise their freedom to choose their favorites or sample a bit of everything.

Last Updated: May 15, 2012
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About Roberta Pescow Roberta Pescow holds a bachelor's degree in communications from City University of New York, Queens College and is a freelance writer and editor in the NJ area. The author of "A Life In The Service" and "A Monster's Tears," she enjoys writing informative articles, personal essays, fiction and music.  Roberta is a proud mother of two. Her other interests include fitness, photography, sculpture and meditation. She is a voracious reader and holds a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwan Do. Roberta enjoys decorating her hectic, but happy home and garden in original and affordable ways.  

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