You want this year's 4th July party to rock? Throw an awesome Independence Day barbecue for all your friends and family, the neighbors and your neighbor's friends and family, and your childhood teachers. Remember to follow our 5 tips to make it happen the right way!
1. The Grill
Gas vs. Charcoal
Charcoal, charcoal, charcoal! If that wasn't clear yet, charcoal is the way to go! Although technically gas burns cleaner (as charcoal emits carbon monoxide), charcoal has far more options for a smokey, richer meat. Get yourself some nice lumpwood charcoal!
Add wood chips for that special flavor:
- hickory and oak for fish and pork
- cherry and apple wood add a sweetness to most meats
Just soak half what you’ll use in water to make it last, then add it all once lit.
Make it hot
Flame-grilled can be a very misleading term - wait 'til the flames die down. When your coals are grey and glowing, they are the hottest and the heat is most evenly distributed.
Temperature? - back to caveman times
Test your grills temperature with your hand, yes your hand! But be careful, this could be hot (duh!).
Simply hold your hand 12cm/5inches above the grill and see how long you can hold it there without screaming:
- 6 seconds: low heat
- 4 seconds: medium heat
- 2 seconds: hotter than a goat’s butt in a chilli pepper patch
- 0 seconds: Hospital. Now.
2. The Food
Make them at home - easy & freaking delicious! Get some quality minced meat with plenty of fat (this is not the time to diet!), add salt & pepper, done! You will get the juiciest, most flavorful burgers ever - this tops anything you can buy in the store. Jamie Oliver's "Ultimate Cheeseburger" recipe is a keeper.
Fish and smoke is like The Intouchables (a must-see!). Now, think of smoked salmon before you judge.
Standard: A whole trout or a side of salmon with some oak chips
Fancy: Slice a whole fish open, fill it with lemons, dill, and pepper and let that baby cook
People, don't forget the veggies and slicing a tomato is not gonna cut it here! Slice 'em thin and throw 'em right on the grill - no oil, no seasoning. Get a nice charring along the outside and flavor afterward with some quality olive oil and vinegar and you are good to go (or eat).
3. The Drinks - now you're talking
What you drink depends on what you throw on the grill. Below some fabulous suggestions.
Burgers: to contrast the flavor: IPA (Ballast Point Sculpin IPA), to complement the flavor: black IPA or smoked Porter (Deschutes Hop in the Dark CDA)
Turkey or veggie Burger: brown Ale (Alesmith Nut Brown Ale)
Sausages: basically invented by Germans so obviously: Oktoberfest beer (Paulaner Oktoberfest Märzen)
Steak: Stout or brown ale (Deschutes Obsidian Stout)
Chicken: blonde bière de garde (Saint Germain Page 24 Réserve Hildegarde Blond)
Seafood: Helles lager or pilsner (Ballast Point Longfin Lager / Pilsner Urquell)
Veggies: for earthy veggies (e.g. mushrooms or eggplant): schwarzbier (Uinta Baba Black Lager), for simple grilled corn, zucchini, or peppers: German pilsner or helles lager
Our 1 (or two) picks:
Meat: Brown Ale
Seafood / Veggies: Pilsner
Wine - you fancy!
Burgers: Touriga Nacional, Syrah, Zinfandel, and Côtes du Rhone
Sausages: Malbec, Southern French, Tempranillo
Steak: Malbec, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel
Chicken: Warmer climate Chardonnay
Pork Chops: Cider, Valpolicella, Barbera, New World Pinot Noir, dry rosé, Riesling
Seafood: Rosé Champagne or Cava, New World Pinot Noir, Gamay, dry rosé, New World Riesling, Pinot Gris
Our 2 picks:
Seafood / Veggies: New world Riesling
Cocktails - the right way!
We found 3 cocktails to be the right fit for your perfect barbecue. Yes, no kidding! You will get 3 full recipes for your perfect barbecue!
Frozen Pisco Sour
- 1.5oz (45 ml) Pisco
- 1oz (30 ml) Lime Juice
- 0.5oz (15 ml) Simple Syrup
- 1/2 egg white
Combine in a blender with ice cubes and blend until light and frothy - deli!
- 2oz (60 ml) smoky Whiskey (Ardbeg 10 Year Old)
- fill with a decent Soda Water
Add a thin slice of lemon peel for that extra zesty aroma.
- 1.5 oz (45 ml) Mezcal
- 3/4 oz (20 ml) Triple Sec
- 3/4 oz (20 ml) Lime Juice
Salt the rim of your glass and add ice to the glass. For the cocktail: Ice it, shake it, strain it (into the new ice), garnish it, drink it, repeat.
4. The Decoration
Don't let them ask you what you are serving. Tell them with a cool menu. Get a cheap chalkboard and make some drawings for the food and the drinks you'll be serving so everyone knows exactly what they can (or can't have).
Get the bugs out
After you're done with the cooking, add some sage to the fire pit to keep the annoying mosquitos from sucking the themselves drunk on you.
Let the romance begin
Dig out those Christmas lights and wrap them around everything that is anchored to the ground. It'll create a perfect atmosphere for campfire stories and s'mores after dinner.
5. Get Yourself some Help
A.k.a. errand runners. Nobody wants to have to deal with everything alone and even if you're not alone, get yourself some helpers and thank me later.
Our bartenders will make you above-mentioned drinks plus all your other favorite drinks. They will bring the life to the party and if your guests are having a good time you will be having a good time, guaranteed!
Be sure to follow all these steps to create an unforgettable barbecue, which all your guests will talk about for a very long time and now - get grillin'!
Now, get yourself a drink. You deserve it!