Have you been cleaning your barbecue grills? Now is just about the right time to do so, with July 4th just around the corner.
Here are three tips for making your barbecue the centerpiece of a star-spangled weekend – and making your party the pride of Greenville, SC.
Where there’s smoke…
… there’s probably a mouth-watering barbecue. Make sure your platters fall into that category by knowing how to use BBQ smokers properly. You want Greenville, SC talking about how delicious your ribs were… not how gallant you were in the attempt to cook them.
Different wood chips will give your barbecue different flavors. For example, hickory and oak make for smoky-flavored meat. Apple and cherry wood yield a sweeter taste. Mesquite is one of the hottest-burning woods and gives a strong and earthy flavor.
For a true touch of South Carolina, you may want to use peach or pecan wood – letting your guests taste their flavors in your barbecue as well as pie!
Don’t forget: some chips go better with particular meats. Apple might sweeten your baby back, but leave you feeling it’s more like Christmas with ham.
Make the holiday a healthy day
Nothing may be more American than burgers, hot dogs, and baby back ribs, but you could turn the holiday into a healthy-day by grilling lighter options like chicken or lamb – not to mention good old southern shrimps and other seafood.
In doing so, you’ll impress your guests by offering alternative fare without dishonoring the barbecue tradition. You could also be indirectly doing them a favor by cutting down on the main course calories. After all, a lighter main course could let anyone munch on an extra biscuit or two, or feel less overstuffed for other holiday activities.
Remember the wood chips? If you’re using a smoke grill, make sure to cook fish and seafood over alder and cedar.
More than meats the eye
Barbecue grills can help you serve up more than tasty meat – which is also why you should make sure they’re in tip-top shape in the weeks leading to the Independence Day weekend.
You’ll be keeping your grill busy cooking up sides ranging from a wealth of grilled green vegetables, to traditional comforting corn and potatoes, to smoked cheeses and barbecue beans. Make sure you choose your side dishes well. To some guests, they might be the main attraction!
The Ultimate Guide to the Perfect July 4th BBQ: 5 Grilling Tips You Need to Know. BGR.com.
18 Sides and Salads for Your July 4th Festivities. SeriousEats.com.