The 4th of July is a festive time of year, celebrate this year with your friends and family. Tender Ribs can smoke in under a few hours, check out the recipes on RecipeSavants for great BBQ tips. The 4th of July is a time to gather your loved ones and celebrate our collective independence.

Independence Day is right around the corner, so it is time to plan your annual picnic or backyard barbecue feast. Is this year your turn to host the festivities for family and friends? Before you start to panic, take a deep breath and continue reading. With some careful planning, and a few excellent recipes, hosting a July 4th barbeque can be a cinch! Remember these helpful tips & tricks.

Share the Fun!

When you are hosting a barbeque for several people, it may be difficult to foot the bill for all the food, beverages, and supplies. If your barbeque is a potluck, everyone gets to bring their favorite dish and no one is burdened with all the expense. Plus, you will have ample opportunity to taste new dishes and share recipes!

Don't forget about your vegetarian friends

Since vegetarian and vegan lifestyles have become so prominent, some of your guests may not be meat eaters. Fortunately, there are plenty of delicious recipes and meat alternatives to try, so everyone can enjoy your barbeque. Have a few veggie sides, and at least one or two meatless grilled dishes.

The perfect beverage ratio

In most places, July is one of the hottest months of the year, so you want to keep your guests well-hydrated. Use this handy guide for buying beverages for your Independence celebration:

  • Figure at least two cans/bottles of beer for the first hour of your barbeque, and one more for each additional hour.
  • For soft drinks, plan one can per person, per hour.
  • When you serve cocktails by the pitcher, figure that each pitcher will be eight servings.
  • It is a good idea to have a bottle of water for everyone, too.

For easy self-service, fill galvanized tubs with ice, and put your beverages in them to chill. Here is an example beverage list for 20 guests (3-hour party)

  • Beer: 80 – 12 ounce bottles
  • Soft Drinks: 60 – 12 ounce cans
  • Cocktails: 5 large pictures
  • Water: 20 12 ounce bottles
  • Ice: At least 30 pounds

Remember that these are approximations — your guests may drink a little more or a little less. It is better to have plenty than not enough.

Easy does it!

Provide recyclable plates, napkins, and flatware, and serve your meal buffet-style. Choose easy recipes that can be prepared on the grill and make cocktails in pitchers rather than individual glasses. You will have more time to mingle and have fun with your guests. Try these fabulous recipes for your July 4th barbecue:

Jamaican Style BBQ Ribs

Share the jubilant culture and cuisine of Jamaica with these mouthwatering barbecue ribs. They are marinated in an aromatic jerk seasoning and dark rum, then slow-roasted on the grill to tender perfection. Serve them with the suggested and delicious Sticky Rum BBQ sauce!

Garlic & Beer BBQ Chicken

What do you get when you pair the savory taste of garlic with the hoppy essence of beer? It is one of the best seasoning blends for barbecued chicken you have ever tasted! Marinate the chicken in a mixture of beer, garlic, and savory herbs, then grill it until it is golden brown and fork-tender.

Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Are some of your guest’s vegetarian? Make them feel welcome with this delicious recipe for grilled cauliflower “wings”. The cauliflower is cut into bite-sized chunks, then dredged in soy milk and seasoned flour. After grilling them until they are tender-crisp, brush them with the spicy homemade buffalo sauce. These “wings” are so tasty, everyone will want some!

Grilled Corn Salad

Corn on the cob is a perennial favorite for backyard barbecues, and this tasty dish pays tribute to it. Imagine plump, smoky kernels of grilled corn, cut fresh from the cob, mixed with a flavorful blend of diced veggies and savory spices! Top it with a yummy dressing made with lime juice, olive oil, spices, and a kiss of honey.

Zesty Grilled Watermelon

As long as we have backyard barbecues, cold, crisp watermelon will always be on the dessert menu! Surprise your guests with this amped-up recipe for watermelon on the grill! Brush generous slices of the melon with a blend of freshly-squeezed lime juice, honey, salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, then grill it. The spicy-sweetness is overwhelmingly tasty!

Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwiches

After a warm day in the sun, what could be more refreshing than a homemade ice cream sandwich! Wait until you see your guests’ faces when you tell them that you are making this scrumptious recipe on the grill! After grilling two yummy slices of banana bread, make sandwiches with your favorite ice cream and serve.

Coupe De Ville

Quench your guests’ thirst with this refreshing beer cocktail, that you can make by the pitcher. The Coupe De Ville is a citrusy salute to the Cadillac Margareta, except it uses beer instead of Grand Marnier. It is a tasty mixture of tequila, orange juice, lime juice, and a tangy splash of orange liqueur. Add six cans of your favorite Mexican Lager and serve.

Island Mint Cooler

Since some people at your festivities may be teetotalers, make a few pitchers of this invigorating mocktail. Mix fresh coconut water, sliced cucumber, lime juice, and a little sugar in your pitcher. The delightful citrus and tropical flavors merge for a perfect cooler. Add a sprig of mint for garnish.

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