Grill Beast's 4th of July Menu Plan: It's the Whole Shebang!

As Americans gear up for July Fourth festivities, we’re making the burden of meal planning a little easier on you this year.

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Before lighting up the skies, consider lighting up the grill for some classic and tasty dishes. From charred corn salad and chili dogs to Independence Day ribs and cherry pie, you’ll be all set to host a kickass party—or at least bring an amazing dish to a potluck.
 

Charred Corn and Avocado Salad

Avocado Salad

Serves: 8
Total time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients:
10 ears of corn, husked
2 large avocados, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
1/3 cup lime juice
7 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt to taste
cracked black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat your grill to 400°F.
  2. Using 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, brush the corn with a light layer of oil and then grill for 12-15 minutes. The corn should be heated throughout and slightly charred. Remove from the grill and set aside to cool.
  3. Add the avocado, tomatoes, onion, basil, and thyme to a salad bowl. Once the corn is cool, cut the kernels from the cob and add them to the bowl. Pour the lime juice and remaining olive oil over the ingredients and then season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad to ensure the ingredients are mixed well before serving.

 

Grilled Coleslaw with Apple & Creamy Dressing

Serves: 8
Total time: 15 minutes plus 20 minutes resting time

Ingredients: 1 medium green cabbage
1 medium purple cabbage
2 carrots, shredded
1 green apple
1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
1 ½ cups mayonnaise
6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
7 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
salt to taste
pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill to 350°F.
  2. Cut the cabbage heads into 8 wedges, ensuring the core stays intact so the wedges hold together. Place the wedges on the grill and cook them for about 4 minutes on each side until they start to char. Remove from the grill and set aside.
  3. While the cabbage cools, prepare the dressing. Whisk the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, olive oil, and onion powder together. Season the dressing with salt and pepper to suit your tastes.
  4. Chop the cabbage into small pieces and remove the core. Add the cabbage and carrot to a bowl. Remove the core from the apple and then cut the apple into matchstick-size pieces. Add the apple and the dressing before tossing the coleslaw to ensure all the pieces are well coated. Allow the coleslaw to rest in the dressing for 20 minutes before serving.


Independence Day Ribs

Smoked Ribs

Serves: 8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 to 6 hours

Ingredients:
4 slabs St. Louis cut ribs
6-8 tablespoons of your favorite all-purpose barbecue rub
2 cups apple juice, poured into a clean spray bottle
2 cups of your favorite barbecue sauce
4 tablespoons olive oil or yellow mustard
8 ounces cherry, apple, hickory, or alder wood chunks

Directions:

  1. Rinse the racks under cool water and then pat them dry with a paper towel. If your butcher hasn’t already done so, remove the tough membrane from the bone side of each rack.
  2. Coat the ribs in a light layer of oil or yellow mustard and then season liberally with your preferred barbecue rub.
  3. Set up your smoker or grill for 2-zone cooking. Preheat the device to approximately 225°F and then maintain a temperature of 225°F to 250°F throughout the cook.
  4. Once your cooker is preheated, add about 4 ounces of apple or hickory wood. Place the ribs in a rib rack or arrange the ribs (bone-side down) on the indirect side of the grate. Close the lid and allow the racks to smoke for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Spray the ribs with apple juice and add the remaining wood to your cooker. Continue to cook for a further 4 to 5 hours. Be sure to spray the ribs with apple juice every hour. Rotate the racks halfway through the cook to ensure they cook evenly and finish at the same time. Turn the ribs 180° if you’re using a rib rack.
  6. Test the ribs for doneness by picking up one end of the rack with tongs. The ribs are ready if the rack bends and the meat tears easily. If the ribs aren’t ready, cook them for another hour.
  7. When the racks are cooked, brush them with your favorite barbecue sauce and place them back on the grate over direct heat. Allow the sauce to caramelize for several minutes. Transfer the ribs to a pan and then cover it with foil. Let the ribs rest for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting each rack into individual ribs and serving them with extra barbecue sauce.

 

Grilled Mac and Cheese with Bacon & Tomato

Serves: 8
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoons mustard powder
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups whole milk
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked and crumbled
¼ cup parsley, coarsely chopped

Topping ingredients:
1 cup mild cheddar, shredded
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup breadcrumbs
paprika

Equipment:
1 disposable aluminum roasting pan

Directions:

  1. Bring about 3 quarts of water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni, as well as 1 ½ teaspoons of the salt. Cook until almost al dente. Drain in a colander and set aside.
  2. Melt ¼ cup butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour, mustard powder, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and ½ teaspoon of salt. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the mixture has lightly browned, stirring continuously. Gradually add the milk while continuing to stir. Cook the mixture for a further 5-7 minutes until it has thickened.
  3. Add the Monterey Jack cheese and sharp cheddar. Stir until the cheese melts and the sauce is thick. Add the macaroni, tomato, bacon, and parsley. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Grease the aluminum pan. Pour the macaroni and cheese mixture evenly into the pan and then top with the mild cheddar.
  5. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan and add the breadcrumbs. Stir well and then spread the breadcrumbs over the macaroni and cheese evenly. Dust with paprika.
  6. When you’re ready to cook the dish, preheat the grill to 350°F. Place the pan on the grate, close the lid, and bake for 20-25 minutes until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the mixture is hot and bubbling. Be sure to turn the pan halfway through the cook and serve hot.

 

Heavenly Chili-Cheese Dogs

Chili Dog

Serves: 8
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes to 1 hour

Ingredients:
2 pounds lean ground beef
¼ pound bacon, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ½ cups ketchup
½ cup yellow mustard
3 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
kosher salt to taste
8 beef hot dogs
8 hot dog rolls, buttered
1 cup shredded cheddar

Directions:

  1. Preheat the grill to 350°F.
  2. Add the bacon to a grill-safe saucepan and cook for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the rendered fat, leaving about 1 tablespoon behind.
  3. Add the onion and cook until tender. Mix in the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the ground beef and cook until the meat browns nicely.
  4. Blend in the ketchup, mustard, cumin, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, paprika, black pepper, and salt. Allow the chili to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until it thickens.
  5. While the chili cooks, grill the hot dogs and toast the buns.
  6. Assemble the chili dogs by placing a hot dog in a bun and then topping it with chili and cheese. Serve warm.

 

Lindt Cherry Pie Baked on the Grill

Cherry Pie

Serves: 8
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
1 box (15oz.) ready-to-use pie crust for a double crust 9-inch pie, softened
1 can (21oz.) cherry pie filling
3 oz Lindt chocolate (dark or milk)
Ice-cream and whipped cream

Equipment:
2 aluminum pie pans

Directions:

  1. Preheat your grill to 400°F.
  2. Prepare the bottom pie crust by unrolling one of the softened pie crusts into a greased 9-inch foil pan.
  3. Pour the cherry pie filling into the pie crust, ensuring the mixture distributes evenly. Break the Lindt chocolate into several pieces and scatter it on top of the filling.
  4. Unroll the other pie crust on a flat, lightly floured surface. Cut strips to create a lattice top crust or use a star cutter to create a themed pie for Independence Day.
  5. Place the second pie pan upside down on the grill. Rest the pan with the pie on top so that it’s elevated off the grate. Cover the grill and bake for 15 minutes. Turn the pie 180° and bake for a further 15 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown and the chocolate melts. Remove from the grill and let the pie rest for 10 minutes before serving warm with whipped cream or ice-cream.

     

Enjoy!

July 4th Boy Eating Hot Dog

Further Reading - Lets Celebrate!

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Happy Independence Day from the Grill Beast family!