4 Tips for Pitmasters Planning a July 4th BBQ
Whether you call it July 4th, Independence Day, America’s Birthday, or something else, there is no better way to celebrate the biggest day in the U.S.A than with a delicious meal. If you’re a pitmaster, a 4th of July barbecue is the way to celebrate. Still, planning is the key to making your Independence Day barbecue successful. Consider a few tips and ideas for planning the perfect barbecue this July 4th.
Choosing the Right Meats
While you could always make your barbecue a cookout with hot dogs, hamburgers and grilled chicken, the key to an authentic Southern barbecue is to break out your smoker. In it, you can prepare things like smoked brisket, barbecued pork, whole smoked chicken and more.
Slow-smoking your meats gives them unparalleled tenderness and flavor that will leave your guests raving about your culinary abilities. But of course, simply having a good smoker is just half the job. You also want to choose good meat in the first place. One easy solution is to buy choice or prime meats, both of which have superior-quality marbling that helps seal in the flavor and better tenderize the meat.
Picking the Right Location
You want your July 4th barbecue to be a pleasant experience for all, and the atmosphere has a lot to do with it. It’s only natural to want your event to take place outside. Still, you will also want to take appropriate precautions to have a covered location within reach in case of bad weather. Additionally, you’ll want to ensure you have a space to set up, store and serve your food safely and hygienically.
Moreover, choosing a location means considering any safety hazards that may threaten during this time of year, especially fires. Your fireworks aren’t the only potential spark makers that could start a fire at your barbecue. Your smoker may emit sparks and flaming debris. As a result, you should set it up away from overhanging trees, dry grass and other potential kindling. You should also take care to extinguish and dispose of the ashes appropriately after you finish preparing the meat. Do not attempt to use a smoker indoors, either.
Planning Your Menu
Alongside your barbecued meats, you naturally want to ensure that you have plenty of sides. Of course, what you choose to serve is up to you, but a few favorite 4th of July side dishes include potato salad, coleslaw, baked beans, green beans and corn on the cob. Don’t forget the desserts and drinks, either, and always plan to buy more food than you will have guests (everyone likes second helpings, after all). You’ll also need ample barbecue sauce for dipping, and we recommend Hutchins’ own recipe, which you can find in our online store.
Pre-Preparation is Key
Good barbecue pitmasters know that 1) good barbecue takes time and 2) preparation is key. Smoking your meats will usually take several hours; some people even smoke theirs overnight. You’ll want to ensure that you time your preparation to ensure the meat (and the rest of your meal) is ready by the time you plan to eat. You don’t want to keep your guests waiting for hours to eat, and you don’t want to serve dry, cold meat, either. To determine when you should begin preparing your food, make a list of everything you plan to cook that day, and then decide when each item needs to go into the smoker, onto the stove, or into the oven, based on the time you plan to eat.
But if you want to avoid the hassle…
If you’d rather not spend your 4th of July cooking, why not let Hutchins BBQ help you take care of the meal? We offer catering and delivery options for parties and special occasions of all kinds. We can provide the meat, sides and all the fixings you need to make your Independence Day celebration successful. Visit our Catering and Delivery page to learn more. With our help, you can make your 4th of July barbecue memorable.