People at night sitting around a table outdoors with a red tablecloth and American flags with picnic food on the table as they laugh with text over it that reads 'The Ultimate 4th of July BBQ'

The Ultimate 4th of July BBQ

‘Tis the peak of the summer season and the perfect time to take some time away to spend with those you cherish. Here at BBQ Outlets, we know that not only does having a premium grill set the stage for hosting the best 4th of July bash, but we also know that the barbecue you cook up, the assortment of activities you provide, and being ready for any mishaps all allow you to shine brighter than any fireworks in the night sky.

How to Throw the Best 4th of July Barbecue in 2022

A lot can seemingly go into throwing the ideal bash for the holiday weekend. From preparations, to set-up, to the activities everyone will be participating in and enjoying, to keeping in mind sun and fire safety – we have you covered!

It might go without saying, but preparing ahead of time for when the bulk of people will be at your residence or wherever you end up hosting your holiday, can make all the difference. Save yourself the stress by making any food you can in advance, including homemade condiments that may be used to enhance those delicious traditional 4th of July foods you might be grilling up. Take special time to put together any handmade barbecue sauces, as the flavor can be even more prominent after a few days of waiting.

As for the set-up, yard decorations or a sign can not only help give your holiday weekend an extra bout of flair but can also help direct attendees to where they should be going, especially if they might be unfamiliar with the area or location. Try also stringing up some simple, white lights in the backyard/patio or even along picnic tables and near seating areas. Not only can it add a clean, eye-pleasing look to the general gathering area, but can also help add extra light for when the sun starts to set. Finally, as one last tip for what to include besides your usual patriotic decor, try some large umbrellas above tables or even near lounge chairs. This summer has been a hot one across the nation, and it can be nice for the guests that might not want to be consistently in the sun the entire time.

Not only can amazing deals at stores during the weekend set you in the mood for more fun to be had, but what we are currently offering here at BBQ Outlets can help add even more interest to your outdoor oasis. When you buy any built-in grill worth at least $2000, you will receive a free access door. This is great for even more storage and space for the outdoor kitchen of your dreams. Make sure to hurry and take advantage of the deal while it still lasts!

Besides doing a little shopping this holiday, another way to ensure that everyone has a blast at your get-together is by offering various activities. Perhaps you may even have everyone meet somewhere beforehand, like a parade, festival, music performance, or sporting event. Maybe you would like to keep everything around one central location, in which case you may opt for “stations”. Such as an area for kids to play with face paint, chalk, water balloons, etc. Possibly you also have a separate area for adults with beverages and a classic game of cornhole or ring toss.

We also recommend having some sort of activity indoors – whether it be a mini food eating competition or a photo booth area – for those who may not want to spend all of the holiday outside. Regardless of where or when you decide to meet or what type of activities you plan to include in your weekend a few must-haves no matter the age of the party-goers are an enjoyable playlist full of favorite songs to help set the mood, some form of water whether it be the beach, the pool, or even a sprinkler, and of course some dazzling fireworks.

With time outside in the sun and with grilling up only the best recipes for your backyard barbecue menu, as well as plenty of fireworks to entertain into the nighttime, something that should never be forgotten is sun and fire safety. The weather has been warmer across the board and with the sun setting even later, it’s vital to apply sunscreen. If you’re using a spray-on sunscreen, make sure to apply it facing away from the wind and rub it into your skin too. Just like a lotion-based sunscreen, this should also be reapplied too according to how long you plan on enjoying the sun’s rays.

When it comes to fireworks – a classic staple for the 4th of July holiday weekend – make sure to have proper precautions and preventions in place. On average, over 200 people every day during the holiday weekend visit the ER for fireworks-related injuries and accidents. While sparklers are boats of fun, they can sometimes cause small burns on especially little and clumsy hands. Try flipping a plastic cup upside down and thread the sparkler through the hole in the center of the bottom. A child can easily hang onto the unlit end then with the cup above their hand acting as a barrier so that there is no worry of burning their fingers/arms. This can also act as a shield of sorts to help deflect any sparks.

With any fireworks, after they are used make sure to extinguish them in a bucket of water and then move them to a metal trashcan once ready for disposal. The U.S. Fire Administration offers four free downloadable handouts available in both English and Spanish. Easily find a printout for general summer safety tips, summertime burn safety guidance, grilling fire safety advice, and overall outdoor fire safety.

Dishes to Include in the 4th of July Backyard Barbecue Menu

Last but certainly not least are the 4th of July menus you may be considering for your special weekend. If possible, have those who are considering what to bring to a 4th of July BBQ, prepare a simple dish or appetizer. Not only will this cut down on prep work for you, but it will also allow you more time to focus on the main dishes and have the opportunity to enjoy more minutes of interaction with your guests.

For some simple side dishes for the 4th of July, try foods that are lighter since you want the star of the show to be the barbeque. Salads, like watermelon feta, are perfect for the summer as the food is not only in season, but is also refreshing and enjoyable to eat. Form it into a flag for an extra little dash of style and a nod to the holiday. Even some grilled veggies or fruit like the recipes and guidance provided in our Guide to Vegan BBQ, can also be suitable choices for side dishes that can pair nicely with other grilled entrees.

As for a few ideas for more traditional July 4th foods that can be cooked up on the grill or in the smoker, opt for brisket, ribs, burgers, etc. Bring extra flavor into the meat with different flavors of wood chips. As for more nontraditional suggestions or choices of dishes to include as the main entree for your backyard barbecue menu, try combining two holiday favorites of chili and hot dogs and opt for chili dogs. You could also make a hot dog casserole as another way to include an American classic into the meal, but in a different way. The options for yummy food this holiday weekend are endless and it all sometimes takes is peeking into the fridge and cupboards for inspiration.


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