The Fourth of July is upon us, and there's no better way to enjoy it than with a few friends and a whole lot of food. And nothing says America quite so well as fireworks in the sky and the smell of some home-cooked barbeque floating through the air.
While your neighbor is busy making craters with yet another pack of bottle rockets, fire up the grill and follow these tips to make sure your Independence Day isn't celebrated on an empty stomach.
Charcoal vs. Gas
This debate has some fierce partisans, but a gas grill can make things pretty easy. If you've got one of those, you barely need to worry about lighting the grill and getting things going.
With a charcoal grill, you can either go with self-lighting briquettes or traditional untreated charcoal. For the self-lighting, all you should need is a match, as the charcoal is pre-soaked in fluid that will help them ignite.
If you're wary of your food tasting like lighter fluid, you can opt for traditional untreated charcoal. In this case, it's a good idea to invest in a lighting chimney, as this will greatly speed up the charcoal lighting process.Wood Chips
One possible twist to an otherwise normal recipe is the addition of wood chips.
Special hardwoods such as apple or hickory are commonly sold in bags of small chips that can be spread with the charcoal, typically after being soaked in water. These slow-burning woods will produce aromatic smoke that will flavor the meat and give it a distinct "grilled" flavor.