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a family enjoying a 4th of July BBQ

The Best 4th of July Recipes for a Memorable Celebration

    6 minute read

    With America’s birthday just around the corner, it’s a great time to start planning what you’ll throw on the grill this holiday. From hearty mains to delicious sides, no Fourth of July BBQ is complete without a little smoke and fire. Sure, hot dogs and burgers are cookout staples, but there are so many other recipes you can prepare. So, whether you’re cooking for the whole family or just two, these 4th of July recipes are sure to inspire your inner chef.

    4th of July Recipes for the Ultimate Cookout

    1. Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings

    Kicking off our 4th of July recipes list is a dish that is bursting with bright flavors: grilled lemon pepper chicken wings. Perfect as a starter or main, we prefer to make our wings on the grill to give them a nice smokey flavor.

    grilled lemon pepper chicken wings
    Recipe and image from Mad About Food


    • 2 pounds of chicken wings (cut into drums and flats)
    • Cooking oil or spray
    • 2 tsp of black pepper (1 tsp for dry rub and 1 tsp for lemon sauce)
    • 2 tsp of salt
    • 1 tsp of garlic powder
    • ¼ cup of melted butter or ghee
    • 1 tsp of dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp of lemon zest
    • 2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice

    Cooking Instructions

    1. Remove wings from packaging, separate them into drums and flats if necessary, and pat dry using paper towels.
    2. Lightly spray or brush chicken wings with cooking oil.
    3. Combine the 2 tsp of salt, 1 tsp of black pepper, and 1 tsp of garlic powder in a small bowl and season wings on all sides with the mixture.
    4. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
    5. Once the grill is ready, reduce the heat slightly and place the wings on the grill. If you experience excessive flare-ups or the grill is too hot, lower the heat or move the wings to a cooler side of the grill to avoid burning them.
    6. Cook the chicken wings in a closed grill for around 20 minutes on low-medium heat while rotating every 2-3 minutes to allow the skin to crisp.
    7. Remove chicken wings from the grill once they reach an internal temperature of 170F.
    8. While chicken wings are still warm, prepare your lemon sauce by combining the melted butter or ghee, lemon juice, lemon zest, dijon mustard, and remaining pepper in a small bowl.
    9. Toss wings into the sauce bowl, coat evenly, and enjoy!

    Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Serves: 4

    2. Arugula and Apple Salad with Pecans and Goat Cheese

    Okay, this isn’t a grill recipe, but it’s important to mix in some greens, so we’re including it anyways. Plus, this arugula and apple salad is bursting with flavor that pairs well with a nice sunny day. Sure, a classic Caesar salad is always nice, but why not mix some recipes up a bit this 4th of July? Trust us, this will become your new favorite salad.

    apple salad with pecan and arugula
    Recipe from Slender Kitchen


    • 4 oz of arugula
    • 2 sliced apples—choose your favorite or two different types
    • ¼ cup of roughly chopped pecans
    • ¼ cup of crumbled goat cheese
    • 1/8th cup of red onion, sliced
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 tbsp of olive oil
    • 1 tbsp of honey
    • 1 tbsp of white wine vinegar (red is okay as well)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Preparation Instructions

    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients and seasonings to create your dressing.
    2. Transfer arugula, pecans, onions, and apples into the dressing bowl and toss together.
    3. Garnish the top of the salad with goat cheese and enjoy.

    Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 5 minutes | Serves: 4

    3. AIS Team Member Eddie’s Tri-Tip Sandwiches

    If we’re talking steak sandwiches, one of our favorite cuts to use is the tri-tip. Often less expensive than other popular cuts, the tri-tip is still tender and gives a great beefy flavor. This recipe comes directly from one of the team members here at AIS, so be sure to tag us on our Instagram page if you give it a try.

    tri-tip steak sandwich


    • 3 pounds of tri-tip
    • 8 ciabatta bread rolls
    • Package of sliced provolone cheese
    • 4 yellow onions
    • 4 tbsp of butter
    • 2 tbsp of olive oil
    • 1 package of washed arugula
    • Your favorite steak seasoning
    • Your favorite BBQ sauce
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Dijon mustard (to bind seasoning)

    Cooking Instructions

    1. Start by coating your tri-tip with a dijon mustard binder to prevent the seasoning from falling off. Don’t worry, the mustard taste will cook out. Once you’ve applied the mustard, season with your favorite steak seasoning, cover it with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for at least an hour. Remove and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring it to your grill.
    2. While waiting for the tri-tip, heat your grill to high heat, or 500F. Once hot, place the tri-tip over direct heat to sear all sides. Sear each side for around 3 minutes.
    3. After searing, lower the grill temperature to medium and finish cooking over indirect heat until your steak’s internal temperature reaches 130F, or for around 20 to 30 minutes.
    4. While the steak cooks, caramelize your onions. Slice your onions and transfer into a skillet with the butter and olive oil. Cook and stir until onions have changed in color and have reduced in size.
    5. After the tri-tip is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing. When slicing, be sure to cut the meat into thin strips while cutting against the grain.
    6. In a small bowl, coat the arugula with a drizzle of olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper.
    7. To assemble your sandwiches, begin by toasting your buns. On the bottom bun, add your favorite BBQ sauce and top with sliced tri-tip. Next, add a slice of provolone cheese, caramelized onions, and some arugula. Finish by adding the top bun and enjoy.

    Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 40 minutes | Serves: 8

    4. Corn on the Cob with Old Bay and Lemon

    Who can say no to corn on the cob? This summer classic is super easy to prepare and snack on. Truthfully, you can prepare/season these however you like, and the cooking process will be the same. This time around, we’re sticking with our lemon theme and using Old Bay as our seasoning of choice.

    grilled corn with lemon
    Recipe and image from New York Times


    • 4 ears of corn, shucked
    • 4 tbsp of unsalted butter
    • 1 lemon, zested
    • ¼ tsp of Old Bay seasoning, plus more for serving

    Cooking Instructions

    1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Once ready, grill your ears of corn while turning occasionally until they are cooked through and lightly charred. This should take around 10 to 12 minutes.
    2. While your corn is cooking, mix the butter, half of the lemon zest, and ¼ teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning into a small bowl.
    3. Once the corn is cooked, coat the corn with the butter mixture. Add additional Old Bay and lemon zest if desired and enjoy.

    Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Serves: 4

    5. Grilled Lamb Chops

    Grilled lamb chops still on the bone are perfect for any BBQ, especially if you’re searching for different flavors other than beef. Plus, being on the bone makes them great to snack on throughout the evening.

    lamb chops on the grill
    Recipe from All Recipes


    • 6 lamb chops on the bone
    • 1 thinly sliced onion
    • ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar
    • 2 tbsp of olive oil
    • 1 tbsp of minced garlic
    • 2 tbsp of salt
    • ½ tsp of black pepper

    Cooking Instructions

    1. Mix the sliced onion, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper into a large resealable bag. Add your lamb chops in with the marinade and place the bag in the refrigerator for 2 hours. This will allow the lamb chops to soak up all that flavor.
    2. After marinating for 2 hours, remove lamb chops from the refrigerator and preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
    3. Remove lamb chops from the bag and wrap aluminum foil around exposed bones to prevent them from burning.
    4. Place lamb chops on the grill and cook for around 3 minutes per side or until they reach an internal temperature of 130F. Cook for an additional 2 minutes if you prefer well done.
    5. Serve and enjoy.

    Prep time: 2 hours | Cook time: 10 minutes | Serves: 6

    Discover More Recipes

    No matter which recipes you cook this 4th of July, it’s important to follow a few basic safety guidelines to prevent hazardous fires. If you’re going to have a busy grill, be sure to give it a proper clean before setting up for the holiday. And if you’re looking for additional recipes to try, visit our holidays and recipes section to discover more.

    The information in this article is obtained from various sources and is offered for educational purposes. Furthermore, it should not replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.