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Top Tips from our Head Grill MasterGrilling Inspiration: Ultimate 4th of July Menu

We've rounded up some fan favorite grilled foods for the 4th of July, and we’re sharing tips to get you ready for a meal to remember!

Top Tips for Smoked Ribs

Formula for the number of hours on the grill (on grill in foil / on grill out of foil / back on the grill). 

1.     Baby backs     2-1-1
2.     Spare              3-2-1  
3.     Back ribs         3-2-1
4.     St. Louis          3-2-1 

Go-to bbq rub. It’s all personal preference but I like mine hot AND loud. Here is my grill master blend: even parts of black pepper, salt, granulated garlic, and onion to start bringing out the flavor. I add paprika to add some color, and I add some heat with cayenne pepper and cumin. Bonus tip, the rub can be a little coarse so put it in a food processer to turn it into a fine texture, for a nice dusting over the ribs.

Wrap ribs by adding ½ cup of apple juice, ½ a stick of butter, ¼ cup of your favorite bbq rub, put the meat side down and wrap. 

Sauce ribs 20-30 minutes before they come off the grill.

When are they done? 195-200° for fall off the bone or 185-190° for a little bit of pull back.

Top Tips for Grilled Burgers

Select the right meat, 80/20.

Use a bowl and a spoon to mix in seasonings so that the meat won’t fall apart. If you try to mixing the meat using your hands the fat will activate and the meat will start to fall apart. Just use your hands to form the patties at the end.

Add flavor. I love flavor especially in my burgers. I like to say in the bbq world that bacon is our penicillin, it cures all of our flavor needs. Sautee bacon and onions and mix INTO the burger meat. Also you'll want to add moisture to the meat, you can use anything like Worcestershire sauce, beer or wine.

Put a thumbprint in the center of each patty, otherwise your burger will turn into a meatball on the grill.

Make all patties the same thickness, that way they all go and off the grill at the same time. A burger press guarantees that your burgers are all the size.  You can even pre-make the patties so that you are not doing it the day of your bbq. 

Grill burgers at 450-500°. A 1/4 lb burger will take 3-4 minutes a side and a 1/2 lb patty will take 4-5 minutes a side. But if you want precision, the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub will walk you through how to grill the perfect burgers.

Bonus idea. One of my favorite ways to grill a burger is an inside out burger. Grill 2- 1/4 lb patties for 3-4 minutes on each side. Instead of putting the cheese on top, put the 2 pieces of cheese between the patties. Each bite is consistent, full of flavor and crazy good.

Top Tips for Smoked Sausage

Smoke sausage by starting the grill low at 300-325° for 14-16 minutes and then turn the grill up to 425-450° over medium, direct heat to brown the outside for the last 2-3 minutes. What happens to a lot of people, is that they grill the sausage at 425-450° and the casing expands too quickly, busting open and you loose all the flavor of your sausage. By slowly bringing the sausage up to temp, the casing naturally expands and the sausage stays together. 

When is it done?  You're looking at 160-165° for internal doneness.

Use a beer bath or you can baste it with beer. The natural sugars in beer will help brown the sausage and give it a little bit of flavor. Add sausage and beer to 2-3 disposable large drip pans over 300-325° heat for 16-20 minutes and then caramelize the sausages directly on the grates for an additional 4-6 minutes.

Top it off with a beer mustard, just take a regular spice mustard, add a little bit of beer (ale, lager, etc) and warm it up.

Use a Spanish onion, it’s higher in sugar which makes it better to cook with because you are going to get more flavor out of it. Sugar= more caramelization= more flavor.  If you can’t find a Spanish onion, you can take a sweet onion (like a Vidalia) and add a cola to it in your sauté pan because the cola will add sugar and caramelize, which again equals more caramelization and more flavor. Stay away from red and white onions, those are best served as fresh onions not sautéed.

Top Tips for Grilled Corn

Soak ears of corn in cold water with a couple of tablespoons of sugar for 1.5-2 hours. This helps gives the corn moisture and the sugars will sweetens the corn.

Best way to pull the silk off the corn?  Put a rubber band around your thumb and index finger and go up and down on the ear of corn to remove a the silk attached to the corn.  

To grill in the husk, roast it indirect (with the outside burners on, corn in the middle of the grill) for 25-30 minutes. 

To grill without the husk, grill over direct heat for 12-14 minutes, turning  2x. 

Grill Master bonus idea. Roast corn over indirect heat for 25-30 minutes, pull the husk back and baste with your favorite butter combination (like a butter/lime/salt combo), and then put the corn on the grate over the burner for 3-4 minutes. This technique will help caramelize the corn and give it a beautiful color without overcooking it. 

Get extra flavor by adding the butter and seasoning in the husk and roast the corn for 25-30 minutes and if you want extra browning of the corn, finish over direct heat for 3-4 minutes.

If you want to follow a recipe, then check out the ideas below. Have fun with it and share! We'd love to see what you grill! #DiscoverWhat'sPossible