This Fourth of July, the fairground fireworks and pool parties may be put on hold. But there’s one thing we don’t have to cancel: Firing up the grill and hanging out in the backyard. In fact, “4th of July grilling ideas” spiked more than 400 percent in the U.S. within the past week.
While many of us will head to our patios and yards, what we’re cooking up varies across the country. According to Google Trends, North Carolinians are searching for “bbq slaw” recipes. And in Oklahoma, they’re looking up “oven baked barbeque catfish.” In Colorado, searches for “bbq chicken recipes” are up. If you’re curious about what your own state is searching for, you can check out this map showing unique "How to grill..." searches in each state over the past week.
And if you head to Search and look up “Fourth of July”, you’ll find Cameos from chefs like Alice Randall and Mary Ann Esposito spilling their BBQ secrets and recipes. (During your search, you may find more than culinary advice; check out the homepage for a sparkling new Doodle and Search results...and perhaps some other surprises.)
Feeling inspired—or hungry? We also asked Googlers to share their favorite grilling recipes.
“Texas Crutch” Smoked Brisket
Submitted by Ryan Ausanka-Crues, Engineering Manager on Android TV
My family is all from Texas so I grew up barbecuing with my grandfather. As such, I don't apologize for using the Texas Crutch (the method of cooking brisket in foil). Plus, it's fun to wait until after people try the brisket to tell them it was made by a vegetarian. Even though I’ve been vegetarian for 20 years, I still enjoy the art and technique of barbecuing with fire.
Dry-brine the meat (0.1 oz of salt per pound of beef) at least 24 hours before smoking.
Prepare the smoker, then apply big bad beef rub to the meat just before adding to the smoker.
Aim to keep smoker between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit (275 degrees if you're using logs instead of charcoal) and add wood chunks to fire every 30 minutes for the first two hours.
When the meat hits "the stall," wrap tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil and return to the fire (also known as, the Texas Crutch).
Smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 190 degrees Fahrenheit (about 12 hours).
Remove from heat and let sit, still wrapped, until temperature drops below 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Steak and Tenderstem Broccoli
Submitted by Ken Graham, Financial Analyst
When I first started grilling, I wanted to perfect this popular method of getting the meat as close to the heat as possible.
Buy the best quality meat you can afford, about ¾-inch thick is best for this method. Good steak should stand up on it's own, no real sauce or spice needed. I like rib eye, but to each their own.
Take the steaks out of the fridge about an hour before you want to cook them, season with salt and then put them back in the fridge.
Pat the steaks dry when you take them out of the fridge; water will inhibit the browning of the meat.
You want your grill screaming hot, so whack it up to max on all burners. Before you turn it up, take the grates off, and then place one of the grates directly on the bars (if it's gas) or coals (if it's charcoal).
Grill your steaks on the grate flipping every minute. Three or four minutes should get you to medium rare, depending on the heat of the grill, but using a meat thermometer is best; you want to get it around 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit.
Serve with whatever sides you like, but I like Tenderstem broccoli, which I grill on the grates I used for the steak. They pick up some of the steak flavor and cook quickly but stay crunchy.
Wine Can Chicken
Submitted by Helynn Nelson, People Consultant and Nekosi Nelson, Staffing Lead
This recipe is one of the first experimental dishes my husband, Kosi, cooked 15 years ago when we were newlyweds and it gets better and better with time. He’s allowed me to co-opt his recipe a bit by introducing one of my favorite ingredients...wine! I run the Google wine club in our Austin office, so I also want to suggest a wine pairing: I’d enjoy this meal with a Viognier or an oaked Fume Blanc.
Gather your ingredients: 2 tablespoons Tony Chachere seasoning; 2 tablespoons Kosher salt; 2 tablespoons onion powder; 2 teaspoons dried thyme; 2 teaspoons dried oregano; 2 teaspoons black pepper; 2 teaspoons garlic powder. For the chicken (I usually choose one around four pounds), you’ll need: olive oil; a 12 oz can of dry white wine.
Mix all the dry ingredients together.
Marinate your chicken in the seasonings 24 hours before grilling. Remember to season the cavity (and wrap in plastic wrap).
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
Rub the chicken and its cavity down with the olive oil. Pour out 1/4 of the wine and sit the chicken on top of the wine can. Place the chicken in the center of the hot grill and cover. Cook the chicken for an hour to an hour and a half, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once cooked, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Ancho Chile Skirt Steak Tacos
Submitted by Kayla Geier, Senior Communications Associate
My family's favorite activity is getting together and cooking–whether it's tamales for Christmas or tacos for the Fourth of July. Since my grandfather's passing I've taken the role of grilling, using some of his "secrets", along with tricks from a few cookbooks. I find that grilling helps me keep his memory alive.
- Place steak (recipe calls for 2 lbs) in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag or covered bowl.
- Stir together the juice of 2 limes, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder, 1/4 tablespoon onion salt and 2 tablespoons garlic powder.
- Whisk the above in 1/4 cup olive oil, and pour over flank steak.
- Seal bag, and turn to coat. Chill 1-12 hours.
- Grill to your liking–medium is always preferred.
- Top with slices of cucumber (it'll cool down the heat), your favorite salsa (mine is Tapatio) and fresh guac with the spice of Serrano chiles on a flour tortilla.
Uncle Buck’s Ribs
Submitted by Susannah Callahan, Product Marketing Manager at Google Nest
Growing up in St. Louis, pork baby back ribs were always a favorite, especially around the Fourth of July. My Uncle Buck—not that one, but just as funny—has been perfecting his rib recipe for friends and family since the 1970s. The layers of marinade and sauces make these ribs extra juicy and tender, but also easy enough to tackle for grilling novices.
Around 24-48 hours before grill time, place 4-5 lbs (or two full racks) of pork baby back ribs (membrane removed), in the following marinade: 1 cup chicken broth; 1 cup soy sauce; 1 cup brown sugar; 5 tablespoons cider vinegar; 5 tablespoons olive oil; ½ teaspoon garlic powder; ½ teaspoon dehydrated onion; 1 tablespoon of paprika; 1 tablespoon of cornstarch; 3 tablespoons liquid smoke; salt and pepper .
30 minutes before grilling, glaze the ribs with Korean BBQ sauce (make sure it has apple and pear puree). This sweet sauce helps to caramelize the ribs when they hit the grill.
Heat the grill to 550-600 degrees Fahrenheit and baste each side of the ribs on the grill twice, for two to three minutes.
Then, turn the grill down to 300 degrees and repeat the basting process and timing above two more times with the leftover marinade.
Lastly, turn the temperature down to 200 degrees and baste each side with your choice of thick honey BBQ sauce three times for three minutes. Serve immediately.
Here’s to a happy, safe and delicious holiday!