The backyard barbecue was one of our favorite family meals. It was simple and delicious but it was always special. Daddy Scamper cooked only 2 things, but they were perfect every time. Sunday pancakes and barbecues.
The more people you include, the more fun you’ll have.
There are some items that are important to include:
- A good potato salad
- Cole slaw
- A plate of freshly sliced tomatoes and onions
- And watermelon, preferably with seeds for seed spitting contests.
- 1/3- 1/2 lb of raw beef per burger. Don’t bother with extra lean. You’re eating a hamburger. Let it go. The fat improves the flavor.
- Salt and pepper
- Oil for the grill
- Buy decent buns. Potato buns are really delicious but the standard is a white bun with sesame seeds.
- American cheese
- Season the beef with salt and pepper
- Make the patties by hand
- Just slap them together. Don’t squeeze them tightly and don’t play with them. You’ll just make them tough
- Brush the grill with oil
- Grill them for about 4 min per side
- If you are adding cheese, add it at the last minute and let it melt
- Heat the buns on the grill for a couple of minutes when the burgers are almost done
- Chicken breasts, thighs and legs, skin on. You can remove it later but it keeps the chicken moist as it cooks
- Olive oil
- Rinse the chicken
- Pat it dry
- Season with salt and pepper
- Brush it with oil
- Most people will say that you should add the salt and pepper after the oil, but given the criminal level of over salting that we have seen, we question most people’s judgement and intend to correct their mistakes with the oil. If you can restrain the person with the salt, add it after the oil.
- Place the chicken pieces on the grill where they won’t be exposed to direct flame
- About 10- 15 min per side
- 180 degrees with a meat thermometer
- Or just nick it with a knife and make sure that the juices run clear and the pink is gone. Serious chefs will act like that’s a travesty but salmonella is not a good time. If you’re not sure, don’t endure a moment’s shame. Just cut that sucker. Better safe than sorry.
- Hot dogs
- Place the hot dogs directly on the grill
- Roll them with tongs, periodically
- About 7 min. When they split, they’re ready
- Heat the sauerkraut on the stove
- Brush the buns with butter and heat them on the grill for a couple of minutes while the hot dogs finish cooking
- Corn in the husk. When you buy it, don’t be embarrassed to pull that husk back and make sure that it’s a good one. You’ll be more embarrassed if you get home with a dud
- A pot of water
- Peel back the husk but don’t remove it
- Remove the silk. In our house, that was the children’s job. We may have griped but we all remember it fondly.
- Soak the cob, with the husk peeled back, in salted water for 15 min
- Shake off the excess water
- And pull the husk back into place
- Grill it away from the active flame for about 15 min
- Bring butter and salt to the table for personalization. Some people also use lime and a dash of cayenne
Extras for the table…
- Sour cream
- Wash the potatoes
- Stab them a few times with a fork or knife (kids love poking them with a fork, too)
- Wrap them each in 2 layers of foil
- Place them directly on the charcoal for about 1 hr
- A word of caution – when you cook potatoes in foil like this, don’t eat the skin. Frankly, we didn’t even bother to look up the health risks because it caused a bit of hysteria in our house. We just know that it’s strictly forbidden. Some things make a lasting impression. The reality is that it most likely has to do with Alzheimer’s research.
Have fun with your family barbecue. Just as an aside, water balloons and egg races/tosses make a good addition.
Egg races involve raw eggs, placed on a spoon and carried across the lawn. The fastest one wins. If you drop it, you can pick it up. But if it breaks, you’re out.
Egg tosses involve raw eggs tossed back and forth between 2 partners. Groups of partners stand in 2 lines and play catch one team at a time. If the egg drops and breaks, that team is out. After each team has tossed, everyone takes a step back.
Just watch out for those sneaky characters who try to slip a hardboiled egg into the mix. There’s one in every crowd.
Break out the wet wipes ’cause it’s all about the ribs!
Enjoy the old fashioned barbecue