Special Report

Mistakes That Can Ruin Your July 4th Barbecue -- and How to Avoid Them

Summer — and especially Fourth of July holiday weekend — is outdoor grilling season in America. 

On patios and balconies and lawns, in driveways, at parks and on the beach, we’re firing up our barbecues and grilling everything from burgers, steaks, and shrimp to zucchini, eggplant, and tofu. 

Some of us are even throwing fruit on the barbie, like olive-oil-brushed slabs of watermelon, that quintessential symbol of summer — so much better than all those ridiculous things that are merely flavored with watermelon.

There’s something irresistible — something primal — about cooking food over a fire, in the open air, while your friends and family stand by and salivate at the incomparable aromas wafting from the Weber. Grilling should be fun and relaxing. All you have to do is to avoid a few common grilling mistakes, then just relax and pop open one of America’s most delicious beers while you and the grill work your culinary magic.

Click here to learn about mistakes that can ruin your backyard barbecue — and how to avoid them

There’s a wide range of gas and charcoal grills available in every price category, as well as models that operate with compressed wood pellets and even with electricity. While the last of these is probably the least satisfying and least outdoorsy to use, any of them can produce stellar results if you do things right. 

Drawing on the advice of experts and on many years of collective grilling experience, 24/7 Tempo has assembled a list of common grilling mistakes and offered tips for avoiding them.