Food by VICE

The Munchies Guide to Grilling Like a Real American on the Fourth of July

All red, white and blue everything, all the time.

by Munchies Staff
Jul 2 2016, 3:00pm

Ah, the 4th July. That time of year when we celebrate America's independence: the original Brexit. When we get loaded on cheap beer and play with fireworks and throw animal parts on hot grills. When we look back to the days when American was great—back when bald eagles soared through the skies and tiny-handed demagogues weren't leading presidential candidates .

But things aren't all bad. We now live in an age where we can harken back to America's greatness while drinking boozy ice cream floats and cooking amazing recipes we found on the internet.

Speaking of which, we've got all the recipes you need to throw a killer 4th of July party. Your friends will proudly hail you before deeming you a damn patriot. Happy Independence Day.


Burgerlords veggie burger.

You know what's more American than a burger? Nothing. (well, except for maybe Budweiser, which has actually decided to temporarily rename itself America). So if you don't hate America, the first thing you're going to want to cook at your 4th of July BBQ is a perfect goddamn cheeseburger.

If you don't eat meat, or you just want something to make the vegetarians at your BBQ as happy as the people eating this stack of meaty, cheesy heaven, fire up these Burgerlords veggie burgers. They're almost as good as the real deal.


Matty Matheson's back-alley ribs. Photo by Brayden Olson.

There's no better way to blow your guests away than with ribs. And these pomegranate molasses back-alley ribs are mind-blowing and beautiful and ready-made for Instagram, so everyone can know you had the #BestBBQEver.

If you want to go the more traditional route, or if you're running out of space on the grill, try out these babyback pork ribs that you can cook in the oven.


Fiona's green chicken. Photo by Brayden Olson.

And of course you'll need chicken, the peas to ribs' carrots. What's that? Poultry is boring? Well, even Sam I Am can get behind this fresh and herbaceous green chicken. It's marinated in basil, cilantro, and mint, among other things, and it tastes like summer.


Grilled rib-eye steak. Photo by Brayden Olson

All this sound like too much work for you? Well, you can be as lazy as you want and still make it into the 4th of July BBQ Hall of Fame with this juicy grilled rib-eye steak. There are two ingredients, prep takes two minutes and there are two steps to cooking this foolproof cut of juicy perfection.


Grilled sweet corn.

By this point you're already in the midst of one badass BBQ. Take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back. Now keep cooking. You're going to need some plants to go with all that meat. And nothing says "America" like corn, the vegetable even the most carnivorous of your friends will eat, because, well, it's not actually a vegetable. Brush this grilled sweet corn with sugar, salt, turmeric, and coconut milk before throwing it on the fire to make it oh so much sweeter.

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Vietnamese-style coleslaw. Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

Right about now your grill is probably overfilled with tender cuts of meat, which means its time to move onto the sides you should've prepared before the real cooking began. This Vietnamese-style coleslaw is quick, refreshing and goes perfectly with that chicken that's on the grill. But "it's not American", you might be thinking. Well, America is cultural melting pot and your BBQ should be, too.

If you want to invest a little more time in your slaw, and impress those friends of yours who consider themselves real gourmands, prepare this crunchy coleslaw made with ramen, quinoa, and almonds—itself a cultural melting pot.


Anchovy, little gem, and tomato salad. Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

You're also going to want a real salad: you know, greens, vegetables, vinaigrette. This anchovy, little gem and roasted tomato salad is simple, yet transformative. Plus, you'll get to say "little gem", which is really fun.

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Lilly Vanilli's boozy summer trifle. Photo by Farideh Sadeghin

OK, so it's time for dessert. We know you've already put in a lot of work at this point, so if you want to go the easy route, nobody will blame you. Just make strawberries, macadamia nuts, and whipped cream. It'll take 10 minutes and everyone will love you for it. But we like this trifle. It's practically screaming "USA!"—It came from England; it's red, white, and blue; and it's swimming in booze.

Congratulations, you've done it. You had one killer 4th of July BBQ. Take a bow. Humbly accept congratulations, crack open another ice-cold can of America and get ready to watch some fireworks.