Are you getting ready for those July 4th cookouts? There are several things you can do to make the Independence Day cookout run smoothly.

Go ahead and buy the hamburger, make it into patties, and freeze them, with a piece of waxed paper between each patty. Frozen hamburger patties are easier and handier to grill, and the meat isn’t as likely to fall through the grate and be wasted. Frozen hot dogs do better on a grill, too. (Put your pile of separated-by-waxed-paper patties in a freezer bag. Just a little push with a spatula will separate them easily!)

That little piece of waxed paper in between each patty will make a world of difference on cookout day!
That little piece of waxed paper in between each patty will make a world of difference on cookout day!

We like to mix our fresh hamburger with some Texas Pepper Jelly and VERY finely ground bread crumbs – talk about tasty!

The day before your cookout, even if you’ve already scrubbed down your grill this season, do it again, and be VERY careful to wash and rinse off all traces of metal brush bristles. Not getting all of those off the grate can mean a tragedy, so be really carefully, clean your grill thoroughly, soap with a sponge after you scrape, rinse, soap it again, and rinse again. Run your hands all over it when you think you’re finished; it’s better to run a splinter into your finger than to get one in your throat! After you’re absolutely sure the grill is clean, let it sit out in the sun for several hours – that’s why you should clean it AT LEAST the day before – before you fire it up for the Glorious Fourth.

You don't want any of these in your food!
You don’t want any of these in your food!

If you plan on some fireworks in the same area you plan on eating, don’t. Stray sparks and ashes can turn your food into a not-so-tasty treat, and can turn napkins, paper towels, clothing, and hair into bonfires.

I hope you’ve got a good supply of Texas Pepper Jelly products on hand for your cookout – no holiday cookout is complete without them!

A little planning and your July 4th cookout will be a wonderful, memorable experience that friends and family – and YOU – will enjoy and remember all the rest of the year!