My Super Traditional American BBQ items for July 4th


Summer is here and with that comes the chance to engage in one of my favorite activities – grilling on my Weber Genesis 2. There are few things that I love more than firing up the grill, losing myself in the sizzle of the juicy patties and the aroma of sweet corn roasting.

With July 4th approaching, it’s the perfect time to embrace traditional American BBQ items.

How to Grill a Perfect Burger

Crafting the perfect grilled burger is not as daunting as it may seem. My go-to recipe is genuinely straightforward. I use 80-20 ground beef, meaning 80% lean meat and 20% fat. This ratio offers a great balance of flavors without making the burger too oily.

The beef is mixed with a dash of Worcestershire sauce for a hint of tanginess, and a pinch of salt to enhance the flavors. Once thoroughly mixed, I shape them into patties by hand.

This personal touch ensures that equal amounts of meat are distributed in each patty, which allows them to cook evenly. Placement on the grill is important. I’ve found that directly on the grill surface gives the patties that delicious and classic grilled texture.

Cooking Sweet Corn on the Grill

On the side, I love serving up some freshly grilled sweet corn. I do this by first carefully removing the corn husks or buying pre-husked corn. This step is important because it allows for the heat and flame from the grill to reach the corn directly, imparting a unique smoky flavor that reminds me of long, languid summer evenings.

This is then placed directly on the grill, similar to the burgers. Again, just a few minutes on each side will give those desirable grill marks. I then move it to the top shelf of the grill to finish cooking. Where you place the corn plays a significant role in how it cooks. I’ve found the top shelf to be the sweet spot, quite literally, for finishing the corn.


Firing up the grill and cooking up this simple yet traditionally American barbecue of handmade burgers and sweet corn is one of the summer’s real pleasures that I look forward to each year. These delicious, summery dishes are perfect for any occasion but are particularly fitting for celebrating Independence Day.

Taking the time to prepare these staple foods by hand, from forming the patties to husking the corn, is always a rewarding process. The mouthwatering end result, full of flavorful burgers and juicy corn is worth every second spent near the grill.

So this summer, I encourage you to try out this simple, yet delicious method of grilling. Enjoy the process, relish in the summer heat, and most importantly, savor the flavor.

Visiting San Francisco over July 4th or looking for fun things to do? Discover the heart and soul of the city! Explore amazing tours and activities, from iconic landmarks to hidden gems.

Key Takeaways

  • 80-20 ground beef with Worcestershire sauce and salt is an easy way to make burgers.
  • Sweet corn can be cooked on the top shelf of the grill for a couple of minutes.
  • Grilling is a great way to enjoy classic American barbecue during the summer and on Independence Day.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.
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