Archive for July 4th
Fourth of July is fast approaching, and what’s the glorious fourth without some delicious barbecue? The problem is, it’s hot outside. Temperatures are in the high nineties here, and several days, we’ve hit a hundred. What do you do when your family begs for BBQ, but you really don’t want to fire up your grill? Gas, charcoal. . . it’s too hot!
Answer: Barbecue those pork chops in your crockpot.
I said “pork chops” up there because that’s what we had for dinner tonight, but really, you can throw any kind of meat into your slow cooker, add some Craig’s BBQ Sauce and a little chopped onion, and the neighbors will call and ask if they can join your family for supper. Pork, chicken, lamb, beef. . . whatever you’ve got in the fridge or freezer – just pop it into your crockpot and go.
If you’ve taken it out of the freezer, you don’t even have to thaw it before you put it in the slow cooker. Just make sure you let it cook for at least six hours on low and four hours on high.
Crockpot barbecue is so easy and effortless. Just place the chops or roast or whatever cut of meat you’ve got into your crockpot, pour a cup of Craig’s BBQSauce over it, add a handful of chopped onion, replace the lid, set the crockpot on high or low, depending on how long it’s going to cook, and go about your business.
These boiling hot summer days are the perfect time to use your crockpot. It doesn’t heat up your house, as your oven would, and you don’t have to stand out in the back yard in the broiling sun, turning meat on your grill while your family waits in the air-conditioned house.
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!)
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.
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!