July 4th, Grilling On Independence Day 

In America, we celebrate our nation’s independence with parades, fireworks, and definitely some backyard BBQ’s. If you’re planning on hosting a BBQ, we’re going to help you out with some grilling basics and delicious menu ideas.

Grilling Basics

To start off, we’re going to feature an earlier piece we did helping prospective backyard chefs with some grilling basics. Check this out from LWOS Life:

“Whether you’re feeding yourself or the family, making a romantic dinner for two, cooking for a holiday gathering, or preparing a raucous tailgate party feast, using your grill is by far the best choice. It doesn’t matter if you prefer gas or charcoal; grilling basics will help make your meal better every time. Whatever kind of grill you have, here’s some helpful information to make your meal or party a hit.”

In this piece, we’re going to introduce you to a new way to cook an old American favorite or two. We’ll also include some links to earlier pieces that showcase some awesome grilling ideas for your feast.

Magical Meatloaf

Yes, we’re introducing you to grilled meatloaf. It is by far the most delicious way to cook meatloaf. The grilled flavor enhances one of America’s most famous food staples. Your guests will thoroughly enjoy your meatloaf after getting over their initial curiosity. “You grilled meatloaf?” “How did you grill it?” These are only a couple of the questions you will probably have to answer. Once they taste it, they won’t want their meatloaf any other way.


  • 2-3 Pounds of Ground Chuck
  • 4-6 eggs
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 1/2 Cup of Your Favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1 Cup of Ketchup (optional)
  • 2-3 Cups of Uncooked Dry Oatmeal
  • 1 Cup of Chopped Onions (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Granulated Garlic
  • Large Foil Pan
  • Meat Thermometer

Making Your Loaf

In a large bowl, add in the ground chuck, eggs, BBQ sauce, onions, and seasonings. Reserve the oatmeal and milk. Thoroughly mix all the items together making sure to spread the seasonings all through. Next up, add in the dry oatmeal and milk. Mix the meat, milk, and oatmeal together until it is semi-solid and “moldable.” You may need to add in more oatmeal to get the meatloaf workable. 

Torpedo Time

Dump the mix into the large foil pan. It’s now time to form the “Meat Torpedo.” You will want to shape the meatloaf into a torpedo form for grilling purposes. Try and achieve the thickness of your usual piece of meatloaf from end to end. This shape helps the meatloaf cook evenly on the grill. 

Grilling Time

Set up your grill in the three-zone method as described in our Grilling Basics piece. Place around 20-25 charcoal briquettes on opposite sides of your grill and light them. Once they get to that “perfect grey,” it’s time to launch your torpedo. Take the foil pan to the grill and gently raise one side so that your torpedo rolls slowly onto the middle of your grill grate. Use caution when placing the meatloaf on the grill, you don’t want to split your delicious meal into multiple loaves. 

A word of caution for you gas grillers. DO NOT grill your meatloaf over open flame. If you can place the meatloaf over a section of your grill that is not lit, give it a try. Use low temps with a gas grill and stick close by while it cooks. The last thing you want is to be featured in the next viral video of a fire raging on a backyard gas grill as people are scrambling for cover. It may take a bit longer than using charcoal, but the flavor is worth it. 

Meatloaf Watch

Let the meatloaf grill undisturbed for an hour, then open the lid and see how it looks. Take your meat thermometer and take the temp in the middle of the loaf. If your meatloaf is nearing 160 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s time for the next step. Grab two sturdy spatulas and gently begin to pry up the bottom of the meatloaf. Once you have freed the torpedo, use the spatulas to slide it over to one side. After this step, roll the meatloaf onto its other side back to the middle of the grill grate. This will ensure even cooking and also better appearance. Close the lid and let the meatloaf grill for 30-60 more minutes. 

After the additional grilling time, recheck the meatloaf temp with the thermometer. Your target temp is 180 degrees Fahrenheit. If your meatloaf is at 180, brush the ketchup on top and let it grill another five minutes. 

It’s now time to remove the meatloaf and plate it for your guests. Take the spatulas and pry up the meatloaf bottom so that it’s free from the grill grate. Place the platter next to the meatloaf and carefully place it onto the platter. 

Serving Time

Allow your meatloaf 15-20 minutes to rest before slicing. Serve it with some other American classics such as mashed potatoes, baked beans, or potato salad. Your guests will be amazed at the improved flavor you achieved by grilling your meatloaf. 

For those of you who like spicy flavor, you can swap out the onions for chopped jalapenos. The heat from the jalapenos is countered by the meat mixture so it’s not that spicy. The jalapeño meatloaf has a zip to it, but even your “sissypants” guests will enjoy it without whining “it’s too hot.” 

America’s BBQ Favorite

The next American staple we’re discussing is the hot dog. They’re always part of a backyard BBQ menu, but why not make yours stand out?

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 Package of Beef Hot Dogs
  • 1 Package of Bacon
  • Water Soaked Toothpicks

That’s it for the ingredients. Take a piece of bacon and anchor it on one end of a hot dog. Wrap the bacon around the dog anchoring it on the other end. Grill these delicious dogs indirect due to potential flame ups with the bacon grease. Once the bacon is cooked thoroughly, remove the dogs and serve with all the fixings. Your guests will love bacon wrapped hot dogs compared to the usual dogs they get. 

Grilling Menu Options

Listed below are some other delicious menu options to consider for your upcoming BBQ. Click on the link for each to read these awesome grill choices and how to prepare them.

Righteous Ribs

Perfect Grilled Chicken

Onion Bombs, Armadillo Eggs, and Jala-Buenos

Lamb, Ham, and Spam

Incredible Hamburgers

Get Grilling!

There you have several menu ideas to use for your 4th of July BBQ next week. Give one or two a try; your guests will appreciate your efforts as you raise the bar on backyard grilling.


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