10 Barbecue Tips for the Fourth of July
1. Use a Weber, or some other enclosed barbecue with a removable lid. This will allow you to both grill and smoke.
2. Be kind to the earth -- use lump charcoal (or briquettes) with no "self-lighting" solvents. These are easy to light in one of those chimney contraptions, available at any hardware store. It's a great investment, and you need only a single sheet of newspaper to get the fire started. And the solvent won't stink up your meat, and give your dog cancer.
3. Know your barbecue guests. If they crave burgers and hot dogs, rather than exotic and expensive cuts of meat, that's what you should make for them.
4. On the other hand, slow-smoking over a cool fire, rather than just grilling, produces meat of unspeakable savor and succulence. A rack of fatty pork ribs purchased from Western Beef, coated with freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, and paprika, and smoked over a slow fire for four hours, will drive foodies crazy. You must, however, watch them (the ribs, not the foodies) during the entire four hours, turning and repositioning them constantly. If this sounds like too much work, skip it. (For the real barbecue masochist, a whole brisket will take eight hours.)
5. If you want your Weber to multitask, bank up the fire on one side and leave the other half of the grill charcoal-free. Regulate the temperature of the interior by opening and closing the flue on the top. Closing completely will result in a slow-burning fire and a low temperature -- perfect for smoking.