Chicken, ribs and tri-tip for your July 4th barbecue

Even if you haven’t celebrated July 4th in the past, I bet everyone – tired of being inside for the last year – is either throwing a barbecue or feverishly looking for an invite. Everyone wants to be outside, meet friends and enjoy good food.

To help you with this, I created half a dozen new barbecue sauces that use leftover quarantine liquor to round off their flavor. Keep these delicious sauces ready all summer to make outdoor entertainment a breeze. (And watch our video asking Lisa McRee, the LA Times Today host and the inspiration for these recipes, to try them all).

In addition to these sauces, you’ll want to have at least one of these summer staples on hand for the next weekend to use as a canvas for the sauces. Then you are ready to feed your guests, both planned and surprise visitors.


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Pork ribs bathed in a sticky-sweet sauce are a must-have when grilling, but instead of getting too complicated with the flavors, try this recipe that embellishes store-bought Chinese spare ribs sauce to add a flavorful shellac to the meaty ribs to rent .

In the world of beef, you can just start with a tri-tip marinated in garlic and black pepper, grilled to perfection over coals, or try this slow-smoked brisket, rubbed with dried chilies and served with a flavorful salsa pibil.

If chicken is your preference, my dry spice-rubbed bird is a breeze and watches yourself on the grill while you grab another beer or two. And while it might just be “barbecue” in name, I love to cook a pan of buttery New Orleans-style grilled prawns on the actual grill so that the prawns are soaked in their smoky essence.

Whichever route you go, keep it simple and audience-friendly so you can enjoy the party with your guests, who are more interested in being around you than criticizing the menu.

Barbecue pork ribs

Chinese spare ribs sauce is diluted with rice wine and sweetened with honey to make a sticky-sweet sauce with simple pork ribs. The recipe is made in the oven, but works even better on the grill. For the last 20 to 30 minutes of cooking, spread the sauce over the ribs to prevent them from burning.
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Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Ultimate tri-tip

Santa Maria style tri-tip is the unofficial grill cut of California, where it’s traditional to cook it over coals and serve with pinquito beans. Tri-Tip is a pressure cooker compared to ribs or brisket and is best marinated in lots of garlic and salt and served lightly charred on the outside, while staying a little less inside to keep it tender.
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Cooking time: 50 minutes plus 3 hours of marinating.

La Sandias Brisket

Ancho chili powder rub creates a spicy crust on this brisket, served with salsa pibil to reduce the richness of the beef. Prepare the rub and salsa a few days in advance so that most of the hard work of cooking and smoking the brisket is done.
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Cooking time: 2 hours.

Dry spice butterfly chicken

The spices form the basis for a classic dry barbecue rub. But if you don’t have one or two of these, just leave them out; the chicken tastes great anyway. The salt is the only important condiment here, as it removes moisture from the skin and makes it extra crispy in the oven or grill.
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Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes.

Louisiana barbecue shrimp

Lots of cayenne pepper, butter, garlic, and Worcestershire sauce flavor the sauce for these finger-licking shrimp. Put the pan on a hot grill and cook the dish outside to give the shrimp a smoky flavor.
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Cooking time: 20 minutes.

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