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Let's Blow Something Up: The Essential Guide to the Independence Day BBQ


May we all hold a moment of silence for the cows, pigs, and chickens that will bravely sacrifice their lives for our consumption on this, the day of our independence: July 4th. The history of this holiday is a storied one, filled with drama, violence and suspense—not unlike the filmography of a young Mel Gibson--but July 4th and its accompanying rituals have grown powerful in their expression. Today, our primary association with July 4th is the consumption of all things cooked in fire, the explosion of gunpowder and the disrobing of approximately 80% of our clothes—give or take.

As a symbol of everything that makes us “Amurrican,” Independence Day is a celebration of our patriotism, pride, and portion sizes. And if you don’t like your plate piled high by a rack of ribs, two hamburgers, and a whollle lotta hotdogs, please refer to the citizenship policies of Canada and Mexico and promptly vacate the premises. 

For your benefit, OmegaFi is here to give you the tome of all things ‘Q, to make you a better BBQ’er, a better haver of fun, and a better all-around human being: Let’s Blow Something Up: The Essential Guide to the Independence Day BBQ. 

It’s a Sausage Party! The Art of BBQ in 5 Steps

In truth, bbq’ing is relatively easy. Light some coals, grab some meat, and let it cook for a given amount of time. And we can assure you, without question, that the taste of the meat cooked with that simplicity will taste like a mouth full of ashes. You’re better than that, and whether you believe that or not, we believe it for you. We believe in your latent potential to be a BBQ Pitmaster. We believe you are the one, Neo, so now it’s time for you to walk the path. 

Here are the first 5 Steps…

5. Throw Your Gas Grill into the Nearest Volcano

Let's Blow Something Up: The Essential Guide to the Independence Day BBQ

Whether you’re grilling with wood chips, charcoal, or flamethrower here’s the thing: Smoke is a good thing. You know what you don’t get with a gas grill? Smoke. So say a prayer for the environment and fire up the coal. The meat ghosts will thank you.

4. Let Your Meat Air Out 

Let's Blow Something Up: The Essential Guide to the Independence Day BBQ

The key here is space: Give your meat some room to cook. This means no meat should be touching anything but the grill it’s cooking on. If you’ve got two sausages touching, that’s a party-foul.

3. Commit the Sweetest Taboo and Use Wood from Fruit Trees

Let's Blow Something Up: The Essential Guide to the Independence Day BBQ

Add wood chips to your charcoal and either go sweet or go home. Fruit woods are great for their lack of impurities, high sap concentrations, and mild flavor, so pick up your axe and get to chopping down a tree of the apple, grape, peach—or like the late-great George Washington—cherry variety.

2. Throw Your Wood Chips in the Dunk Tank

Let's Blow Something Up: The Essential Guide to the Independence Day BBQ

The longer the better is the name of the game here, so let them soak overnight for the best results. In the morning, wrap them in aluminum foil and let them burn like Usher and they’ll produce more smoke and ultimately more flavor.

1. Be Patient

Let's Blow Something Up: The Essential Guide to the Independence Day BBQ

Don’t be the guy constantly checking the grill. When you close that bad-boy, be prepared to let a half-hour pass before checking back. It’ll cool the meat down when you do and slow the process overall.

With a few tips to better BBQ’ing under your belt, let’s move on to our country’s favorite pastime: explosions.

Okay, Now It’s Time to Blow Stuff Up

We’ll start here: This is not a guide to buying fireworks. We already know you’ll be scoring bottle rockets, cherry bombs, m-80s, black-cats, Big-Mama’s, and Crying Babies (okay, we made the last two up), left and right. Fireworks explode, and they explode well, so we’ll leave the choice of what and how it explodes to your discretion.

Instead, we’re going to talk about safety, and a few basic steps to keep all your fingers, toes, and brains.

For starters…

  • Obey the Laws of Your State - No fireworks in church, please.
  • Light and Leave – Once that fuse is lit, run like hell and bring anyone in range with you.
  • No Roman-Candle Fights – Just don’t.
  • Don’t Drink and Explode – If you’ve been drinking, watch in awe from a distance. Trust us.
  • DON’T LAUNCH MORTARS FROM YOUR HEAD – This will not end well for you.

Take it Back to Your Wonder Years with Games and Activities 

Whether it’s horseshoes, dodgeball, capture-the-flag, or good ol’ fashioned footbawl, part of the classic Independence Day BBQ consists of food, fireworks and fun. So don’t skimp on the fun. Here at OmegaFi, we advise crafting your own kickball league, running a water balloon fight (or Super Soaker shoot out), or just breaking down a game of tetherball or two-square. The point is to get active, get outside and have as a much fun as possible while the warm weather permits.

If you want to get bonus points with the students on your campus, find a hill and create a giant slip-and-slide. All you need is a roll of tarp, a hose, and a few bottles of dish soap. From there, disrobe and embark on a journey through nature like none-other, sliding from the womb of life.

Clean Your Plate, Then Clean Your Place

We’ll keep this short: Clean up your stuff.

  • Don’t be the group that dirties the grill without cleaning it.
  • Don’t be the people leaving chicken bones all over the grass while there are perfectly empty trash cans less than ten steps away.
  • Don’t be the guests that trash the park.
  • Don’t be the guy/girl that had eyes bigger than their stomach and couldn’t finish their plate of delicious food. 

A general rule of thumb for life (almost philosophically) is to bring out what you take in. So be a mensch and think of your fellow man and the Earth and sing the clean-up song when it’s time to go.

If you’re looking forward to the fourth of July, eating the heck out of some food, and creating more explosions than Michael Bay, let us know in the comments below.


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