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Memorial Day BBQ Ideas and Recipes

May 10, 2024

Memorial Day is a time to honor and remember those who have served our country and the unofficial kickoff to summer and grilling season. There's no better way to celebrate: gathering friends and family around the backyard, firing up the Big Green Egg, and serving up some deliciously grilled delights that go way beyond the usual fare.


chicken, ribs, and vegetables on a grill

The Magic of the Big Green Egg

The Big Green Egg has earned its reputation as a versatile outdoor cooking device, perfect for any backyard bash. What sets this ceramic Kamado-style grill apart is its ability to function as a grill, oven, and smoker all-in-one.

This versatility allows for an unmatched variety of dishes that can be prepared, from perfectly seared steaks and juicy burgers to smoked brisket and even baked pizzas. The Egg's design retains moisture and heat, ensuring food is cooked evenly and efficiently, with all the flavors locked in.

For those looking to elevate their grilling game this Memorial Day, the Big Green Egg grills offer a combination of convenience, versatility, and flavor that is hard to beat.

How to Cook on the Big Green Egg

Cooking on the Big Green Egg is both an art and a science, offering a range of possibilities that can cater to any palate. The key to mastering this versatile grill is understanding its unique temperature control features. Here are our top tips.

  • Start by lighting the charcoal; natural lump charcoal is recommended for its cleaner burning properties and ability to reach desired temperatures quickly. Once lit, use the bottom vent and the daisy wheel on top to adjust the airflow, thereby controlling the grill's internal temperature.
  • For high-heat grilling, like steaks or burgers, you'll want to open vents wide to increase temperature.
  • For slow-cooked dishes like brisket or pulled pork, maintain a lower, steady heat by partially closing vents.
  • Always preheat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes before adding food, and remember to utilize the dome's thermometer to monitor the cooking environment.

With some practice, cooking on the Big Green Egg can turn any meal into a culinary adventure, offering flavors and textures that are hard to replicate with any other cooking method.

Our Favorite Memorial Day BBQ Recipes

This year, take your Memorial Day cookout to the next level with these mouth-watering recipes. Get ready for the best smash burgers, brisket chili hot dogs, and bacon mac & cheese—all cooked on the versatile Big Green Egg.

Smash Burgers on the Big Green Egg

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground beef (80/20 mix for optimal juiciness)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • American cheese slices
  • Brioche burger buns
  • Your choice of toppings (lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles)
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo)

Instructions

  1. Preheat your Big Green Egg to a high heat, aiming for 450-500°F, with the cast-iron griddle insert in place.
  2. Divide your ground beef into 3 oz portions and form into loose balls. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place a beef ball on the hot griddle and use a sturdy spatula to smash it into a flat patty. Cook for about 2 minutes until the edges become crispy.
  4. Flip the patty, immediately place a slice of cheese on top, and cook for another minute or until the desired doneness.
  5. Toast the buns on the grill for a slightly crispy edge. Assemble your burgers with your favorite toppings and condiments.

Tips

  • The beauty of smash burgers is in their crust. The key is not to press them until they're on the hot surface, creating that perfect sear.
  • Don’t overcrowd the griddle. Cook in batches to ensure every burger gets the right heat and attention.

Brisket Chili Dogs

Ingredients

  • 1 lb smoked brisket, chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Hot dogs
  • Hot dog buns
  • Shredded cheddar cheese for topping

Instructions

  1. Set your Big Green Egg for indirect cooking and stabilize the temperature at around 350°F.
  2. Combine the brisket, kidney beans, tomato sauce, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot suitable for grill use.
  3. Place the pot on the grill grate, close the lid of the Big Green Egg, and allow the chili to simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the hot dogs to the grill about 10 minutes before the chili is done, turning regularly to cook evenly
  5. Toast the buns on the grill for a minute or two.
  6. Serve the grilled hot dogs in buns, topped generously with brisket chili and shredded cheese.

Tips

  • Consider smoking the brisket on the Big Green Egg a day ahead for added flavor. A low and slow cook yields tender, flavorful meat perfect for chili.
  • If the chili becomes too thick during cooking, stir in a little beer or beef stock to achieve the desired consistency.

Bacon Mac and Cheese

Ingredients

  • 1 lb macaroni pasta
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup gouda cheese, grated
  • 2 cups milk
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ lb bacon, chopped and cooked until crisp
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Breadcrumbs (optional for topping)

Instructions

  1. Set the Big Green Egg for indirect cooking and preheat to 375°F.
  2. Cook the macaroni al dente according to package instructions, then drain and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour until smooth, and gradually whisk in the milk until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the grated cheeses until melted. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Combine the cheese sauce with the cooked macaroni, then fold the crispy bacon.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs if desired for a crunchy top.
  7. Place the skillet on the grill grate, close the lid, and bake for about 25 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly

Tips

  • Consider adding smoked cheddar to the cheese mix for an extra smoky flavor.
  • Keep an eye on the mac and cheese as it bakes. You want a lovely golden crust, but no overcooking.

Shop for a New Grill at Howard’s Appliance

Are you ready to upgrade your grill or outdoor kitchen this year? Howard’s Appliance has the best selection of Big Green Eggs, grills, and outdoor kitchen appliances in Southern California. Our experts are here to help you find the best products. Take advantage of our Memorial Day Grill sales and save big!

Visit us at one of our many appliance store locations throughout Southern California today, including La Habra, Pasadena, Canoga Park, Corona, and the surrounding area.

Related Readings:

Commonly Asked Grilling Questions

How do I prevent food from sticking to the grill?

Ensure your grill is properly heated before placing food on it to prevent sticking. A hot grill sears the food on contact, making it easier to turn and move. Also, lightly oiling your grill grates or the food itself can help prevent sticking.

What's the difference between direct and indirect grilling?

Direct grilling involves cooking food directly over the heat source, ideal for quick-cooking items like steaks, burgers, and vegetables. Indirect grilling places the food next to, not directly over, the flame, which is perfect for slow-cooking foods such as roasts, whole chickens, or dense vegetables.

How do I know when my grill is at the right temperature?

Most grills have a built-in thermometer, but consider using a separate grill thermometer for an accurate reading. For a quick test without a thermometer, hold your hand about 5 inches above the grill; if you can keep it there for 2 seconds (high heat), 5 seconds (medium heat), or 10 seconds (low heat), your grill is ready.

Which fuel type should I use for grilling?

Choosing charcoal, LP gas, natural gas, or pellet grills depends on your flavor preferences and convenience. Charcoal grills have a smoky flavor but require more setup and cleanup time. Gas grills heat up faster and offer more temperature control.

How often should I flip the meat on my grill

Only flip your meat once to achieve perfect grill marks and even cooking. Flipping too frequently can prevent the meat from developing a crust and lead to drying out.

How do I clean my grill?

For gas grills, heat the grill on high for about 15 minutes to burn off any remaining particles, then brush the grates with a grill brush. For charcoal grills, empty the ashes and scrape the grates with a grill brush.

After the grill has cooled, wipe down the exterior with a cleaner suitable for the grill's material. Regular maintenance after each use will make this process easier and extend the life of your grill. Get more detailed grill cleaning tips here.

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