Barbecue Tips for Independence Day

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Try some great barbecue recipes this holiday – by learning about what the Top 500 restaurants are doing.

In America, the Fourth of July is synonymous with barbecue. And it’s even more popular than usual this year – in restaurants.

A new report from food industry research group Technomic takes barbecue pretty seriously, with “looks at barbecue from multiple angles, inclusive of its use as both a preparation method and flavor.”

The company found more than 57 percent of the restaurant operators they track offering some kind of barbecue dish, including about two-thirds of the Top 500 restaurant chains. Here are some highlights from the report…

  • Overall menu incidence of barbecue sauce is up more than 5 percent in the past year.
  • Among sauces with a flavor associated with them, sweet/honey-style barbecue sauces are declining, while spicy/pepper varieties are gaining.
  • Coleslaw is the most commonly menued side dish, followed by French fries and baked beans.
  • A majority of all barbecue sauce menu mentions don’t have a flavor associated with the sauce, indicating opportunities for operators to offer more innovative sauce flavors.
  • Smoked is the most commonly used barbecue preparation, and pork is the most commonly barbecued meat.

Want to add some restaurant flair to your backyard barbecue tomorrow? We picked out a couple of online recipes you might try…

Dorothy Ross’ Sweet ‘n’ Spicy BBQ Sauce


  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup corn syrup
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic pepper blend
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke flavoring (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt


In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until the flavors are blended. Remove from the heat; cool.

Southern Living’s Best Barbecue Coleslaw


  • 2 (10 ounce) packages finely shredded cabbage
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar


Combine cabbage and carrot in a large bowl. Whisk together sugar and next 7 ingredients until blended; toss with vegetables. Cover and chill at least 2 hours.

If you try either of these recipes, let us know how they taste on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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