July 4th without a BBQ?
June 24, 2013 5:33 AM   Subscribe

My mom, my brother and I will be celebrating July 4th by ourselves in my small apartment. I'd like to have a nice comfort food meal with them, but I don't have a barbeque or grill available. Here's what I do have:

-Regular Oven and glass-top stove
-George Foreman Grill
-Toaster Oven with broiling pan and convection mode
-Slow Cooker

My cooking skill level is moderate. I am very good at following directions, but not improvising.

I would like to have "regular" July 4th food like cheeseburgers and hot dogs, but I'm open to other suggestions on what to serve and make.
posted by nickhb to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Pulled pork barbecue in the slow cooker is amazingly easy and delicious.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:36 AM on June 24, 2013 [13 favorites]

You can make cheeseburgers in a frying pan on your stove top. Ditto for hotdogs. They won't be grilled, but they will be good.
posted by OmieWise at 5:42 AM on June 24, 2013

Yes on pulled meat in the slow cooker. I have found this Eating Well pulled chicken recipe to be super easy to follow and amazingly delicious.
posted by donut_princess at 5:43 AM on June 24, 2013

You can also do baby back ribs in the slow cooker as well. The night before, dust the ribs liberally with a good dry rub and let sit in the fridge overnight (wrapped up and in a pan to catch drips). The next morning, cut into racks that will fit in your slow cooker. Spray the slow cooker with cooking spray, put in ribs, coating liberally with BBQ sauce. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
posted by plinth at 5:49 AM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Hamburgers work well cooked kinda like a steak. Throw the patties on a pretty hot pan, 2 minutes or so on either side, then put them in the oven at 450 to cook through (just put the whole pan in the oven). Make sure to check the internal temp of burgers though!
posted by kavasa at 5:53 AM on June 24, 2013

You've got dinner covered easily with the above responses. So make some popsicles in red, white, and blue with berries and yogurt for dessert.
posted by fontophilic at 5:56 AM on June 24, 2013

Frying brats on the stovetop or via the Foreman grill will be faster and less messy if you parboil them in advance. You can also use the slow cooker to keep your grillables warm if you want to make them ahead. All of the side dishes can be made ahead too, e.g., a pasta salad, coleslaw, etc. Festive bunting and other stars and stripes stuff will help add some verisimilitude to your event.
posted by carmicha at 6:06 AM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Roast corn on the cob. It is even better in an oven:

1. Shuck the corn down to the last layer of husk; leave that husk on.

2. Turn the oven on to 350.

3. Put the corn directly in the oven and leave there for at least a half hour; preferably an hour.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:15 AM on June 24, 2013 [6 favorites]

my husband loves ribs, and raves about this easy oven method. While the meat is resting use the heat from the oven to bake off some corn bread or biscuits and add a couple of cold salads. A lemon ice-box pie (decorated with whipped cream, blueberries, and raspberries) for dessert would certainly delight.
posted by R2WeTwo at 6:15 AM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cut up a small onion and a couple medium bell peppers. Roast some frozen corn in a cast-iron skillet on the stove. Throw these with a couple chicken breasts and a "skillet sauce" packet in the slow cooker, five hours on high. Reduce to low, shred chicken, and add a half-cup of rice for a half hour or so. Either eat as a casserole with some cheese on top, or as a filling for burritos, also with cheese.

Very filling, very easy.
posted by notsnot at 6:24 AM on June 24, 2013

Do burgers and dogs on your electric grill.

Doctor up some baked beans. Buy potato salad and then have cup cakes with sparklers in them for dessert!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:29 AM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd get fried chicken, make the classic sides (potato salad, baked beans, etc.) and then take it outside to picnic.
posted by Flamingo at 6:36 AM on June 24, 2013

Make this meatloaf (the most astonishingly delicious meatloaf you may ever eat), a pan of baked macaroni and cheese (recipe below), some green beans, and some chopped up watermelon for desert. AMERICA.

Baked macaroni and cheese


4 cups macaroni elbows, boiled in well-salted water and drained
4 tbs butter
4 tbs flour
4 cups milk
4 slices American cheese
1/2 cheddar, cut in to large cubes
Mustard powder
Hot sauce (optional)

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add flour and stir until toasty smelling (i.e., make a roux). Add milk and stir regularly until hot, then add cubed cheddar, American cheese, a pinch of salt, and nutmeg, mustard powder and hot sauce to taste (you're basically looking for a faint nutmeg flavor and enough heat to cut through the extreme creaminess of the sauce). Add noodles to sauce, stir to coat, then dump the whole mess in to a baking dish. Sprinkle shredded cheddar over the top, shake some paprika over top of that, and then bake 25 minutes at 350, or until the cheese on top is just starting to get brown.
posted by saladin at 7:22 AM on June 24, 2013 [2 favorites]

Don't forget watermelon and strawberry shortcake.
posted by theora55 at 9:17 AM on June 24, 2013

And make some baked beans in the crock pot to go with the brats and beer!
posted by wenestvedt at 11:41 AM on June 24, 2013

Hot dogs and hamburgers and brats cooked on your George Foreman grill taste close enough to "cooked outdoors" to properly celebrate July 4th, IMHO anyway. If you're firing up the GF grill, here's another personal "barbecue" favorite....Italian sausage (I prefer the type with fennel. Grill the sausage until it's just about done, then add chopped onion and bell pepper (green, red, yellow, doesn't matter) onto the hot grill for the last minute or two. Serve the cooked sausage on a hot dog roll and scoop the grilled veggies on top of it.
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:37 PM on June 24, 2013

Just a hint on your hamburger buns - toast them in a skillet over medium heat flat side down until lightly brown. This simple step makes a big difference.
posted by just asking at 6:10 PM on June 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

There is some astoundingly good advice in this thread.

Pulled pork or ribs in the slow cooker, some beans on the stove, or brats. Don't scrimp on the sides. Dammit, now I want some brats.

Or you could try a local favorite, the Juicy Lucy. Except the recipe doesn't tell you to fold the two slices in quarters so you have a mini-brick of cheese. And if you poke the top with a toothpick after you flip them, they won't explode. Caveat: you need to let them cool for five to ten minutes before you eat them. The hot cheese can be dangerous.
posted by Sphinx at 9:27 PM on June 24, 2013

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