Choose another country or region to see content specific to your location and shop online.
July 3, 2023 | Cooking

21 All-American 4th of July Cookout Ideas

4th of July cookout ideas

The 4th of July is just around the corner, and you want to host a cookout that will leave a lasting impression on your guests. You’ve got the decorations and the fireworks, but what about the food?

We’ve gathered a few mouth-watering 4th of July cookout ideas that will elevate your party to LEGENDARY status. These classics will have your guests salivating and your cookout being talked about for years to come.

Burgers and Hot Dogs

4th of July Cookout burgers and hot dogs

There’s nothing more quintessentially American than burgers and hot dogs, especially when it comes to a 4th of July cookout. But let’s step up your game by taking these classic cookout staples to the next level.

The All-American Cheese Burger

The All-American Burger is all about classic flavors but with an upscale touch. Start by seasoning your patties with salt and pepper, then grill them to perfection. Use good quality, soft buns and layer your burger with crisp lettuce, a slice of juicy tomato, a couple of pickles, and thinly sliced red onions. For cheese, go for a rich cheddar or smooth American. To take it up a notch, add a smear of special sauce made by mixing mayo, ketchup, relish, and a dash of hot sauce. This burger screams red, white, and delicious!

Bacon Cheeseburgers

For those who love a hearty burger, the Bacon Cheeseburger is the king. Follow the steps of making the All-American Burger but add two crispy strips of bacon. The smoky flavor of the bacon pairs beautifully with the savory beef. Don’t forget to use a thick slice of cheese; Pepper Jack or Gouda works amazingly with bacon. Top it off with some BBQ sauce for an extra kick.

BBQ Burgers

For a true taste of the American south, The BBQ Burger is a must. Use your usual beef patty, but baste it in BBQ sauce while it’s on the grill. Top your burger with coleslaw, crispy onion straws, and an extra drizzle of BBQ sauce. The tangy coleslaw cuts through the sweet and smoky BBQ sauce, creating a symphony of flavors in your mouth.

The Classic Hot Dog

The Classic Hot Dog is simple, but when done right, it’s a crowd-pleaser. Use a high-quality frankfurter and grill until it’s slightly charred. Place it in a soft bun and add a squiggle of ketchup and mustard. For an added touch of Americana, finely chop some white onions and sprinkle them on top.

Bacon-wrapped Hot Dogs

Everything’s better with bacon, and hot dogs are no exception. Wrap your hot dogs in bacon and secure with a toothpick before grilling. Once cooked, place it in a bun and add some grilled onions and bell peppers. Drizzle over some spicy mayo for a hot dog that’s bursting with flavor.

Chili Dogs

If you’re looking for a hearty, comforting option, the Chili Dog is for you. Cook your hot dogs as usual and place them in a bun. Then, smother them in a generous helping of homemade or store-bought chili. Top it off with shredded cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of chopped onions. For a little heat, you can also add jalapenos. This messy yet delicious treat is sure to be a hit.

Snacks and Sides

Watermelon on a stick at picnic

While burgers and hot dogs are the stars of any 4th of July cookout, it’s important not to forget about the supporting cast: the sides and drinks.

Refreshing Watermelon

Watermelon is the quintessential side for a 4th of July cookout. Its refreshing and juicy texture provides a much-needed respite from the summer heat. Easily sliced into wedges or cubed for a fruit salad, watermelon’s vibrant red color also adds to the patriotic theme. Rich in hydration and nutrients, it’s a healthier alternative that complements the typically hearty fare of cookouts.

Strawberry, Marshmallow, and Blueberry Snack Skewers

Strawberry, marshmallow, and blueberry skewers are the perfect snacks for a 4th of July cookout. They’re not only delicious but also visually appealing, representing the patriotic red, white, and blue colors. Easy to assemble, these skewers are a refreshing, light option that guests of all ages will love. Plus, they can be made ahead of time, leaving you more time to enjoy the celebration.

Patriotic Pasta Salad

Impress your guests with a colorful and refreshing pasta salad. Use tri-colored pasta or add cherry tomatoes, black olives, and feta cheese to give your salad a red, white, and blue theme. Toss it with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of fresh basil.

Grilled Corn with Flavored Butter

Corn on the cob is a cookout classic. Grill the corn until it’s slightly charred and serve with flavored butter. Mix soft butter with lime zest, chili powder, and salt for a tangy and spicy twist.

Baked Beans

A classic side, baked beans complement any main dish perfectly. Combine canned beans with bacon, brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Bake until it’s bubbly and the flavors meld together.

Macaroni Salad

A creamy, cold macaroni salad is a cookout staple. Mix cooked macaroni with mayonnaise, mustard, chopped celery, and red onion. Add some hard-boiled eggs for an extra layer of flavor.


Coleslaw is the ultimate refreshing side dish. Thinly slice cabbage and carrots, and toss them in a dressing made of mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and celery seed. It adds a crunchy, tangy element to your cookout spread.

Crispy Potato Chips

Potato chips are a quintessential side for a 4th of July cookout. Their crispy, salty goodness pairs perfectly with grilled meats and burgers. Serving a variety of flavors, from classic to BBQ, caters to all taste preferences. Chips also add a low-fuss, grab-and-go element to the spread, allowing guests to easily mingle and enjoy the casual atmosphere of the cookout.

Refreshing Drinks

Watermelon lemonade with blueberries

When the grill is fired up and everyone’s enjoying the great outdoors, refreshing drinks are an absolute must. In this section, we’re going to dive into the beverages that will keep your guests cool, refreshed, and raving about your 4th of July cookout.

Watermelon Lemonade with Blueberries

Quench your guests’ thirst with a refreshing pitcher of homemade watermelon lemonade. Add a handful of blueberries and ice to keep the patriotic theme going and enjoy a refreshing beverage to keep cool.

Iced Tea

Quench your guests’ thirst with a refreshing pitcher of iced tea. Brew your tea a little stronger than usual, let it cool, and serve over ice. Offer lemon wedges, mint leaves, and a sweetener like honey or simple syrup on the side, so guests can customize their drink.

Carbonated Drinks

Stock up on a variety of carbonated drinks, including sodas and sparkling water. This ensures that everyone, from the kids to the adults, can enjoy a fizzy, refreshing beverage. Don’t forget to include some diet options for those who prefer it.

Sweet 4th of July Desserts

Red, White, and Blue Popsicles

No 4th of July cookout is complete without some sweet treats. Including dessert during 4th of July cookouts is essential for a well-rounded celebration!

Red, White, and Blue Popsicles

Make homemade Popsicles by layering strawberry puree, vanilla yogurt, and blueberry puree in popsicle molds. Freeze until solid and enjoy this refreshing and patriotic treat.

All-American Apple Pie

Serving Apple Pie during a 4th of July cookout is a nod to tradition and patriotism. This classic dessert, with its flaky crust and sweet, spiced apple filling, epitomizes American heritage. Sharing a slice of apple pie with friends and family not only delights the taste buds but also connects everyone to a shared cultural legacy during this significant national holiday.

Stars and Stripes Berry Trifle

Layer cubes of pound cake, fresh strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream in a trifle dish. Make sure the berries are arranged in layers to resemble the American flag. Top it off with star-shaped pieces of pound cake or sprinkles.


End the evening around the fire pit making S’mores. This classic treat made with graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallows is simple yet absolutely delicious. It’s a fun and interactive way to bring everyone together as the night winds down.

Fire Up The Grill!

4th july gas bbq grill

Now that you’re armed with these amazing 4th of July cookout ideas, it’s time to fire up the grill and get cooking. Not only will your guests be impressed with your culinary skills, but they will also appreciate the thought and effort that went into making this 4th of July cookout special.

Remember, the 4th of July is not just about the food, but also about celebrating the freedom and spirit of America. So, enjoy the fireworks, the company of friends and family, and of course, the delicious food. Happy Independence Day!

Take Your 4th of July Celebration to the Next Level

The 4th of July is not just any day – it deserves the best! Elevate your grilling game with THOR Kitchen’s gas BBQ grill.

With its sleek stainless steel design, precise temperature control, and ample cooking space, this grill is a dream come true for BBQ enthusiasts seeking unrivaled performance and style.
Imagine hosting the ultimate backyard cookout, where your culinary creations reach new heights, thanks to the grill’s high-powered burners and exceptional heat retention.

Visit your local dealer and check out the THOR Kitchen Gas BBQ Grill!