8 Perfect Cookbooks To Jazz Up Your Fourth Of July BBQ

Bust out your red, white, and blue and stock up on matches, because the good ol’ US of A’s birthday is almost here. Independence Day is, of course, a time for us to appreciate our nation’s rich history and the rights that we enjoy as its residents and citizens, so we do it in true American style — with day drinking, overeating, and pyromania. Oh, freedom, how we love you.

Our Founding Fathers couldn’t have picked a better day to mark the United States’ birth if they’d planned it. Their priority was to shake off an oppressive ruler, but thanks to their terrific timing, the holiday falls on one of the longest days of the year and typically has awesome weather, making Fourth of July barbecues a nationwide tradition. Though commonplace, the celebrations don’t have to be predictable. We’ve partnered with Oyster to help you make sure your big patriotic bash is unique and memorable. While your neighbors are serving up standard Independence Day fare, you’ll be wowing your guests with new twists on old favorites.

Whether you’re hosting a huge group or keeping it low-key this Fourth of July, below are eight cookbooks that will bring your Independence Day barbecue to a whole new level.

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Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler

Whether you’re an avid griller or a newbie, Simply Grilling by Memphis chef Jennifer Chandler will kick your grill skills up a notch. Since July 4 is the day to fire up your grill and whip out your tongs, this book is will get you ready for the holiday. Recipes range from appetizers to main courses to even desserts, because you can grill anything.

BBQ USA by Steven Raichlen

Celebrate America with BBQ USA by “national barbecue treasure” Steven Raichlen. With 450 recipes representing the best of every state (plus Canada and Puerto Rico, because why not?), Raichlen lets you explore delicious tastes from across the country. You’ll love the variety, from Kentucky’s barbecued peanuts to Vermont’s maple syrup glazes — and from sea to shining sea.

Vegetarian Burger Cookbook by Big Ideas Press

The Vegetarian Burger Cookbook by Big Ideas Press has got you covered if you’ve got more than just carnivores on your guest list. Your vegetarian and vegan friends will love being surprised with a non-meat option that isn’t the same old packaged veggie burger or tofu dog. From chickpea quinoa burgers to ginger lima bean burgers, these 20 delicious recipes will tempt even meat eaters.

The Best Little BBQ Sauces Cookbook by Karen Adler

Tasty sauces can bring any barbecue from fine to fantastic. The Best Little BBQ Sauces Cookbook by Karen Adler will add that extra something you’ve been looking for. Her recipes include flavors like Kansas City-Style BBQ Sauce, Texas Two-Step Sauce, and Carolina Pepper Sauce. Don’t pretend you’re not intrigued.

The Everything Salad Book by Aysha Schurman

The Everything Salad Book by Aysha Schurman will help round out your barbecue offerings. There’s no need to be limited to typical sides like Caesar salad and coleslaw. Give your guests something to talk about (with or without their mouths full) with options like broccoli ranch coleslaw, Tex-Mex bean salad, and creamy blue cheese potato salad.

The New England Cook Book by The American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection

Honor the place where the revolution began with The New England Cook Book by the American Antiquarian Cookbook Collection. Full of seafood, this regional cookbook is a reproduction of a volume of American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Massachusetts, which was founded by Isaiah Thomas, a Revolutionary War patriot. If you get really into the theme, you can use the tips from the book to cook like “good notable Yankee housekeepers.”

The Boozy Blender by Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein

The Fourth of July is the perfect time to enjoy an icy beverage, and The Boozy Blender by Mark Scarbrough and Bruce Weinstein offers up refreshing drink recipes. These blended concoctions are irresistible and perfect for summer. The Watermelon-Strawberry-Basil-Balsamic Slush, for example, uses seasonal ingredients you’d want on hand at your barbecue anyway.

All-American Desserts by Judith M. Fertig

Dessert should always get its due, and Judith M. Fertig’s All-American Desserts will help you make sure that happens. Her 400 mouth-watering, "star-spangled, razzle-dazzle" recipes feature America’s best loved sweet eats. Freedom and dessert forever.

Image: Michael Leland/Flickr

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