Fourth of July Cookout on a Budget

4th of July, Independence Day, recipe

The Fourth of July is the perfect summer celebration for grilling out — the fireworks, parades and sun are all outside, so why not eat outside? But, if you are the one hosting the festivities this year, a big cookout can quickly get expensive. No worries! Barbecue chicken, grilled corn on the cob and a quick macaroni salad make for an affordable menu that’s easy breezy and delicious.

For the barbecue chicken:

4 pounds of bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (legs, thighs, wings, and breasts)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil or vegetable oil
1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce


Brush the chicken pieces with oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper on all sides.
Prepare the grill. You’ll need one side of your grill prepped for high, direct-heat cooking while the other side of the grill remains cooler, for indirect cooking.
Lay the chicken pieces skin side down on the hottest part of the grill. Grill uncovered for 5-10 minutes. Keep an eye out. You want to sear the skin, but don’t want the chicken to burn.

When you have a good sear, turn the pieces over and move them to the cool side of the grill. Cover the grill and cook for 20-30 minutes.
Turn the chicken over and baste with your favorite barbecue sauce. Cover the grill again and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes.
Repeat the process. Turn the chicken over again, baste with sauce, cover, and cook for a final 10-30 minutes. The chicken is done when the internal temperature near the bone reads 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the grilled corn on the cob:

6 fresh ears of corn, in their husks


Preheat your grill. You’ll be cooking the corn over direct, high heat. Once you move the chicken to the cooler side of the grill, you can use the hotter side to cook the corn.
Place the corn, still in husks, on the hot side of the grill.
Cover the grill. Turn the corn occasionally, until the husks are blackened and charred on all sides, about 20 minutes.
Remove the corn from the grill. Let sit for 5 minutes, until cool enough to handle.
Remove the silks and charred husks from the corn.
Serve with butter and salt.

For the macaroni salad:

1 cup carrots, shredded
1 bell pepper, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
⅓ cup sweet or dill relish
1 pound elbow pasta
1 cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons mustard
1 ½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon vinegar (white or apple cider)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 tablespoons dill
1 teaspoon white sugar


Boil a large pot of salted water and cook pasta as directed on the package. Drain and cool.
In a big bowl, stir shredded carrots, red onion, bell pepper, celery and relish. Add pasta and toss together until well incorporated.
In a small bowl, mix together mustard, mayonnaise, vinegar, dill, salt, pepper and sugar. Mix well with a whisk.
Fold sauce into the pasta, making sure that the salad is well coated.
Place in the fridge until ready to serve. Great when made the night before!

Servings: 6