Labor Day BBQ Recipes to Try in Your Backyard

by Alex ThatcherAugust 31, 2018

Fire Up the Grill for the Last Long Weekend of Summer

Summer is coming to an end, and it’s at least a little bit sad for nearly everyone. But we’ve all still got Labor Day — one final long weekend to celebrate like the summer will never end! And what’s better for a long summer weekend than having a cookout?

Whether you’re cooking for your family, your family and a bunch of friends, the whole neighborhood, or just for yourself, these Labor Day grill-centric recipes are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face, without heating up your house.

*Please note, these are grilling recipes, perfect for a cookout, and are not to be confused with barbecue recipes. People have very strong ideas about what is, and what isn’t barbecue, and no one’s trying to get into that debate on the last long hot weekend of the year!

labor day grilling recipes

Fantastic Steaks Grilled Simply

Let’s start off with something deceptively challenging, but ridiculously simple: grilling a steak. Many will tell you that grilling expensive hunks of prime beef is best left to the professionals. After all, it’s easy to over-do it, and perhaps equally easy to under-do it.

But there is nothing quite as satisfying as a well-grilled, medium-rare ribeye, NY strip, or T-bone steak with just a little salt and pepper. It may take some practice to get down the basics of how to grill these cuts correctly, but it’s totally worth the investment of your time and an amazingly valuable skill to have in your cooking arsenal.

Quick and Easy Boneless Country-Style Pork Ribs

Pork doesn’t get enough love during grilling season, and we think that’s a shame. Grilled pork chops, provided they aren’t over-cooked (see link above on how to use a meat thermometer to correctly grill meats) are absolutely fantastic. For a twist on grilling pork, try country style pork ribs. All you need is a rack of pork ribs (any kind will do) or a whole pork tenderloin, and a bottle of your favorite sauce or marinade.

To make boneless ribs from a tenderloin, cut it down the middle lengthwise, butterflying it open so it lays flat. Then slice it into one inch thick slices (resembling ribs, but without the bones).

The People’s Chicken: Beer Can Chicken

It’s Labor Day, after all, so why not make the people’s chicken — Beer Can Chicken! Get yourself a can of cheap beer and a whole chicken. Rinse the chicken inside and out with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Then open a can of beer.

Place the chicken over the can of beer, so it’s standing up with the open beer inside it’s cavity. Rub butter, salt, pepper, and whatever other herbs and spices you like all over the outside. Grill over indirect heat until that chicken is done!

labor day grilling recipes

Grilled Salmon Packets With Dill & Lime Cream

This one is ridiculously easy and extremely healthy, too! Take small fillets of salmon, roughly five to eight ounces per person, and place them each on individual sheets of aluminum foil. Mix some sour cream with some fresh chopped dill (yes, dried dill will work) and some lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and spread it on top of the fillets. Seal up the packets and grill them over a low flame until they’re perfectly done.

Grilled Corn With Sour Cream, Paprika, and Cotija

You can grill your corn on the cob completely husked or with only the innermost layer of husk left on (for less charring). Once they’re done, you can do the traditional thing and slather them in butter, salt, and pepper. Or, you can try your corn the way that street vendors sell it in Mexico: slathered in sour cream, and rolled in chile powder and crumbled cotija cheese. If you try it, you may never go back to simple butter again.
labor day grilling recipes

And Grilled Stone Fruit With Vanilla Sugar for Dessert

Lastly, for an excellent late-summer dessert, try grilling stone fruits (peaches, apricots, nectarines) cut in half with the pit removed, then sprinkled with sugar run through your food processor with the insides of one vanilla bean. It’s a simple, elegant, refreshing, and delicious dessert all in one, and a fitting end to your Labor Day grill fest.

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.