Grilling on Labor Day is an American tradition, but basic burgers and hot dogs can get boring year after year. Luckily, there are many ways to put a fresh spin on the classics.
Whether you’re experimenting with vegetables or adding homemade condiments, here are 10 ways to mix it up at your Labor Day BBQ this year.
Try carrot hot dogs
Carrot hot dogs are a fun twist on the ballpark classic. Even if you aren’t vegan, carrot lovers are sure to enjoy this marinated veggie, smothered with toppings in a soft, warm bun. Here is what you need to know about preparing and enjoying carrot hot dogs at your cookout.
Add mushrooms to your burgers
Mushrooms add a wonderful umami flavor and heft to burgers. Plus, a burger that uses less meat is more sustainable. Here are a few ways to make burger patties that add mushrooms to meat, including oyster and shiitake mushrooms.
Make quick pickles
Making homemade quick pickles will add a punch of acidity to your barbecue. Whether you are pickling radishes or fiddleheads, they will be delicious with burgers, hot dogs or a big cut of meat. Here is what you need to know to make quick pickles, and a recipe for dill quick pickles.
Make beer can chicken
What’s more American than sticking a can of beer up a chicken’s butt and grilling it? A whole chicken, a can of beer, butter and herbs is all you will need to make this masterpiece at your cookout this year.
Eat your veggies
Labor Day also marks peak harvest for most Maine garden vegetables, so why not pop a few on the grill? Here is a guide to getting started, from grilling asparagus to zucchini.
Super stack your hot dogs
Whether you’re giving carrot dogs a shot or sticking to the tried-and-true classic, adding extra fun toppings gives the hit meal a whole new spin. Here’s one fun way to stack your hot dogs, but let yourself get creative with whatever toppings you can imagine.
Give seafood a chance
Seafood can be intimidating to grill, but there are so many delicious options out there it would be a shame not to take advantage of it. Check out these easy recipes for a variety of seafood on the grill, from catfish to trout, or try this recipe for grilled salmon steaks with orange-ginger sauce.
Try a new salad
Salad may feel like an afterthought at barbecues, but they too can be fun and delicious. Here are a few cookout salads that include both classic and adventurous options, from potato and pasta salad to a more novel German-style roasted cauliflower salad.
The right sauce will instantly elevate whatever you have made on the grill. Check out these BBQ-ready sauces, including mint-cilantro chutney, coffee barbecue sauce and Japanese gyu dare dipping sauce. Any one of them will spark up grilled chicken, leg of lamb, steak or seafood.
Make BBQ breakfast
Barbecued breakfast might seem like a fantasy, but it is actually fun and easy. Check out these recipes for breakfasts that you can make on the grill, including croissant French toast with grilled peaches and “pocket breakfast.”
And remember, don’t let your Labor Day cookout be boring this year.