It’s one of the most beautiful times of the year for Mid-Missouri, and there is definitely no better time to celebrate our Independence Day. Whether you are heading home for the weekend, going to the lake or are planning to watch fireworks, there is a good chance that some good barbecue is on the menu. It’s almost a must on the 4th of July, but it isn’t always easy to have a “good” barbecue, especially if I’m in charge of cooking. So, we sat down and talked to Jeremy Elmore, the sous chef at the Student Center, and asked him for some tips on becoming a Grill Master.

Simple tips:

The first thing you do when you want to barbecue is start the grill – not always as simple as it may seem. “When starting your coals for the grill, never use lighter fluid, as it can cause the meat to taste just like it. Most BBQ purists use a chimney to start the coals for the BBQ,” Elmore said. “And, when it comes to sauce, the meat should never be completely covered. If you cook it right, it may not need any at all! It really can be delicious without it.”

Dry rub recipe:

While sauce may not always be required, sometimes a good dry rub is. Elmore offered some tips:

  • Equal parts of sugar (brown/granulated) and salt (any type).
  • Paprika (color).
  • Granulated Garlic, Chili Powder, Cumin, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ground Mustard (use these to achieve a flavor of your liking).
  • Cayenne Pepper, Crushed Red Pepper (these will add heat, so be careful).

If making your own rub is out of the question, try experimenting with one from a grocery store.

Other essentials and a favorite dish:

Obviously BBQ is the most important part, but a meal isn’t complete without a few good sides. Jeremy said his favorites are potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon, baked beans and pasta salad. But, ultimately, mac n cheese is as good as it gets! “My favorite dish is pulled pork topped with creamy cole slaw with a side of bacon and burnt end baked beans. Always washed down with a big glass of sweet tea,” Elmore said. Now that sounds delicious!

Happy 4th of July to our Mizzou family! We hope you have some great food, stay safe and have a wonderful holiday!