July 4th Countdown: Ways to Prep Before Your Barbecue

Hosting a party this Independence Day? We’ve got you covered so you’re not glued to the kitchen or stuck shaking cocktails all day long. Follow along for our countdown to July 4th.

3 min read

Once you’ve spruced up your space(Opens in a new window) , it’s time to start prepping the food and drinks for your barbeque.

The Day Before

For juicy, flavorful meat, tenderize and marinate your steak (we recommend flank steak when grilling for a group(Opens in a new window)) up to a day in advance. Tenderizing(Opens in a new window) creates pockets in the meat so that it can quickly absorb the marinade and retain its own juices, which means tastier, flavorful steaks.

Kebabs are also a grilling staple and taste much better when they’ve been sitting in marinade for a day. You can buy the meat already cubed, or get tenderloin or filet mignon and cut into cubes yourself.

To make things even easier, Lynna, the Product Manager who helped develop the Twist & Pour Salad Dressing Mixer(Opens in a new window) , created a marinade recipe for that doubles as a salad dressing. You’ll be happy you have this one on hand throughout barbeque season.

Honey Balsamic Marinade/ Dressing

Makes about 1 cup


¼ cup plus one tablespoon balsamic vinegar (white or regular)

½ cup olive oil

1 shallot, minced

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Sea salt

Fresh ground pepper


1. Combine all ingredients and mix (or twist(Opens in a new window)) to emulsify dressing.

After tenderizing, store your chicken, steak or vegetables in an air-tight container(Opens in a new window) with the marinade. Keep this in the fridge until you’re ready to fire the grill.

Any leftover marinade that wasn’t put on the meat can be stored in the fridge and used to dress salad.

The Night Before

To wash all that barbeque down, you’ll want to have drinks on hand. Try infusing alcohol(Opens in a new window) the night before and store it in the fridge until your guests arrive for a quick yet impressive cocktail. Or make some sangria: it’s the sort of drink that tastes even better when it’s prepared ahead of time. The fruit will soak up some of the booze, and the wine and brandy will mix for fruity deliciousness.

Makes 8 servings

One bottle of wine (white, red, or rosé)
½ cup brandy
Your favorite fruits, all chopped up (try stone fruits, apples, or whatever else is fresh)
Sugar or fruit juice (optional)
Seltzer (optional)

Let the wine, brandy, and chopped fruit hang out in a pitcher in the fridge overnight (or for at least four hours). Taste-test the sangria before serving, and if it’s not sweet enough, feel free to add some sugar or fruit juice. Serve over ice and top off with seltzer if you’re in the mood for some bubbles.

Once your meat is marinating, your dressing is made and drinks are out of the way, your hands will be a little less tied on the day of your barbecue, and everything will taste that much better when it’s prepared ahead of time.


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