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A Southern Fourth of July BBQ

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Pulled-pork BBQ, collard greens, and fried peach pies give this relaxed menu the flavor of the South.

This menu serves eight to nine, though you'll need to double the corn fritters and triple the collard greens (cook them in batches). The shopping list reflects the scaled up amounts.

Pull out all the stops for this Fourth of July menu inspired by the flavors of the South. The centerpiece, a slow-smoked pork BBQ, takes a little time, but it’s mostly hands-off, letting you kick back with a beer or focus on the simple sides: corn fritters (think a fresh twist on hush puppies) and quick-sauteed collard greens. Greet your guests with an appetizer of grilled okra with creamy, spicy dip, and a glass of Jack Daniels-spiked lime sweet tea (or leave out the Jack for the kids). And for dessert, the spicy fried peach hand pies will rival the fireworks for everyone’s oohs and ahs.

Menu Timeline

One Day Ahead

  • Make the lime-tea drink base.
  • Make the filling and dough and assemble the peach pies.
  • Rub the pork shoulder with the spice rub.

In the Morning

  • Inject the pork shoulder with marinade and soak the wood chips.

8 Hours Ahead

  • Build the grill fire and begin smoking the pork shoulder.

2 Hours Ahead

  • Prep the collard greens for cooking and whisk together the malt vinegar and maple syrup.
  • Make the paprika-shallot dip for the okra.
  • Cut the fresh corn off the cobs for the fritters.

1 Hour Ahead:

  • When the pork shoulder is done, remove it from grill and let it rest.

As guests arrive

  • Mix the tea base with the whiskey and serve the drinks.
  • Grill the okra and serve with the dip.

30 Minutes Ahead

  • Make the batter for the corn fritters.

Just Before Dinner

  • Shred the pork shoulder and season with reserved rub and/or sauce.
  • Saute the collard greens.
  • Fry the corn fritters (reserve the frying oil for the peach pies).

Just Before Dessert

  • Fry the peach pies.

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 4-1/2 lb. collard greens
  • 2 large or 4 small ears corn
  • 1 lb. small okra pods (no longer than 2 inches)
  • 1 lb. 2 oz. firm-ripe peaches (2 large)
  • 1 medium shallot
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro (optional)
  • 1 medium lemon
  • 2 limes (optional)

Meat, Eggs & Dairy

  • One 5- to 7-pound bone-in Boston pork butt or picnic shoulder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4-1/2 oz. (9 Tbs.) unsalted butter

Other Groceries

  • 6 to 8 cups hickory or apple wood chips
  • 1 bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 12 oz. sour-mash whiskey (such as Jack Daniels), or any good bourbon
  • 1 cup prepared Cuban mojo marinade (such as Nellie and Joe’s brand)
  • 1 can (6 oz.) frozen limeade concentrate
  • 6 regular-size tea bags (about 1/2 oz. total)
  • 3 Tbs. malt vinegar
  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. hot pepper jelly

Pantry Staples

  • 1 lb., 4-1/4 oz. (4-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2-2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1-2/3 cups peanut or canola oil
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbs. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1-1/8 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne
  • Kosher salt
  • Table salt
  • Black peppercorns
  • White peppercorns

The Menu


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