What Are You Cooking For Independence Day?

Back on Memorial Day, we dealt with the great gas vs. charcoal debate. And now that it’s the July 4th weekend, you’ve had time to hone your grilling chops in time for some pre-fireworks feasts. But the big question is: What will you be cooking?

While the answer of “burgers and hot dogs” sounds simple enough, these are just basic terms with nearly infinite variations.

For burgers — What kind of meat: Beef, turkey, lamb, buffalo, or even veggie? Then of course that brings up the question of cheese or no cheese? What kind of cheese? And this is all before we get around to deciding on buns, condiments, veggies and delicious add-ons like bacon, chips, fried eggs and whatever else you could imagine.

Hot dogs are equally complicated, with so many regional factions on what constitutes a proper dog. Is ketchup a must or verboten? Pork or beef? Chili, cheese, relish? And let’s not forget the tofu dogs for the vegetarian cousin with the boyfriend no one in the family really likes.

Let’s not neglect chicken. On the bone or not? White meat or dark? What do you marinate it in? And then what do you baste it in?

For those with real bbq skills, there’s ribs, whose regional devotion rivals that of hot dogs. Personally, I’ve never met a rib — beef or pork — I didn’t like, so if you’re cooking them up, I’ll be over around 4:30 with some potato salad I bought at the store but I’ll say I made myself.

If you need some cooking inspiration, the L.A. Times has this slideshow of 23 July 4th recipes, and FoodTV — along with a few gajillion other recipes — has this round-up of Independence Day-themed desserts.

Now it’s your turn. What will you be shoving down your gullet to celebrate America’s kicking some British butt?