The History Of BBQ On The 4th of July

Also known as America’s most popular BBQing holiday, the 4th of July, Independence Day, is a day of great grilled food, family, friends, and fireworks. Did you know that it was only declared a National Holiday in 1941, even though Americans have celebrated it since the 1800’s? What is it about the 4th of July that is so synonymous with BBQ? To find out, let us explore the history of BBQ on the 4th of July.


200+ Years of BBQ

Summer BBQ’s have been held since the 1800’s when colonists would smoke large animals over fire pits to preserve meat. This happened in the summertime when hunting was abundant.

By the 19th century, America was a little more established and politics started going full swing. Political leaders would host rallies, gathering people to hear their opinions by hosting massive barbecues. This move was especially popular with the Democrats in the southern states where these rallies would be held on Independence Day, which was not yet a National Holiday. Local farmers donated meat and simple food was served; sliced cucumbers, watermelon, early harvest vegetables, and fresh bread.

When people began to move from the country to a more suburban lifestyle, the community BBQ became a bit more of a family BBQ. Entrepreneurs saw an opportunity to market personal charcoal BBQ’s encouraging the shift from a political-community function to a backyard event.


Types of BBQ on the 4th of July

While tastes vary by state/region; there is a consensus on what is typically consumed at a 4th of July BBQ. If you were to ask around, most people would say:


Lamb Burger

Burgers & Hotdogs

Maple Garlic Chicken


Crispy Potato Salad

Potato Salad

Baked Beans

Baked Beans


Corn on the Cob

Corn on the Cob

Apple Pie

Fruit Pie

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake




Did you know that approximately 5% of America’s national beer consumption occurs on the 4th of July? If you are consuming alcohol during the festivities, please remember to drink responsibly.



It is estimated that there will be around 150-million hotdogs eaten along with about 750-million pounds of chicken, while only a surprising 190-million pounds of red meat. Whether it is due to prices or tradition, it is unsure. What is for sure is that if you are celebrating the 4th of July outdoors with a barbecue, you’re going to have a tasty time.

Try these tips for the Best 4th of July BBQ Ever!

How will you be celebrating your 4th of July? Tell us all about it on one of our social pages like Facebook or Instagram by using the hashtags #4thOfJulyBBQ and #NapoleonGrill.

Party 4th of July