It seems like just yesterday the sun finally came out of hiding, but here we are at the unofficial end of Summertime. Labor Day weekend is here, so we thought it’d be fun to share some of our favorite grilling, smoking, and barbecuing recipes that will make your cookout with family and friends both effortless and delicious.
Getting Ready for Labor Day
Before we dive right into a bunch of lip-smacking good food, let’s take a moment to discuss preparation. It really is everything to ensure an easy-going cookout. The day is about celebrating hard workers, not being one.
Before the day of your cookout, make sure you have plenty of fuel. Grab an extra tank of propane, a spare bag of charcoal, or a fresh batch of pellets. If you have extra, you won’t run out.
Plan your meal so that the longest cooking items go on first. This makes sure everything gets done at the same time without under or overcooking. Sides can often be made the day before to save time.
Don’t forget to have fun. A remote meat thermometer is an awesome item when having a group cookout because the grillmaster doesn’t get stuck hovering over the barbecue all day long. You can take a seat, enjoy some laughs, and know that when your meat is ready, you will know. Seriously, an instant read meat thermometer relieves so much stress from grilling, you’ll wonder how you lived without one.
Recipe Ideas for Easy Labor Day Meals
We are going to share some of our favorite recipes today for easy to make crowd-pleasers. We are going to break this up into recipes based on what you're cooking on.
If you are using a smoker, these are some of our very favorite items.
Flank Steak Roll
Not only does this meal look like a million bucks, you can prep it ahead of time. We do this one on our Big Green Egg smoker using our “secret” ingredient: Bearded Butchers Chipotle Blend Seasoning. We have a video on our YouTube channel and detailed directions on our blog, the Chopping Block.
- Flank Steak
- ¾ lb. Feta Cheese
- 1 White Onion
- 2-3 Bell Peppers
- Bearded Butchers Chipotle Seasoning Blend
- Butcher’s Twine
Directions for Cooking Flank Steak Roll:
- Trim any fat and butterfly the flank steak.
- Coat the flank with Bearded Butcher Chipotle Blend Seasonings.
- Fill with cheese, vegetables, and other fillings
- Roll the flank with the grain and tie into a cylinder with butcher’s twine. Cover in Bearded Butcher Blend Chipotle Seasoning.
- Place on the Big Green Egg to smoke at 250 degrees until internal temperature is about 125 degrees.
- Remove the convector and place the grill back on the Big Green Egg.
- Sear the Flank Roll on all sides until internal temperature is around 135 degrees.
- Remove the Flank Roll from the heat and take off the butcher’s twine.
- Slice the roll against the grain in 1-inch sections, then cut down the center for serving.
Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwiches
This is one of those recipes that once you make it, people are going to keep asking you to make it for every get-together. They may even nickname you “the Pork Guy.” When you want a serious meal that is as easy to make as it gets, this is the one. We like to use our Bearded Butchers Original Blend Seasoning to kick up the flavor from the applewood smoke in our Big Green Egg.
- Pork butt roast, deboned
- Bearded Butchers Blend Seasonings, Original
- Netting or butcher’s twine
- Applewood chips or pellets for smoking
Directions for Making The Best Pulled Pork:
- Clean and debone the butt roast, then rub liberally with Original Blend seasonings inside and out.
- Wrap the roast in netting or butcher’s twine to form a sturdy roll.
- Place on the Big Green Egg when the temperature is stable between 225 and 250. Maintain this temperature until the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees.
- Remove the butt roast from the grill and wrap in foil, then place on the grill again.
- When the internal temperature reaches 200-205 degrees, remove the roast from the grill.
- Wrap the roast in towels and place in an empty cooler to rest. After 30-45 minutes, the smoked pork roast is ready to shred.
Okay, the obvious thing here is burgers. I mean, they are as universally loved as Monday off work, so let’s kick ‘em up a notch and take the ordinary to extraordinary. This recipe is near and dear to our hearts, and it’s one of the best burgers you will ever taste, that’s why we call it the Ultimate Bison Cheeseburger. You can do this on any grill, but we are going to use our Big Green Egg.
Ultimate BBQ Bison Cheeseburger
- Ground bison, approximately ¼ lb per patty
- Bearded Butchers Blend Seasonings, Chipotle
- Sliced Cheese, Colby Jack or other
- Bacon slices, preferably applewood smoked
- Bearded Butchers Blend Barbecue Sauce
- Onion strings
- Brioche hamburger buns
Directions for making the Ultimate Bison Cheeseburger
Remember that if you are starting with ground bison to keep the meat cold and handle it as little as possible. A light oil on your hands will help keep it from sticking. Bison is a very lean meat, so the protein and fat will separate easily, leaving you with bland, dry meat.
- Form ground bison into patties about ¼ to ½ lb each. Keep in the fridge until it’s time to grill.
- Preheat the grill to a medium temperature. Remember, bison is lean, so if the temp is too high, it’ll burn on the outside and dry out on the inside.
- Place patties on the grill and sprinkle Bearded Butcher’s Chipotle Seasoning to cover.
- Grill for 5-8 minutes per side, flipping once.
- Place sliced cheese on patties and let it melt slightly before removing. Don’t overcook your bison by waiting too long to put the cheese on.
- Lightly toast the buns, then place the patties on the bottom portion.
- Layer the patties with smoked bacon and fried onion strings. Then, give it a healthy dollop of the Bearded Butcher’s Barbecue Sauce.
Grilled Lemon and Pepper Trout
Want to make trout into a super easy and fast meal? Don’t bother to fillet it. Just gut that fish, add some seasonings, and grill it whole. The flesh is flaky and the skin is crisp and delicious. This recipe is so easy to do, you can actually have the fish ready to go in advance, then pop them on when ready. Trout cook fast, so don’t get distracted.
- Fresh trout, about 2 fish per four guests
- Olive oil
- Lemons, plenty
- Cracked black pepper
- Parsley sprigs
- Crushed or minced garlic
Directions for Making Lemon Pepper Whole Trout
- Wash, clean, and gut whole trout leaving the head on. Rub lightly with olive oil.
- Rub salt, pepper, and lemon juice inside and outside of the fish.
- Cut lemons into wedges and place in the cavity with a sprig of parsley and garlic.
- Wrap the fish in butcher’s twine to keep it together.
- Wipe the grill with olive oil, then preheat to a medium-high temperature.
- Reduce the grill to medium-low and cook fish for 5-8 minutes per side. Trout is done when the flesh flakes easily and the skin is browned.
- Remove strings and fillings. Serve whole with lemon wedges.
Pick Your Method: Incredible Dry-Aged Beef Ribs
For this recipe, you can smoke, grill, or even bake these ribs to tender, crispy amazingness. The real trick is to let them dry for as long as possible. Dry-aging brings out the depth of robust flavors in beef, particularly with cuts like ribs. Dry-aging tenderizes the meat and makes it moist and delicious.
- Beef Ribs
- Brown sugar
- Bearded Butcher’s Black Blend Seasoning
- Crushed or minced garlic
Directions for Dry-Aged Beef Ribs
- Wash and pat dry fresh beef ribs.
- Wrap in cheesecloth and place on a rack in the refrigerator for five to seven days.
- Remove cheesecloth and discard when the aging process is finished.
- Mix garlic, brown sugar, Bearded Butcher’s Black Seasoning, honey, salt, and pepper in a bowl until combined.
- Rub mixture all over the ribs, making sure to completely coat.
- Pick your method of cooking. Ribs don’t take long on a grill or barbecue. Look for an internal temperature between 150 and 165 degrees before removing, then let rest for 15-30 minutes.
We hope you enjoy a safe and sane Labor Day weekend with friends and family, and we really hope you get to share a delicious meal together. These recipes can be followed as written, but please feel free to experiment. Try using some of the different varieties of seasonings from the Bearded Butchers. You might find out that the best way to make something familiar is by trying something new!
P.S. It’s almost deer season.