Fourth of July weekend is near and we wanted to make sure you have your bases covered when it comes to tips and tricks, recipes, and accessories. We gathered the FOUR top choices that we think could definitely upgrade your BBQ game this weekend. Check them out below:

4 Recipes

Basic BBQ Rub


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients.
  2. Use rub on your meat of choice. Use immediately or, for more flavor, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight.
  3. Store leftover rub in an airtight container, or zipper top bag.

Firecracker Dogs


  • 1 can of refrigerated breadstick dough
  • 2 packages -16 hot dogs
  • 16 thick slices Colby cheese
  • 16 skewers


  1. First, take your skewers and stick them all the way through your hot dogs leaving about an inch and a half exposed out of the top of each hot dog. Then take a piece of breadstick dough and carefully wrap it around the hot dog until you get to the top. Place the wrapped dogs on a non stick baking liner or parchment paper and bake according to the package directions for the breadstick dough. It took us about 20 minutes at 350.
  2. While the hot dogs are cooking take out your cheese slices, the key to this step is to go to your grocers deli counter and ask for them to slice you pieces of cheese that are 1/4″-3/8″ thick. Then using a small star cookie cutter cut out your stars. Depending on how big or small your cookie cutter is will determine how many stars you get out of each slice of cheese. We could only get one star out of each slice.
  3. After your dogs have cooled for 2-3 minutes stick the star through the skewer at the top.
  4. We used a pail with a styrofoam ball hidden by crinkly papers to display them here, which would also be a great way to display them at a gathering. You can also just layer them on top of each other on a plate. Enjoy!

Fourth of July Cake


  • Red Velvet Cake- 1 (8 inch) and 1 (6 inch) tier
  • White Cake- 1 (8 inch) tier
  • Blue Velvet Cake– 1 (8 inch) tier


  1. You will torte (basically cut in half lengthwise) all of these cakes EXCEPT THE VELVET BLUE CAKE, so 3 tiers total.
  2. You will need to cut out a 4 inch circle as a guide, place it on one of the 6 inch red velvet cake layers, and cut the cake down to a 4 inch circle.
  3. You will also do this for 1 of the white cake layers and the blue velvet cake (remember that we did not torte this tier) except instead of pulling away the outer ring, you will pull out the middle circle so it is a hollow ring. At this point you should have: 2 (8 inch) and 1 (4 inch) red velvet cake layers, 1 (8 inch) and 1 (4 inch) white cake layer, and 1 hollow (8 inch) blue velvet cake layer that is twice the thickness of the other layers.
  4. Place an 8 inch red velvet layer on your plate. Frost the top of the layer, place an 8 inch white cake layer on top, frost that, place a red velvet layer on top of that and frost the top. Place the Blue cake layer on top of the cake. Then frost the 4 inch white cake layer and lower it into the middle of the blue velvet layer.
  5. Lower the 4 inch red velvet layer onto the top of the white layer in the blue velvet circle and ice the cake.

Black Bean Burger (Vegetarian Option)


  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste


  1. Drain liquid from the canned black beans. Place beans in strainer and rinse with water. Pat dry with a paper towel. Place in a large bowl and mash well with a fork.
  2. Place the bell pepper, onion and garlic in a food processor and process until finely chopped/pureed. Transfer mixture to a fine strainer to remove the excess water. (Remove as much moisture as you can–if it’s too wet, the burger won’t hold together as well.)
  3. Add the strained vegetable mixture to the bowl with the black beans. Add the chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add beaten egg and mix. Stir in bread crumbs. Form mixture into 4 patties.
  4. At this point you can choose to:
  5. Grill the burgers on a well oiled grill for about 4-5 minutes on each side.
  6. Bake them at 375 degrees F on a lightly oiled baking sheet, for 10 minutes on each side.
  7. Cook them on your stove using a grill pan, for 4-5 minutes on each side.
  8. efrigerate them for later.
  9. Freeze them, covered, in a freezer ziplock bag for a quick weeknight dinner in the future.

4 Tips & Tricks

Shower curtains and tapestries are great for picnics and BBQ because they do not get wet and are highly durable.

Use a six pack, ball jars, or flower pots to organize utensils and napkins.

Onions are great for cleaning grills, seasoning the grill, and keeping the grill non-stick.

Muffin tins are basically connected bowls and can be used for condiments, ice trays, and actual muffins.

4 Accessories

Table Runners take your tablescape to a whole other level and are easier than actual table cloths.

Speakers outside for your BBQ is necessary. Music fills in the silence and is a great conversation starter.

Coasters keep outdoor tables clean and dry.

Cutting Boards can be used to serve on or great for cheese platters.

Did you enjoy our tips, tricks, and recipes? Please give us more ideas for our BBQ weekend below or let us know if you have any other ideas for future blogs. #kessinhouse for additional discounts.

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