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Labor Day Cookout - Ribeye Steak on the BBQ Recipe

Labor Day BBQ couple
{Grab your corn skewers, checkered table clothes, acrylic dishes, and charcoal, it's time to fire up the grill and settle in for a season of thoroughly scrumptious outdoor eats again. Image source.} 

Labor Day weekend has arrived! School is back in session and pumpkin spice latte has made its annual comeback. While we would happily grill and eat outside year round, Chicago weather prevents it.

There's something incredibly nostalgic and satisfying about firing up a vintage barbecue grill and preparing a delicious meal the old-fashioned way. Vintage barbecue recipes have a timeless charm that takes us back to a simpler era of outdoor cooking. In this blog post, we'll explore the joy of grilling with a vintage barbecue recipe that has stood the test of time.

The Classic Charcoal Grill

Before we dive into the recipe, let's talk about the grill itself. Vintage barbecue recipes often call for charcoal grills, which add a distinct smoky flavor to your dishes. While gas grills offer convenience, there's nothing quite like the ambiance and flavor that a charcoal grill provides. If you don't already own one, consider investing in a classic kettle-style charcoal grill to truly embrace the vintage experience.

Choosing the Right Ingredients

One of the hallmarks of vintage barbecue recipes is their simplicity and reliance on high-quality ingredients. My favorite source for meat is Jack & Pat's Butcher Shop in Chicago Ridge. If I don't have time to head to the southside, I love going to Casey's Market in Western Springs.

To create an authentic vintage barbecue feast, start with the basics:

  1. Meat: Choose top-quality cuts of meat like ribeye steaks, pork ribs, or whole chickens. The key is to let the flavor of the meat shine through.

  2. Marinades and Rubs: Vintage recipes often call for homemade marinades or dry rubs. These mixtures of herbs, spices, and oils enhance the meat's flavor and tenderness. Experiment with classic combinations like garlic, rosemary, and olive oil for a timeless taste.

  3. Wood Chips: If you want to add a smoky flavor to your grilled dishes, soak some wood chips (hickory, mesquite, or applewood) in water and add them to the charcoal for an extra layer of flavor.

The Vintage Barbecue Recipe

Now, let's dive into a vintage barbecue recipe that you can try at your next backyard gathering.


  • 4 bone-in ribeye steaks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Begin by preparing the marinade. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, minced garlic, chopped rosemary, salt, and black pepper.

  2. Place the ribeye steaks in a large resealable bag or shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the steaks, ensuring they are evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight for the best results.

  3. When you're ready to grill, remove the steaks from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature.

  4. Prepare your charcoal grill by lighting the charcoal and allowing it to burn until it's covered with white ash. Bank the coals to one side for indirect grilling.

  5. Place the marinated steaks directly over the hot coals for a sear. Grill for about 2-3 minutes per side until you achieve those perfect grill marks.

  6. Move the seared steaks to the cooler side of the grill, cover, and cook to your desired level of doneness. Use a meat thermometer for precision, aiming for 130°F (medium-rare), 140°F (medium), or 150°F (medium-well).

  7. Remove the steaks from the grill and let them rest for a few minutes before serving.

Grilling with a vintage barbecue recipe is not just about cooking; it's about preserving a rich culinary tradition and savoring the flavors of the past. So, call you friends, fire up that classic charcoal grill, choose the best ingredients, and transport your taste buds to a bygone era of outdoor cooking. Enjoy your vintage barbecue adventure and relish the timeless delight it brings to your table.

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