5 On Your Side

Favorites for the Fourth shared by 5OYS

Posted July 3, 2008 4:06 p.m. EDT
Updated October 10, 2011 2:29 p.m. EDT

Want the perfect Fourth of July celebration? Follow these tips from 5 on Your Side to get the best burgers, snacks and even insect repellent.

Consumer Reports picked three favorite hot dogs – beef franks from Hebrew National, Nathan's Famous and Boar's Head.

The reduced fat versions from Hebrew National and Boar's Head tasted just about as good as the regular ones and had about half the fat.

To get the juiciest burgers, the brand of the meat doesn't matter as much as they type. Experts say use ground chuck that's about 80 percent lean. Leaner meat can leave with dry burgers.

For those craving a veggie burger, Consumer Reports taste testers call Boca Meatless Burgers "closest to the real thing."

To top off your barbecue, testers picked KC Masterpiece Premium Original as the best sauce.

And what's a cookout without chips? Among potato chips, Consumer Reports says Lay's is your best bet. And among tortilla chips, tasters picked two kinds by Tostitos' Regular Style chips, made from white corn, and Toasted Gold chips, made from yellow corn.

You need salsa to go along with your chips. Taste testers recommend Desert Pepper Trading Company's Two Olive Roasted Garlic Salsa, made with green and black olives. For a bit sweeter taste, go with Green Mountain Olive Gringo Salsa.

Put all that food on Hefty styrafoam and Dixie ultra-coated paper plates. And clean up any messes with paper towels by Bounty and Kirkland, Costco's brand; they did the best job of picking up waste.

Don't forget to use sunscreen for the fun-in-the-sun that accompanies the Fourth of July. Top ratings for sunscreen go to Neutrogena Ultra-Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock, SPF 45.

You'll want to keep away the insects when it's finally time to stand outside and watch the fireworks. Consumer Reports says you'll get the best protection from Off! Deep Woods for Sportsmen.

Put all these suggestions together, and you should enjoy an almost-insect-free Fourth of July filled with good food.

See more in Consumer Reports' Independence Day Guide.