Up Your Grilling Game

June 18, 2020

Other parts of this series on Grilling and Smoking:

Grilling 101        Up Your Grilling Game          Grill Like a Pro          Smoking Meat with Harmons’ Chefs 

Once you have mastered the basics of grilling (and if you haven’t, please visit our Grilling 101 blog), and it becomes rote, it’s time to up your game, and we have some ideas how you can achieve that and impress all the people in your life.

When deciding what items to grill, most people think hamburgers, steak, chicken, brats, and hot dogs. People have grilled these things for years, but how often have you had a pizza fresh from the…barbecue grill?

Fruit, greens, pizza, and desserts are just a few of the things you might not have thought of making on your barbecue grill but should definitely try! 

Grilling Fruit

When your fruit meets a barbecue flame, the natural sugars caramelize, juiciness intensifies, and the smoke gives it all a campfire flavor, along with beautiful, decorative grill marks.

Below are some tips to help you successfully master grilling fruit:

  • Pick fruit that is firm and not overripe. Peaches, pineapples, watermelon, melons, pears, avocados, and bananas are made for the grill.
  • Cut fruit into big chunks to help it maintain its structure as it heats up.
  • Smaller fruit that can fall through grates can be placed on a skewer and grilled.
  • Brush fruit with a neutral oil that can stand up to high heat, such as safflower or grapeseed oil.
  • Wait until your grill is hot, then grill fruit for three to five minutes (depending on density) without moving it, then turn it to the other side and cook for one to five minutes more.

We tried grilled peaches with mascarpone cheese drizzled with honey, and it was quick and decadent and the perfect summer dessert.

It’s as easy as cutting the peaches into halves, brushing your grill with some canola oil (so the fruit won’t stick), and grilling them four to five minutes on each side. You get beautiful grill marks, and after you pull them off the grill you can add a dollop of mascarpone cheese and drizzle them with some delicious and local Hollow Tree Honey.

Grilling Pizza

Pizza on the grill is another delight most people haven’t even though to try, and it’s relatively simple. Whether you buy premade dough or make your own, it can take as little as 15 minutes to cook. Pizza is a natural for the barbecue grill because of the high heat you can’t reach in the oven, which gives you that perfect crust and melted goodness. Make sure you have all your toppings ready, and then prepare the dough on a piece of parchment paper liberally covered in olive oil. This will make it easy to place on the grill, just flipping it over onto the grates. Let it cook for two to three minutes, and check the bottom, then flip it over for another two to three minutes. After that, you quickly add your toppings, close the lid and give it three to four more minutes.  

Grilling Greens

Romaine lettuce is also a natural for the grill, even though it might sound a little odd. You just brush the greens lightly with olive oil, and grill for three to four minutes. You can add cheese or a yogurt dill dressing to finish them off.

Other greens to try include kale, radicchio, Belgian endive, bok choy, and butter lettuce.

Grilling Desserts

Along with all the yummy fruit you can grill (think strawberry and pineapple shrimp skewers) you can also make different variations of s’mores on your grill, including the classic graham cracker, bar chocolate, and melted marshmallows.

You can also make a berry fruit pizza, or using the ever-handy aluminum foil, you can slice up a banana and add marshmallows and chocolate for a melty, gooey treat.

Hamburger buns that are grilled have a delicious flavor that cannot be replicated any other way, so why not grill some cake for the same unforgettable experience? Angel food cake is a natural to grill, and top with a fresh berry compote.  

Happy grilling!