What Can You Cook On A Grill Besides Hamburgers
Tired of grilling the same old things? Below you will find our list of unique items you can grill besides just hamburgers.
It’s a great feeling when the days start to warm up and you can have a meal outdoors by the grill. But rather than stick to the same old burgers and hot dogs with a side of corn on the cob, you can make your barbeque more exciting by including a few unique grilling ideas on the menu. There are plenty of delicious foods that can be made even better by cooking them on the grill. Here are some food ideas you should try at your next barbecue.
Say hello to your new way to enjoy avocado – grilled to perfection. Yes, even avocados can be cooked on your grill. Just cut your avocados in half, season with a little olive oil and salt, and place on the grill for about two or three minutes on each side, until slightly charred. This adds a nice smoky flavor to the green fruit, and you can even fill the hole left by the pits with salsa or cheese.
Take your salad to the next level by grilling up romaine. Whether you’re making a classic Caesar or drizzling on your favorite homemade dressing, putting romaine on the grill gives the lettuce a sweeter flavor and slightly crispy texture. Simply slice the lettuce in half, brush with oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling. Grill for about three minutes on each side, until the romaine just begins to char. Salads have never tasted better.
Let’s say you’re craving a grilled cheese sandwich. Aren’t we all? Did you know you can make grilled cheese, literally, on the grill? It is called “grilled” cheese after all. Simply build your sandwich, and place it directly on the grill to toast, the same way you would toast a hamburger bun. Be sure to use thick slices of bread and butter. Just remember, this “delight” browns up rapidly. Keep your eyes on the grill, don’t let it cook for more than a minute before lifting it up with a spatula. You might even consider using a copper grill mat since the cheese gets good and drippy.
Think about it, quesadillas are basically a Mexican-style grilled cheese. It stands to reason that you can grill up a classic quesadilla just like you would a traditional grilled cheese sandwich. Remember, it’s your barbecue so you can improvise with the ingredients. Place the quesadilla directly on the grate (again, you may want to consider using a copper grill mat). You could also consider using a parchment paper sheet. Just make sure the temperature on the grill doesn’t go higher than 400 degrees F.
It’s no surprise that you can cook the meat for your fajitas on the grill. But you can cook your veggies over an open flame, too. Simply slice them into one inch strips (so they won’t fall through the grates), toss with oil and grill over direct heat for six to ten minutes (or until crisp and slightly blackened). You can also use a grill basket, or for skinnier vegetable slices, you can place an oven-safe skillet over direct heat, and with the grill cover open saute your peppers and onions as you would over the stove.
Some of the best grill ideas involve the foods you would least expect. Grilled oranges might be the most unexpected, but they sure are tasty! They make for a great (and healthy) dessert at the end of your meal. You can cut them in half (peel on or off) and place them directly on the grill for one minute, or you can cut them up and grill them on a skewer with other fruit such as pineapples. To bring out their sweet flavor, you can brush with vanilla and cinnamon, or you can go the extra mile and top them with Greek yogurt or a scoop of ice cream.
Tomatoes can be plenty delicious straight off the vine with a little salt, but grilling intensifies their flavor by concentrating their juices and giving the skin a smoky flavor. Eat them plain and simple with just a drizzle of olive oil, or use them on top of any mixed greens.
Squid was practically invented for grilling, as it only needs to cook for a minute (or less) over high heat to become delicious and tender. Preheat a metal rack until it’s screaming hot, then cook the squid directly on the rack so it doesn’t fall through the grate to its untimely end. As if grilled squid tender in the middle and charred on the exterior weren’t good enough, toss the squid in garlic oil before grilling. (For garlic oil use a half cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of red wine vinegar, one tablespoon of smoked paprika, three garlic cloves minced, and a touch of salt.) Make sure you pat the squid dry before tossing it in the oil.
This will become your favorite way to cook scallops. Thread the bivalves onto sets of two skewers, not one, so they don’t spin around when you pick them up. Baste with a simple combination of minced ginger and lime juice. Arrange your skewers so a couple of inches of skewer hangs off the edge of the grill. That way you can just pick them up with your (gloved) hand, no need for tongs.
Whether you are cooking for vegetarians or just looking for a new unique grilling idea, tofu makes a great addition to a barbecue. Tofu can be sliced and grilled like a steak or it can be cooked on grilling skewers, either by itself or with vegetables such as peppers or mushrooms. For the most flavor, it’s best to marinate it in something like soy sauce or oil with spices first. Grill for about eight to ten minutes on each side, until the tofu starts to firm up and brown with grill marks.
We’re so used to grilling meats and vegetables that fruits can get completely overlooked. There are many fruits that can be amazing on the grill but watermelon tends to be a crowd favorite. To grill, cut the watermelon into triangles with the rinds attached. Season the melon with salt and spices (try red pepper flakes or cumin) and place on the grill. Cook on high heat for about one minute on each side, until the watermelon begins to char. After you’re done grilling, you can sprinkle the watermelon with herbs like mint or cilantro, and you can even chop it up and place it into a salad.
Halloumi Cheese (a white layered cheese similar to mozzarella)
Cheese lovers, this grilling idea is for you. Because Halloumi is firm and has a high melting point, it doesn’t lose its form and melt all over the place when you grill it. The result is a salty, chewy cheese that can be eaten on its own, seasoned with herbs, tossed in a salad, or even placed on a burger or sandwich. Just brush the slices with olive oil and grill for three minutes on each side, until the cheese is brown and crispy on the outside and soft and melty on the inside.
Clams (with spiced paprika butter)
Nobody should shy away from throwing seafood on the grill, it would be almost shellfish of you!
The first step for clams is to clean them: simply put them in a bucket of cold water and cornmeal to extract the sand. Mix softened butter with paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper until well combined. Dry the shells, coat them with the paprika butter and place them on a high heat grill for 2 to 3 minutes. They’re ready when the shells pop open.
Just grill thick slices of pound cake and top with whipped cream and fresh fruit (strawberries, peaches, blueberries…whatever is in season) for a warm version of strawberry shortcake (or peach or blueberry shortcake). That’s it (though vanilla ice cream would be amazing here, too.)
Talk about a crowd pleaser. Roll out some store-bought pizza dough, set it on the grill (or pizza pan) and add chocolate and fruit, Nutella and bananas, blueberries and cream cheese…you might need to try them all.
While adding herbs to cocktails is nothing new (think mint, lavender, citrusy bergamot) grilling the herbs for a few seconds coaxes out the herbs’ floral qualities. Think of it as aromatherapy in a glass.
The best for last. Cooking bacon indoors can lead to a sprawling, greasy mess, so take it outside. The bacon won’t sit in its own fat, so it’ll be a healthier option without the extra cleanup. For perfect, crispy pieces of heaven, cook each slice for 5 to 6 minutes on medium high heat. Then enjoy straight from the grill or crumble them on any dish in this article. Or place them on top of your burger….if you simply must grill burgers!
Playing around with unique grilling ideas can bring some excitement to the table. Hope our suggestions will help you put something unexpected to the flames, including yes, dessert, and a cocktail.