When it comes to grilled food, two things that have long gone hand-in-hand are summertime and grilled corn. The high heat and wood smoke elevate sweet corn to a whole new, delicious level. Plus, it’s super simple and easy to cook.
Grilled corn makes for a perfect side for grilled steaks, BBQ chicken, burgers, tacos, and more! Of course, just classic grilled corn with salt and butter is always a favorite. But, why not get adventurous and try out a new variation for your next backyard cooking session?
In this article, we’ve put together 6 varieties of grilled corn recipes you can try out. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new favorite today!
If you’ve never tried grilled Mexican street corn, technically known as Elote, then you are missing out! Elote is a unique and tasty spin on fresh sweet summer corn. In this recipe, the corn on the cob is grilled and then coated in spicy and savory ingredients that include chile powder, cumin, and cotija cheese. A splash of lime juice and a pinch of cilantro make this grilled corn a delicious option for your next backyard barbecue! Pair this corn with pork carnitas, ribs, or grilled chicken.
Source: Traeger Grills
Everyone loves a combo of garlic and parmesan. Combine this with the delicious flavor of sweet grilled corn and you’ve got a winning combination. In this recipe from Traeger Grills, fresh corn on the cob is coated in a garlic butter mix, grilled till tender and charred, and then finished with a melt-in-your-mouth garnish or parmesan and parsley. Mesquite makes for the perfect choice of wood type to help balance the flavors of the sweet corn.
Source: Natasha’s Kitchen
For the perfect side for grilled seafood, check out this grilled corn recipe. The flavors of lemon and dill go perfectly with the light flavor profile of fish/shellfish. This recipe uses the method of wrapping the corn in foil and grilling it, sealing in the moisture, and steaming the corn. (Alternatively, you could grill the corn directly on the grill if you want to get a more charred finish.)
Source: Foodie Crush
If you are looking for something with a little more kick, this one is a great choice. This recipe takes buttered corn to a whole new level by using a flavored compound butter. Combining butter, hot sauce, blue cheese, and scallions makes this corn recipe one that will have your family and friends coming back for more.
Source: Food Network
Chances are you might be putting barbecue sauce or glaze on the meat you are grilling (or serving it on the side). Why not put a delicious barbecue glaze on the corn too? This recipe calls for slathering the corn in a sweet and spicy glaze before it goes on the grill. With a delicious balance of ingredients, including cayenne pepper and brown sugar, you’ll end up with mouth-watering grilled corn on the cob.
If you’re still leaning towards just the traditional grilled corn on the cob, this simple recipe uses kosher salt and butter to help emphasize the sweet flavor of fresh grilled corn. With your grill on high heat (550°F), this corn is grilled to perfection in 10 to 15 minutes.
With this list of recipes, you’ve got plenty of creative grilled corn options to choose from to help complete your summertime barbecue meal. In our opinion, grilled corn is delicious any time of the year though! Don’t be afraid to get creative and tweak any of the recipes above to put your own twist on them.
Make sure to take a look at our other blog articles for plenty more ideas for side dishes you can smoke or grill. We’ve also got grilled options for breakfast, for your vegetarian family and friends, and even unusual grilled foods you can try!
Do you have a favorite way to grill corn on the cob? Have another idea for a grilled corn recipe? Leave a comment below and tell us about it. We want to hear from you!
Do you want to level up your backyard cooking skills like never before? If so, get started with the Championship Backyard Cooking Classes here at BBQ Champs Academy. With these, you’ll learn step-by-step exactly how to cook a wide variety of delicious grilled or smoked recipes, straight from the pros!
And if you’re ready to master competition-level smoking and grilling techniques, get your All-Access pass today! You can join Champion Grillmasters and Pitmasters in tell-all, first-of-their-kind online BBQ classes! Master cooking several different cuts of meat in your smoker or grill, get all the in-depth insider cooking secrets, and more.
Make sure to also subscribe to the BBQ Champs YouTube channel to get all of the latest competition BBQ news and insider info straight from the barbecue pros!
It’s not a surprise that a long-time, popular favorite to pair with hearty barbecue is mac n’ cheese. But, if you have been taking the time to level up your BBQ cooking skills, why not do that with your cheesy sides as well?
There are a lot of creative options when it comes to side dishes with cheese. So don’t be afraid to step outside of the box. If you are craving some savory, cheesy goodness to go with your outdoor cooking, you’ve come to the right place!
Here are some delicious options of cheesy sides that we’ve put together into one handy list for you:
Why not start the list with a delicious, cheese-packed queso that you can serve as an appetizer for your barbecue gathering. (This one is great for tailgate parties!) This recipe, from Traeger Grills, uses hickory smoke to infuse a perfectly savory flavor with the two kinds of cheeses, spicy pork sausage, and chilies. (This queso can be smoked in a cast iron dutch oven on any smoker or pellet grill that can maintain 350°F.)
Lobster doesn’t always have to be a luxury item. With this delicious, grilled dip, you can enjoy a delectable combination of rich lobster meat and savory brie cheese without breaking the bank. After grilling the lobster tails, this dip cooks directly on your grill to take on the great wood-fire flavor you love in just 15 to 20 minutes.
This cheese-packed casserole combines layers of fresh zucchini, a creamy cheese sauce, and a crunchy panko topping. It offers the perfect amount of decadence without being too heavy for a side dish, especially for a summer barbecue. This casserole makes a perfect side to serve alongside smoked brisket, grilled steak, burgers, and more.
This recipe satisfies any cravings for a fully loaded baked potato packed with cheese and all the fixings but is cooked entirely on the grill. So while you’re grilling or smoking your meat, this can be cooking alongside it in a cast-iron skillet. This recipe will serve 6 people and only takes about 35 minutes to cook.
Summertime and grilled corn seem to go hand in hand quite well. This recipe takes advantage of that fact and brings several great flavors together into one fantastically cheesy side dish! Enjoy fresh grilled corn, rich cheddar cheese, bacon, and jalapeño in this creamy summer salad.
Source: Victor Protasio
If you still want to do a delicious mac n’ cheese, why not try this elevated version that takes it from a “kid’s” side to the adult table. This macaroni and cheese combines four different deliciously savory cheeses with roasted tomatoes and perfectly-paired spices. Plus, it’s only 411 calories per serving!
Got some extra pulled pork to use? Why not bring mac n’ cheese, pulled pork, and wood-fire flavor all into one delicious combination? That’s exactly what this great recipe from Traeger Grills does. This easy, smoked mac n’ cheese uses both Gruyere and extra-sharp Cheddar cheese and cooks in your smoker for 30 to 35 minutes. You could even go crazy and throw some bacon in this hearty side.
With the recipes we listed above, you’ve got some great options to choose from for cheesy sides to serve with your barbecue. Feel free to tweak any of the above options to make them your own. Don’t be afraid to get creative and enjoy some cheesy deliciousness!
Make sure to check out our other blog articles for tons of ideas on other side dishes you can cook on the grill or in the smoker, as well as ideas for dessert, breakfast, or even for your vegetarian friends and family.
Do you have a favorite cheesy side to cook on the grill? Have another idea for a barbecue side dish with cheese? Are you going to try one of these recipes? If so, leave a comment below. We want to hear all about it!
If you want to really elevate your backyard cooking skills, check out the Championship Backyard Cooking Classes here at BBQ Champs Academy. You’ll learn step-by-step how to cook a wide variety of delicious recipes, straight from the pros!
Ready to master competition smoking and grilling techniques? Get your All-Access pass today and join Champion Pitmasters and Grillmasters in first-of-their-kind tell-all online BBQ classes! You can master cooking several different kinds of meats in your smoker or grill, get all the in-depth insider secrets, and more.
Also, make sure to subscribe to the BBQ Champs YouTube channel today to stay on top of all of the latest competition BBQ news and insider info straight from the pros!
** Feature image from Traeger Grills
Warmer weather is approaching and backyard cooking is ramping up even more. One thing this means is that the deliciousness of a nice cold, refreshing drink while you’re cooking and eating gets even better. As you may have seen from some of our previous articles, there are plenty of ways to get creative with your smoker or grill when it comes to different foods and cuts of meat.
What about when it comes to drinks to go with your outdoor cooking? Sure, there are some great beers, wines, and bourbons to pair with barbecue. But, why not include some mixed drinks (with alcohol and non-alcoholic) in your smoking efforts?
Yes, it is possible to start some great drinks on the grill and impress your friends and family even more! Grilling or smoking some of the ingredients included can add delicious complexity to the drinks. You can add a savory wood-fire flavor that perfectly balances the sweetness of the other parts of the drink.
In this article, we’ve put together 10 options of delicious and refreshing grilled cocktails you can try out today:
This is a delicious wood-fired twist on the traditional Mexican tequila-based cocktail known as a Paloma, making for a refreshing drink that's perfect for warm weather and outdoor cooking. For this grilled fruit cocktail, the grapefruit and lime are cooked directly on the grates of your grill or smoker to caramelize the fruit and give it a subtle smoky bite. This cocktail is a mix of the juice from the smoked citrus, tequila or mezcal (if you want an even smokier flavor), and club soda.
For a delicious non-alcoholic option, check out this smoked grape lime rickey. This recipe from Traeger Grills starts by smoking the red grapes low and slow until they’re tender, then grilling slices of fresh limes directly on the hot grill grates. Mix the smoked fruit syrup/juice with lemon-lime soda for a unique and refreshing wood-fired drink.
If you do want to add alcohol to this, gin or vodka works well with these flavors.
The perfect cocktail is about balancing multiple flavors that all enhance and complement each other. That’s exactly what this grilled summer smash does. This cocktail uses grilled nectarines and cherries, giving the fruit a deeper, richer taste. This flavor goes perfectly with the muddle thyme and aged cachaça, a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugar cane juice.
Another delicious non-alcoholic option, this smoky twist on a classic is perfect for a refreshing beverage option for your barbecue gathering. For this drink, lemons are cut in half and dipped in sugar, then grilled directly on the grates cut side down until nicely browned. The juice is squeezed from that halves and mixed with rosemary and honey to create a delightfully intriguing flavor profile.
Source: Saveur / Eric Medsker
The margarita is undoubtedly an essential summertime drink. This margarita kicks it up a notch with a smoky/sweet element that makes it even more delicious. The grilled pineapple adds a rich layer of fruitiness while the mezcal gives the drink a veil of smokiness and spice. To increase the smoke and spice flavors even more, coat the rim of the glass with salt mixed with a dash of chile powder and coriander.
Creamy, yellow-skinned Champagne mangoes (also called Ataulfo or honey mangoes) are even more delicious when they are grilled and allowed to caramelize. In this cocktail recipe, the grilled mango is combined with two sources of smoky flavor: earthy mezcal and ancho chili peppers. This vibrant drink is then brightened with fresh lime. The flavors of the sweet mango, chili, and lime help to balance the flavor of the mezcal perfectly.
Some people will argue that whiskey is only a cold-weather drink. Personally, we think they’re missing out. Bourbon whiskey, with its touch of sweetness and hint of vanilla, actually pairs fantastically with summer fruit. For this grilled whiskey sour, peach halves are grilled to sweet and juicy perfection and combined with bourbon tart Jarritos tamarind soda.
Source: Photography by Maggie Shannon
This fun drink is another great mocktail that is great for both kids and adults. The complex flavors of grilled pineapple and hibiscus tea create a perfect flavor combination that is then mixed with pineapple soda. The lime and sugar-coated rim finishes off this deliciously refreshing drink. If you do want to add alcohol to this drink, tequila is going to be the best option to complement these flavors.
If you like Bloody Mary’s, check out this lighter, tomato-based cocktail with more elevated flavors. In this recipe, the deep, savory flavor of mezcal is boosted by the smoked Guajillo peppers, grilled tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce. Grilling the tomatoes helps to enhance their subtle sweetness. This drink goes great with steaks, brisket, burgers, and even a seafood boil.
If you’re looking for a drink that will make you think of sitting on the beach of a tropical island, check out this recipe. This Tiki Cocktail from Traeger Grills combines brandy, rum, peach liquor, lemon syrup, grilled pineapple, and grilled peaches. With this combination of flavors, touched with a hint of smoke, you’ll create a crazy good drink that’ll have you feeling like in you’re in paradise.
These are just a few of the different grilled cocktail and mocktail options out there. As you can see, there is a wide variety of flavors and ingredients, giving you plenty of choices when it comes to pairing drinks with the food you are cooking.
Don’t be afraid to get creative and change up ingredients in some of the drinks we’ve covered or even create your own entirely new concoctions.
Have you tried any of the cocktails in this article? Recently created your own grilled cocktail or mocktail? Leave a comment below and tell us about it!
Want to pair your grilled cocktails with the best barbecue you’ve ever cooked? Learn how to straight from Champion Pitmasters and Grillmasters in our first-of-their-kind virtual barbecue classes here at BBQ Champs Academy.
You’ll learn competition-caliber smoking or grilling techniques step-by-step as well as pro tips, all in stunning high-def video. Grab your All-Access passes today to get the full inside scoop on how to cook multiple types of meat. (You can also buy the Pitmasters or Grillmasters’ classes individually ). We also offer our virtual Championship Backyard BBQ classes where you can learn how to cook 20 different recipes to impress your family and friends (for only $99!).
Make sure to also click Subscribe on our BBQ Champs Academy YouTube channel so you don’t miss the latest insider info and BBQ news straight from the pros!
**Feature image from allrecipes.com
Instead of cooking the same old thing this morning or pulling out the box of boring cereal, why not put your outdoor cooker to more good use and cook breakfast on a grill? It’s a lot easier and more fun than you may think. Plus, there are a ton of different things you can grill for that first meal of the day that everyone will love.
For breakfast on the grill, we’ve put together 6 delicious ideas of things you can try out today. Let’s take a look:
(Click the linked heading for the recipe for each item)
Fair warning, once you have breakfast hash cooked in a skillet on the grill, you may never want it any other way. A cast-iron skillet can conduct heat very evenly, which means higher temperatures and more browning and caramelization. This means an even more delicious flavor. When cooked this way on the grill, the potatoes will develop a nice crispy char and pick up some of that great smoke flavor.
This hearty breakfast skillet is cooked on your grill over medium-high heat and cooks in 30 minutes. Fresh red potatoes, bacon, and cheese, topped with eggs make this breakfast skillet a hit that everyone will love.
One of the staple items for any great breakfast is, of course, eggs. But these grilled scrambled eggs in a cast-iron skillet take boring everyday eggs to a whole new level. They make a quick and easy breakfast dish cooked on the grill. Prep and cooking time takes less than 30 minutes. With goat cheese, onion, chives, and jalapeno mixed in, you’ll get a delicious profile of savory flavors with a kick.
We can’t do a breakfast on the grill round-up without mentioning bacon. There’s no denying the fact that grilled bacon is fan-favorite. Plus, you’ll end up with a much less greasy and much healthier result since the bacon won’t be cooking in its own fat. Grab thick-cut bacon slices and cook each slice over medium-high heat for about 4 - 6 minutes (depending on how crispy you want it).
If you’re really feeling adventurous and want to kick your bacon flavor up a notch, check out the recipe (linked in the heading) for grilled candied bacon with brown sugar and black pepper for a delicious twist.
One thing that is certain, sweet and spicy flavors balance each other very well. A perfect way to achieve this for your grilled breakfast is with grilled sweet melon sprinkled with sugar, salt, and cayenne pepper and skewered. If you've never had grilled fruit like this before, you're in for a treat! You’ll get a deliciously sweet and not too spicy side item for your grilled breakfast.
Peaches, nectarines, and plums are also great options for fruits to grill for breakfast (or any time).
Source: Food Network
For another breakfast option on the sweeter side, check out these fun French toast kebabs. Serve this bite-sized version of a long-time breakfast favorite with warm maple syrup and grilled bacon for a delicious and filling breakfast. Make sure to line the grill grates with foil to ensure that the cubes of bread cook all the way through without burning. Closing the grill while it’s cooking lets the toast take in a nice hint of smoky flavor.
Remember, if you are using wood skewers, make sure to soak them in water first to prevent them from burning on the grill.
(Check out our article here for more tips on how to grill food on kebabs successfully.)
These kabobs are a fun and easy way to cover the sweet and savory profiles for your breakfast on a grill, plus they go very well with any egg dish. With smoked sausage, mushrooms, and pineapple and basted with maple syrup, these skewers cook in only 8 to 9 minutes!
With the ideas covered above, you’ve got some great options to get started with when it comes to cooking breakfast on a grill. Feel free to tweak the above options and make them your own. Start your day off right today with a home-grilled breakfast!
Make sure to check out our other blog articles for tons of ideas on things you can cook on the grill for lunch or dinner as well.
Have you cooked a whole breakfast on a grill? Do you have a favorite breakfast item you can grill? Let us know in the comment box below. We want to hear all about it!
Check out the Championship Backyard Cooking Classes here at BBQ Champs Academy if you want to optimize your backyard cooking skills and learn how to cook a variety of delicious recipes step-by-step, straight from the pros!
If you’re ready to master competition smoking and grilling techniques in first-of-their-kind online BBQ classes with Champion Pitmasters and Grillmasters, get your All-Access pass today! You can master cooking a variety of meats in your smoker or grill, get in-depth insider secrets, and more.
Also, stay on top of all of the latest competition BBQ news and insider info straight from the pros by subscribing to the BBQ Champs YouTube channel today!
**Feature image from Gimme Some Grilling
When it comes to grilling, of course, the first food option that many people think of is a delicious slab of meat. Even if you’re not always just grilling meat, it’s easy to fall into the habit of always cooking the same couple of things over and over again.
But, there is actually a whole world of things you can throw on the grill that you may not have explored very deeply yet. From healthy options to mouth-watering desserts and even a low-country boil, there are a ton of different things you could run with.
So, if you are wanting to venture out of the norm and are looking for ideas of unusual or unique foods to grill, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a list of some fun and easy options you can try out today and throw some variety in your grilling game:
Many people are familiar with shrimp on the grill. But two more great and even more unusual seafood options that do really well on the grill are oysters and clams.
They’re really easy to cook on the grill. All you have to do for prep is clean them. This is just letting them sit in a mixture of cold water and cornmeal to extract any sand. Then dry the shells and place them on the grill for several minutes. (For oysters, place them flat side up.) Close the grill and cook them until the shells pop open on their own and the inner meat is opaque.
Cooking pizza on the grill is super easy and a fun way to get creative with your own toppings. Plus, the grill smoke adds another layer to the flavor of the crust and the toppings. You can either use your own homemade dough or go with premade pizza crusts, naan bread, or even cauliflower crust.
Make sure to brush a little bit of olive oil on whatever dough or crust you decide to use to prevent it from overly charring. Another trick is to slightly grill your crust on each side before adding toppings to prevent it from getting soggy. Then, add pizza sauce and toppings to create your own favorite combo. If you’re tight on time, you can even grill a pre-made frozen pizza.
If you’ve got an outdoor gathering planned (especially a tailgate party), grilled nachos make a great option. Yes, you can grill nachos! And it’s super easy to do. Just poke several holes in the bottom of an aluminum baking pan or use a perforated metal grill pan, fill it with your nacho chips, and top them with your favorite toppings. One delicious combo of toppings is ground beef or turkey, pepper jack cheese, jalapeño, diced tomato, and black beans. (Save the cold toppings, like guacamole, sour cream, and salsa, for after the nachos come off the grill.)
If you’re looking for a hearty vegetarian option, try grilled tofu. This is a great way to get a good amount of protein without meat. Tofu is naturally bland, but when you add a good marinade and grill smoke, you’ll end up with a delicious final result. Just cut extra firm tofu into 1-inch cubes and let them soak in your marinade. Also, make sure to pre-soak wood skewers before using them to prevent them from burning on the grill. Then drain the tofu, skewer the cubes, and grill over medium heat.
Check out this recipe for delicious savory-spicy grilled tofu skewers with peanut sauce.
Grilled brussels sprouts make a great option for a grilled vegetable. Cooking them on the grill will get the outer leaves crispy and slightly charred, with that delicious grill flavor, while the center will still be soft. You can either cook them on skewers or keep them on the large stalk and cook them directly on the grill that way. Another option is to use a vegetable grilling basket, which works great for smaller vegetables.
Everyone loves bacon. And once you try it grilled, you may never go back to “regularly”-cooked bacon. You’ll end up with a healthier and less greasy result since it won’t be sitting and cooking in its own fat. Just cook each slice of bacon for 4 - 6 minutes (depending on how crispy you want it) on medium-high heat.
You can then enjoy the bacon on its own along with the rest of your breakfast, put it on your grilled burger, or break it up into a salad or on top of nachos (see above).
Granola is a great, healthy option for breakfast or a midday snack. Grilling it can kick the deliciousness up a whole other level that you didn’t know you were missing. Just wrap up the granola and some freeze-dried berries in a sheet of aluminum foil, poke a couple of holes in the pouch to allow the smoke in, and grill it over medium heat.
When it’s done, you can enjoy it by itself, mixed into greek yogurt, or even as a topping for ice cream.
Check out this recipe for delicious grilled granola.
Grapes are deliciously sweet and juicy both fresh and frozen. What you may not know is that they are absolutely delectable hot off the grill and super easy to do. Simply take a bunch of them (literally), lightly coat them with olive oil, and place them directly on the hot grill grate. Cook them for about 3 to 4 minutes, turning occasionally. They can be served alongside a thick-cut steak, pork tenderloin, grilled chicken, or even on top of a summer salad.
For a great combo of tangy and sweet flavors, check out this recipe for balsamic grilled grapes.
Source: Savory Experiments
Chances are, you may not have heard of this golf-ball-sized red and green spiky/furry and delicious fruit. Grown in tropical Southeast Asia and some parts of Latin America, Rambutan is similar to a lychee, with a translucent white grape-like “meat” inside. This fruit is great when eaten fresh or even slightly chilled. But like many of the things we’ve covered in this article, their natural flavor is amplified even more when grilled.
Simply place them on the grill whole and cook over high heat until the outer “hairs” have singed black, usually only a couple of minutes. The shell actually steams the sweet inner fruit while it’s cooking. Sometimes they will pop open and leak some juice while cooking but this is ok. Just make sure to not overcook them.
After they come off the grill, carefully halve the outer shell to open them and enjoy! (Keep in mind there is a seed in the middle of the fruit.)
Many different vegetables cook really well on the grill, but one that you may not think of is cucumbers. The grill adds a delicious smokiness to the crunchy “cucs” and you can serve these as a side or a healthy appetizer option. Just cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise and then in half again. Grill them on medium heat for roughly 10 minutes.
If you love the vinegar flavor of pickles you can even use vinegar and salt in your prep before putting them on the grill. Then, pair them with a delicious pickled feta dip. Check out this recipe for all the details on that combo.
With the options of unique foods to grill that we’ve covered above, you are ready to throw some variety into your grilling routine. You have plenty of ideas to choose from for appetizers, sides, the main course, and dessert. Feel free to adjust the above options to your tastes and make them your own. Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to your backyard cooking!
Have you tried any of the items above on the grill? Do you have a favorite, more unusual food to grill? Leave a comment below. We want to hear all about it!
If you want to really elevate your backyard cooking skills and learn from the pros how to cook a variety of delicious recipes step-by-step, check out the Championship Backyard Cooking Classes here at BBQ Champs Academy!
For competition smoking and grilling techniques, even more in-depth insider secrets, and more, grab your All-Access pass now with the Champion Pitmasters and Grillmasters in their one-of-kind online BBQ classes. You can master cooking a variety of meats in your smoker or grill today.
To stay on top of all the latest competition BBQ news and insider info, make sure to also subscribe to the BBQ Champs YouTube channel!
**Feature image from Little Ferraro Kitchen
Most people will agree that grilled food and dessert are two of the best things in the world. What’s even better is that you can successfully combine the two for a mouth-watering sweet treat that will also have that smokey flavor you love.
If you’re asking yourself “what desserts should I make?”, there are a lot of great options that can be cooked right in your grill or smoker. Many of these can be cooked right alongside other parts of your holiday meal on the grill or they can be cooking while everyone is enjoying dinner.
And what better time to try easy-to-make grilled desserts than for the holidays this year? Though all of these desserts we’ll cover below can be great options any time of the year.
So, if you’re looking for options for desserts on the grill, you’ve come to the right place! Here are 6 options to choose from:
What is Thanksgiving without some form of pumpkin pie? This is an easy-to-make homemade spiced pumpkin pie that bakes in your smoker in just under an hour. It delivers a smooth and delicious combination of those pumpkin, brown sugar, spice, and wood-fire flavors you love. Make sure to use Applewood as your fuel source to complement the pie’s flavors nicely.
Source: Traeger Grills
Kabobs always make an easy and fun grill option. Though many people often associate kabobs with chunks of veggies and meat. Surprisingly though, it works with dessert too! In this grilled dessert recipe, skewers are used to cook a delicious combination of bananas and pound cake brushed with butter, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla.
A rich, fruity cobbler is always a great option for dessert at a big holiday meal. This blueberry cobbler, combining the delicious flavors of blueberry, lemon, and mascarpone, is easy to make and cooks right in a cast-iron skillet in your smoker. The wood smoke from a lighter, fruitwood adds that delicious smoky flavor that pairs well with the berry.
Source: Oklahoma Joe’s
Here’s one for the chocolate lovers. This grilled flourless chocolate cake is moist, tender, and decadent and makes enough to feed 8 to 10 people. You can easily mix up the cake, put it in the pan, and have it ready to go well before it’s time to put it on the grill. The cake only takes 25 to 30 minutes to cook and will have everyone’s mouths watering by the time it’s done.
Apple is a key element of many of the most favorite holiday desserts. Pair the tastes of apple, bourbon, and cranberry with wood-fire savoriness and you’ve got a winning combination. This baked apple bourbon crisp slow-cooks in your grill in an hour and emanates the delicious sweet and smoky flavors everyone will love.
Source: Traeger Grills
This delicious recipe involves grilling cupcakes directly in orange rinds on the grill, resulting in a flavor reminiscent of orange creamsicles with a touch of smokiness. These grilled cupcakes are a fun and easy way to give everyone their own individual dessert right off the grill to satisfy every sweet tooth.
There are a ton of things to choose from when it comes to easy-to-make desserts you can cook on the grill or smoker this holiday season. From the traditional apple lovers to the chocolate lovers, you can make something to satisfy everyone’s tastes. Plus, these options above make great desserts you can cook on the grill all year long! After all, our sweet tooth isn’t only reserved for the holidays.
For even more dessert options on the grill, along with step-by-step instruction in easy-to-follow online videos, check out the dessert classes with Max Nelson of Montana Max BBQ here at BBQ Champs Academy. Max Nelson, a Culinary Fight Club Champion, will show you exactly how to cook a delicious Smoked Bourbon Bacon Peach Crumble, Banana Foster Banana Pudding, and White Chocolate Mousse Pie.
Do you have a favorite grilled dessert that you could add to our list? Plan on trying a few of these dessert options for the upcoming holidays? Leave a comment below, we want to hear from you!
To learn more great backyard BBQ cooking recipes you can do any time of the year, check out our Championship Backyard BBQ Classes. In these first-of-their-kind virtual classes, you’ll get instruction straight from some of the top competition Pitmasters and Grillmasters. You’ll learn a variety of delicious recipes, step-by-step with all of the tips and insider info you need to know. You can master your backyard cooking today!
**Feature image from Taste of Home
With the Thanksgiving holiday a couple of weeks away, you may be starting to think about what exactly you will be cooking. Often the biggest dinner of the year, there will probably be a whole lot of food involved. Of course, a whole turkey will be the centerpiece, but what about the sides?
Chances are, you probably have some longtime Thanksgiving favorites, like green bean casserole or cranberry sauce. But, did you know that many favorite side dishes for “Turkey Day” can also be done on your outdoor cooker? You can easily elevate the flavor of almost anything with that smokiness you love.
In this article, we’ve put together some great ideas for Thanksgiving side dishes on the grill or smoker that you can try out this year:
If you are looking for an appetizer idea to keep everyone satisfied until dinner, this grilled brie makes a great option. The flavor medley of the grilled, savory cheese with the sweet and spicy relish makes for a delicious combo. Plus, it only takes 10 minutes to cook!
Speaking of cranberry, cranberry sauce is one of those must-have staples for any Thanksgiving dinner. But, this smoked cranberry sauce recipe from Traeger Grills puts a unique and deliciously smoky twist on a holiday favorite. For extra flavor, you can even add orange zest and vanilla extract. Make sure to use Cherrywood as your fuel source to impart a smoke that will complement the flavors of the sauce.
Source: Traeger Grills
For a smoky twist on a delicious and fresh vegetable option, check out this Smoked Cream Corn. The sweetness of the corn cuts through the smoke to offer an amazingly balanced flavor profile that goes very well with turkey. This recipe is easy to make and gives you another option for Thanksgiving side dishes that everyone will enjoy.
It’s a must to have a starch as a Thanksgiving side. For that, these roasted Hasselback potatoes make a great choice for something different. These hearty and filling potatoes are loaded with butter and bacon and slow-roasted in your cooker. Once they’re done cooking, finish them with melted cheddar cheese and scallions for a delicious topping.
Source: Traeger Grills
If you’re wanting the more traditional starch option for Thanksgiving dinner, check out these mashed potatoes from Char-Griller. This smoky twist on a classic will help satisfy the desire for a “stick-to-your-ribs” meal. These potatoes are simple to prepare and can slow smoke alongside other dishes on your cooker. Don’t be afraid to get creative with toppings to finish them off, like diced bacon, chives, and of course gravy.
Bonus Tip: Use the drippings from your smoked turkey to make homemade Turkey gravy to top the mashed potatoes with.
Another staple for many Thanksgiving dinners is stuffing. There are dozens of different varieties of stuffing. But this easy-to-make smoky version can be cooked on your grill or smoker and delivers a delicious combination of savory and sweet flavors.
For another twist on a traditional Thanksgiving classic, check out this grilled Green Bean Casserole recipe from Weber Grills. This casserole combines green beans, mushrooms, onion, and savory seasonings and is slow-cooked (still only 25 minutes) over the indirect heat side of your grill. You’ll have everyone coming back for seconds for sure.
As you can see, there are a lot of great options to choose from when it comes to Thanksgiving side dishes on the grill or smoker. From savory sides to deliciously sweet desserts, you can cook plenty of different things to satisfy everyone this holiday. Try your hand at a few of them!
For even more holiday cooking info, make sure to check out our article on cooking Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner on the grill. And for any of your vegetarian guests, check out our article on a variety of meatless options you can also cook on the grill for them.
Are you cooking your sides on the grill this year? Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving side done in a smoker? Tell us about it below, we want to hear from you!
For more great backyard BBQ cooking you can do all year, check out our first-of-their-kind Championship Backyard BBQ Classes with some of the top competition Pitmasters and Grillmasters. You can learn a variety of different, delicious recipes, step-by-step with all of the insider info you need to know. Master your backyard cooking today!
No matter if you are grilling beef burgers or meatless burgers (like portobello mushroom burgers), the toppings you choose are what can really level up the deliciousness. You can take an ordinary burger to extraordinary in just a few seconds.
So, if your idea of burger toppings only consists of lettuce, tomato, onions, and the traditional condiments, it’s time to start thinking outside the box.
There are dozens of creative ideas for burger toppings that you can try today. From savory flavors to a mix of sweet and salty, there is plenty to choose from to have something for everyone’s tastes. Here are a few great options:
The ingredients in the simple Italian salad known as a Caprese salad actually make for great burger toppings as well. This is especially true if you’re doing portobello burgers. Though it’s great with beef as well. For this combination of toppings make sure to use thick slices of beefsteak tomato and slices of fresh mozzarella for best results. Also, you can marinate the tomato in balsamic vinegar, oil, and salt, and pepper, or use a balsamic glaze directly over the toppings on the burger.
The Italian word for “to crush” is pesto, so use your favorite method to crush pine nuts, basil, garlic, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese. Then, mix with mayo and you’ve got a tangy condiment to spread before you top your burger with Swiss cheese, slices of avocado, and some red leaf lettuce for more vibrant color.
Source: A Spicy Perspective
Grill some pineapple rings and red or green peppers. As those are browning, mix mayo with a bit of teriyaki sauce, and layer it all on a burger with thick slices of tomato and red onions. You just created a salty-sweet crunchiness that will wow your guests.
When prepping your burger meat, add some beef bouillon to the meat for a savory, umami-packed taste. Then, simply top your burgers with caramelized onions and a Worcestershire mayo for a Salisbury steak-style. This makes for an easy and delicious combo.
Mix up your favorite burger mix, adding fresh herbs you prefer. Then saute some onions, red chili, and cinnamon to make a sauce. Top your burger with this sweet and spicy topping and your guests will be asking for your secret recipe!
Roast some red peppers and get ready for a mouthful of delightful surprise! The surprise is the addition of tangy feta cheese. If you can get sheep’s milk feta, the texture is creamier. Top burgers with the red peppers and the feta and finish off with a garnish of parsley or arugula lettuce.
Source: Caitlin’s Cooking and More
Sriracha has made a huge splash on the culinary scene since the 1980s. It is a bright red hot sauce made from red chili peppers, garlic, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Rather than just heat, though, sriracha has a touch of sweetness, too. And it makes for a great addition to burgers. You can mix the sauce right into the burger meat before cooking and then add a piece of bacon on top of each burger, with a large dollop of sriracha before serving. Get ready for the rave reviews!
Why not? Mac and Cheese makes everything better! Rather than eat it by itself the next time you cook burgers on the grill, try this. Make the burgers a bit smaller than normal, especially if you’re having lots of guests. Then, build your burger stack with lettuce, the burger, a thick slice of tomato, and a spoonful of mac and cheese. It’s creamy and filling, and no one will go home hungry.
Sometimes you just have to leap into an idea like this when it comes to ideas for burger toppings! Maple syrup isn’t just for breakfast and you know everyone loves the thick, sweet texture. So, add a tablespoon or so to the top of each burger along with a strip of bacon, and enjoy! (How could you go wrong with this?) But if that’s too sweet, try peanut butter. The peanut butter will melt from the heat of the burger and satisfies that craving for creamy, salty thickness. You can add bacon to this also or just go with the peanut butter by itself.
If you or your guests want to maintain some nod to healthy eating, hummus is made from protein-packed chickpea and sesame tahini. You can make your own (it’s easy to make with a blender) and simply add a dollop of store-bought hummus to the top of your juicy burgers. You will feel like you’re in a cafe in the Mediterranean!
There is no easier way to make your burgers gourmet than by adding some spice with seasonings like garlic, paprika, and chili powder. Add it to the meat; add it on top. Then top with your favorite salsa, some crispy tortilla chips, and pepper jack cheese. It’s a Southwestern feast, for sure.
There’s a whole other world of burger toppings ideas besides just the plain old lettuce, tomato, onion combo. Don’t be afraid to try things that may seem out of the ordinary. Combine several different flavor profiles. As you can see above, there are a lot of great combinations of toppings that will give you a totally different burger than you may have had before.
Do you have a favorite combination of burger toppings? Have you recently tried one of the combinations we mentioned above? If so, leave us a comment below. We want to hear from you!
If you want to step your backyard cooking game up and impress your friends and family, check out the BBQ Champs Academy Backyard BBQ Cooking Classes today! In these virtual classes, you can learn step-by-step straight from the pros how to cook a variety of grilling favorites.
And if you are ready to try your hand at in-depth competition smoking and grilling techniques for a variety of BBQ favorites, grab your All-Access pass now! In these first-of-their-kind virtual classes, you’ll join some of the top competition Pitmasters and Grillmasters and learn how to cook competition-caliber meat step-by-step.
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Anyone who likes to cook outside on the grill will tell you that one of the best things about it is that char-grilled taste you end up with. There’s nothing quite like it. And with summertime here, you are probably spending more time backyard cooking. But, meats are not the only options you have when it comes to deciding exactly what you are going to be grilling.
With more grilling happening and more and more people looking to eat a little healthier these days, you may be searching for how to grill healthy options as well. So, if you are looking for new, fun, and/or unusual foods to grill that you can add to the rotation, there are actually quite a few foods that you may not know could easily be grilled to perfection.
In this article, we’ve put together just a sample of delicious and healthy foods you didn't know you can grill today:
Who doesn’t love a good salad during the summer? For a twist on your traditional salad to serve before the meal or even as a quick meal by itself, grilling romaine lettuce makes for an awesome light and crunchy option.
Just cut a head of romaine lettuce lengthwise in half and brush it with olive oil. Place it face down on your grill and cook it over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle it with your favorite dressing and top it with shredded parmesan cheese, chopped bacon, and tomatoes or you can even chop it and mix it with other grilled fruits (see below) or veggies of choice.
Cabbage and endive both also do well on the grill if you want to have a couple of other leaf vegetables to add to the romaine for a great salad.
Source: Simply Recipes
It’s hard to just mention one particular fruit when there are so many that hold up well on the grill and end up with a deliciously sweet and smoky flavor. Watermelon, pineapple, peach, mango, bananas, pear, and grapefruit are just a few examples of fruits that can be grilled.
Depending on the fruit (like pineapple or peach), you can either slice them into 1-inch thick round slices, slice them in half, or skewer them. You can even cut a variety of fruits into chunks and do a fruit kebab.
Make sure to lightly brush the surface of the fruit that will be touching the grates with oil. Then grill over medium-high heat to midway between crisp and tender. It won’t take long!
Bonus tip: Try grilling mango seasoned with Tajin for a delicious sweet and spicy treat.
You may have had artichokes steamed, which are delicious, but grilling them adds a delicious smoky dimension to the flavor profile. If you want extra-tender results go for baby artichokes if you can find them.
Start by halving the artichokes and scooping out the prickly choke. Then just brush them lightly with extra-virgin olive oil season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill them over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until they’re lightly charred and tender.
For a more “unusual” option of healthy foods you didn't know you can grill, if you like fried calamari, you have to try it grilled. The best place to get fresh (or recently frozen) squid is at your local seafood market. You may be able to find it in the seafood department at your grocery store as well. Make sure the squid has been cleaned before you bring it home.
Cut the tubes (body) of the squid into half-inch rings and leave the tentacles whole and toss everything in olive oil. Then slide the pieces onto skewers and cook on the hottest part of the grill, turning once or twice, until just cooked through for a tender and delicious result. They will usually only take 2 to 4 minutes to cook.
Source: Foreman Grill Recipes
If you are looking for a quick and easy healthy snack you can grill and serve before a meal you should try olives. Grilling olives enhances their natural flavors, making them even more delicious. Look for jarred “Colossal” or “Queen Sized” pitted olives, like Sicilian or Spanish olives for example. You can even do stuffed olives as well.
Make sure to lightly coat them with oil before they go on the grill and you can season simply with black pepper and sea salt. Then grill them on a skewer over medium-high heat only until heated through and showing grill marks.
Avocado is much more than just a guacamole ingredient. It actually does really well on the grill and can make for a great, healthy appetizer. The best avocados for the grill are going to be newly ripe ones that are not super soft.
Slice the avocados in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Then brush the halves lightly with olive oil, season with salt and even paprika or chili powder, and grill over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. They are delicious on their own or topped with fresh pico de gallo.
Grilled sweet potato wedges make for a tasty and easy side to go with any meal or even as an appetizer. You may never go back to oven-cooked or fried once you try them grilled.
Just cut a sweet potato into wedges and grill them over medium-high heat until you see grill marks. You can even try them with yogurt and/or honey for a sweet yet healthier side.
Source: Good Life Eats
You are probably wondering why we put cake on a list of healthy options. But, if you are looking for a fun and different option for a delicious dessert on the grill, angel food cake is much lower in calories and sugar compared to other options.
Plus, you probably didn’t know that grilling this classic summer favorite can add delicious complexity to the flavor profile. Just slice it into 1 to 1 ½ inch slices and toast it to a light golden brown until on each side.
So as you can see, there are quite a few options when it comes to healthy foods you can grill that you may not have known, from snacks to desserts and everything in between. You can enjoy that delicious grilled taste on much more than just cuts of meat. Of course, many of the healthier options will be vegetables and fruits.
(Check out our article on tips for grilling vegetables and fruits to ensure you end up with the best result.)
Like with any time you are going to be grilling, just make sure you are prepared before you start and have everything you need on hand. Doing so will ensure you end up with a delicious final result no matter what you are cooking.
Have you recently grilled any of the items we covered above? Do you know of other options in usual foods to grill that we didn’t cover? Let us know below in the comment section. We want to hear from you!
To up your backyard cooking game and learn step-by-step from the pros how to cook a variety of delicious things, check out our Championship Backyard Cooking Classes here at BBQ Champs Academy today!
For even more in-depth insider secrets, competition smoking and grilling techniques, and more, get your All-Access pass now with our Champion Grillmasters and Pitmasters in their one-of-kind online BBQ classes. Master cooking a variety of different meats in your smoker or grill today.
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*Feature image from Traeger Grills
You’ve been experimenting with outdoor cooking techniques, learning how to master your grill, or even trying your hand at smoking big cuts like brisket. Now you’ve planned a barbecue for some friends and family to come and enjoy some of your BBQ skills. But, what happens when one of them is vegetarian?
There are some great vegetarian grill ideas you can include that are easy and delicious. Many vegetables and fruits hold up very well on the grill. Then, everyone gets some great-tasting food at your next barbecue get-together and you can elevate your outdoor cooking skills even more. Plus, some of these vegetarian items make great sides that anyone can enjoy.
We’ve put together seven vegetarian grilling ideas for you to choose from. Let’s take a look:
Source: Food & Wine
Peppers are one example of a vegetable that does really well on a grill. These cheese-stuffed grilled peppers make for a delicious vegetarian side that anyone can enjoy.
This easy-to-make recipe by Robert Perkins and John Lancaster uses a delicious blend of three different kinds of cheese stuffed into different types of medium-sized peppers. As the peppers blister on the grill, the cheese mixture on the inside melts into a deliciously gooey combination.
These peppers can be prepared and stuffed beforehand and stored in the refrigerator. Just make sure to bring them to room temperature before grilling for the best results.
Burgers have long been a staple item of backyard barbecues and tailgate parties. So, for your vegetarian guests, these beer-can cabbage sandwiches make a great substitution for a beef burger and can utilize a lot of the same toppings.
This hearty vegetarian sandwich from Epicurious features a beer-steaming-plus-grilling technique and results in a mouth-watering smoky, sweet flavor.
Source: The Spruce Eats
Kebabs are always a great option when it comes to grilling, especially when you are looking for vegetarian BBQ ideas. These sweet & spicy kebabs from The Spruce use Paneer cheese and are an elevated fusion of both Indian and Chinese flavors.
These easy-to-make kebabs are marinated in tandoori masala and only take about 25 minutes to grill.
Check out our article on tips for grilling kebabs to get the inside scoop on how to successfully grill them every time, no matter what type you are cooking.
Source: Bon Appetit
Tomatoes are another delicious vegetable that can be easily cooked on the grill. These grilled tomatoes topped with blue cheese from Bon Appetit are both rich in flavor and filling, yet easy to prepare and cook.
For this recipe, remember to look for medium to large ripe tomatoes. They’ll only take about 13 minutes to cook and you’ll have a delicious choice for your vegetarian guests.
A combination of Japanese sweet potatoes, honey, and olive oil makes for a mouth-watering sweet and savory combination. With this recipe from Epicurious, you’ll have another delicious vegetarian grill option. Japanese sweet potatoes are actually starchier than yams and can hold up well on the grill.
Insider tip: If you steam the sweet potatoes before they go on the grill you’ll get a perfectly moist interior with the right touch of char on the exterior.
Source: Food & Wine
For a smoky version of eggplant parmesan, try this delicious open-face grilled eggplant recipe from Food & Wine. Eggplant holds up well when grilled and takes on a rich and smoky flavor. Combine this with buffalo mozzarella, tomato, and basil on grilled peasant bread and you’ve got another hearty, delectable entree option.
Pairing this sandwich with the bold taste of a cold Guinness makes for a delicious pair. (Check out our article on beer and barbecue pairings for more great info on this.)
Source: The Spruce Eats
If you are looking for a grilled dessert option, pineapple always makes a great choice. When grilled, this popular juicy and sweet fruit can take on completely different flavor profiles. In this grilled pineapple recipe from The Spruce, a combination of Tequila, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla will have everyone coming back for more.
You can either grill the pineapple in large rings or cut it into smaller pieces and skewer it. Also, if you’re not a fan of Tequila, Rum makes a great alternative in this recipe.
As you can see, there are some great vegetarian grilling ideas to choose from. Include one or two of these at your barbecue get-together for your vegetarian friends or family. You’ll get to show off your outdoor cooking skills and have everyone smiling.
Have you mastered any of these meat-free items already? Do you know of more great vegetarian grill ideas that you like? Leave a comment below, we want to hear from you!
Here at BBQ Champs Academy, through our first of its kind online BBQ cooking school, our Champion Pitmasters and Grillmasters will teach you everything you need to know to elevate your backyard BBQ techniques. Learn from the pros and start cooking competition quality BBQ today.
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