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5 Ways to Upgrade Your Grilling

Skip the burgers and dogs this grilling season! Wow your barbecue guests with some of these unique recipes.

Grilling season is upon us! Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner, and as the unofficial start of summer, it’s the perfect time to fire up the grill if you haven’t already. Whether you have a community poolside grilling area like we have at New Longview, a patio or balcony grill, or just a grill pan in your kitchen, food always tastes better with some grill marks on it. Hamburgers and hotdogs are always a welcome choice, but this year why not spice things up a bit? Check out these unique twists for some inspiration, or come up with your own ideas!

Twist on a Classic

There’s nothing wrong with burgers and dogs. They’re simple, they’re classic, and they’re downright tasty. But if you’re planning on grilling a lot this season burgers and dogs are going to get old eventually. The same goes for the more traditional sides like corn on the cob and baked potatoes. You don’t have to leave tradition completely in the dust, though! With just a few tweaks you can spice up even the most boring traditional foods. Go for some unexpected burger and dog toppings, or spring for some nicer cheese like a smoked gouda or fresh mozzarella. For sides, try something like this grilled corn with bacon butter and cotija cheese (yes, bacon butter), or go for an elotes feel. Even the biggest BBQ purist is sure to come around.

Grill Up a Classic Dish

If you’re a little more daring think about other classic dishes that could be prepared on a grill. For example, what are meatballs if not tiny, round hamburgers? Grill them! Another food that does well with a high, direct heat cooking method is pizza. Think brick oven pizza, but with grill marks and homemade. You could even make your own dough if you want, or ask a local pizzeria if they sell dough rounds. Most supermarkets have several options for pre-made dough if you’re particularly short on time and/or baking skills. It’s a good idea to plan ahead if you’re grilling pizza because once you start things move rapidly. Get all your toppings ready and beside the grill so you can top the pizza as soon as you flip. Once you have everything ready it’s a simple process, but you can check out this recipe and guide if you’re unsure of what to do.

Don’t Forget the Sides

If you’re wanting to use your grill a lot, you’ll want to grill as many courses as you can. That includes the sides, too! Most seasonal vegetables are great for grilling, especially if you have skewers or a basket. Just a little bit of oil, a sprinkling of salt, pepper, and your favorite seasonings, then let the grill do its job. While the veggies are on the grill you could also be cooking some pasta, then combine them for an easy upgrade to pasta salad. Or grill the entire salad! When your dinner guests see nice, charred grill marks on their lettuce they’re guaranteed to be wowed.

Sweet Tooth Heaven

If you’ve grilled the entire rest of the meal, don’t turn off the fire for dessert! There are quite a few types of fruit that are perfect for grilling, and the natural sugars caramelize when cooked over high, direct heat. Stone fruits and firmer fruits are no brainers, just make sure to keep the pieces large enough that they won’t fall through the grill grates. There’s nothing wrong with going simple with some grilled peaches and a side of ice cream, or you could pull out the cast iron skillet and have some fruit cobbler baking on the grill while you’re letting the main course settle.

The Most Important Meal

What good Midwesterner doesn’t love breakfast? We love it so much we invented brunch to have an excuse to eat breakfast later in the day! Give your grill some love by firing it up before noon and add some fire to your next weekend brunch. Skewer potatoes for a grilled hash, or replace brats with some breakfast links. Fire up your sweet tooth (literally) with some grilled vanilla French toast, and even throw some bacon on the grill! Invite some friends over for a great way to start the day, or surprise mom with a belated Mother’s Day grilled breakfast in bed!

Have you grilled yet this year? Show off your food by finding us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

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