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9 Ways to Spice Up Your Grilling
Get ready for summer with our guide to cooking just about any dish outside—from chipotle-glazed turkey to gooey banana s'mores.
Kebabs

Wrap It In Bacon


You already know its smoky goodness makes everything better, and that’s doubly true on the grill.

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp and Basil
Wrap 12 large shrimp, shelled and deveined, in 2 basil leaves each, then wrap each in 1/2 slice bacon and skewer. Grill over medium to medium-high heat until bacon is crisp and shrimp cooked, about 3 minutes per side.

Bacon-Wrapped Mushrooms with Jalapeño
Remove stems from 16 medium white mushrooms and stuff with halved, seeded, thinly sliced jalapeño. Wrap each stuffed mushroom with 1/2 slice bacon and skewer. Grill over medium to low heat until bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes.

Bacon-Wrapped Fennel and Parmesan
Core fennel bulb and cut lengthwise into 1/3"-thick slices. Sandwich 1/3"-thick piece of Parmesan between 2 fennel slices, then wrap in 1/2 slice bacon and skewer. Grill over medium heat until bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes per side.

Grill Your Tomatoes


Heat softens tomatoes' flesh and heightens their sweetness. Try them in a grilled gazpacho, quinoa salad, or salsa.

Get the recipes: Quinoa Salad with Grilled Cherry Tomatoes, Grilled Tomato Gazpacho and Grilled Tomato Salsa

Turn to the Big Bird


Chicken may be the gold standard for grilling, but turkey is a lean, flavorful alternative. Try these kebabs, or our peach-glazed cutlets or turkey rollatini recipes.

Get the recipes: Chipotle Turkey Kebabs With Shiitake Mushrooms and Peppers, Ginger-Peach Glazed Turkey Cutlets and Turkey Rollatini
Burger toppings
Top It Off
Select from a bonanza of burger add-ons that span the spectrum from tried-and-true (dill pickles) to truly adventurous (peanut butter and banana, if you dare).

Pickles
Forget the soggy spears of yore: San Francisco outfit Emmy's offers terrifically crisp dill pickles with a light spicy kick. ($8 a jar; GoodEggs.com/Emmys)

Beer Mustard
The subtly boozy Olivier Napa Valley Toasted Shallot Dark Beer Mustard outshines the classic yellow stuff any day. ($9; SurLaTable.com)

Portobello Mushrooms
Burger palace Shake Shack tops a cheeseburger with a fried, Cheddar-and-Muenster-stuffed portobello—but a grilled 'shroom is also fantastic on its own.

Chipotle Bourbon Barbecue Sauce
If you're looking for an updated take on barbecue sauce, Hak's Chipotle Bourbon has depth and complexity to burn. ($8; HaksBBQ.com)

Poblano Peppers
Love grilled bell peppers? When blistered on the grill and peeled, a poblano is a slightly spicy addition to any patty (and pairs well with Jack cheese).

Scallions
In place of the traditional raw red onion slice, try grilled scallions; their sharp flavor mellows out over the flames but still stays vibrant.

Bananas and Peanut Butter
The Boston Burger Company's most intriguing creation is named for Elvis: beef patty, bacon, bananas, and peanut butter. Long live the King!

Pastrami
Burgers are grand. Reubens are wonderful. Combine the two by layering smoky pastrami on your patty.

Pineapple
Pineapple tops burgers all over Hawaii but hasn't quite gained traction on the mainland. Here's to changing that—since the sweetness the fruit brings to burgers is hard to beat.

Pimento Cheese
Pimento cheese, the Southern staple, is creamy, spicy, and guilt-inspiringly delicious.
Grilled vegetables
Veg Out!
Pair these garden-fresh delights with five mix-and-match sauces—just toss the grilled vegetable with the sauce of your choice. (Each serves 4.)

Vegetables


Baby Bok Choy
Halve 12 heads (about 3/4 pound) lengthwise. Brush with oil and grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until lightly seared, about 2 minutes per side.

Goes great with: Chimichurri, Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary, Soy-Sesame Vinaigrette

Sweet Potatoes
Scrub 2 pounds sweet potatoes. Slice lengthwise 1/8" thick, brush with oil, and grill over medium-low heat, covered, turning once, until tender, about 8 minutes.

Goes great with: Chimichurri, Soy-Sesame Vinaigrette, Parsley and Lemon Gremolata

Kale
Brush 1 1/2 pounds curly kale with oil and grill over medium-low heat, turning often, until crispy, about 7 minutes.

Goes great with: Chimichurri, Soy-Sesame Vinaigrette, Honey-Mint Vinaigrette, Parsley and Lemon Gremolata

Red Onions
Slice 2 large red onions 1/2" thick crosswise. Brush with oil and grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until seared and nearly tender, about 5 minutes per side.

Goes great with: Chimichurri, Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary, Soy-Sesame Vinaigrette, Honey-Mint Vinaigrette

Asparagus
Brush 2 pounds medium-thick trimmed stalks with oil and grill over medium heat, turning occasionally, until lightly seared and tender, about 8 minutes.

Goes great with: Chimichurri, Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary, Soy-Sesame Vinaigrette, Honey-Mint Vinaigrette, Parsley and Lemon Gremolata

Sauces


Honey-Mint Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp. honey + 2 Tbsp. medium dry sherry + 2 Tbsp. chopped mint + 1 tsp. lemon juice + 1/4 tsp. salt + 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Chimichurri
1/2 cup chopped parsley + 2 cloves garlic, minced + 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika + 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes + 1/2 cup red wine vinegar + 1/2 cup olive oil + 1/2 tsp. salt

Parsley and Lemon Gremolata
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley + 1 clove garlic, minced + 1 tsp. olive oil + finely grated zest of 1 lemon + 1/2 tsp. lemon juice + 1/4 tsp. salt

Balsamic Vinegar and Rosemary
2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar + 3 Tbsp. olive oil + 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary + 1/4 tsp. salt + 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

Soy-Sesame Vinaigrette
3 Tbsp. soy sauce + 2 1/2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar + 1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds + 1 tsp. sesame oil
Grilling rubs
Rub It In
Reinvigorate your standard grilled chicken with one of these spice blends.

(Clockwise from top left)

Adam's Coffee Rub will set you abuzz with its dose of dark grounds, plus cumin and cayenne ($11; AdamsGoods.com)

In its Chicken Spice Rub, Texas barbecue institution Stubb's marries honey, garlic, and mustard. ($4; StubbsBBQ.com)

Just Cook Any Day Chicken Blend is a fragrant mix of orange peel, sage, cardamom, oregano, and lavender ($8.50; JustCookFoods.com).

Pioneering Moroccan chef Mourad Lahlou's Roasting & Grilling Rub contains turmeric, cumin, garlic, ginger, and two varieties of Middle Eastern pepper, Marash and Aleppo ($10.50; Williams-Sonoma.com).
Grilled corn
Salute the Kernel
Corn becomes even sweeter when cooked over an open flame.

Get the recipe: Grilled Corn
Grilled Pizza
Perk Up Your Pizza
Don't have a coal-fired oven? Not to worry. A grill is a good alternative—and these six topping ideas from pie-loving chefs and restaurants take the flavors to the next level.

Little Star, San Francisco, CA: Spinach, Ricotta and Feta

Mozza, Los Angeles, CA: Fingerling Potatoes and Radicchio

Cavalli Pizza, Irving, TX, San Francisco: Jalapeño, Garlic and Oregano

Antico, Atlanta, GA: Mushroom, Artichoke and Prosciutto

Michael Chiarello, Napa Valley, CA: Figs, Rosemary and Parmesan

Apizza Scholls, Portland, OR: Bacon and Red Onion
Edamame
Get Adventurous
Bet you never thought to grill these foods—but try them, and you'll be glad you did!

Edamame: Heat a perforated grill pan over medium-high heat. Toss 1 pound thawed frozen edamame with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil, then add to hot pan. Grill, stirring often, until skins char and start to burst, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, and serve.

Lemonade: Cut 16 lemons (about 6 pounds) in half and dip cut sides in granulated sugar; set aside. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup honey and cook over medium heat until sugar and honey are dissolved. Set aside to cool. Grill lemons, cut side down, until seared, about 5 minutes; set aside. When lemons are cooled, squeeze juice into a pitcher, then add cooled syrup and ice.

Garlic: Thread 4 large, peeled cloves sideways onto a skewer. Brush with vegetable oil and grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until browned, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from skewer, finely chop, and serve with steak or chicken—or add to a grilled salsa.

Pierogi: Brush defrosted potato-cheese pierogi (a 1-pound package will serve 3 or 4 as a starter or side) with vegetable oil and grill over medium-high heat, turning once, until seared and crisp, about 2 minutes per side.

Pound Cake: Cut a 10-ounce pound cake into 8 (1/2") slices. Brush each slice with 1/2 tsp. melted butter. Grill over medium-high heat until lightly seared and toasted, about 30 seconds per side.
Grilled brioche
Add Heat to Your Sweets
And now for the fire-kissed finale: grilled brioche rolls.

Get the recipe: Grilled Brioche Rolls with Toppings
Grilled watermelon
Fire Up Your Fruit
Pop some grapes on the grates, blister some bananas, and even warm up your watermelon.

Grapes


Grill it: Separate 1 pound red seedless grapes into bunches of 5 to 6 grapes. Oil lightly and grill over high heat, turning once, until lightly seared and skins begin to burst, about 6 minutes total.

Eat it: On crostini. Grill 12 (1/2"-thick) baguette slices brushed with oil over medium-high heat, about 30 seconds per side, then top each with 1 Tbsp. Gorgonzola and 2 to 3 grilled grapes.

Papaya


Grill it: Halve 2 ripe papayas; remove seeds. Brush cut sides with oil. Sear over medium-high heat, about 8 minutes. Flip over, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and grill until tender, about 5 minutes more.

Eat it: With maple syrup. After grilling, top each papaya half with 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter and 1 Tbsp. maple syrup; serve with lime wedges.

Bananas


Grill it: Peel 2 large, firm bananas and cut in half crosswise, then lengthwise into three 1/3"-thick slices. Oil one side of each slice and grill over high heat just until seared, about 20 seconds.

Eat it: In a s'more. Place 1/2 ounce chocolate on 1/2 graham cracker and set on edge of a hot grill. Toast marshmallow, place on chocolate, then top with grilled banana and other 1/2 cracker.

Mango


Grill it: Cut 2 large, ripe mangoes off pits to make 4 halves (skin still on). Crosshatch flesh. Brush cut sides with oil and grill, cut sides down, over medium-high heat, until seared, about 4 minutes.

Eat it: With chili salt. Mix 1/2 tsp. paprika, 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. salt, and finely grated zest of 1 lime. Sprinkle mixture onto grilled sides of mango and serve with lime wedges.

Watermelon


Grill it: Cut seedless watermelon into 4 (6"-long, 1"-thick) slices. Brush 1 side with oil and grill over high heat, undisturbed, until seared, about 4 minutes.

Eat it: In a salad. Mix 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. lime juice, 1/2 tsp. finely grated lime zest, and ⅛ tsp. salt. Toss sliced cucumber in dressing; serve on grilled watermelon with 1 cup crumbled Feta.

Next: 7 creative grilling recipes