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Unusual things to grill

I'm a few weeks into my new grill and am having a wonderful time playing with it. I'm pretty much trying to grill as much as I can - last night was snow crab legs, which were fantastic. But I'm already pretty much running out of new ideas of things to throw on there. So, what say you, hounders? What things can I grill that I might not have thought of? I tend not to cook meat for myself, so I'll be especially excited for a wide range of ideas. Thanks!

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  1. Romain lettuce.
    Pit fruits in season.

    1. Have you ever grilled fruit? Peaches and pineapples are great grill options. I like to stuff the peaches with sweetened ricotta and almonds and I usually serve the pineapple with ice cream and various other additions.

      1. endive and raddiccio
        whole fish
        roma tomatoes

          1. haloumi
            stone fruits
            asparagus (in season now!)
            spring onions/green onions/scallions

            5 Replies
            1. re: LNG212

              Haloumi is a great idea. Do I have to do anything to it, like press it the way I do tofu?

              1. re: katecm

                No. I've never had to press it. And it really is delicious. Good luck. Sounds like you are going to be eating really well!!

              2. re: LNG212

                Spring onions and asparagus are both amazing on the grill. I can eat an obscene quantity of either or both!

                1. re: corneygirl

                  heehee Me too! I tend to buy a bunch at the greenmarket and then get home and say, "okay I really should have purchased 3 bundles" because it's not nearly enough for DH and me. But I guess it's good to OD on asparagus now when it's in season locally and get our fill.

                  1. re: corneygirl

                    Asparagus wrapped in prosciuto and brushed with a citrusy vinaigrette is great on the grill.

                  1. re: Sailing77

                    Oh, I'm an old pro at that. And in the interests of being healthy, I've avoided it so far. But I may have to give in to temptation!

                  2. - +1 for romaine lettuce.
                    - i also love to grill tomatillos for salsa.
                    - re: stone fruits, try avocado...cut in half, remove the pit, brush the cut side with a *teeny* bit of oil, and grill, cut side down, for a few minutes. stuff as desired, and enjoy!

                    5 Replies
                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Yes, grilled avocados are yummy.

                        Grilling the romaine & sliced romas then chopping it all up and making a Greek salad with it is delicious.

                        I love doing clams on the grill, you can put them right on the grate, but I like to do an alum pan with beer, onions, herbs and garlic in with them to steam open. Sure it works for oysters & mussels too.

                        Pound cake slices, then top with fruit & whipped cream, or anything else you desire.

                        I also do bbq nachos on the grill, using an alum pan lined with h-d foil, or a pizza pan works well.

                        And a nice app, grilled grape leaves, stuffed with goat cheese & olives, sausage & sun-dried tomato. Really nice.

                          1. re: katecm

                            Clams are great on the grill. When they start to open I spoon in a mixture of melted butter, garlic, and finely diced jalapeno. Be careful not to let all the liquid boil off, and they get a little tippy when you take them off the grill. The liquid is yummy.

                            1. re: Veggo

                              Those sound fantastic, Veg. And clams are something I can actually buy around here.

                      2. I grill a lot of fennel and concur with others on the Romaine lettuce.

                        Also, if you like roasted bell peppers, I roast mine TO DEATH -- until they are black - put them in a paper bag to cool and then peel away the burnt skin. Lovely...


                        1. +++ to stone fruits. Five spice peaches with vanilla ice cream is great. Make sure to lightly sugar them to accentuate the grill mark char.
                          +++ to lettuces as well. Romaine, endive, radiccio

                          Other ideas:
                          - whole sardines
                          - plank roasted salmon. Great gentle smokiness.
                          - grape tomatos work great.
                          - pork belly slices to make bo saam. Need to pre-cook the cook belly in the oven, but the resulting product is worth it.
                          - Butterflied leg of lamb
                          - Split lobster with curry butter


                          1. artichokes. And I second the romaine--sprinkle w/ blue cheese while it is hot so it kind of melts & then I pour a warm dressing over it. I love grilled avocado.
                            I have grilled Haloumi but found it kind of bland--how are you guys serving it? I just spread it on grilled bread. Should I top it with something?

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: sparkareno

                              Do I need to steam the artichokes first?

                              1. re: katecm

                                YES! And cut it in half (or quarters). Trying to grill a whole one raw will get you nothing but an artichoke that is burnt and charred on the outside and raw on the inside.

                                1. re: CarrieWas218

                                  That makes sense. Love this one, thanks.

                              2. re: sparkareno

                                I top halloumi with lemon juice, mint, sliced chilies and a drizzle of olive oil. You can use other herbs such as za'atar, oregano, chives or scallions.

                              3. Not sure about unusual but we grill thick rounds of pineapple, slices of pound cake (all that butter caramelizes nicely) and whip up some rum soaked strawberries and fresh cream.

                                Marshmallows and stone fruit on a stick is a fav with my gang.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: HillJ

                                  I soak the slices of pineapple in dark rum for a day before grilling. Make a rum brown sugar sauce to serve, with vanilla ice cream.

                                  1. re: phantomdoc

                                    That's delicious! I also like a vanilla sugar brushed on the pineapple rings as they grill.

                                    1. re: HillJ

                                      Figs stuffed with bleu cheese, wrapped with bacon or prosciutto, or not wrapped.
                                      Grilled bananas foster.
                                      Romaine lettuce dressed with oil and balsamic, then charred over the flames.
                                      Tomato cut in half and dressed with oil vinegar and grated parmesan.

                                      1. re: phantomdoc

                                        Oh my goodness, I'm free for dinner Wed :)

                                2. Try making a grilled watermelon salad. Light caramelization of the sugars will help the fruit stray towards the savorier side of things.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: JungMann

                                    Oh yes. With feta. This is going to be a keeper, I just know it.

                                    1. re: katecm

                                      Or just think how interesting a grilled watermelon margarita might be? Balanced out with some cucumber and chilies, it'd have the smokiness of mezcal without the bite.

                                  2. Slices of lightly microwaved sweet potatoes and yukon golds make a nice side dish for grilled meat.

                                    not unusual but cobs of corn are great. leave the husks but remove the silk, soak in water then about 10-15 minutes of grilling. you can eat as is or cut off the cob and make a salad with fresh tomatoes red onion, herbs lemon juice and olive oil.

                                    I want to try:

                                    Cooking a whole meatloaf on the grill with the coals off to the sides.
                                    A veal or lamb breast, cooked slowly to get the 3 quarts of grease to cook out of it.
                                    Bluefish. fishy fish + grill seems to be a good combo but people only mention mackerel and sardines?

                                      1. One of my favorites is grilled vegetable salad. Zuchini, asparagus, red onion, red bell pepper or whatever else looks good at the market. Cut the pieces down to bite sizes and toss together with a balsamic vinegrette. Good warm, cold or room temp. Great to take to a pot luck.

                                        1. Grilled portabello mushrooms are amazing, maybe not unusual though. I will second squid from a previous post just be careful not to over cook it. Grilled mahi-mahi fish is really good too! You can make your garlic bread on the grill too, gives it nice grill lines and a hint of the smoky flavor, cut either Italian or French bread length wise or into individual pieces brush with olive oil and ad your herbs/spices place face down till toasted flip to toast the other side and serve, really simple but tasty and pretty.

                                          12 Replies
                                          1. re: BelovedofIsis

                                            Oh I love grilled portabello mushrooms too! Especially grilled and stuffed with Armenian string cheese and sauteed onions in the cavity.

                                            1. re: HillJ

                                              Mmmm, I like to remove the stems and saute them with garlic and then mix in cooked crumbled Italian sausage, mozzarella cheese, and add a little bit of Italian bread crumbs,then stuff it all into a portabello and grill, some times adding a slice of mozzarella on top to seal.

                                              1. re: BelovedofIsis

                                                When's dinner? That is so right up my alley!

                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                  As soon as I get a new grill! We just moved to England and have yet to purchase a new charcoal grill. The landlord left a gas grill but, ick. Its going in the shed. I have also found the Brits prefer gas grills over charcoal, blasphemy! So it looks like, if I want a nice grill, I'm gonna have to order online. Any suggestions?

                                                  1. re: BelovedofIsis

                                                    I've been using gas 90% of the time for at least 10 years. Get your nose down :) I grill year round in snow and rain, heat and freezing cold.

                                                    1. re: c oliver

                                                      We use gas, charcoal, cedar, open flame....you name it.
                                                      Rain, snow, you get the idea..

                                                    2. re: BelovedofIsis

                                                      ...and B, I see your a fan of Chef John/Food Wishes...we're gonna get along famously :)

                                                      1. re: BelovedofIsis

                                                        Buy a Weber. Still works great after all these years! Plus, ours has a gas ignition no lighter fluid! Have had one for over ten years, just replaced it about 3-4 years ago. Stays outside in the weather, don't even bother to cover it. Works like a charm.

                                                        1. re: Phurstluv

                                                          I mean no offense, I know its a hotly debated topic gas or charcoal. Also its all personal preference. Personally gas grills always make my food taste funny, especially seafood. Also I think there is some deep rooted instinct to cook over a fire that is secretly satisfied wen you do so lol.

                                                          I was looking at a weber (its all the bx has) its big and blue and it does have the electric starter, so its worth the $400 then? Or if I spring for $500 it comes with the prep table and waste bin cart thing.

                                                          1. re: BelovedofIsis

                                                            We have the one with the side table that opens up to store your charcoal. I don't remember exactly what it costs. But if you use it regularly, for about ten years or so, it seems worth the price.

                                                          2. re: Phurstluv

                                                            Yes, Weber, Weber, WEBER! There are other charcoal grills that may serve some other purposes (I have a couple), but nothing beats the versatility, quality and longevity of a Weber Kettle. The Platinum or Performer model with the gas starter is nice, but not necessary. All you need is a chimney, ideally the Weber one (of course), and a few sheets of newspaper. Definitely no lighter fluid! I love my Weber kettles...so far, I have 5 1/2 of them.

                                                2. I love to take not too large yellow crookneck squash, cut them in half lengthwise, brush with oo,, s&p and grill til both sides are nicely browned. I've also done lobster tails. I cut out the inside shell, add a little butter, s&p, a little Cajun seasoning, grill top shell down for about 6-8 minutes. THAT'S a special treat.

                                                  1. There's not much I don't grill! Favorites are fennel, aspargus, runner beans, king oyster mushrooms, pattypan (aka scallop or sunburst) squash.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Dan G

                                                      c-0 & Dan G, I'm with you...the grill rocks!

                                                    2. I learned from my BIL to grill bacon. Watch the flare-ups, but a few are OK and the flavor is great. And for some mysterious reason they stay flat and don't curl up on you.

                                                      17 Replies
                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                        We use a fish grill (top & bottom grate that has a slide handle to grill bacon, small fish, asparagus, items that are tricky to stay put on the direct heat.

                                                        1. re: Veggo

                                                          Wow, that sounds risky. What do you do with the rendered grease? Are you on gas or charcoal? I buy only thick cut now, and it's just too convenient to do in the oven on parchment. But glad it works for you!

                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                              How do you collect the grease, HillJ?

                                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                While setting up the grill I place a foil collection pan inside the grill and place the coals around it. When I setup my fish grill for bacon the grease drips into the pan while it grills. Bacon doesn't take that long but the collection pan prevents a mess.

                                                            2. re: Phurstluv

                                                              It drips down on the charcoal in my Weber Kettle, which is why one must watch for flare ups. Same with my Weber Gas grill, both work well. It kind of turbocharges the smoky flavor, and the bacon doesn't stew in fat. I was sceptical at first, but it works. I am not always that energetic or ambitious with breakfast bacon when I am waking up with a cup of jo, but any other time of day it's a go.

                                                              1. re: Veggo

                                                                Cool. That's good to know! Thanks, both of you.

                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                  Veggo's method will def. work but I prefer that my grill not have a lingering bacon smell so that when I use it for other meals they don't wind up also having a bacon odor...love bacon when I want bacon...not when I want to grill say, fruit.

                                                                  1. re: HillJ

                                                                    How does that smell linger any longer than anything else you've cooked over the coals? I guess you mean, with the bacon fat sitting on the coals, everytime you light them they give off an odor? If you put fresh coals in, wouldn't that mitigate the problem? Or perhaps, from the grease splatter, it permeated the seasoning on the lid? I have a charcoal weber too, so I'm just trying to imagine doing this. I am down to one oven, and spoiled to have two for so long, I feel lost, when I have two things for the oven at once, this might help for a brunch party in the near future. Thanks for your thoughts.

                                                                    1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                      Oh, I'm referring to the bacon odor lingering in the grill cavity. By using the foil pan a great deal of the grease/odor is removed. I always scrub the grates btwn uses.

                                                                    2. re: HillJ

                                                                      HillJ, you gotta have at least a couple of those fish grills, one for just fruits and veggies only. No matter how hard you clean....even the wand at the car wash isn't enough on the fish one!

                                                                      1. re: Veggo

                                                                        I use lemons and vinegar on the grates; both the fish grill and the Weber grates.
                                                                        But you're right, I need to buy more than one.!

                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                          @HillJ Bacon makes everything better! Even fruit! ;)

                                                                    3. re: Veggo

                                                                      Mmmmmmmm grilled bacon. This reminds me of bacon wrapped scallops on the grill too!

                                                                    4. Fava beans (still in the shell). Pick young ones and grill them till they're slightly charred. Even the pod should be good to eat, and it spares you all that shelling.

                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                      1. re: piccola

                                                                        yes! did this for the first time a few years ago and they were amazingly good.

                                                                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                          Not to mention so much easier! (I do it on the grill pan, too, when the weather's not as nice.)

                                                                        2. re: piccola

                                                                          I tried that last year also. Guess my beans were not young, those pods were VERY stringy.

                                                                          1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                            Yeah, in that case, you unfortunately have to shell them. But I think they still keep that grilled flavour.

                                                                            1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                              piccola's right. even when you can't eat the pods, the grilled smokiness still makes its way into those beans. mmm...

                                                                              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                                                                                Ok, I will try it again before they go away from the market. Hard to find super fresh, most of the pods at my local Gelsons are a good 6 inches long or more. Maybe I'll just do it that way & still shuck them. Do I still have to peel the beans after that too? Such a labor of love.

                                                                          2. The strangest thing I've ever grilled - eggs. This is something done in Cambodia.

                                                                            For a slightly more "normal" idea, this hickory smoked flank steak sandwich from west Africa was fabulous.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: GlobalTable

                                                                              Ok thats it, cooking an entire breakfast on the grill when I get it! Bacon, Eggs, toast, and potatoes!
                                                                              BTW thanks GlobalTable for the post, I will be exploring the rest of the site in the future!

                                                                              1. re: BelovedofIsis

                                                                                When's breakfast? I'll make the grilled stone fruit :)

                                                                                1. re: HillJ

                                                                                  I love it that this thread reminded me of grilled peaches. I used to do that ALOT in season. With some vanilla ice cream, a perfect ending to a summertime dinner party.

                                                                                2. re: BelovedofIsis

                                                                                  That's what we do camping! (Not the Cambodian eggs, though!) But I just put my cast iron pan right on the grate of the fire pit, or now, on our camping propane stove. Bacon gets done first. Some fat strained out, then in go the potatoes & onions. Then the scrambled eggs. But it would be fun to do it all on the Weber, and not have to do it in stages. Too bad we can't strap the it to the back of our truck!!

                                                                                3. re: GlobalTable

                                                                                  Wow, this is an amazing website. Thanks for sharing.

                                                                                  1. re: DMW

                                                                                    Thanks DMW and Belovedoflsis Enjoy! :) Not every dish is successful, by the way - so be sure to read the Monday Meal Review to see what we liked most and least about the dish. For example, the grilled eggs were rather difficult. Next time I'll just mix up the eggs with the seasonings and scramble them ;)

                                                                                4. Katecm, buy yourself one of those mesh or perforated pans to stirfry small ingredients on the grill, I love both of mine. My DH says the mesh one is a b*tch to clean, but it sure does a nice job with grill-roasting small pieces of veggies or seafood, without worrying about them falling through the grates.

                                                                                  And if you have a pizza pan or griddle pan, you can even do French toast on the grill. Or Monte Cristos!

                                                                                  1. i make cornbread in a hot cast iron skillet on the grill all the time, especially to go with grilled chix or ribs.

                                                                                    also in the cast iron skillet on the grill category, teriyaki fish, saves lots of vent fan time!

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: qianning

                                                                                      I do cornbread the same way. Mac and Cheese is always a big hit as well, butter up the cast iron well and put it on the cool side of the Weber kettle (coals banked to one side).

                                                                                      In addition to the inevitable beer can chicken I also routinely grill hams, roast beef, and meatloaf. Haven't bought lunch meat at the deli counter in a long long time.

                                                                                    2. BBQ'd oysters - also an awesome party idea, with a bar of do-it-yourself sauce components and salsas, mignonettes, etc. Halved onions, with a bit of oil and herbs, are awesome; ditto tomatoes, which you can also stuff with spinach, ricotta and breadcrumbs. Ditto halves of lightly pre-steamed, de-choked artichokes. And onto a family favorite: grilled pineapple, with a squeeze of lime and chile powder, finished with salt. And don't forget; you can bake on the grill too, using a spider or a Dutch oven.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: mamachef

                                                                                        You bring the ingredients, I'll provide the (3-burner) grill :)

                                                                                      2. Artichokes (already steamed & marinated)
                                                                                        Haricot vert
                                                                                        Lobster tail
                                                                                        Romaine (for grilled salad)
                                                                                        Red onions to top grilled burgers
                                                                                        Bread slices, hot dog and hamburger buns

                                                                                        1. I can't wait for fig season--grilled figs with goat cheese or French feta or Gorgonzola. mmmmm

                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                          1. I guess I don't find it unusual but didn't see it listed yet but I grill potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sliced in to long ovals or rings, coated with a little evoo, salt and pepper and then place on the grill. It get's good charred grill marks on both sides and they cook quite quickly.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: scubadoo97

                                                                                              I grill sweet potatoes and green onions and then chop them up and toss with a honey balsamic vinagrette----makes a yummy potato salad.
                                                                                              On the grilled grapefruit--I think I would pour a little vodka into the grapefruit when i take it off the grill & sprinkle with brown sugar....kind of like a Greyhound that you eat.
                                                                                              And I also grill lemons, limes and oranges to squeeze over chicken or fish.

                                                                                              1. re: sparkareno

                                                                                                Oh man, that grilled Greyhound sounds wicked!! I'll have to steal that one, spark, thanks!

                                                                                              1. I make a dessert on the grill that's great for outside bbq's. I slice a grapefruit in half and place them on the grill open face down. I let them sit until the grill marks have set in and the natural sugars begin to caramelize. You then serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top with drizzled honey and some chopped mint.

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: dontcallmethefword

                                                                                                  That sounds lovely. The other fruit ideas I've done (except watermelon) but this is very unusual. This weekend is going to be rainy and gross here in DC. This might be a cool warm breakfast!

                                                                                                  1. re: dontcallmethefword

                                                                                                    This is truly unusual and sounds totally awesome. I think I might sprinkle with just a touch of ginger, but am definitely going to try this. I even like the idea of grilling sections and using them in a green salad as an almost-sweet component.

                                                                                                  2. Shrimp, aka Bubba Gump style. I live in FL. <GRIN> Any way you can season it. Or not...
                                                                                                    Plain - with traditional cocktail sauce or try greek yogurt spiked with wasabi and dill.

                                                                                                    Season with oil and herb de provance...leave on the shells or not. Start plain and brush with garlic, ginger, dry sherry and canola oil mix...OMG and add to Asian noodle salad.

                                                                                                    Endless possibilities.

                                                                                                    If you live down here, there is a sport fish called Snook. To die for grilled... If you don't live here, tee hee, visit.

                                                                                                    1. I have been without an oven for about 6 months now, we have not purchased a new one due to we were suppose to be mving soon, but failed to happen so far...

                                                                                                      So I have to cook almost everything on our BBQ grill! I have discovered that if you have to cook it in the oven, then you can cook it on the grill...cakes, cupcakes, (watch your temp though)
                                                                                                      Every Vegetable under the sun! Every meat, whole or cut cut up, every type of seafood, I have gone as far cooking an entire pasta meal on the grill! You can even grill BBQ tofu!

                                                                                                      But my all time favs are ....grilled oysters with a shot of garlic butter and parmesan cheese
                                                                                                      Marinated Grilled Provolone Cheese, Whole Chickens back bone removed, Flat bread Pizza's
                                                                                                      Chocolate spice cake, and yes bake the cake in the grill!

                                                                                                      1. If you like heat, you've got to try jalapenos stuffed with spicy itialian sausage.

                                                                                                        Stem and cut chiles in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and ribs, saving some seeds.

                                                                                                        Mound with the sausage (sprinkle tops with reserved seeds if you really enjoy pain).

                                                                                                        Grill chile side down until bottoms start getting blistered, turn over and cook until sausage tops start carmelizing and are firm to the touch. You'll want to use one of those grill pans with the small holes and not regular grill grate.

                                                                                                        Serve with sour cream to cool your mouth. YUM!!!

                                                                                                        1. I have a new one that I don't think anyone has mentioned yet...

                                                                                                          I literally *just* came home from a party here in Napa with a rather celebrated local winemaker. He has a pretty impressive garden in his backyard and we started looking around at what was harvestable and throwing it on the grill.

                                                                                                          Besides the standard fava beans, asparagus, artichokes, etc... What blew us ALL away were grilled -- or should I say Charred Chard!

                                                                                                          I brushed the large leaves with the slightest bit of olive oil and flipped 'em once until they were crisp and slightly burnt. Incredible.

                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                          1. re: CarrieWas218

                                                                                                            grilled kale is wonderful too. obviously the sturdier, the better. really tender/delicate lacinato kale can burn or disintegrate really easily.

                                                                                                            great recipe from local hotspot Gjelina:

                                                                                                          2. our staples include; rib eye steaks, shrimp, lemon pepper chicken, portobello mushroom caps with rosemary and balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil salt and pepper asparagus, potatoes with salt pepper garlic and onion in tin foil, Grilled peaches served with ice cream topped with cinnamon and Canadian ice wine, and my favorite, corn on the cob.