Outdoor Entertaining

Too Many Cooks: Your Go-To Grilling Food

June 20, 2014

You'll be hearing from the staff at Food52 in Too Many Cooks, our group column in which we pool our answers to questions about food, cooking, life, and more. 

Your grill is sad. All of the other grills in the neighborhood are out to play, but yours is sitting alone, unused and unloved. Now that summer is in full swing, it’s high time to dust off that barbie and fire it up. Though burgers are always a great option, there are tons of other foods that become more amazing with some quality grill time. Looking for inspiration, we asked the Food52 team:

What’s your favorite food to grill? (And how do you do it?)

Do you love a well-grilled pineapple slice or do you prefer a good ol’ cheeseburger? Tell us in the comments!

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Grilled Fava Beans on Food52

Lauren L.: Genius Grilled Fava Beans changed my life, and grilled pineapple.

Christina: I grill everything that's not liquid. But, man, did the chanana (chocolate banana) change my life. To cook it: Lay a semi-ripe banana flat, leaving the peel on, and cut a slit in the top. Then break a Ghirardelli square into thirds and place each piece in the cut. Add to a hot grill until you smell sweet, roasted banana and the chocolate is super melty. Eat with a spoon directly out of the peel.

More: Get a little fancier with this recipe for Bananas with Buttered Maple Sauce and English Almond Toffee.

Grilled Tofu on Food52

Posie: In the summer I buy everything that looks good at the farm stand and grill it: peaches, heads of romaine lettuce sliced in half, tomatoes, and lemons. Grilling lemons makes them super easy to squeeze over your plate -- plus they look lovely with grill marks. And a firm lettuce (like romaine) wilts nicely at the edges, but stays crunchy in the middle.

More: Find the tools you need to master the grill.

Taylor: ?Bread is definitely my favorite choice! I rub some garlic and a few drops of olive oil on each slice as they come off the grill. Also in that category: halved croissants. ?

Grilled Fish on Food52

Lauren M.: I love grilled fish. A sturdy salmon or halibut steak is good to use since it stays in one piece. Perfect with salt, pepper and lemon juice -- or homemade chimichurri, if you want to get fancy.

More: Heat things up with Grilled Okra with Sriracha Lime Salt.

Merrill: Grilled pizza and bread are some of my favorites, as is zucchini -- toss it warm with a red wine vinaigrette and some chili flakes, and there's not much that's better in the summer. I also love grilled lamb chops -- I never make them any other way.

Grilled Lamb Chops on Food52

Marian: My new favorite thing is officially a fat watermelon steak grilled with coconut oil, cumin, salt, and lime. I will be eating them all summer, and all other summers hereafter.

Haley: Grilled pineapple is my favorite item, hands down. I eat it on salad, on grilled pizza, on grilled chicken, with grilled shrimp, and completely plain as a dessert.

More: If you're not eating Grilled Corn and Basil Butter, you're missing out. 

Grilled Corn on Food52

Laura: I'm a Kentucky girl, so grilled corn with a slathering of whipped jalapeño butter reminds me of being home in the country.

Erin: My favorite flatbread dough is crazy-nutso-good on the grill. I slather it with olive oil so that it chars up around the edges, then serve it with pesto and ricotta for dipping and slathering.

Tell us: What are your favorite foods to grill in the summertime?

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Tolly Ahmed Aboelela
    Tolly Ahmed Aboelela
  • John
  • walkie74
  • Uncle Jess
    Uncle Jess
  • Foodness Gracious
    Foodness Gracious
I put chocolate chips in 95% of the things I make and am a strong proponent for lunch dessert.


Tolly A. December 14, 2014
Love grill food @Chill Grill
John June 26, 2014
I grill at least 5 evenings every week. I use a natursl gas Ducane bbq. My roast leg og lamb is my favorite an I use the rotisserie and my cast iron smoker box. Among all the seasonings the mint makes a huge contribution. Next favorite is grilling vegies like zucchini, yellow & green squash, onions, & mushrooms brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with "salute 21" from trader Joe's.
walkie74 June 23, 2014
I love grilled fish too. In fact, my roommate, who hated fish, adored the grilled salmon I made so much that she's been begging me to make it again for the past few weeks. Aside from that, pretty much anything that I *can* grill, I *will* grill.
Uncle J. June 21, 2014
Ripe (or not) yellow peaches. Cut in half,and remove stone. Brush a little olive oil fur lube. Place cut side down on a hot grill until grill marks appear. Then flip for another two minutes until hot and a little oozy. The totally shameless among us might even add a bit of butter and some brown sugar in phase two, though it will be incredibly rich and sweet even without them.
Foodness G. June 21, 2014
I'm super partial to some grilled artichokes and corn :)
HalfPint June 20, 2014
My family likes to put oysters and clams (unshucked) on the grill. It just screams "family cookout for us".
hardlikearmour June 20, 2014
@Marian: if you like fennel, try sprinkling your grilled watermelon with salt and crushed fennel seeds. It's a great combo!
Marian B. June 21, 2014
I've got to try this! I love fennel. (Shameless plug -- I put the "breeze" spice mix on everything, and will likely start putting it on my watermelon, too: https://food52.com/provisions/products/55-n-5-breeze-tea-anise-lemon)
aargersi June 22, 2014
Try grilling fennel too - the halved bulbs, not the seeds - heh