It’s Summertime and the Grilling Is Easy

Grilling season is upon us, and while traditional fare such as hotdogs, hamburgers and steak typically rule the day, there are also many other ways to liven up your grill.

“While I love the summertime grill favorites as much as the next person, anything goes on the grill these days … from meatballs to pineapple to pancakes,” says Joan Hanson, test kitchen director for Hormel Foods. “It’s time to add some unexpected foods to your flame.”

If you’re looking to expand your palate when it comes to grilling, look no further than the following tips for some interesting ideas:

•    Consider grilling bacon. Tradition states that bacon is the side of sides for breakfast, but what about other meals? Now, no longer does bacon have to be relegated to the oven or microwave. Bacon is fast becoming the unlikely go-to ingredient to pair with a variety of foodstuffs such as ice cream, chocolate and even alcohol. So, why not bring this salty trend to the grill this summer? It can make for a tasty accompaniment to any meal.

•    Think outside the (pizza) box. Instead of ordering from your favorite pizza joint, why not use your grill to cook a pie? To get that crisp, wood-fired taste, try pizza paninis—all you need are bread, pizza sauce, pepperoni slices, mozzarella cheese and any variety of meats and vegetables that fit each guest’s tastes. For a twist, you can also use barbecue chicken or pork with shredded meat, red onion and cheddar cheese. Or put out a variety of veggies, meats and cheeses, and let people create their own personal pizza.

•    Bring the island flavors into your home. There is a love affair with the South Seas and the Hawaiian islands these days, including their cuisine, such as a teriyaki SPAMburger, featuring a delicious combination of SPAM and pineapple that offers island-inspired flavors.

For more innovative grilling ideas, visit