The backyard barbecue isn't just dogs and burgers anymore
Shana Rose Reporting
Here on Memorial Day millions of Americans will be firing up the grill, but today that means a whole lot more than the traditional hot dogs, hamburgers and steaks. A lot more of us are acting like gourmet chefs in the backyard, grilling everything from pizza to dessert, as huge new gas grills have become so popular.
"When you think about it, this is a style of cooking that goes back to the beginning of mankind," says WWL's food expert Tom Fitzmorris. "Putting a big fire of wood on the ground and then cooking things over it, that's where it all began really. It's kind of primitive, but we all love it.
These days every meat and vegetable imaginable is getting grilled, in every conceivable combination.
"True barbecuing involves smoking as well as cooking. You have grilling, you have barbecuing and you have smoking. Barbecue is a little bit of both and that's the trick is to get a lot of smoke billowing in there," Fitzmorris explains.
And he's gotten adventurous with his grill and loves doing pizza on it. "You put the crust, the unbaked crust right on top of the grill and the funniest thing will happen. Most of the time, if you did it right, it will actually blow up like a balloon." He says once you flip it and grill that side it deflates. Add your toppings and put it back on the grill. But, "The first one's probably going to be a disaster because you don't know quite how hot the grill is." He also says pepperoni doesn't work very well on the pizza on the grill.
Even guacamole can be grilled, just lightly char the avocado and onion, and make a usual.
But don't use barbecue sauce on the grill he says, as it usually contains too much sugar and burns easily, so add it after the meat comes off the grill.
And for a simple grilled dessert Fitzmorris says try pineapple, cut about an inch thick, and just toss it on. "All the sweetness of the pineapple caramelizes there a lit bit. It's super!"
Grilled peaches, and even grilled bread pudding are just a few of the many desserts that are getting cooked outdoors now.