Ten things to BBQ on Memorial Day besides burgers and brats

Categories: The List

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Or ribs, or chicken, or fish, or steak, or any of the stuff that you normally think of when you consider what exactly to toss on the grill for the three-day weekend. If you're limiting your grill to just hot dogs and ground beef, you're just not optimizing your grill ownership, friend.

10. Meatloaf

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It might be a dinner-table standard, but this isn't your Mom's meatloaf. Meatloaf on the grill (you have to put it on tin-foil so it doesn't fall in, of course) takes on a pretty amazing flavor. Top it with BBQ sauce instead of ketchup, and make it with ground buffalo so it's as lean as it is mean. Okay, so the foil-bottom presentation might remind you of camping with your fellow Webelo Scouts, but you can leave the neckerchief at home.

9. Asparagus

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Nothing fancy here--just coat with olive oil, and season to taste (lemon pepper is good, and don't forget the salt). The only drawback? You really can't get away with peeing against the tree in the backyard, no matter how much beer you've had.

8. Pork Butt

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Not so much weird as fun to say to the kids you may be cooking for. When they ask you what you're cooking, you tell them: pork butt. What's for dinner? Pork butt. Seriously? Pork butt. (It just gets funnier.) Immature, sure, but make sure to ask them who wants the curly tail. They'll revere you for years for sinking to their level. And by the way? Pork butt.

7. Corn on the Cob

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This is a delicious afterthought for your BBQ--fresh corn, de-silked, but still in the husk, is insanely good even if it cooks slowly. Toss them on with the main dish, let them sit on the grill after the entrée has finished cooking and the embers are dying. Then, once everyone thinks the feast is pretty much done, bring these out. Slather them with butter and honey, or just eat them roasted--good enough for dessert.

6. Goat

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No, seriously. Sure, it's not common enough to pick up at the local grocery store, or even most butcher shops. (Though most good butchers will be able to get it, even if they don't carry it--or you could try your local Halal market.) But it's worth seeking out--it's got a flavor many compare to lamb, and it's lower in fat than chicken. The only problem is the inevitable head-butting.

5. Fresh Pineapple

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Once you eat this, it might be the only way you want to ever eat pineapple again. Grilled rings are fun for the kids, but seriously: wrapping pineapple spears in bacon, and cooking them up? It's what angels taste like.

4. Beets

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Big in Australia but delicious anywhere. Whether or not you're a fan of the sour-sweet pickled beets from your grandma's relish tray (does anyone do relish trays anymore?), these beets are a whole other story. Slice them up (thick is fine, and easier to handle), brush them with olive oil, salt and pepper them, and let 'em roast. And then admit it, cowboy: you're all of a sudden partial to beets.

3. Pizza

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The key to grilled pizza is to cook the crust first: lay the raw dough over coals, coat with olive oil, and when that side is done, flip that sucker. Then you're ready to pile on the toppings. Everyone can fix their own pie, and the result is better than any wood-fired stuff you'll get at a fancy restaurant. Of course, you may be shocked at the stupid things people put on their pizza on purpose. (Kale? Really? Get off my deck, freak.)

2. Kebabs

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Maybe it's the prototypical "shrimp on the Barbie," or maybe it's chicken, or pork, or marinated vegetables--they're customizable for any and every dietary restriction, they can be served with a variety of dipping sauces (suck it, Vesta!), and you can use the skewers as tiny swords for an after-supper mini-melee.

1. Watermelon

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Sure, you're used to just slicing this up into wedges. Maybe you've even sprinkled some salt on that bad boy. But just try grilling it with a mixture of lime, honey, salt, and a dash of cayenne, and see how amazing it is. Or, if you must, try the old-fashioned way: set it near to the grill, carve it up, eat it cold, and see how far you can spit the seeds.

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