Burgers, pizza and more: 12 recipes to make on the grill this weekend

Mackensy Lunsford
Southern Kitchen
How to grill a pizza

One of the joys of summer is firing up the grill and taking the heat of the kitchen outside. We've got recipes for that.

Here are 12 of our favorite grilling techniques and tips to throw the perfect cookout, whether you're a grill expert or just getting started.

How to grill pizza

Almost nothing handles the job of making pizza at home as perfectly as a grill-safe pizza stone blasted on the surface of your grill.

With a grill-safe pizza stone, you can achieve that blistery-charred, crisp-chewy crust you usually only get with professional pizza ovens. A closed grill lid helps replicate the ambient heat of a real-deal pizza oven and brings you the magic of just-golden, bubbling cheese. The relative precision of a gas grill means it's better suited for this task than charcoal. Here's our ultimate guide to making perfect pizza on the grill every time

Make the perfect Juicy Lucy Burger

Smashburgers. Fancy thick burgers. Bacon burgers. Burger variations are endless. But you can't beat a Juicy Lucy burger for its messy and delightful simplicity. 

Minnesota gets the hat tip for creating this genius burger hack: Stuff and cook the cheese right inside the beef, and you end up with the ultimate, gooey cheeseburger.  

But although the recipe is simple – some beef, salt, pepper and cheese – it takes some time to master the skill. But once you get it right, you'll reach burger nirvana. Here's how to do it.

How to grill lettuce, fruit

How to grill your lettuce

Though the overwhelming majority of grilling cookbooks feature tight shots of glistening meat on their covers, you do not need to limit your outdoor cookery to carnivorous pursuits. You can also use your grill to add flavor to vegetables, fruit and even your favorite cocktail. Here's how.

Make the perfect grilled salad

This recipe began like many other very good dishes: by accident. 

We were filming two separate food videos for Southern Kitchen's social sites. (Did you know you can follow us on TikTok?) During filming, I realized that the two recipes I was making – grilled Caesar salad and chimichurri shrimp skewers – would be a match made in heaven if plated together. Even better, you can make it almost entirely on your grill. Here's how.

How to throw an oyster roast

Seafood roasts are part of the landscape when you live near water. But away from the coastal regions, such large-format celebrations are less common. It's time to change that.

Few meals can boast the relaxed conviviality of a classic oyster roast or crab boil. It's joyful, messy work, taken together in the pursuit of delicious oceanic morsels. And there's almost always beer. 

Oyster roasts, which require no snapping or wrenching of claws, are probably the most civilized of the seafood feasts. The grill does most of the work. Your only job is to eat. Here's how to throw your own.

Chicken under a brick

A whole chicken, cooked until juicy and crisp-skinned, deserves a place among the best of the world's comfort foods. 

A hot grill can crisp up a skin nicely, and a spatchcocked, or butterflied chicken "under a brick," cuts cooking time and helps your bird roast more evenly.

A hot grill can crisp up a skin nicely, and a spatchcocked, or butterflied chicken "under a brick," cuts cooking time and helps your bird roast more evenly. No more dry breasts.

Cooking a chicken under a brick means weighing it down so the body is relatively flat. Though you can use literal bricks (wrapped in foil, please), we prefer to use a clean, heavy skillet. Here's how to do it.

Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Popular in Mexico City, this grilled corn on the cob gets its richness from a coating of mayonnaise, which helps salty cotija cheese stick to the surface of the cob.

Grilled Mexican Street Corn

This is perfect for a side dish as it is, but you could also cut the kernels from the cob, toss all the ingredients together in a bowl and use the resulting salad as a topping for hot dogs or tacos. Get the recipe here

How to make braaibroodjie

Braaibroodjie is South Africa's answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. The name translates roughly to little barbecued sandwiches. At a traditional braai, they're grilled over open flame and served at the end of the meal. 

Any white bread, particularly if it's small and square, will work. We recommend Mrs. H.S. Ball's Chutney in any flavor, including peach, for the spread. Get the technique.

Grilled eggplant salad

If you're growing eggplant this year, chances are they're starting to fruit. Chances are also very good that you're wondering what to do with all that eggplant. 

Grilled Eggplant and Summer Fig Salad

Wonder no more. Eggplant is surprisingly versatile, but we feel it takes best to high-heat preparations. Roasting eggplant straight in the coals until it slumps into smoky softness is a pro move. Master this technique, and you're most of the way to baba ganoush.

We also love this grilled eggplant salad with summer figs, which can be made vegetarian by skipping the ham. Get the recipe.

Nopales cooking over live fire in Oaxaca.

Grilled salsa and nopales

Fancy some authentic Oaxacan flavor this weekend? Try out these recipes for grilled salsa roja or for nopales, an integral part of any true Mexican cookout, according to recipe developer and chef Luis Martinez. Get the recipes here.

How to grill tomatoes

The natural sugars in tomatoes caramelize beautifully on a hot grill. Add a hint of grill smoke, and you're in umami heaven.

Medium-sized tomatoes like romas, sliced in half, hold together best. Toss them with olive oil, salt and pepper and char them over a well-oiled, medium grill. Use a metal spatula to turn them gently.

Arrange grilled tomatoes on a platter and sprinkle them with fresh herbs, feta and a bit of balsamic. Or whir them in a food processor with roasted garlic, chipotle, cilantro and lime juice for a delicious salsa. Find more grilling techniques here.

Mackensy Lunsford is the food and culture storyteller for USA TODAY Network's South region and the editor of Southern Kitchen.

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Reach me: mlunsford@southernkitchen.com