Certified Kansas City Barbecue Judge – BBQ Isn’t Just About Meat

When you say barbecue, most people think of burgers, hot dogs, steaks and chicken sizzling on the grill. But there’s another side of BBQ: fresh fruit. The sugar content of most fruits means that grilling slices of pineapple, mango or peaches brings out the full flavor of the fruit and adds a natural caramel glaze.

Make sure the grill is super-clean and well oiled before grilling fruit. Use a basket to avoid losing slippery slices of fruit on the grill. If you only have one basket and have used it for something with a strong flavor, like grilled salmon, be sure to clean the basket really well so you don’t end up with grilled mango that has a slightly fishy scent.

Bananas are probably the most overlooked fruit when it comes to grilling. Peel, slice in half the long way, sprinkle with brown sugar, grill and serve over a good quality vanilla ice cream – quick BBQ Bananas Foster.

Here is a basic recipe to get you started. You can add any herbs and spices to suit your taste.

Grilled Pineapple and Mango Salad
1 pineapple, peel, trim, core, and slice into ¾-inch slices
2 to 3 ripe mangoes, peel, pit and cut into cubes
1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
1 TBSP chopped fresh mint
¼ TBSP cayenne pepper – if you don’t like heat, skip this step.

Preheat the grill and oil the grill grates well.

Grill pineapple rings for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until the pineapple is cooked through, the sugars bubble up to the surface and grill marks are prominent.

Remove from grill and let cool for a minute.

Cut the pineapple rings into ¾-inch wedges.

Toss the pineapple with the mango, mint and cilantro.

Sprinkle the cayenne pepper over the assembled salad and serve while the pineapple is still warm.