Using a stainless-steel spatula to flip a steak cooking on the barbecue.

Most barbecue seasons go something like this: steak, hamburgers, chicken, sausage, and repeat. For weeks on end, you repeat until the barbecue has lost all of its fun but you keep using it because the warmer weather has begun and that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Before your love affair with your barbecue starts to get stale and you start flirting with your oven again, take a step back and remember all those little things that made you love your grill in the first place, the wonderful charred flavor it gives food, the fun of cooking in the great outdoors and the joy of not having any pots or pans to clean up after your meal.

A lot of people are in the habit of using the barbecue for a few select things, mainly meat with the occasional baked potato thrown in. But almost anything that can be cooked can be done on a barbecue. Corn is great done on a barbecue. Most people soak the cobs with the husks on and sort of steam them on the grill. But the better way to do it is to just pull off the husks, brush the cobs with olive oil and cook them directly on the grill. The kernels get a bit of a char on them and the overall taste has way more depth than a steamed cob.

Pizzas cooking on barbecue pizza stones placed on the grill.

Pizza is my favorite thing to barbecue in the summertime and not just because it’s fun. Pizza actually turns out MUCH better on a barbecue than in an oven. All you need are barbecue pizza stones. With the lid closed, heat your barbecue to as hot as it can get, throw your pizza in, close the lid and turn the gas down so you don’t burn the bottom. In 7 to 10 minutes you’ll have a perfectly cooked pizza.

Not a pizza person? No problem! Here are a few of my favorite, easy things you can grill, but probably don’t.

Crispy potato slices

Crispy Potato Slices

  • Slice baking potatoes 1/4" thick

  • Slather in olive or avocado oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • Grill over medium/high until soft inside & crispy outside (do not use foil)

Kick it up a notch

Serve with butter or a dollop or sour cream. These are even BETTER and crispier the next night. Just reheat them on the grill.

Charred Swiss Chard

Charred Chard

  • Place whole swiss chard leaves on oiled grill

  • Cook until wilted and charred on edges

Kick it up a notch

Cut out thick stem/vein. Drizzle with olive oil or even better, BUTTER. Top with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Barbecued beets

Bbq Beets

  • Wrap whole beets in a double layer of tin foil

  • Grill for approximately 40 minutes on medium

Kick it up a notch

Remove skin, slice beets and drizzle with honey and balsamic vinegar. Top with roasted walnuts.

Grilled peaches

Grilled Peaches

  • Grill on medium/low heat for 10 minutes on each side

Kick it up a notch

Drizzle with maple syrup or honey, serve with vanilla ice cream and roasted nuts.

Kebabs cooking on the grill.

Happy gardening, happy grilling and, most important, happy eating!

Text and photos by Karen Bertelsen

Karen Bertelsen is a Gemini Award nominated television host who has appeared on some of Canada's major networks including HGTV, W Network, Slice and MuchMoreMusic. She started the blog The Art of Doing Stuff ( as a creative outlet for her writing and endless home projects. The Art of Doing Stuff now receives over half a million views per month and has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, Style at Home and Canadian Gardening magazines.

Barbecuing Favorites

FT130 - Javelin Instant-Read Thermometer

Javelin Instant-Read Thermometer


DB405 - Bristle-Free Barbecue Brush

Bristle-Free Barbecue Brush


EV290 - Double-Prong Skewers, pkg. of 6

Double-Prong Skewers

(Pkg. of 6)


Barbecue Gloves

HeatSafe Gloves

From: $34.50

EM320 - Long-Handled Sauce Mop

Long-Handled Sauce Mop


EM307 - 15" BBQ Croc Tongs

BBQ Croc Tongs

From: $19.95

EM313 - Grill Fry Tongs

Grill Fry Tongs


09A0418 - Barbecue Grill Spatula

Barbecue Grill Spatula


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