Grilling Beyond Meat: Pick 5 Cookbooks

Credit: Alexa Lampasona

Credit: Alexa Lampasona

Lug out the bags of coal, fill up the propane tanks- grill season is upon us! It's grill week here at AJC. But easy (and masculine) as it seems to slap a cut of meat onto the grill, there are numerous other techniques and types of food to grill out. Cedar plank your salmon, char your corn and make that pizza sizzle with a few of these grilling cookbooks aimed to teach you how to harness the unknown potential of your grill.

Pizza: Grill Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes

The taste of pizza from a coal-burning oven is hard to compare when you bake it at home. But grilled pizza trades in soft and gooey cheese for crackled and smoky, and an extra crunchy crust.

Try this: Port drizzled fig and Stilton pizza. Serve as an appetizer or dessert, the tangy Stilton is studded with sweet figs and a caramel-y drizzle.

Grilling Vegan Style

Vegan and grilling? Hey kale never looked so hot. You’ll be surprised how the texture of an eggplant changes from chewy and tasteless to a creamy, charred masterpiece.

Try this: Quick grilled barbecue tempeh. The nutty texture of this soy protein makes it stand strong against flames. A mustard and maple marinade can even fool meat-eaters.

Smokin’ in the Boy’s Room

Who says grilling is just for the guys? Not Melissa Cookston. She is the “winningest woman in barbecue” and owner of Memphis Barbecue Company. Men and women alike will find the Delta region-specific recipes dripping with flavor.

Try this: Competition-style pork baby back ribs. Cookston says pork is king in the Delta, and this easy-to-follow recipe won first place for eight contests in a row.

The Gardener and the Grill

If you’ve mastered playing in the dirt, time to master firing up the coals. This cookbook aims to take those young seedlings you plant in the spring to sizzle on the hot grates through any season.

Try this: Smoked summer tomato basil butter. Once your tomatoes start falling off the vine, preserve the grill-roasted crops in a whipped, herbaceous buttery spread.

25 Essentials: Techniques for Planking

Whether you decide to buy high-end cedar planks or use excess firewood from winter, planking ties in the essence of Native American cooking and instills a unique woodsy flavor to meats and veggies.

Try this: Prosciutto-wrapped planked scallops with fresh herb aioli. Prosciutto lends itself to a sweeter taste and scallops turn almost buttery after a good planking.