(NEXSTAR) – If burgers and hot dogs are becoming monotonous and mundane, what you really need to grill are a whole bunch of bananas.
Elizabeth Karmel, the award-winning chef also known as the “Grill Girl,” says bananas are among her absolute favorite foods to grill, partly because they make for a quick and easy dessert, but also because they’re deceptively decadent.
“If you’re never grilled a banana, you’re really missing out,” Karmel says. “It’s perfect if you love all the flavors of bananas foster, but you don’t want to use a pound of butter and make a big mess.”
According to Karmel, grilling a banana gives it a greater depth of flavor and just a hint of smoke.
“Cut them horizontally — leave the skin on — and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and a little bit of sea salt,” she recommends. “Grill it flesh side down over direct heat until you see grill marks, about two minutes… just enough to sear that sugar.”
Once caramelized, Karmel flips the bananas peel-side-down and continues grilling until the peel separates from the flesh. Then, it’s ready to serve.
“Pair that with some vanilla ice cream, pour a slug of bourbon on it… It never, ever disappoints.”
For those hoping for something more savory, Karmel also shared her favorite hassle-free method for grilling sweet summer corn.
“My favorite way to cook it to soak the corn, husk and all, in the sink for 15 to 30 minutes. Give a good shake and put it directly on the cooking grates on medium high, steaming on all sides.”
Grilling corn inside its husk, she adds, helps to keep the kernels tender. The steam coming off the corn silk contributes to the flavor, she says.
“When it’s done, simply pull the husk out, it comes off slick as a whistle.”