Michael Symon on His Favorite Grilled Desserts


Michael Symon Dishes About His Favorite Grilled Desserts

Summer is nearly over, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy what’s left of grilling season! Chef and TV personality Michael Symon gave us some tips on grilling desserts, so you can fill up the last few days of August with something sweet and smoky!

Why do you love grilling desserts?

I just think in the summertime there’s something nice about being outside. In the Midwest, the winters are crazy, so when summer hits, I want to be outside as much as possible. And if I’m out here, I’m probably working the grill anyway, so why not desserts? I love getting that nice charred smoky flavor in my desserts.

What are some of your favorite grilled dessert recipes?

 Especially at this time of year, I like working with stone fruits. Lately, I’ve been marinating peaches in rye and brushing them with honey. I grill them and finish it with fresh mint and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It’s incredibly simple you have dessert in 3-4 minutes, plus it’s gluten-free.

That sounds pretty delicious. What are your tips for grilling desserts?

I think the rules are pretty similar to grilling protein, actually. The nice thing is, by the time you get to dessert, the temperature of the grill is a little lower.  Season the grill well first, and then start on the hottest part until whatever you’re making starts to caramelize. Then move it to the cooler section until you get that nice softness, and don’t be afraid to use marinades.

How do we add alcohol into the mix?

I think marinating fruit in a good bourbon like Knob Creek Bourbon is a nice way to go, or you could flambé any kind of dessert like a bananas foster. Or as a little trick, you could certainly fold some bourbon or rum into your whipped cream or ice cream. To make it kid-friendly, just brush your fruit with olive oil before grilling, and add Nutella instead.

What’s the best way to update some tried and true summer desserts?

I’m definitely a fan of boozy milkshakes. You feel like you’re a kid, but not really. I also love adding salty things to sweet desserts, like chunks of crisp bacon, pancetta, or sea salt. In our restaurant, we make bacon apple pie. We cook the apples in some bourbon, and fold in the bacon into the pie, and then top with vanilla ice cream. We also have our “6 a.m. special,” with bacon ice cream over brioche French toast. Don’t be afraid to add some savory to your dessert.

Get the recipe for Michael Symon's Bacon Apple Pie here!

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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi