If you're going to pull out the grill, don't be bland and boring. Everybody knows how to cook hot dogs and hamburgers -- big wup. Barbecued chicken, grilled steak and sausage are nice and flavorful, but c'mon, let's kick it up a notch and be creative with the grill this summer!

Here are three of the most unusual, weirdest things that you probably would have never thought about grilling. Go big or go home, that's what I say.

To start off, this first one will put hair on your chest...

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Excuse me? No, this isn't a joke. Instead of having some fried calamari, you can grill yourself up an octopus. Like I said before, go big or go home. If you're able to find yourself an octopus, let the fun begin. Take the full octopus, and beat the head and tentacles with a meat tenderizer for about 15 minutes. Sounds cruel, but it's done to make sure the meat isn't chewy. Make yourself a marinade using vinegar, black pepper and olive oil, and soak the octopus in the marinade overnight.

Fire up the grill the next day, and depending on the weight of the octopus, it should take between 10-25 minutes for it to cook. While it's cooking, continue to baste the octopus with the marinade. Take a sharp knife and check the resistance of the octopus. Once it gives you a slight push back, it's done, baby.

Edward Allen L. Lim, Flickr

Banana Split

How sweet it is to be grilling outside in the summer in Buffalo, isn't it? Even if you do decide to go with the basic hot dogs and hamburgers, get creative with dessert! A grilled banana split is a cool way to finish off what was otherwise just another cookout. The only downside to this recipe? If you make it once, you might have to always make it at every cookout from then on.


Who doesn't love pizza, right? Brick oven pizza is always good, but now you can one-up that with grilled pizza.

thebittenword.com, Flickr

Go get yourself some nice dough from your favorite pizzeria, and form it into balls about the size of a baby's head (roughly). Roll out the dough nice and flat, and then just go ahead and stick it right on the grill. Once the grill marks start to appear, flip the dough, and coat the already-cooked side (face up now) with olive oil. Then, when the grill marks appear on the opposite side of the dough, flip it back over. Now you can start adding your toppings. You could try fresh mozzarella, tomato slices, and basil; sauteed mixed mushrooms and smoked mozzarella with a drizzle of truffle oil; or torn prosciutto and mozzarella, topped with chopped tomatoes and fresh arugula.

Cook the pizzas until they are heated through. It should only take a minute or two. You don't want to overcook the crust!

Come show off your new summertime grilling skills and join us at our Backyard BBQ & Summer Concert this Saturday, July 21. There will be plenty of food and live music, so buy your tickets today!

Contributed by Brandon Kilijanski