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Best unusual foods to grill

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Last year, we assembled a list of eight unlikely foods to grill that we thought would be fun (and delicious) and provide some inspiration come grilling season. It proved so popular that we couldn't help putting together a sequel with seven more surprising and delicious ideas for the next backyard shindig.

New this year is the addition of dessert items to our list. The one and only George Duran, chef, entertainer, and host of TLC's Ultimate Cake Off as well as the popular Ham on the Street series on Food Network, takes his favorite dessert, a banana split, and puts his own grilled twist on it. He also offers a few tips to keep your next grilling adventure worry- and stress-free:

For easy cleanup, Duran usually keeps a spray bottle around to clean the grill right after he's done with it. That way, the grill's still hot enough to generate steam, and a grill brush does the rest of the work. Plus, spray bottles also come in handy for putting out flare-ups while grilling.

And for a more comfortable grilling experience, Duran advises investing in a grill mat — he says you'd be surprised what a difference it makes after a few hours in front of the grill, and it also prevents nasty slipups.

Also, don't miss Kent Whitaker's grilled pound cake. Whitaker, known as "the Deck Chef," is a cookbook author and winner of the Emeril Live Food Network Barbecue Contest. His dessert is a quick and easy post-party treat that's easily personalized with different toppings.

1. Tofu

Think tofu is bland? Think again. Grilling tofu imparts a nice smoky flavor to the healthy protein, and pairing it with a sweet and spicy marinade makes it pop. When grilling tofu, it's best to use a firm tofu and grill for about five minutes on each side without moving it to get those coveted grill marks. 

2. Oysters

Sure, they're great just eaten straight from the shell, or broiled or baked with a delicious topping, but what about grilling them? Go ahead and throw 'em straight on the grill without shucking them; they'll pop open when done to let you know they're ready! If serving these at a party, it's best to cook them to order rather than all in advance so everyone gets some nice, hot, juicy oysters. 

3. Pound Cake

This is Kent Whitaker's signature dessert. To cut down on prep, he advises cooks to use ready-made pound cake, and to cut down on calories or fat, he says to try using low-fat or sugar-free items as well as cutting out the butter and brown sugar. Feel free to switch up the fruit with pineapple, peaches, or whatever's in season, and serve with your favorite ice cream.

Click here for more unusual foods to grill.

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