4 Easy Grilling Recipes That Go Above And Beyond What You're Used To Eating At Your Typical Barbecue

Summer is officially here, which means that once again it's time to fire up those grills for a classic July 4 backyard barbecue session. And according to celebrity chef Graham Elliot, July 4 is the perfect time to get saucy and reinvent classic and easy grilling recipes, throwing all caution and packaged hot dogs to the wind.

After all, the start of any new season is ripe for reinvention. So why not reinvent your summer style with gingham — or revitalize those summer travel plans? While expanding horizons, go ahead and expand that summer grilling menu as well. Hear me out: Do you love a good burger? Me too. But let's be real, iceberg lettuce is lame. Try swapping it out for the peppery crunch of watercress. And those individually wrapped Kraft singles? Yeah, they've got to go. Show your burger how you really feel with the silky texture and buttery richness of melted brie. And we all know that a burger means nothing without her trusted bun. Follow Elliot's lead, and ditch those squishy potato rolls, because pretzel rolls are clearly the way of the kosher salt-kissed future.

Whether you're cooking up burgers, chicken, veggies, or dessert, these four reinvented recipes from MasterChef Judge Graham Elliot will be sure to breathe some new life into your summer grilling routine.

1. Grilled Chicken With Watermelon Salsa

To prevent a dried out, overcooked chicken breast, Elliot recommends grilling an entire half chicken, skin on so it locks in the moisture. And instead of your typical pico de gallo, Elliot mixes diced watermelon with olives, onions, cucumber, jalapeño, parsley, cilantro, mint, and lime as a savory-sweet side with a spicy kick. I'm making this tonight, and you should too. Follow the step-by-step recipe here.

2. The GrahamBurger

Elliot tops his sirloin-pork burgers with homemade garlic mayo, brie cheese, grilled onions, and fresh watercress. I need not say more. Follow his signature recipe here.

3. Grit Cakes With Grilled Corn

Elliot's southern style country grit cakes certainly prove that vegetarians have a place at the table. Chef says, "It’s important for vegetarians to be served food that you don’t even realize is vegetarian. It’s so good that you don’t feel like you’re getting a slacker dish just because someone didn’t know how to put it together." See how Elliot lovingly assembles this veggie dish here.

4. Summer Peach Cake

Step up your shortcake game by swapping out those standard strawberries for the complex caramelization of grilled peaches. Just brush with olive oil, grill each side for about four minutes, and boom, you've got a simply charred, sweet and juicy cake topper. Get the full recipe here.

Images: Courtesy of Tasting Table (4)