Plenty of sunshine, warm weather, vacations, all things associated with summer. But simply put, one of the best things about this time of year is firing up the barbeque.

“The great thing that I like about the barbecue is the simplicity”, said 570News Food Show host Andrew Coppolino. “Before you put anything on that grill, get the grill nice and hot, let it sit for five or six minutes closed lid and let the temperature get nice and hot”, that is the one thing that Coppolino says we all should know about barbecuing.

As far as what to grill up this summer, Coppolino says you can’t beat the classics, “The good old steak. Just picking up a good rich cut of meat, it doesn’t have to be really expensive, just getting a little bit of red meat on the grill.” And it seems that mom was right all along, you should never play with your food, “The minute you start to play around with it you’re going to do one of two things, and that is drive some of the juice out of it, or you’re going to end up breaking it apart. So let it sit until you’re ready to make the turn and then do it.”

If you’re feeling creative though, Coppolino says that pizza is great off the grill is you can do it correctly, “I’ve tried it successfully. What I’ve done is I’ve grilled the pizza doe first on both sides and then I move it over to the side of the barbecue on which I’ve turned the heat down and I’ve added some toppings.” And what about desserts? Yes, desserts. Coppolino says dessert can be fun to do on the grill, “Maybe like a pear. Cut it in half, core it and then I might let it marinate a little bit in a little bit of a really basic white wine, and then I would just leave it to sit there for three or four minutes.” Coppolino says he would finish that off with some of his favourite ice cream on the side with some nuts on top.

Barbecuing might seem like something only for meat eaters, Coppolino however says that’s not the case, “You can take a good size portobello mushroom cap, you can marinate that just for a little while in some oil, cook it gently on a barbecue and that can be the patty of a sort of mushroom veggie burger.”

Coppolino had one last tip on how to make barbecuing this summer even better, “You start with a great big container. You fill it up with ice. Then you put your favourite beer and wine and other beverages in there.”

eric.drozd@rci.rogers.com