You'll never BBQ again without grilling this unexpected food

Whether you're an old school burger flipper or you like to experiment with different cuts of juicy steak when you barbecue, nearly anything goes when it comes to grilling. People even throw kabobs, tofu, and fruit on their grills. But there's one type of food that's rarely invited to your Sunday afternoon cookout: bread. In an interview with Mashed, Henk Drakulich, DVP & executive chef of La Brea Bakery Cafés, explained that we're all missing out by not making the buns and rolls main-eventers at our BBQ, instead of relegating them to the fixin's table with the pickles and ketchup.

"While bread is frequently served at barbecues, it doesn't often make it onto the grill – but it should," he said. "Sure, bread is delicious as is, but tossing it over an open flame really enhances the flavor and makes it the perfect toasty complement to any BBQ menu." You'll instantly upgrade your BBQ game by putting thought into the bread you include. "Swap out a bland burger bun for two grilled slices of grilled sourdough bread! This change-up will add more flavor to your burger and make the whole meal more substantial," Drakulich advised. Including bread also expands the options you can offer at your cookout. "Topped with olive oil, garlic spread, mozzarella, and parmesan, your grilled bread quickly becomes a delicious cheesy garlic bread," he noted. You can also make the most delicious grilled cheese on a BBQ by following this La Brea Bakery recipe.

The best breads to throw on your grill, according to a chef

So, can you just grab that bag of rolls from the grocery store and toss them on your grill? Well, you can, but certain kinds of bread rise to the occasion more than others when placed over open heat, according to Drakulich. "Grilling a slice of a hearty, artisan bread will produce superior results and flavors than grilling a slice of white or wheat sandwich bread," he explained. "Typically, breads baked with more seeds, oats and/or grains offer greater opportunity for the flavors to be brought out on the grill – the more flavors your start with, the better your end results will be."

The breads that work best with BBQ fare have complex flavors and textures, Drakulich added. "My go-to breads for grilling include a hearty sourdough, a seed-packed loaf or a bread with unique flavors already baked in, like La Brea Bakery's Jalapeno Cheddar Loaf or Rosemary Olive Oil Loaf." But speaking of olive oil, be careful about how you add EVOO when you use a barbecue to grill bread, Drukulich said. "You will risk burning the EVOO resulting in black grill marks that can have a bitter or burnt flavor," he explained. "Instead, I prefer to put the bread on the grill without anything at first, and then once it gets some char on it, take it off the grill and rub it with a fresh clove of garlic and brush generously with olive oil."