Why Michael Symon Loves To Barbecue In The Fall - Exclusive

When the fall season rolls around, it is time to fire up the grill, at least according to chef Michael Symon. There is a lot to love about fall weather. The air is cool, the leaves are turning beautiful colors, and Symon says it is the best time of year to have a cookout. "I love barbecuing in the fall and when it's a little colder outside," he shares in an exclusive interview with Tasting Table

Summer usually has the distinction of being the prime grilling season, and sure, it contains some excellent grilling holidays. Still, as Symon points out, there are some practical aspects to grilling in the fall versus other times of the year. "Quite honestly, it's easier to keep the temperature of your smokers down that time of the year," he says. We also suspect keeping close to the grill will have the benefit of keeping the cook warm in chilly weather. Plus, as he points out, "cleanup is easier." 

What to grill for fall

Symon is quick to point out that the foods you cook on the grill naturally lend themselves to sweater weather. He loves making cut brisket chili, chicken wings, and ribs — all of which are perfect for cool weather and tailgating during football season. 

What started Symon on his cool-weather grilling journey? Simple necessity. "Being born and raised in Cleveland, when you've got nice weather, you got your a** outside. That's why I always tell people anything you cook inside, you can cook outside." Symon takes these words to heart and cooks just about anything on his grill. In addition to making meats and other savory items, Symon uses the grill for desserts. "I bake cakes on my grill. With the addition of that, you get the flavor of the wood or the charcoal." Symon even recommends grilling items such as fruit.

Many gas grills now have a burner just like a stovetop, making outdoor cooking even more accessible. If you ask Symon, he will tell you, "Gas, to me, isn't a grill. It's a stove." He recommends charcoal or wood to really get the best out of your outdoor cooking. Plus, the smell and taste of charcoal or wood-cooked food will add the perfect cozy, smokey flavor to any autumn meal.