Once considered something of a novelty, grilling vegetables is now a common practice in backyards across the country. Grilled vegetables make beautiful side dishes with bright, intense flavors and they are quick and easy to make.
Our culinary experts grilled many vegetables, including Artichokes, to find the best grilling methods. They also discovered solutions to problems many grill-masters face, including burning veggies on the grill or vegetables falling through the slates in the grill. The following tips will turn you into a grill-master in no time:
- To avoid scorching or overcooking vegetables on the grill, the fire should be medium-hot - about 350 degrees.
- Test the temperature by holding your hand 5 inches above the grate. If you can hold your hand there for only three to four seconds, the fire is medium-hot.
- When grilling a variety of vegetables at once, be prepared to take each off the grill at a different time.
Preparing Vegetables for Grilling
Vegetables should be cut so that maximum surface area is exposed to the grill, which helps them cook quickly and thoroughly. Smaller vegetables and sliced vegetables should be skewered to keep them from falling through the grill slates. Thin metal skewers are best since they will neither burn (as bamboo skewers can) nor tear delicate vegetables. Just before grilling, brush the vegetables with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. We have several grilling recipes on the website and an entire digital cookbook for grilling also available online.
Grilling Tips and Timesavers
- Add smoky flavor to foods by soaking wood chips in water for one hour and then wrapping the food in foil to form a pouch. Punch a few holes into the foil and place directly on coals.
- Avoid scorching kabob skewers by soaking the skewers in water before threading them with meat and vegetables, and then wrap the skewer ends with foil.
- Remove the grill lid as seldom as possible because each lift of the lid lengthens the cooking time.
- Non-fat cooking spray helps make perfect grill marks on any food.
- Hot grill bars create dramatic grill marks on your meat. To concentrate the heat and keep it from escaping, lay a sheet of foil over the grill for 10 minutes and then peel the foil off just before cooking. Scrunch the foil into a ball (it cools fast), and use later to scrape any residue or ash from the bars.