Meat seems to get all of the glory on the grill, but some of the most mouthwatering barbecues feature grilled vegetables as well. Grilled vegetables are the unsung heroes of the barbecue; they are a guilt-free and light which make them the perfect pairing to a heavier juicy steak or sausage. Plus on top of that the barbecue is unmatched in its ability to bring out the sweet and savory flavors unique to each vegetable.
Below we have compiled 4 grilling tips to perfect your grilled vegetables:
- Choose the grilling method you want to use:
- Throwing them directly on the grill is a great method for bigger vegetables like asparagus, eggplant, and zucchini cut length wise. The key is to make sure the vegetables are big enough, and arranged in a way that they won’t fall through the grate into the grill. If you own a Coleman® Even Heat™ Barbecue with dual surface grates, you don’t have to worry as the design of the grate won’t allow vegetables to fall through!
- Using a grilling basket is a great method if you want to cut your veggies into smaller pieces, but still want the same taste as throwing them directly on the grill.
- Grilling in a foil packet is an easy and convenient way to grilled vegetables. All you need to do is cut a 20-24 inch piece of foil and place on the counter, spray with a non-stick cooking spray, add the veggies in a single layer on one half, fold the foil over, and then pinch closed. Put this packet on the barbecue and grill for 12-15 minutes. Be careful of the steam when opening the packet. You can use this method to also grill marinated veggies.
- Skewers like the grilling basket allow you to directly grill veggies on the barbecue without worrying that they will fall through the cracks. You can make skewers with only vegetables, or add meat and make them into shish kabobs.
- Oil them up: It is important to oil up your vegetables before grilling to prevent them from burning, sticking to the grates, and from drying up. It also helps your seasoning stick to the vegetables you are grilling. The best oils to use are the ones with a higher “smoking point”, which is the temperature it breaks down and fails as a lubricant. An example of vegetable oil with a high smoking point is Avocado Oil.
- Time them out right: if you plan on grilling different types of vegetables, you will need to time them out properly. Some guidelines to how long different vegetables take: ½-inch slices of eggplant and zucchini take about 5 minutes per side on medium high, ½ -inch slices of onions take 2-3 minutes per side on medium high, mushrooms on a skewer take about 7-8 minutes. Another strategy is to sear the vegetables on high, and then transfer them to a cooler spot on the grill until ready.
- Size right: when grilling vegetables it is important to pay attention to the size and shape of the pieces you cut them into as this will affect how they grill. If you cut veggies into smaller pieces, they will cook faster. Slicing vegetables into thin slices allows for maximum surface area hitting the grill, resulting in the most caramelization and a crispier finish.