How to Cook Grilled Vegetables: 5 Tips You Must Know
The first thing that comes to mind when someone talks about grilling is…
A juicy steak or perfectly cooked hamburger, right?
They’re both tasty and we’re here for smoking and grilling all the meats, but you’re missing out on some seriously good eating if you don’t consider the vegetables too. (Gotta have at least a little green on the plate, right?)
Grilled vegetables don’t have to be sad and boring, here are some of our favorite grilled veggie tips.
Tip #1: Start Off With a Clean Grill
This advice might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning. Are you one of those people who thinks that those charred bits from grilled meals past season a grill?
The fact is that the grease and fat build-up is only fuel for fires—and not the good kind. Flare-ups mean burnt food and no one wants that.
Unless you’re seasoning your vegetables heavily, the stuff on the grill will detract from their delicate flavor and mask that caramelization that is key for delicious grilled vegetables.
Veggies are loaded with sugars that are the ideal secret ingredient.
Before you fire up your grill, clean it. Let us show you the way to good taste.
If you’re up for a new grill, we recommend a pellet smoker. Pellet grills are versatile and simple to use for both grilling and smoking. You just won’t regret buying this outdoor cooker.
Tip #2: Up Your Game With Grilled Condiments
While you’re grilling up these sausages, don’t forget about your toppings. After all, you probably have some space left on your grill.
Fill it up with vegetables!
Grilled peppers, for example, taste so much better than the jarred roasted peppers out of the bottle. The same thing applies to onions, roasted garlic, and mushrooms. The combination of sweet peppers and caramelization is amazing and will complement your burger or steak wonderfully.
Many varieties of vegetables cook up in less than 10 minutes, making them a natural choice to round out your meal quickly and easily.
Tip #3: Marinate It!
The great thing about cooking grilled vegetables is that the prep often takes less time than for the meat. Take marinating, for instance. To get the most flavor, you need to plan ahead. That means allowing everything ample time to marinate, often overnight.
So much for a spontaneous barbecue.
Not so with vegetables. Toss the prepared veggies with some good quality olive oil, sea salt, and some freshly ground pepper to get the party started.
We also suggest thinking outside of the box with rubs and dressings. You’ve probably heard of Mexican Street Corn. How about a cauliflower steak in the same style?
Many vegetables like eggplant and yellow squash have a firmer texture that holds up well to grilling which is key to great grilled vegetable side dishes.
You may even find that your kids are asking for vegetables after they have tried them hot off the grill!
Tip #4: Put Those Coals to Work
Nearly 50 percent of grill owners stick with the tried-and-true charcoal grill. The reason?
It’s hard to beat the taste of grilled foods. Instead of letting those coals burn down to nothing, use them to add a smoky flavor to potatoes.
Parboil or cook the potatoes halfway in the microwave. Then, wrap them in aluminum foil with a splash of olive oil or butter. Tuck them in the coals and let them do their thing. Eat them as is or for a new take on potato salad.
You can also make packets of mixed vegetables, keeping ingredients with similar cooking times together. Think onions and peppers. Or how about cherry tomatoes with asparagus? The best part is…
No dishes to clean!
Tip #5: Take Your Salads to the Next Level
Salads sometimes get a bad rap. Boring iceberg lettuce with ranch dressing. We can do better.
Your grill is your partner in crime when it comes to making rockstar salads. Less delicate greens like romaine and radicchio hold up well on the grill. Simply cut them in half, keeping the stem intact. Brush with some olive oil and season.
But why stop there? Give your dressing an upgrade too with roasted lemon. Place halved lemons on a cooler part of your grill to brown and caramelize them. Use it in place of or with a bit of white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, chopped shallots, and seasoning.
Romaine never had it this good. It’s satisfying and versatile, too.
You can use this ramped-up lemon juice on other grilled vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, or zucchini.
But, wait, there’s more!
How about a roasted tomato vinaigrette on your salad? Add some fresh orange zest, Dijon, and minced garlic for your new go-to salad dressing recipe.
Adding vegetables to your grilling repertoire is an excellent way to make your meals more enjoyable while boosting their nutritional value. They add color and interesting textures that will make your dishes look more inviting.
It all begins with a trip to the produce section at your grocery store.