The summer season is here, and with it, the grilling season. It’s that time when nothing is more thrilling than enjoying a warm evening on your backyard patio by the grill (probably with an ice-cold beer in your hand). That said, if you thought steaks were the only food made better by grilling, think again. Caramelizing flames and a touch of smoke can enhance the flavour of even the most everyday vegetable. But how can you make the most out of your vegetable grilling?
Grilling different types of vegetables can be tricky, especially if you’ve never done it before. This guide will walk you through the tricks to vegetable grilling so you can turn even the seemingly boring ones into mouth-watering delicacies.
Which Vegetables are Best for Grilling?
Since vegetables take a relatively shorter time to cook, they are ideal candidates for cooking on the grill. The list of vegetables that cook well on the grill is endless. Even so, the best vegetables for grilling include zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, portobello mushroom, potatoes, onions, carrots, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, asparagus, and tomatoes.
Different Cooking Times for Different Vegetables
Different vegetables take different times to grill. How long it takes for a vegetable to grill depends on its density. The more dense vegetables such as potatoes take longer to grill compared to less dense ones such as mushrooms. Here’s an outline of vegetable grilling times for different types of vegetables:
- Corn: Corn is perfect for grilling since it has its own wrapper. It takes 10-15 minutes to grill. Remember to turn them occasionally to prevent them from getting burnt.
- Zucchini: This vegetable cooks best when sliced into long strips. Each side should be grilled for 4-5 minutes.
- Asparagus: Asparagus takes 4 minutes to grill. They are easy to cook since they don’t require prep work
- Tomatoes: While tomatoes may not seem suitable for grilling, they work out surprisingly well. Grill them in halves, with each side taking 5 minutes for best results.
- Potatoes: These should be grilled on all sides for about 30-40 minutes until they become tender
Mushrooms: Grilling gives mushrooms the ultimate taste. The process usually takes 2-3 minutes.
BBQ Tools That You Can Use for Vegetable Grilling
Kitchen tools won’t necessarily make you a better cook, but excellent tools can make cooking easier. BBQ tools are no exception. Some BBQ and grilling accessories you can use to simplify the vegetable grilling process and obtain better results include spatula, tongs, grill brush, chimney starter, skewers, BBQ tool set, grilling gloves, and grilling basket.
Ways to Marinate Grilled Vegetables
While throwing veggies on the grill with nothing but pepper and salt can result in a fairly delicious meal, there’s a way to make them even better. Marinating vegetables infuses them with a ton of flavour that elevates their taste to another level.
However, you should ensure that you use the right marinade since using ones that are too sugary can result in your vegetables burning—use oil-based marinades instead of thick, saucy ones. A mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, and any seasoning could work just fine. You can add some extra sweetness with a few tablespoons of sugar, honey, or maple syrup.
How to Grill Vegetables
You first need to pat-wash and pat-dry your veggies. Remember, moisture creates steam and can make your veggies more mushy than crispy.
Next, decide whether you’ll grill your veggies sliced, halved, or whole. Larger vegetables such as cauliflower should be sliced into florets unless you want to grill them for an extended duration. When vegetable grilling, you should strive to expose as much surface of your veggies as possible to get the benefits of the heat and the smoky flavour.
Season your veggies with pepper, salt, or any other seasoning you prefer. Let the veggies rest for 10-60 minutes, then pat dry if necessary. You should then marinate your vegetables in olive oil or any other suitable marinade.
Heat your grill to medium or medium-high and brush the grates with oil. Place your veggies on the grates or in your cooking accessories/baskets and let them cook. Vegetables don’t require any specific heat, so you should keep an eye on your veggies to prevent them from becoming extra mushy. Remember to flip them occasionally to prevent them from burning.
Suppose you’re cooking smaller and potentially burnable vegetables such as tomatoes and mushrooms; you should consider using skewers, so they can get direct grill flavour without falling through the grates.
Pairing Your Grilled Veggies with Meat
When planning a meal, choosing complementary pairings can be difficult. Just like you would avoid choosing a wine that would overpower your palate, you should take the same level of care when choosing meat to pair with your grilled veggies.
Some of the best meat pairings include steaks, pork, chicken, and fish.Looking to make your taste buds happy with grilled delicacies? Head to BBQVille Canada for grills, smokers, accessories, sauces/rubs, and more!