The perfect outdoor grilled vegetable

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Vegetables make excellent subjects for grilling. Cooking times vary greatly dependent on the vegetable albeit and all not all are ideal for grilling.

Take care. Vegetables are delicate, far more so than meats. Try to grill on charcoal as the smoke greatly enhances the flavor of your vegetables

The secret to grilling great vegetables is found in 10 simple guidelines.

1. First relax. Grilling vegetables is easy. First clean, then soak, then dry, then cut evenly and then cook quickly; Whatever you do never overcook vegetables on the grill;

2. Cook on a medium to hot grill; you should be able to hold your hands 3-4 seconds over the fire; if you can only hold your hand over the coals for 2-3 seconds its too hot, wait a while; if you can hold you hand over the coals for longer than 5 seconds then it needs invigorating;

3. Different vegetables will take different times, as below. They should be cooked in a grill basket; if you haven't got one then use lightly oiled heavy duty kitchen foil;

4. Don't grill watery or leafy vegetables, many greens, celery and cucumbers are unsuitable for grilling;

5. First brush the vegetables with olive oil or melted butter;

6. Vegetables are ideal for marinating ahead of grilling, a range of herbs and spices can be used to great effect; remember;

7. Because most vegetables are irregular in shape its important to cut then into even strips so they cook evenly throughout;
8. Don't salt before grilling, salt after;

9. Strong vegetables can cut into even shapes/size and then grilled using skewers;

10. Vegetables that are ideal for grilling include:

Eggplant: Cut off stem, peel, cut in half lengthwise then slice crosswise, minimum 1/2" thick. Cooking time: 2-3 minutes
Sweet Corn: Remove husks, rinse then wrap individually in foil. Cooking time: 10 to 12 minutes
All types of potatoes: Pealing is not necessary. Wash them then cut them into your favorite shapes, chunks, wedges. Cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes; baked potatos 45 minutes to1 hour+

Eggplant: Cook lengthwise or horizontally for larger eggplants. Cooking time: 2 to 3 minutes;
Garlic: Use whole bulbs. Cut off root. Brush with olive oil, place cut side down. Cooking time approx.10 minutes when skin is brown.
Carrots: Wash, peel and cut. Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes
Small zucchini and summer squash: No need to wash. cut into 1/2" slices. Cooking time: 6 minutes
Onions: Skin and cut into chunks. Cooking time: 3 to 4 minutes
Bell peppers: Seed and rinse then slice into large strips or squares. Cooking time: 5 to 7 minutes
Asparagus: Remove tough areas & trim 3/4" from the bottom of each stem then wash to remove grit; Cooking time: 6 to 8 minutes
Mushrooms: Rinse and grill whole unless mushrooms are very large. Cooking time: 4 to 7 minutes dependent on size;
Tomatoes; Cut in half. Cooking time 2 to 3 minutes

That's it. Now enjoy with your favorite fish or meat dish grilled along with your vegetables on the perfect grill, which we at The outdoor cooking equipment Store recommend is the Bayou Classic Ceramic grill.

Stephen Kember is the Proprietor of The outdoor cooking equipment Store.

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