Depending on how they're prepared, grilled vegetables can be tender and succulent, or unevenly cooked and charred. Add some color to your grilled menu and avoid disappointment with these five vegetable grilling hints!
1. Slice them right.
For quicker, more even cooking, think of shapes and sizes that will expose more surface area to the grill. For example, cut eggplant, onions, and zucchini into strips or rounds rather than chunks.
2. Pair like with like.
Making kebabs? For evenly cooked skewers, pair softer vegetables together, such as tomatoes and mushrooms, and harder vegetables together, such as onions and bell peppers.
Certain vegetables do better if they are briefly cooked before being placed on the grill. For example, precook firm veggies, like asparagus and carrots, for about three to five minutes in a saucepan of simmering water. Potatoes can also be cut into slices or wedges and parboiled for about 10 minutes until just tender.
4. Use oil (or marinade).
Brush or toss vegetables with a little olive oil, coconut oil, or butter to prevent them from drying out and sticking to the grill. Oil helps seasonings, like salt and pepper, stick better, too. You can also use a marinade or salad dressing for extra flavor and moisture.
5. Keep watch.
To prevent burning, grill vegetables over indirect, moderate heat; turn them often; and move them to cooler parts of the grill as necessary. If you prefer a lower-maintenance method, you can steam vegetables in foil packets rather than directly on the grill.
Do you have any tips to share? Check out these grilled vegetable recipes, too!
Updated from a post originally published in July 2013.
(Image credits: Karen Biton-Cohen; AS Food studio/Shutterstock; Sara Kate Gillingham; Shebeko/Shutterstock)