If you are looking for healthy barbecue ideas, these tips for grilling vegetables will come in handy this summer. With grilling season starting soon, everyone is throwing hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill. What about grilling vegetables? I rarely see slabs of eggplant or skewers of bell pepper on the grill at my neighborhood pool party. When you imagine a meal cooked over the grill, most people usually think of steaks, burgers and hot dogs. One way to reduce your carbon foot print this summer is to learn how to grill vegetables instead of meat. Not only do vegetables have a smaller carbon footprint but they are also significantly better for your waistline! If you love to grill, check out my post about grilling seafood if you want to throw some shrimp on the BBQ, too!
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Easy Tips for Grilling Vegetables Perfectly
Next time you go to light up the grill, how about choosing veggies rather than meat! If you are considering grilling vegetables this summer, here are a few tips for grilling vegetables to maximize flavor.
The Best Vegetables for Grilling are FRESH!
Vegetables that have been sitting around too long will not be as firm as they should be, resulting in slightly too soft grilled vegetables. The best vegetables for grilling will be as fresh as possible. When looking for the freshest vegetables, choose options that are grown as close to home as possible. Locally sourced produce travels much less distance than those shipped from overseas and will be much fresher. Of course, growing your own vegetables in a back yard garden is the best option but not always possible.
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Best Oil for Grilling Vegetables
In order to ensure that the vegetables don’t stick to the grill make sure they are well oiled. Olive oil is a good choice and can be applied easily with a Silicone Basting Grill Brush. Don’t use too much oil. It not only adds unnecessary calories, but dripping oil causes flare-ups and off flavors. Too much smoke will overpower the flavor of your grilled vegetables. The best oil for grilling vegetables will be things like olive oil or coconut oil. Butter tastes delicious but make sure you keep the temperature low or it will burn easily.
Best Temperature for Grilling Vegetables
One of the most important tips for grilling vegetables is to keep a close eye on the heat. What is the best temperature for grilling vegetables? To prevent burning, sear vegetables over high heat, then move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. Watch them carefully. Overcooking will result in blackened vegetables and a soggy mess.
Know your veggies:
Cooking times vary widely for grilled vegetables so you need to do some research. Check out these vegetable grilling cookbooks on Amazon for detailed grilling times. Check them frequently to ensure they are not overcooked. Some vegetables will take only a few minutes to cook completely.
Have the right grilling tools on hand:
Use bamboo skewers or a vegetable grilling basket to keep small pieces from being lost through the grate of your grill. If you don’t have either of these, a piece of foil with holes poked in it with a fork will also work. Make sure to poke enough holes in the foil or you won’t get that delicious smokey taste!
How to Cut Vegetables for the Grill:
Make sure all of your vegetables are approximately the same size to ensure even cooking. Cut round vegetables like onions or beets into thin “rounds”. This allows for greater surface area and they’ll cook quickly. Knowing how to cut vegetables for the grill will ensure that they cook evenly and you aren’t left with some that are overdone while others are still crunchy.
Try cooking in foil packets.
Wrap your vegetables in a foil packet and add a few tablespoons of a marinade or sauce. This is an easy way to add flavor to your vegetables without a lot of mess or hassle.
For particularly dense vegetables like carrots or potatoes, par boil them for a few minutes in a pot of water before grilling for a quicker turnaround on dinner.
Most Common Mistakes People Make When Grilling Veggies
There are many mistakes people make when grilling veggies, however, some are more common than others. Controlling the heat of the grill can be tricky and every grill is slightly different. This might take some trial and error on your part. Read your grill manual and when in double, keep the temperature lower than you think you might need. Also, don’t forget to really season your vegetables well. Vegetables have a rather mild flavor so go ahead and season away!
How to Grill Vegetables Perfectly Every Time!
Check out the video above from Allrecipes.com on how to grill perfectly every time. Of course, everyone has their tried and true vegetable grilling tips but these might help the next time you light up the BBQ!
Grilled Vegetable Recipes
If you are looking for grilled vegetable recipes, try one of these!
- Grilled Mexican Street Corn
- Perfect Grilled Asparagus
- Balsamic Garlic Grilled Mushroom Skewers
- Grilled Lemon Garlic Zucchini
Grilling vegetables is a great way to reduce your meat consumption during a season usually associated with lots of meat. Having the right supplies on hand and doing a bit of research will ensure that your grilled vegetables turn out perfectly!
Have any other tips for grilling vegetables?
Live greener with these eco friendly grilling tips!
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.