5 Tips to Improve Your Grillin' Skills

grilled veggies Do you use your grill strictly for meat?  If so, you're missing out on what may be the best part of grilling.  Grilled veggies are out of this world.  Children who wouldn't eat a steamed vegetable to save their lives line up for seconds and thirds of grilled veggies.  With a few simple tricks, you'll not only be the pit master of meat, you'll be preparing the whole meal right there on your grill. The following 5 tips will take your meals to the next level:
  1.  Start with a clean, hot grill.  Yes, the grill has to be hot when you put the veggies on or you'll end up with a mushy mess that nobody will eat.  And make sure it's clean!  Those black lines you see on everything is supposed to come from the heat, not from last week's dinner.  Nobody wants to encounter little, black, crusty, burnt pieces on what was otherwise a delightful piece of food.  Clean and hot needs to be your mantra.
  2.  Put a little oil on your veggies so they hold the seasonings.  The key word here is "little."  If you slather them with oil, you'll end up with a fire in the grill.  Again, nobody likes burned veggies.  The best way to oil your veggies is to put a little extra virgin olive oil on your hands and rub them on the veggies.  That will give you just the right amount.
  3.  Get creative with spices.  Open up the spice cupboard and see what you have.  Use pretty much anything you find.  Again, don't get crazy on the spices.  Less is more, when grilling vegetables.  We're not trying to cover up the flavors of what we're grilling, we're just trying to enhance it.  Vegetable flavors are delicate.  Too much spice will overpower it.
  4.   Anything you eat you can grill.  I hate those blanket statements, and right now there are 10 people trying to think of something that can't be grilled to prove me wrong.  But really, just about anything can be grilled -- even things you wouldn't normally consider.  Take oranges, for example.  Grilling concentrates the sugars in the juice.  After grilling, you pour the now concentrated orange juice on your meat or fish for a heavenly flavor.  The perennial favorites of those who grill veggies include eggplant, mushrooms, corn (both inside the husk and free of the husk,) asparagus, green onions, peppers, onions of all varieties, apples (coated with butter and sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, for desert), and just about anything else you can think of.
  5.    Don't overcook vegetables!  I probably should have put that in all caps so nobody missed it.  If you think overcooking your meat is a sin, overcooking vegetables is the unpardonable sin.  Veggies should be warm through, but still very crunchy.  If your grill is hot and you watch your vegetables carefully, you can tell when you need to take them off visually.   Under those circumstances, they will be warm all the way through, but not soggy.  Also, you can't put veggies on the grill and walk away.  When you're cooking veggies you're cooking.  No leaving.
If you'll follow these steps, you'll have spectacular grilled vegetables that will please even the fussiest eater in your family.  Of course I didn't mention using fresh vegetables.  It does go without saying you shouldn't use veggies that should have been thrown out last week, doesn't it?  Your end product will only be as good as the quality you start with.  Let us know in the comments below how your grilling is going this summer and what interesting things you found in your fridge to put on the grill.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published