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National Grilling Month: 6 Tips for Perfectly Grilled Vegetables

Did you know July is National Grilling Month?  While chicken, steak and shrimp tend to get all the attention on the grill, don’t forget about your vegetables!  Carrots, onions, peppers, zucchinis, tomatoes, you name it- they’re all delicious on the grill, and can be the star of any summer grill party.  Following these simple tips will ensure that your grilled vegetables turn out perfect every time- and that your guests keep coming back for more!

1. Oil ‘em Up

Make sure to lightly coat your vegetables in oil before placing them on the grill.  This will prevent them from drying out and give your seasoning something to stick to.  Olive oil and coconut oil are great lower-fat options.  Only use enough to lightly coat, though, too much could cause your vegetables to burn.

2. Line Them Up on Skewers

Skewering similar vegetables together will help keep you organized.  Not only will it keep all your vegetables in line and on top of the grill, but you can keep the same types of vegetables together which can help you keep track of how long to cook each one.  An added bonus: skewers make for a beautiful presentation.

3. Know Cooking Times

Knowing how long to cook each type of vegetable is important when preparing to grill your veggies.  Soft vegetables like tomatoes only take a few minutes, while denser vegetables like carrots will take a few more.  A good tip to prevent burning is to lightly sear dense vegetables to cook them slightly before putting them on the grill.  That way, when you move them to the grill, you can focus on getting that perfect char on the outside instead of cooking the inside.

4. Keep Cuts Round

The most important factor when it comes to grilling is surface area.  When you’re putting a vegetable directly on the grill, you want as much of it to touch the grill as possible in order to get that char.  Instead of chopping or dicing your vegetables, simply slice them into disks when you’re prepping your grill station.

5. Try Foil Packets

If you’re looking to get that smoky flavor on your vegetables, but don’t want to char the outside, tin foil is your new best friend.  Cut foil squares and place about a handful of chopped vegetables in the center. (Use whatever combination you want)!  Coat your vegetables in oil and seasoning, seal up the foil square, and toss it on the grill.  After about 15-20 minutes, remove and slowly open the packet (be careful- it’ll be full of steam).  There you go!  Delicious vegetables cooked on the grill

6. Keep Watch and Make Adjustments

Grilling is an art!  Be attentive to the vegetables that you’re cooking.  If something smells like it might be getting a little too charred, moved it to a cooler part of the grill.  If something isn’t cooking as fast as the others, scoot it closer to the flame.  Use your judgment and master grilling skills and adjust as needed to ensure a scrumptious outcome.

What is your favorite vegetable to throw on the grill?  Tell us in the comments!

References:

http://www.eatingwell.com/healthy_cooking/healthy_cooking_101_basics_techniques/5_tips_for_how_to_cook_grilled_vegetables
http://www.thekitchn.com/5-tips-for-grilling-the-best-vegetables-ever-191654
http://foodformyfamily.com/recipes/grilled-vegetables-in-easy-foil-packets

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