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anniedeighnaugh

Help for this grilling newbie....vegetables

Annie Deighnaugh
17 days ago

I grill meat, chicken and fish a lot in the summer, but would you believe I've never grilled vegetables? Somehow it seems like too much trouble...or just the logic of keeping small round things from slipping through the grates. I have the large metal skewers somewhere but have never used them...never made shish kebab.


So help me out. Who grills veggies? How do you do it? Oils? Spice? What's your favorites? Which might be most successful for this newbie?


TIA!!

Comments (52)

  • jrb451
    17 days ago

    Ditto on the above. Grilled Eggplant Parmesan is very good as well.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked jrb451
  • Sueb20
    17 days ago

    We have a grilling ”basket” that we use for veggies. I prep the same way Jinx does. So easy! Also, try grilling pineapple spears. So yummy.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Sueb20
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  • amylou321
    17 days ago

    If we grill veggies we pick ones that are big enough not to fall through the grates and cut them lengthwise. Things like zucchini and yellow squash do well like that. Portobello mushrooms are great for grilling without worry. We grill cabbage sometimes. For that I cut it into medium, wedges wrap each one in bacon and then in foil and grill it. It gives a good flavor.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked amylou321
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    If I do a foil packet of mixed veggies, about how long should they take on the grill?

  • deegw
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    I love grilling lemons. I think it must relax the fibers because they become extra juicy. And the citrus/char flavor is great on anything you're grilling. I've read that they are nice for cold drinks and cocktails as well but I haven't tried them yet.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked deegw
  • Jinx
    17 days ago

    Annie, foil packets will vary, depending on your grill temps, the veggies used, etc. Generally around 20 minutes, but you’ll see with experimenting what works best.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Jinx
  • Funkyart
    17 days ago

    I prefer grilling the veggies vs foil packs on the grill. You get such a nice caramelization with grilling. I prefer keeping the prep simple-- EVOO, salt, pepper, garlic so the veggies' natural flavors shine through. I will add fresh herbs, if desired, after grilling.


    Zucchini, red/yellow/orange peppers and vidalia onions are my favorites but I have yet to find a veggie that didn't taste great on the grill. For these veggies, I put them right on the grates-- no basket.


    The only exception to the above is that I use chipotle powder on corn.


    Oh-- one addition! I love a thick meaty scallion/green onion grilled and on a burger! Sublime. If you like spicy, you can throw in a grilled jalapeno too!

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Funkyart
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    I remember vaguely in the old days, Dad would grill steak over a wood fire...he saved maple or apple wood for it. IIRC, they would take a potato, and slice it but not completely through, top it with butter and a slice of onion, S&P and wrap in foil and bury in the fire to bake through...it was tasty.

  • Jinx
    17 days ago

    That sounds good, Annie. My southern grandmother used to make sliced potato and onion sandwiches.

    We grill cut up new potatoes often. They do take longer to cook than most veggies.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Jinx
  • Jasdip
    17 days ago

    I know this isn't a grill, it's our electric grill/griddle. But we liked big pieces of veggies cut and grilled. They can be eaten as a side dish or in a grilled vegetable sandwich. Eggplant is really good on the grill.







    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Jasdip
  • gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
    17 days ago

    I do much the same as others have described although I use a flat wire mesh sheet made for this purpose rather than the basket with a handle. Eggplant, summer squashes, asparagus, corn on the cob, sweet onions.

    I really like grilling fresh fruit as well - pineapple or peaches or nectarines.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)
  • Tina Marie
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    A grill basket/pan is your friend. Just a touch of olive oil. We do different spices and like a touch of garlic and parm. i agree with Sue, grilled pineapple is soooo good!!

    ETA: re the foil, I don't care for. It's easier for the veggies to get "mushy" with all the liquid. You want that bit of caramelization.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Tina Marie
  • Jinx
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    Grilled peaches are a really good dessert, too. I grow mint and chocolate mint for them.


    (Not my photo.)

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Jinx
  • Oakley
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    We do both, the grill pan Jinx has, and wrapped in foil. Personally I like foil the best because I don't like any veggies that are charred.

    ETA: Using foil takes up less space and if the veggies are done before the meat, you can scoot them off to the side to keep warm while the meats cooks.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Oakley
  • blfenton
    17 days ago

    WE grill vegies a lot on a similar grill pan as shown above. If I'm doing new potatoes on the grill I'll do them in a foil pac with sea salt, ground pepper and butter but just about all other vegies go on the grill pan.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked blfenton
  • floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    Grilling has to be a bit spontaneous here because we often have to jump at the opportunity when/if it’s warm and dry enough. Planning a barbecue in advance is a gamble. So we often aren’t prepared with appropriate food. I stretch a small amount of meat, eg a single boned chicken thigh or one small lamb steak by making kebabs. They might have cherry tomatoes, pieces of onion, red pepper, thick zucchini slices and mushrooms. You can get four 10” kebabs out of one small piece of meat. I marinate the completed skewers so the veggies get the same treatment as the meat.

    We also grill peppers, zucchini, leeks and scallions directly on the bars.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK
  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    17 days ago

    We also use the grill pans and baskets, never foil packets. We do love kabobs, though, and fix them often. I like to add fresh pineapple to a skewer of chicken, sweet peppers of assorted colors, and onions.


    I agree that applewood makes such a difference, as does cherrywood. We use a high quality briquette that has no bad fumes to flavor the food, then add the soaked wood pieces when grilling.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
  • 2katz4me
    17 days ago

    Glad to see this question. I would like more grilled veggies but DH, the grillmeister, doesn't like to do them. We done it a couple times in spite of his opposition - basket and foil. I do prefer the grill basket vs. mushy veggies in foil packets. For those who grill veggies regularly - are you using a gas grill or charcoal? We have a BGE and Weber charcoal which to me are a little trickier than turning on the gas which is more like cooking in an oven.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked 2katz4me
  • nekotish
    17 days ago

    I use a grill pan as well. I find, as Mtn mentioned that foiled wrapped veggies are basiscally steamed, plus you can't really monitor them. We prefer a bit of char. I second the grilled pineapple. Since you've got the grill going anyway, it makes a great, light dessert. Can serve as is or guild the lily with some ice cream.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked nekotish
  • Elmer J Fudd
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    I'm a longtime Weber charcoal BBQer and with a lot of trial and error over the years have accumulated enough experience to be able to accomplish what I want with what we like to BBQ and with new things too. I sometimes use soaked wood chips.

    I got a Weber gas grill for a second home a few years ago because my wife insisted on it. I understand that it's a bit quicker and less messy and involved to get it going and ready to start cooking but I haven't warmed up to it (unintended pun). I find little difference in flavor or other results between using it or cooking the same items in the kitchen using a broiler and or oven. And, along the way, there's less heat control with the gas grill because it seems like the thing reacts quite slowly to changes in gas settings up or down.

    For me, the gas grill comes in as a distant second choice to using charcoal. I've used it enough to have learned the techniques to prepare the things we like but I don't like it at all. If I wanted to cook something and there were a gas grill and a Weber charcoal unit side by side, I would go to the charcoal one 10 out of 10 times.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    I am too lazy to use a grill pan or such, and steaming in foil is a big no.

    I grill vegetables that are large enough to not pose a problem. Whole tomatoes, zucchinis cut in half lengthwise are easy, and lettuces, like radicchio fit fine, in addition shallots work easily. Mostly olive oil and salt and pepper for seasoning, though the to atoes just go on plain. A squeeze of lemon after grilling the lettuces is particularly nice.

    Like Jinx, I love grilled peaches, apricots work too.





    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Zalco/bring back Sophie!
  • Funkyart
    17 days ago

    Ohhh.. and griled romaine is wonderful in a caesar salad (i just cut them down the middle of the head).


    @Elmer J Fudd i agree re: charcoal vs gas.. but i also love my wood fire in the Big Green Egg. It's a little more of a production so I wouldn't fire it up just for veggies but I'll take advantage if i am cooking something else on it.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Funkyart
  • rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
    17 days ago

    Ditto what Elmer said. Once you learn some simple techniques, there's very little that cannot be prepared on the Weber.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7
  • Zalco/bring back Sophie!
    17 days ago

    Learning to us a Weber or BGE is totally worth the effort.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Zalco/bring back Sophie!
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    17 days ago

    In the old days, I used to make a fire in a hibachi...they were ubiquitous and cheap. I haven't seen one now in years.

  • Elmer J Fudd
    17 days ago
    last modified: 17 days ago

    If there were no other alternatives, I would choose a hibachi over a gas grill if those were the two choices but I don't think they're all that useful. The thing is, with a Weber or other charcoal/wood burning implement, a removable cover is a tool to adjust heat as well as concentrate smoke from the fire. The challenge with cooking meat that isn't thin is to be able to allow heat to penetrate to the center evenly, to produce the desired degree of doneness (depending on what it is) without turning the outside into a charred mess.

    Both indoors and outdoors, I use Lopez-Alt's reverse sear approach because I find it produces consistently better results and any degree of doneness preferred. It's simple to do on a Weber so long as the meat isn't much larger than half the grill's size. I find it difficult to get the same reverse sear results on the 3 burner gas grill I have.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • jewels_ks
    17 days ago

    I bought 2 or 3 grill pans from Walmart. I use them all the time with all types of veggies! Super easy!

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked jewels_ks
  • Oakley
    17 days ago

    Jewels, we have a couple of the grill pans too, but I usually made hot sandwiches. Never thought about veggies. Yum.


    Jasdip, do you put oil on the grill ?


    Now I'm craving grilled whole green onion. The fat ones. :)

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Oakley
  • cawaps
    17 days ago

    I have used grill baskets (for camping I have a flat grill plate since it packs smaller), skewers, and veggies big enough/long enough not to fall through the cracks. I always oil the veggies; grilling is a lot like roasting in that trying it with bare veggies doesn't tend to get great results. Skewers are pretty much reserved for entertaining since they are more work.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked cawaps
  • Elizabeth
    16 days ago

    I skewer nothing. Too much trouble. Baskets all the way. One for meats and one for veg due to different cooking times. I olive oil and season the veg and stir in a dollop of bbq sauce with them and stir occasionally. Toss in some cherry tomatoes during the last few minutes of cooking just enough to heat them through.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Elizabeth
  • OutsidePlaying
    16 days ago

    I grill vegetables like yellow squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, asparagus, and onions all the time. Fruit such as pineapple and peaches on occasion as well. Most of the larger ones i do directly on the grill. I have an olive oil sprayer I use and lightly spray then add salt and pepper to taste. For smaller pieces of peppers, tomatoes or onion I usually just use a piece of foil, spray with oil and cook while the meat/fish is grilling. You can remove pieces as they are done. I often just cut squash and zukes in half.

    I have used a grill pan like Jinx, but it is just more to clean. Foil wrapped corn is delicious, btw.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked OutsidePlaying
  • moosemac
    16 days ago

    I have never used a grill pan. I leave the veggies large enough so they do not fall through and grill.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked moosemac
  • Lars
    16 days ago

    In L.A. we use the BGE all the time, and we have the weather to use it all year. We prefer Mesquite wood and charcoal - probably because that's what we were used to in Texas. We have used oak, but it has less flavor. We have very few days of rain, and when it does rain, it usually only drizzles or mists. We generally eat outside in our pergola.

    Favorite vegetables are zucchini, onion, bell pepper (yellow or red), mushrooms, and corn.

    For the corn, we pull down the shucks to remove the silk and then put the shucks back into place for grilling - we do not use aluminum foil in grilling anything. I put absolutely nothing on corn, as I do not want to detract from its sweet flavor, and so I eat it without butter and certainly without salt.

    Zucchini I cut into planks lengthwise using one of my mandolines, and I toss the planks with a small amount of olive oil plus S&P, but again very little salt.

    I use skewers for onions and separate skewers for the bell peppers, as I find that they need different times to cook. I brush them with a bit of oil, and that's it.

    For mushrooms, I cut them in half or in quarters and marinate them in a mixture of garlic, olive oil, vinegar, black pepper, and fresh herbs, such as thyme, basil, and oregano. Sometimes I just use a garlicky Italian salad dressing. I marinate them for about an hour and then put them on their own skewers. Thyme is my favorite herb (besides garlic) to use with mushrooms.

    For Portobello mushroom, I use a similar marinade, but I slice them into 3/8" thick slices and cook them directly on the grill. We have grill baskets but use them mainly for grilling chocolate Habanero chilies for when I make hot sauce. We also use the baskets for sausages and chicken. I prefer skewers for vegetables because it is easier to turn them. We use special grill pans for fish, but I mainly grill salmon, as non-fatty fish (such as swordfish) does not absorb much smoke flavor.

    I've grilled asparagus, but I find that it dries out quickly and also gets cold quickly, and so it is not one of my favorites.

    We grill in Cathedral City only in the winter, and we have a small charcoal grill that we bought specifically for fish, but we also use it for vegetables. The house came with a large gas grill, and we've used that, but the results are similar to cooking indoors. We did buy a new smoker and use that for smoking meat but not vegetables. We never eat outside in Cathedral City, even though we have a large dining table with an umbrella there. Usually it is too hot, and in the winter, the days are too short, and the dining area does not have lights - yet.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Lars
  • chloebud
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    We grill veggies in the baskets mentioned, on skewers, in foil or right on the grill. I've found simple seasoning is best...oil, salt and pepper. I sometimes combine oil with some chopped garlic, basil, salt and pepper. You can marinate them but not too long or they can get mushy/soft. Tossing the cooked veggies with a vinaigrette can be nice.

    I prefer corn grilled in foil. I remove the husks, smear them with butter and season with s&p. You don't need much else with good corn. They carramelize nicely in foil and are easier to handle without the husks.

    Annie, two good sources for grilling anything are Weber and Steven Raichlen. We have several books from both with lots of tasty veggie selections. Steven Raichlen's "How to Grill Vegetables" and Weber's "Art of the Grill" are just two of many. You might check online for some ideas from Steven R. and Weber. Not that you need a recipe for brilling veggies, but they have suggestions I like for seasonings and marinades. There's a good one in Art of the Grill for grilled veggies with a roasted garlic marinade.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked chloebud
  • petalique
    16 days ago

    Wood/charcoal grilled eggplant is delicious. If you like baba ghanoush, slow char grill the eggplant, let it cool for a while in a shallow bowl (overnight is great for developing flavor).

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked petalique
  • jojoco
    16 days ago

    (Sidetrack warning)

    Throw some fresh shrimp, butter, olive oil, pressed garlic and chopped basil in a heavy duty foil envelope. Grill a few minutes or so and serve, right from the foil, with a loaf of good dipping bread. It is a great starter for a bbq meal. (Just don't invite my youngest--he would inhale the shrimp until we swatted him away.)

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked jojoco
  • olychick
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    I use one of these; nothing falls through and it's easy to turn and toss the contents and remove things that may cook more quickly than other things. I toss the veggies in a bit of oil before grilling so they don't stick to the basket.


    Annie Deighnaugh thanked olychick
  • nicole___
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    I use foil with canola oil drizzled(olive oil will burn)...but I don't WRAP it in foil. It just keeps the oil on the veggies and closing the lid still gets the smoked flavor...not a steamed effect. I actually paid $10 at an outdoor restaurant....what a deal!...for grilled Romaine lettuce. Then swiss cheese on top with ranch dressing. It was delish!

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked nicole___
  • Sherry
    16 days ago

    We actually DO want our corn-on-the cob steamed with no grill marks or charred spots.

    I spray foil with Pam, place corn on foil, 1 teaspoon butter and 1 ice cube (mine are the crescent style). Roll the foil and crimp ends. I put on grill on the cool side when I dump the charcoal and cover. I do turn end to end and roll over occasionally while the meat is cooking.

    I do potato slices the same way, except no ice cube. Plain or with matchstick carrots, sometimes onions for me. Open when done and add cheese if wanted.

    No mess or heat in the house and it is great.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Sherry
  • vgkg Z-7 Va
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    I'll be grilling up some Patty Pan squash on the grill tonite. It will be grilled the same way we grill Eggplant. Sliced into 3/4" "steaks", brushed with olive oil & sprinkled with desired spices, then placed on the lower temp side of the grill while the real steaks are grilled on the hotter side. After a few flips with minimal brazing - it's suppertime.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked vgkg Z-7 Va
  • Lars
    16 days ago

    I have some pans like the one Olychick showed, but my complaint about those is that the handle sometimes gets in the way of the lid closing properly. I use that pan mainly for salmon or shrimp. I would like to get a pan like that with a removable handle.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Lars
  • Elmer J Fudd
    16 days ago

    I have a grilling implement that's not unlike what's shown in the image in Jinx's comment, a metal piece with holes in it. I can't bring myself to use it out of an aversion to having to get it clean after use. A wire grid would be worse. What veggie grilling I do, which is limited to the Weber kettle, is with items long and sturdy enough to be laid perpendicular to the grill lines.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Olychick
    16 days ago

    My wire basket is easy to clean. Like most everything, it goes in the dishwasher! The handle slides in enough to fit

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Olychick
  • Elmer J Fudd
    16 days ago
    last modified: 16 days ago

    I see. I don't know what the handle on your basket is made of but we don't put anything with a wood or plastic part into the dishwasher.


    (Edit to add - except for plastic cutting boards that have an NSF approval indication)

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Olychick
    16 days ago

    Mine is all metal but I do put some plastc handled things in the DW - like Revereware pans.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Olychick
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    9 days ago
    last modified: 9 days ago

    Thanks to everyone for all their input, I have been successful at grilling zucchini slices. It's very easy...hardest part is slicing them the long way with even thickness. They come out pretty good, but I've learned that I have to add a lot more spicing than I think and after that, sprinkling them with parm cheese makes it even tastier.

    I'm sure I'll be doing it more often...will have to try and expand to other veggies in the future.

    Thanks again for all your helpful suggestions!

  • Elmer J Fudd
    9 days ago

    "hardest part is slicing them the long way with even thickness."


    The right tool makes any task easier. Try an adjustable mandoline slicer, you'll get consistent slices quickly and easily.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Elmer J Fudd
  • Sofia
    9 days ago

    A couple of my favorites haven’t been mentioned yet, so I’ll add. Our artichokes are almost ready to pick and are delicious finished on the grill. First we steam them with garlic and lemon juice then drizzle on a little balsamic vinegar and sesame oil before setting them on the grill for 30-45 minutes. Yum! DH also grills russet potatoes wrapped in foil for me to use in potato salad. I leave the skins on and the grilled potatoes are a little more firm than boiled potatoes in the salad.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Sofia
  • Judy Good
    8 days ago

    I use a gas grill but also a charcoal grill if I have the time. I often use a basket for flavor and can toss nicely. I do my potatoes in foil, raw. Nothing like grilled veggies seasoned with Olive Oil, salt, pepper and garlic. I mix many different veggies in the same pan. You can pick out what you want.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Judy Good