Whenever my family has a barbecue, we always include a few kabobs. Unfortunately, for the longest time, whenever I tried to grill the vegetables they never turned out the way I wanted. Usually they were too burned, too mushy, or too raw. That is, until I learned the "secret" to vegetable grilling. Below is a fantastic technique that you can use the next time you pull out the old grill. Better yet, this technique will work whether you are making kabobs or you are just grilling a few vegetables.
- Choose. This may sound like a rather silly thing, but the first step in grilling your vegetables is to choose which vegetables you will be using. The best grilling results come from using vegetables that have high water content, but you will also want to ensure that the vegetables are complementary in taste. Use vegetables such as onions, zucchini, eggplant, and so on while avoiding vegetables like carrots and cauliflower.
- Prep grill. After you choose which vegetables to grill, it is time to prepare the grill itself. Light your grill so that while you are preparing the vegetables it will be heating up to the proper cooking temperature. For a charcoal grill this is particularly important as coals are not immediately ready for cooking.
- Wash and cut. Wash your vegetables thoroughly. While it is true that the heat should cook off anything harmful, it never hurts to be a little extra cautious. Once you have washed the vegetables, cut them all into equal sized portions as much as possible. Make sure you cut the vegetables so they are larger than the slats in your grill. (That way they won't fall through.)
- Oil. To really keep your vegetables from getting burned and sticking to the grill, just use a little oil. The best kinds of oil are either canola or olive oil. Olive oil is the preferred method, as it has a unique taste that usually enhances the flavor of vegetables. If you really want to experiment a little, try using some of the olive oil that is infused with other flavors, to give your vegetables a little extra kick.
- Season. Typically when grilling vegetables, it is best to keep things simple in the seasoning category. This means sprinkling a little salt and pepper on both sides of the vegetables prior to grilling. Some other seasonings that can work great with grilled vegetables are things like onion powder, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese.
- Grill. By now the grill should be ready to use, so place the vegetables on and begin cooking. Allow the vegetables to stay on the grill for three to five minutes, and then flip. This cooks the vegetables to a medium-soft consistency. Don't be afraid if there is some minor charring on the vegetables; that is normal and can actually help enhance the flavor a bit.
Once you are done with your vegetable grilling, remove the vegetables from the grill and allow them to sit for roughly five minutes. This allows them to cool (just a tad) while also allowing the cooking process to finish.