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Grillmaster Secrets: How to Get The Best from Your Grilled Vegetables

Grilled vegetables

You are the proud owner of an outdoor kitchen, grilling station, or indoor grill built right into your stove - and you're grilling everything. 

You've tried your hand at burgers and hotdogs. You have deliciously charred a steak and you're starting to eye things that are not meat as fodder for your grilling passion. Maybe you're looking to start getting creative with your grilling perfection, like kebabs and, dare we say it, grilled vegetables?

Grilled vegetables are a staple of family gatherings, barbecue block parties, and gourmet outdoor dining alike. If you want to be a true grillmasters - and deliciously boost your summertime nutrition - it's time to grill some veggies. Don't worry if you've already taken a swing at it with less than satisfactory results. There's a trick to perfectly grilled and tasty vegetables -and we're about to lay it out in a quick 101 veggie grilling guide.


Quick Vegetable Grilling Tips

Here's your cheat sheet for vegetable grilling. Keep this nine-step process in your head or taped near your grill, and you'll quickly get the hang of great grilled vegetables every time.

  1. Cut evenly
  2. Brush with oil
  3. Sprinkle with salt and seasoning
  4. Make sure the grill is hot
  5. Close the lid
  6. Use tongs and spatula to flip halfway
  7. Remove on time
  8. Rest 5 minutes
  9. Sauce drizzle or herb dash
  10. Serve hot

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Which Vegetables are Best to Grill?

Which vegetables will be the most delicious when you grill them? The following list includes vegetables that do well on the grill, holding a firm structure and absorbing that tasty smoky flavor. Use your own tastebuds as a guide to which vegetables grace your grill at home. 

Yes, romaine lettuce is on the list because who doesn't like a smoke-flavored wedge salad? 

  • Corn
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Onion
  • Bell peppers
  • Zucchini
  • Edamame
  • Okra
  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Kale
  • Romaine
  • Squash


Chopping a Grill-Ready Platter

  • Even 1-inch thick slices
  • Halves and quarters

If we could share one secret about successful vegetable grilling, it would be knifework. Slice your vegetables into even pieces that will cook evenly and at predictable times. We recommend vegetable slices about a half-inch to one inch thick. However, some vegetables like bell peppers or heads of romaine are more typically halved or quartered and then turned to cook evenly, unless your goal is to sear just one side.

Get all your sliced vegetables ready on a platter while your grill is heating so everything can go straight on.


Season vs Marinade for Grilled Vegetables

Should you marinade your grilled vegetables? This is a matter of some debate. Some find that marinating vegetables before grilling will cause them to lose crispness, while those who marinade are also more likely to foil-wrap and grill in packets for a completely different grilled vegetable experience. A proposed alternative to marinating is to season your veggies with salt, oil, and herbs, and seal them in a bag or tupperware for a few hours before grilling to infuse that flavor.

Experiment for yourself to find out what you and your friends and family like best.

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Timing is Everything

Of course, the real trick to perfectly grilled vegetables is timing. You don't want undercooked veggies, charcoal sticks, or mush, so set a timer or have a clockface visible so you can track your times. Flip vegetable half or two thirds of the way through each cook time and close the lid in between (feel free to check frequently) to evenly cook your grilled veggies.

  • Corn: 12-20 minutes
  • Tomato: 4-8 minutes, depending on size
  • Bell Pepper Halved or QuarteredSliced:  8-10 minutes
  • Mushrooms Whole Portabello: 8-10 minutes
  • Mushrooms Smaller: 4-7 minutes
  • Eggplant Sliced: 5-7 minutes
  • Broccoli: 8-10 minutes
  • Romain Half or Quarter: 2-3 minutes
  • Onion 1" Sliced: 8-10 minutes


Bonus Tip: Timing Delicious Kebabs with Multiple Vegetables

If you're looking at these cook times and wondering how to manage a multi-ingredient kebab; good question! Kebab pros handle this by choosing vegetables with similar cook times, sizing different thicknesses to achieve similar cook times, and sometimes pre-grilling the slowest veggies a minute or two before building the kebab.


Building Your Grillmaster's  Kitchen with Edesia

Here at Edesia Kitchen & Bath Studio, we love working with someone who loves their kitchen. If you have a passion for grilling and want to build the ultimate outdoor kitchen or even the perfect kitchen for indoor grilling, we've got you covered. From grill covers for your gas stove to incredible outdoor designed, let us bring your grillmaster's dream kitchen to life with the pits of flame and large stone countertops you need to thrive.

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