I deeply love cooking with fireplace, particularly in the case of grilling greens. When you get a deal with on the flame, the elevated management permits for almost limitless potentialities. Grilling provides you the flexibility of cooking anyplace, similar to within the park, tenting, out of the again of your automotive, or at house (with out heating your own home)!

Beneath, you may discover my intensive information on how one can grill greens. Even after a few years, I am considering of enjoyable new issues to strive (like grilling beans—a technique I discuss in my upcoming book)! 

Grilling vegetables with an example of close-up of grilled asparagus.

What Greens to Grill

This information is way from an exhaustive checklist however is right here that will help you reference as you learn via the remainder of this information. There are various other ways to grill every vegetable, and I extremely suggest enjoying round! 

Summer time

  • Candy Corn: Grill complete, minimize into corn ribs (a foolish title, however we’ll roll with it), or lathered in one thing scrumptious and wrapped again within the husk—a way that locks within the moisture. 
  • Inexperienced Beans: Entire or sometimes minimize into items. I particularly love grilling the bigger/flatter runner bean pods, such because the Romano beans. When grilling inexperienced beans, I blanch or steam them barely forward of time or plan to make use of residual warmth after grilling to attain a young however not unhappy texture. 
  • Eggplant: Any selection. Eggplant is nice grilled complete, in halves, or minimize into slices, cooked on the coals, or threaded onto skewers. 
  • Tomatoes: Whereas any tomato will grill, I choose to make use of tomatoes with decrease moisture content material, similar to cherry tomatoes and halved paste tomatoes. Add grilled tomatoes to salads, tossed in pasta, or as the bottom for a smoky tomato sauce.
  • Zucchini/Summer time Squash: traditional grilling greens, minimize zucchini into halves, strips, wedges, or cubes. 
  • Potatoes: Halved, wedged, or cubed work nice, or you possibly can stick a potato proper within the coals for a baked potato. Plan to parboil or steam forward of time for many purposes. 
  • Edamame: A summer time deal with! Grill proper of their pods, then toss with a little bit of olive oil and salt earlier than serving. You may also grill shelled edamame with a grilling basket. 
  • Peppers: At all times a good suggestion. Peppers grill effectively, both complete or minimize into slices. Most peppers do effectively to take away their papery pores and skin after grilling, as you’d in the event you had been making roasted crimson peppers. I wish to take away peppers from the grill, cowl till principally cool, after which rub off the pores and skin. 

Cooler Months

  • Winter Squash: A incredible choice in nearly any type. Grill halved delicata, wedges of crimson kuri squash, cubes of butternut squash, or smoke an entire squash within the coals to make the most effective squash puree. 
  • Brussels: Nice complete, halved, or threaded onto skewers. 
  • Cabbage: I principally grill cabbage in wedges and minimize via the stems to make sure they keep intact. 
  • Broccoli: Entire and halved broccoli crowns make a stellar vegetarian foremost, whereas grilled florets work anyplace you’d usually use broccoli. 
  • Candy Potatoes: Cooked complete within the coals for a pleasant baked candy potato or minimize into wedges, slices, or cubes for grilling. I usually don’t peel candy potatoes earlier than grilling.  
  • Celeriac: A gnarly-looking root, however it is among the finest issues to grill when you get previous the outside. Slices, cubes, and wedges all work effectively. 
  • Turnips: Search for Japanese (Hakurei) turnips. These small, white turnips are incredible grilled complete or sliced in half. I choose to depart a tiny little bit of inexperienced stem when grilling so as to add to their presentation. 
  • Asparagus: One of many least-effort grilling greens!
  • Fava Beans: Just like edamame, the youthful pods are incredible grilled after which eaten by popping the favas into your mouth. The older, bigger favas might be shelled and cooked in a grill basket. 
  • Radishes: Nice complete, halved, or wedged. Whereas all styles of radishes grill effectively, I benefit from the punchy black radish. Grilling mellows barely whereas nonetheless retaining a strong quantity of taste. 
  • Snap Peas/Snow Peas: You solely want a small bit of fireplace to make them shine—there’s actually no must prep, just a bit direct warmth! 
  • Fennel: I choose to grill fennel in wedges or slices to make use of in grain bowls, salads, and even as a pretreatment to pickles.  

12 months-Spherical

  • Carrots: Chances are you’ll consider carrots as an unlikely grilling companion. Nevertheless, the fireplace brings out the slight sweetness everyone knows and love. Go away smaller carrots complete, and bigger carrots work effectively sliced in half or minimize into bite-sized items. I like to chop carrots on the bias for grilling simply to maintain issues visually attention-grabbing. 
  • Beets: Like carrots, grill beets complete or minimize into wedges or bite-sized items. Any beet selection will grill, however I am significantly keen on grilling the stripped Chioggia beets. 
  • Onions: Every kind, in each means, onions are one of many best presents to grillers. Reduce them into wedges or slices or thread them onto skewers (a favourite of mine). Smaller onions, particularly spring onions, are nice grilled complete or tucked into scorching coals. 
  • Different Alliums (Shallots, Scallions, Leeks, Inexperienced Garlic, Garlic Scapes): You may’t go unsuitable. Grill complete (shallots included) or minimize in half lengthwise (a superb strategy to go if trying to clear earlier than grilling, similar to leeks). 

Grilling Greens, The Prep

A part of what makes grilling greens so distinctive is the flexibility to prep them in a myriad of how. The way you put together the greens to grill can affect the ultimate texture, taste, and presentation. 

To chop or to not minimize

The primary choice it’s essential to make is what your ultimate vegetable presentation shall be. Realizing what your ultimate dish seems to be like will affect whether or not you permit your vegetable complete or minimize it in any means. 


Any vegetable will grill complete; nonetheless, you need to ask your self whether or not you must. Bigger greens will want some prep, extra time, or much less warmth. Should you toss an entire head of cauliflower on the grill with out thought, likelihood is you’ll find yourself with a charred exterior and uncooked inside.

My rule of thumb is that if I am grilling over direct warmth, the vegetable might want to bear some type of preparation to make sure a young exterior. For instance, I parboil that head of cauliflower till simply tender, then grill it. This method works for complete carrots, turnips, beets, and Brussels sprouts. My solely exception to that is any vegetable cooked straight within the coal, which I speak extra about within the grilling part. 

Candy corn, beans, peas of their pods, asparagus, and peppers are all nice grilled complete with little preparation. 

Thick quarters of broccoli for a guide to grilling vegetables.

Halved and Wedged

When presentation is the secret, I like to make use of halves or wedges of greens. Chopping greens like that is lovely and sensible–there are fewer possibilities of falling into the flames.

For halved greens, carrots are halved lengthwise with an inch of inexperienced tops nonetheless on, smaller zucchini is halved and marinated, or halved Brussels sprouts make for an ideal bite-sized piece.

As for wedges, suppose large wedges of broccoli, cabbage, candy potato, potatoes, cabbage, or cauliflower. Or go smaller with wedges of beets, fennel, or winter squash (significantly the varieties with edible peels similar to kabocha or crimson kuri). 

Keep in mind, the thicker the vegetable, the extra seemingly it would be best to precook it barely forward of time. 

Sliced and cubed, a wide range of thicknesses

The primary factor to think about is the ultimate dish and what shall be a superb chunk measurement. Are you grilling greens destined for a sandwich or standing in for a fork and knife meal? You’d need slices.

Are you making a grain bowl, facet dish, pasta, or one thing else that must be simply picked up in a single fork chunk? Mess around with the sizes of the cubes, however keep in mind that you will need a grill basket (and people do have holes within the backside)!

A notice on peeling and grilling greens

I at all times ask myself this one query: will the pores and skin annoy me after I’m attempting to eat this merchandise? This reply may differ for a similar vegetable, similar to carrots. Sometimes, I am going to peel; extra typically, I will not.

The one exception to this: celeriac. The outside of this root vegetable means enterprise, and I am going to at all times peel it. 

Grilled potatoes for a guide to grilling vegetables.

Tenderize these greens

Whereas usually related to meat, tenderizing means softening one thing earlier than cooking. Tenderizing might be completed in some ways when working with greens! Pre-softening your greens is one key to reaching an ideal texture in each chunk.  


Greens excessive in water content material, primarily zucchini and eggplant, profit essentially the most from salting forward of time. That is completed by liberally sprinkling salt on minimize items of greens and draining any liquid that accumulates over roughly half-hour. 

Eradicating some moisture makes you much less prone to have a soggy, unhappy, grilled vegetable. 

Brining and Fermenting

Now, hear me out. You would take it one step additional. Brining and fermenting additionally contain utilizing a strong quantity of salt to take away moisture. But it surely takes the method a step additional to infuse the vegetable evenly with taste. 

Brining is short-term; typically, an hour is sufficient to make a distinction! The salt water penetrates the vegetable, drawing out the moisture and evenly distributing salt. Should you’re all for brining, I extremely suggest studying this article on Serious Eats. The writer discusses the proportion of salt used, the size, and varied ends in nice element. 

The method of fermenting is longer, and usually, you are not fermenting simply to grill. Nevertheless, you probably have fermented gadgets readily available, toss them on the grill! Just a few of my favorites are fermented cauliflower, garlic scapes (which made a superb sauce), and fennel. Should you want a primer for fermenting greens, I recommend starting here. 

Lastly, do not spend time marinating uncooked greens. With out the heavy hand of salt, the flavour will not penetrate the vegetable a lot. I add taste whereas the vegetable cooks or straight after cooking. By ready, the flavour shall be extra prevalent. 


Some greens want a little bit further softening earlier than hitting the flame. If any vegetable is liable to having a pleasant char on the skin whereas nonetheless maintaining its uncooked crisp on the within, I like to recommend precooking. 

Parboil an entire head of grilled cauliflower or broccoli till simply tender to make a show-stopping dish. Steam beets, carrots, or different root greens till they simply begin to soften. Blanch thick inexperienced beans to make sure a young post-cooking chunk. 

My rule is to precook greens till I can pierce them with little resistance. An excessive amount of, and also you danger overcooking the vegetable. It is trial and error, however the extra you’re employed on grilling greens, the higher your understanding of this step. 

As with most issues, you possibly can at all times maintain cooking if they’re undercooked. Nevertheless, you can not convey them again from being overcooked!

Sweet potato halves for an example of grilling vegetables.

Oils and Sauces

As soon as your grill is scorching and also you’re able to go, it is the ultimate step earlier than hitting the flames. Oil is at all times a good suggestion to assist in moisture and keep away from shedding that lovely outer char caught to the grill. Be liberal along with your oil usage-it’s okay. Use olive oil, avocado oil, or different high-heat impartial oils. Save the low-heat taste oils for a ending drizzle or sauce.

Past utilizing oil, brushing sauces on as you grill is an effective way so as to add moisture and taste. Assume BBQ sauces, spice-based sauces, or chile sauces—any sauce that may stand as much as a bit of warmth. I begin with a base layer earlier than grilling and maintain the sauce readily available to brush on sometimes. And the great factor about greens, as in comparison with meat, is there is not any uncooked/cooked contamination! 

For delicate sauces, particularly ones with contemporary herbs or sauces heavy on acid, I like to recommend utilizing them in direction of the top or after cooking. Burnt herbs are by no means enjoyable; cooking some greens in overly acidic mixes can maintain them robust. 

grilled corn as an example for a guide to grilling vegetables.

The various methods of grilling greens

Lastly, we’re able to grill! As I discussed above, you possibly can select how you grill your greens. Nevertheless, measurement is commonly the figuring out issue. 

On the grill

That is the simplest strategy to grill; nothing further is required. Nevertheless, this solely works effectively you probably have complete or giant items of greens that do not danger falling via the grates. Excellent examples are ears of candy corn, thick slices of zucchini, or complete peppers. 

In a basket or on a grill topper

I’ve singed my hand an embarrassing variety of instances making an attempt to avoid wasting slices of onions or a stalk of asparagus from falling via the grate. It is simply not price it when there are instruments to assist us! Search for grill baskets or toppers. You may get away with out utilizing a basket or topper, however I discover them very useful for cooking many of the greens. 

Baskets are smaller and are available in round and rectangular shapes, typically with excessive partitions. I like to make use of baskets for gadgets that I would need to give a superb shake whereas cooking, or which might be actually liable to falling via, similar to halved radishes, ½” or smaller cubed greens, or small complete gadgets like cherry tomatoes. 

Grill toppers are flat, griddle-like gadgets with no facet partitions. Just like grill baskets, the underside has holes, permitting fireplace to achieve the greens. I choose toppers for gadgets too giant for a basket however not extensive sufficient to cook dinner straight on the grill. This consists of wedges of greens and thin gadgets similar to asparagus, garlic scapes, inexperienced beans, or peas. 

On a skewers

Utilizing skewers requires extra prep however makes for straightforward grilling and a enjoyable presentation. I like to make use of skewers to make a straightforward meal with protein. I additionally use them with greens, tofu, frying cheeses, and even polenta cubes. 

Should you like skewers, I like to recommend selecting up a set of metallic skewers. Wooden skewers must be soaked forward of time, and even then, they are going to probably deplete within the fireplace. 

Within the embers, for coal or wood-burning choices

My most popular methodology for complete greens is cooking at a barely decrease temperature for an prolonged interval. I exploit this methodology if I’ve already been grilling and need to prep one thing for an additional meal. You are on the lookout for coals that every one have even ember protection with no lively flame. Ideally, the grill shall be between 200˚F to 300˚F. 

Any vegetable cooked this manner has a charred outdoors, creamy inside, and smoky taste. I exploit this methodology for making baba ganoush with eggplant, smoky squash puree from winter squash and candy potatoes, complete shallots or onions, and even smoky carrots/beets (rub the charred pores and skin off earlier than utilizing)! 

A notice on foil

Foil pouches are a preferred methodology for making certain moisture and even cooking. Nevertheless, I strive arduous to keep away from single-use merchandise and as an alternative depend on tenderizing greens or residual warmth. 

Forms of Warmth and Grilling Greens

After you’ve got prepped your greens and discovered one of the best ways to grill them, it is time to apply some warmth!


Utilizing direct warmth means proper over the flames. That is the way you get that lovely outdoors char–it is what we image after we consider grilled meals. Direct warmth is scorching and subsequently, works quick. 

I pair direct warmth with different forms of warmth and prep to provide the vegetable a superb colour and taste whereas making certain a young inside. The one greens I cook dinner over direct warmth are candy corn, tomatoes, and peppers–anything I might eat uncooked that solely wants a little bit time to lose its rawness. 


It is useful to have a part of the grill for direct warmth and one other half for oblique warmth. I consider oblique warmth as one thing much like roasting within the oven after searing on the stovetop. Oblique warmth penetrates the vegetable and is used to melt it. 

I exploit oblique warmth after I’m attempting to cook dinner a number of totally different greens without delay to make sure tender greens (particularly if I did not precook or did not precook sufficient) or to maintain issues heat. 


While you pull greens off the grill, they’re nonetheless scorching; we are able to use that to our benefit. To do that, take away the vegetable from the grill, place it in a bowl, and canopy for a couple of minutes. The residual warmth and steam proceed to cook dinner the vegetable. 

My favourite instance is inexperienced beans. If left on the grill for too lengthy, even with oblique warmth, they are going to turn out to be limp. By cooking over direct warmth after which transferring to a bowl, they are going to proceed to cook dinner. 

As soon as off the grill

Lastly, you’ve got grilled your greens, and also you’re good to go (nearly)! Nevertheless, there’s one final step to make sure the very best end result.

Make it Saucy

Proper off the grill, whereas your greens are nonetheless scorching, it is time to toss, brush, or coat them. Decide a sauce, compound butter, flavored oil, or marinade—there’s actually no unsuitable strategy to go. The vegetable is prepared to absorb all these good flavors. 

Just a few of my favourite saucy gadgets embody chimichurri, miso butter, chile oil, or soy-sesame marinade.   

Ending Touches

As soon as your greens have had an opportunity to take a superb soak, end with any extra touches similar to contemporary herbs, toasted and crushed nuts, or grains. Simply you’ll want to pattern and modify to your tastes, whether or not with extra salt, a bit extra punch from vinegar, or a drizzle of oil to spherical out the fat.

Close-up of grilled asparagus
For the greens
  • 1 pound vegetable of your selection (similar to candy corn, peppers, eggplant, asparagus, turnips, broccoli, cabbage, or cauliflower)
  • Salt (as wanted)
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive (avocado, or sunflower oil)
For Ending (choose and select as desired)
  • ½ cup sauce of your selection (similar to chimichurri, romesco, or chermoula)
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter (compound butter, or flavored oil)
Contemporary Herbs
  • Roasted Nuts or Seeds
  • Ending salt
  1. Prep: Give your selection of vegetable a superb scrub and pat dry. If leaving the vegetable complete, transfer on to tenderizing. If slicing, determine on the approximate form and measurement desired. Reduce items related in measurement to make sure even grilling.

  2. Tenderize: As soon as you’ve got prepped the greens, select a way of tenderizing if wanted. For greens increased in water content material, take into account salting and resting for as much as half-hour. If brining, plan to begin this a number of hours or extra earlier than grilling.

  3. For bigger greens that want an preliminary cook dinner, select to parboil, steam, or blanch as wanted. I choose to steam greens which may have delicate items, similar to a wedges of cauliflower. Heartier greens, similar to potatoes, are acceptable to boil (albeit at a temperature barely beneath a boil so the skin of the potato would not crumble). After precooking, place in an ice tub to forestall additional cooking.

  4. If planning to make skewers, thread the greens onto the skewers as soon as cool.

  5. Preheat your grill: As soon as your greens are prepared, preheat your grill. I usually grill at round 400˚F to 450˚F for direct and oblique warmth. If trying to cook dinner straight on the coals, let the grill burn till all of the coals are embers and the interior temperature is between 200˚F and 300˚F.

  6. Prepare dinner: As soon as your grill is prepared, brush/drizzle your greens with sufficient oil to coat them. Place them on the grill or in a grill basket. Prepare dinner, turning sometimes, till you meet your required stage of char.

  7. As soon as charred, both take away the greens from the grill if completed or transfer to oblique warmth to complete cooking. As soon as all of the greens end, take away them from the warmth and both cowl them to maintain cooking with residual warmth or be prepared so as to add taste.

  8. End them: As soon as the greens are grilled and prepared, toss along with your desired sauce, extra fat, herbs, spices, one thing acidic, or extra salt as wanted.

Recipes for Grilling Greens

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