Tips for Grilling Fruit
Grilling meat makes perfect sense. Who could resist a seared slab of ribs or steak? Yet you don’t have to relegate grilling to the meat and fish aisle.
The next time you visit your local farmer’s market or stroll through the produce aisle at the grocery, check out the wide array of fruit. Sure, you could eat that fruit as-is, or you could totally elevate it by grilling the fruit to perfection.
If you have never tried or learned how to grill fruit for summer kabobs, desserts or interesting side dishes, you and your guests are in for a treat. Below are our favorite tried-and-true tips for making delicious grilled fruit.
Tip #1: Oil Your Grill Grates
Do you plan on grilling your fruit directly on the grates of your griller? Do yourself a huge favor and oil them up. That way, you can avoid prying burnt pineapple or apple slices off the grates in frustration.
If you can’t seem to get a handle on how to make your grate non-stick for sugary fruits, don’t despair. Instead, use a shallow pan or piece of aluminum foil to create a barrier between the grates and your food. No, you won’t get grill marks. But that doesn’t always matter, as in the case of delicious and ridiculously simple Grilled Apple Crisp made from whole, cored apples.
Tip #2: Become a Fruit Babysitter
Forget about walking away from your grilled fruit the first few times you indulge. Otherwise, you could end up tossing your creations. Grilled fruit has a mind of its own, especially delicate fruits such as strawberries. Stay on top of your fruity, grilled creations until you get the hang of the process.
Tip #3: Use Your Grilla Grill’s Different Levels
You may not want to directly grill fruit on your primary grates. Instead, move them away from the main source of heat. You can also wrap your cut fruit in aluminum foil if you just want it to heat and not caramelize.
As a side tip for grilling fruit in foil, consider adding liquid to the foil package. Anything from lemon juice to liqueurs can transform the overall taste of smoked fruit.
Tip #4: Bathe Grilled Fruit Before or After Grilling
Before tossing your fruit slices or chunks on the grill, you can always soak them in liquor, wine or even beer. Experiment with your favorite beverages. Coating grilled summer fruit kabobs with honey or dipping them in sugar can make a wonderful covering if you make sure not to let the coat burn in the heat.
After grilling your fruit, feel free to drizzle it with chocolate, caramel sauce, honey or even more adult beverages for added flavor. Then, eat as-is or use the fruit to top ice cream, cake or other desserts.
Tip #5: Make a Big Batch of Grilled Fruit for Later
Grilling brings out new tastes in all types of ordinary and exotic produce. Once you become a fruit grilling master, consider making big batches of grilled fruit. Anything you don’t use immediately can go in the refrigerator. A grilled fruit smoothie will knock your socks off and leave you thirsty for more!
Another benefit to making more than enough grilled fruit is you can use it as an ingredient in any type of dessert. Take Blackberry Peach Rum Pie, for instance. Even though you’re going to end up using your grill to make the pie, you can absolutely use smoked blackberries and grilled peaches for the recipe. Consider it a double dose of grilled goodness!
Tip #6: Try Different Fruits
Rather than just sticking with pineapples and bananas, try out all your favorite fruits on the grill, including citrus varieties and fleshy fruits such as pears. You can grill almost any fruit, although you need to tend to them lovingly during the process. Grilling just-ripe fruit works best. You want fruit that’s just starting to soften so that it stays firmly on the skewers.
Of course, some fruits need to be pampered if you’re going to grill them. Cantaloupe can become soggy on the grates, so tends to be better smoked or at least wrapped in a foil boat. Kiwis are awesome, but watch them because they can burn fast. Experimentation is fine, but don’t walk away from your Grilla grill the first time you grill an untested type of fruit.
Tip #7: Play Around With Different Fuel Sources
A smoked apple will taste much different than an apple grilled over charcoal. Whether you grill or smoke, toss in some fruit chunks. You never know what flavors to expect!
With your Grilla pellet grill, you can easily play with fuel sourced from a variety of woods. Discover what applewood does to Granny Smiths versus how they taste when you use hickory pellets. The differences may seem subtle, but they’re probably more pronounced than you might have thought.
Tip #8: Try Cold-Smoking Your Fruit
Perhaps you don’t want grill marks on your fruit, but you want the fruit to have a smoky flavor. You can get the best of all worlds by cold smoking your produce.
Cold smoking isn’t as tough as it sounds. All you have to do is put your smoker on the lowest temperature setting and get a good smoke going. Then, place a lot of ice in a pan with a lip. Place the ingredients you want to smoke such as raspberries, blueberries and melon slices in an open dish in the ice. Put the pan and fruits in the smoker, close the lid, and let the magic happen.
Within about an hour or so, your fruit will take on the essence of the smoker. Don’t forget that you can cold-smoke other ingredients like cheese. Smoked cheese goes well with smoked or grilled fruit.
Tip #9: Keep a List of Fruits That Pair With Smokers and Grillers
No matter how sure you are that you’ll remember all the fruits you try on your smoker grill, do yourself a favor and jot them down. Keep a running list of the fruits you’ve successfully smoked and the ones that just haven’t played as nicely. Your document will become a go-to pitmaster source for fast desserts and snacks.
Make Fruit Part of Your Grilling Adventure
Have you never tried grilling fruit or making fruit kabobs? Is the idea of treating your family to Grilled Pineapple with Brown Sugar Glaze a mere dream? Wake up and smell the smoked peaches. Grab a skewer, chop up some melon and get started today.