Have you ever found yourself frustrated by doing so many mistake grilling vegetables? Ever tried to grill veggies only to turn what looked like a promising meal into a disaster?
We’ve all been there and that’s why we’ll be focusing on the most common mistakes we make while grilling vegetables.
Let’s see how many you’ll nod in agreement to.
Table of Contents
- 1 11 Common Mistakes Grilling Vegetables
- 1.1 1. You’re not Using Skewers and Grilling Baskets
- 1.2 2. You’re Only Oiling the Grates
- 1.3 3. You’re Overcooking the Vegetables
- 1.4 4. You’re not Seasoning the Vegetables
- 1.5 5. You’re not Using Frozen Vegetables
- 1.6 6. You’re not Cutting them Right
- 1.7 7. You’re not Controlling the Heat
- 1.8 8. You’re not Washing the Veggies
- 1.9 9. You’re Eating them the Wrong Way
- 1.10 10. You’re Throwing Away the Good Parts
- 1.11 11. You’re not Being Patient Enough
- 2 Why Should I Grill Vegetables?
- 3 What Are the Best Vegetables to Grill?
- 4 Seasoning Grilled Vegetables
- 5 Mistakes Grilling Vegetables: Still a Problem?
11 Common Mistakes Grilling Vegetables
Grilling vegetables is one awesome way to bring out nature’s decadent flavors. To do it right though, you must follow a few simple, yet effective rules.
Here are some things to bear in mind the next time you’re grilling those veggies.
1. You’re not Using Skewers and Grilling Baskets
Whoever said skewers were only for meat kabobs? Using skewers doesn’t only look gorgeous when presented, but it’s also an excellent way to keep smaller sized veggie pieces under control on the grill.
Some skewers can even infuse your vegetables with flavor from the inside. How cool is that?
If you don’t have the time to get your little veggies on a skewer, you can always opt for a grilling basket. These make it a whole lot easier to flip your vegetables.
What to Do
For the skewers, always remember to soak them for 30 minutes in water before using them.
Once you do that, alternate the vegetables on the skewers, leaving a little space between them to allow heat and air to circulate.
A quick tip is that you should try placing veggies with similar cooking time together.
2. You’re Only Oiling the Grates
Oiling the grates and skipping the veggies is something many of us are guilty of. When the vegetables aren’t oiled, they can easily dry out and lose flavor.
You should heat your grates before using them for the first time to remove any residue. This is for grates made of stainless steel or cast iron.
Then make sure you oil your grill’s grates before and after use so you can achieve the best flavor.
What to Do
Before placing your vegetables on the grill, lightly oil them. You can do so by brushing them with oil, giving them a quick toss in a bowl with oil.
Oiling vegetables helps keep maintain flavor and makes seasoning stick.
3. You’re Overcooking the Vegetables
For a lot of people, the flavor of burnt-out vegetables is appealing. But the heat that the process produces depletes the nutrients.
The best thing you can do is to leave them out on a grill just long enough, but not too long until they get a charred appearance.
You definitely don’t want your food to be exposed to benzopyrene, a harmful chemical also present in cigarettes.
This happens when you leave your veggies too long that they smoke out.
What to Do
A grill basket is a sure way of cooking your vegetables. It reduces char which is harmful and allows the vegetables to retain their moisture value. Vitamins and other minerals are also preserved in the process.
Also, make sure you check the cooking time of each vegetable before grilling it, so you can keep a close eye and avoid overcooking it.
4. You’re not Seasoning the Vegetables
Cooking experts say to treat vegetables just like meat. This means you should season them properly and early. It’s similar to how you add salt and pepper to your steak half an hour before you start grilling it.
If you season veggies with salt minutes before throwing them into the grill, the salt will penetrate inside them and give them a tasty flavor.
But if you do the salt seasoning and then directly throw your vegetables on the grill, the salt will only affect the surface flavor. The inside will remain the same.
What to Do
Make sure you properly season your vegetables 10-20 minutes before you start grilling them. Try these awesome seasoning ideas to give your veggies a kick.
5. You’re not Using Frozen Vegetables
Everybody seems to think fresh vegetables are the best choice when you want to grill them. However, that’s not always true. Sometimes, frozen vegetables are better.
Frozen vegetables retain more vitamins and minerals. The reason is once the vegetables are picked, they’re washed and frozen right away.
For example, peas are delicious when they’re fresh but their sugar content loses all taste as soon as you pick them. So, if you won’t start grilling peas immediately, you should freeze them.
What to Do
Keep some frozen vegetables at hand in your freezer. Once you decide to cook that delicious grilled chicken, throw in a mix of frozen vegetables to boost your plate’s nutritional value.
6. You’re not Cutting them Right
This is a common mistake that most of us make when grilling vegetables. Putting whole vegetables on the grill without chopping them may leave you with an undercooked, flavorless dish.
It’s best to cut and slice them for an even cook. You should also make sure you cut them in a size that your grill can handle.
They shouldn’t be too big that they can’t be cooked well but not too small either. This is because they may fall through the grill grates.
What to Do
To make sure you’re cooking your veggies quicker think of cutting them into sizes and shapes that’ll allow them to be exposed to heat as evenly as possible.
For instance, chop zucchini, onions, tomatoes and eggplants into slices. For bell peppers, try slicing them lengthwise. Always remember that some veggies are best-left un-cut like mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.
7. You’re not Controlling the Heat
Home cooks know how to handle stovetop cooking perfectly. Simply use a high temperature to achieve a golden crust and then go for a lower temperature until the inside of your vegetables are cooked without crust burns.
You can do the same thing when grilling vegetables. Use a high temperature to get those grill marks on your veggies and then use a lower temperature to complete the process. If you don’t do this, you’ll burn the outside and leave the inside uncooked.
What to Do
Use the dial to regulate the flame if you’re using a gas grill. It’s the same thing you do with a stove.
If you cook using a charcoal grill, get those beautiful grill marks, transfer them to a cooler spot so you can protect them from the hot coals.
8. You’re not Washing the Veggies
What people don’t know about vegetables is that they’re conventionally grown. Pesticides are used every day on vegetables so they’ll always have dirt and chemicals on the outside.
Vegetables that are affected the most by this issue include popular ones like spinach, celery and tomatoes.
Never forget to wash your vegetables before you start grilling them. These chemicals can cause damage to your health. They can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, and nausea among other common conditions.
What to Do
You can use running tap water to wash your vegetables or you can put them in freshwater. This way, you’ll be able to remove the soil attached to them. Give each vegetable a quick rinse individually, before finally drying it.
9. You’re Eating them the Wrong Way
Every time you sit down to eat your meal, you should also consume vegetables.
While at it, focus on the quality of your vegetables and not the quantity. Consuming sauces full of fat with just a bit of vegetables isn’t healthy. Cheese lovers understand what we mean!
In order to take advantage of the full nutritional value of your vegetables, you should consume them after grilling on low heat. This way, they won’t be full of calories that are bad for your health.
Just a veggie dip comes with about 110 calories in just a small serving.
What to Do
Opt for low-calorie dips and sauces instead of high-calorie ones like garlic-yogurt sauce and hummus.
A Greek-inspiration spread can end up saving up to 60 calories in each serving if you’re planning to eat a lot.
10. You’re Throwing Away the Good Parts
A lot of people prepare vegetables by removing stalks and leaves. They also peel off cucumber and potato skins.
If you aren’t aware, these are the nutritional parts of the vegetables. Well, it’s a common mistake. Skins and stalks have the highest concentration of vitamins.
What to Do
Use the chop and toss method. Try stir-fry salads if you’re looking to have a daily dose of nutrients. For broccoli, in particular, stalks and leaves would add more value to your nutritional needs.
11. You’re not Being Patient Enough
Once you lay that mixed veggie skewers on the grill, and smell that smoky flavor, you can’t wait to flip it over into your plate and munch on it. We know, we’re guilty too!
Flipping your vegetables too early wouldn’t yield the results that you want. First off, you probably won’t be getting those char marks that you’re looking forward to. Also, you risk that your vegetables stick on the grill.
What to Do
Leave your veggies undisturbed for a few minutes on the grill before attempting to turn them over. You can also use a pair of tongs to peak on the bottom side of once slice before you flip the remaining slices.
Why Should I Grill Vegetables?
Grilling reduces the cooking time of vegetables as recommended by most health practitioners. This allows them to retain all their nutritional value. It also caramelizes the sweetness of the vegetables making them more flavorful.
Here’s the best part: grilling avoids wastage. Vegetables have a very short shelf life which means anything that has been in your kitchen for more than a couple days will look unappealing, let alone worth eating.
But, before you throw them out, consider putting them on the grill.
You won’t be able to notice any difference after a few minutes and the smoky flavor will add some dazzle to your taste buds. It’s the perfect way to convert non-veggie lovers into huge fans.
What Are the Best Vegetables to Grill?
Here are some vegetables that you should consider grilling.
Yellow and Green zucchini
These are among the best vegetables to put on the grill. Avoid slicing them too thin as they may fall apart. Go for /3″ to 1/2″ sizes.
All kinds of Peppers
The poblano, Bell, jalapeño, sweet baby, or shishito have their place on the grill. Slice them, remove the seeds and you’re good to go.
Grilling eggplants is such a thrill. Once cooked, these vegetables become tender, creamy, smokey and super delicious. You can eat them straight up or turn them into a delicious dip.
Smoky, sweet, and crunchy! Corn is an all-time favorite and tastes absolutely delicious when grilled.
Cauliflower can be grilled too. Just remember to slice them as steaks to make sure they don’t fall apart while cooking.
Tomatoes can be halved or grilled whole. Either way, they’ll taste delicious.
Seasoning Grilled Vegetables
Grilled vegetables are yummy on their own, but if you want to tease your taste buds even further you can try seasoning them.
A bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper will do wonders for your veggies.
If you want to go all out, freshly chopped herbs like thyme, oregano, or rosemary are as indispensable as a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
While you are it, why not finish your presentation with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or pesto sauce.
Mistakes Grilling Vegetables: Still a Problem?
Mistakes happen, but they don’t have to include grilling vegetables. We’ve shared our top tips to help you flip deliciously grilled vegetables without worrying about the nutritional value on your plate.
It’s time to explore different vegetables and show off your prowess. No one will need to be coaxed into eating their vegetables.