Putting fruit on a hot grill might seem like a strange practice, but you might be surprised at how popular it is. The traditional options for grilling are usually burgers, steaks, hot dogs, and the occasional bun or vegetable. Even the health-conscious grillers have several options for healthy grilling practices.
However, there’s a lot to be said for serving up grilled fruit at your next barbeque. We love hot apple pie with ice cream, so why not grill up some pitted peaches and serve them for dessert? They’d go very well with some cool vanilla ice cream, with a choice of caramel sauce or even freshly ground pepper for that added zing!
Still, it’s not like grilling fruit is an easy job. You have to take certain precautions and develop just the right amount of skill. After all, fruit has very high water content and wouldn’t really work well if you use liquid fluid to start the fire. Below are some additional tips for grilling your fruit for the next barbeque:
Patience is Everything
The key to perfect grilled fruit is patience. In order to get just the right result, you need to make sure that the fruit sugars caramelize properly. This takes time and a much lower heat than you use for grilling the meat.
If you’re planning on grilling large fruit like pineapples, cook up the main and side dishes first. Once these are removed from the grill, make sure to clean the cooking area thoroughly. After this, oil the grate thoroughly and place the fruit halves or pieces on it. You may also choose to skewer the fruit in a kabob style.
The Right Temperature
The fruit should go over coals that have slightly cooled downed down or a medium-high flame. The temperature range shouldn’t be more than 450 degrees Fahrenheit or below 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once you place the fruit on the grate, you should ideally close down the lid in order to let everything grill to perfection. This way, the fruit will easily pick up the searing effect. If you’re grilling thick fruit like sturdy melon, plums, peaches, apples, and pineapples, you might want to flip them halfway.
Using the Right Rack
In order to get that light yet seared result, the top rack is best for the more delicate fruits like berries, cherries, etc. A grilling sheet, foil pouch, or perforated grilling basket might also come in handy.
Adding Some Liquids
If you want to enhance the flavor of the fruit even further, consider adding a few more ingredients. For instance, you could splash the fruit with some balsamic vinegar or vanilla essence. You may also pour on some maple syrup or honey, or give the final result a light dusting of brown sugar.
Whatever you decide, we recommend that you run a few grilling sessions before the next big barbeque event. Adding certain ingredients could make the final offering too sweet, so you also want to think about different pairings.
Preparing the Fruit
In order to grill fruit properly, you first need to prepare it in the right manner. Below are some tips for the most popular grilling fruit choice:
- Pineapples: Cut off the heel end as well as all the rind on the exterior. Cut the pineapple into rings for grilling. You might opt to leave the core inside, or remove it. The core is usually harder and tangier than the rest of the fruit, so it’s really up to your personal preference.
- Peaches: Wash the peaches thoroughly, as you’ll be grilling them with the skin. Slice them in half and remove the pit before grilling.
- Bananas: For grilling, you should have some ripe yet firm bananas on hand. It’s best to leave the skin on the bananas in order to make the handling easier. Simply slice the whole banana lengthwise, then add a splash of vanilla and a sprinkle of brown sugar.
Using the Grilled Fruit
We’ve already discussed how grilled fruit would go perfectly with ice cream or syrups for dessert. You can also sprinkle the fruit with cinnamon sugar or pair it with some pound cake. For even more flavor, consider grilling the pound cake as well—it has been done!
Other options for using grilled fruits include salsas and appetizers. You can add grilled peaches or pineapples to any salsa recipe for a sweet kick to go with the savory dishes.
For appetizers, try grilling figs with goat cheese and serve them up before the main course. Combining sweet and salty flavors is sure to be a hit at any event.
The Right Equipment for Grilling Fruit
Now that we’ve discussed so much about grilling fruit, we’ll discuss the equipment we need to get the best results. The grill is obviously the main thing, but a few well-chosen accessories could make it all much easier:
Most grilling skewers we see in restaurants and homes are made of some sort of wood. This means that they’re only good for one use. After that, the juices from the fruit will render the wood soft and easily breakable.
To counter this somewhat wasteful choice, it might be a good idea to invest in these stainless steel skewers. These come in a set of ten with a spare, along with a packaging that will also double as convenient storage.
These skewers are highly rated on Amazon and feature a flat and wide blade. This way, you can prevent your fruit pieces from rolling or spinning on the grate. This will make even grilling a lot easier. The length is around 17 inches, which leaves plenty of room for grilling a lot of fruit.
According to reviews, these skewers wouldn’t get too hot while the grilling process is going one. However, they are on the sharp side, so we’ll say they’re better for smaller parties.
If you want a lot of skewers for a large party, it might be best to get a lot of bamboo ones in order to make sure everyone gets their fill. These bamboo skewers might be disposable, but they’re also made of a more eco-friendly material than plain wood.
You can use these for grilling your fruit or for a variety of other options, such as the items for a chocolate fountain. Its length is 12 inches which is more than enough to cater to all your grilling needs.
What’s best about these skewers is that they’re a natural and clean option, without the varnishing or finish that you usually find on stainless steel options.
Again, the skewers are on the sharp side. You might want to trim off the ends after the piercing is done, especially if there are going to be children at your event.
This portable perforated grilling basket is one of the best choices if you want to grill a large amount of fruit. There’s even a sauce brush in the package, which you may use for applying syrup, honey, vanilla essence, or balsamic vinegar to your fruit.
The material here is durable stainless steel of 430 grades. This reassures us that the construction is long lasting and easy to clean. The cooking surface is about 12.6 by 8.6 inches, which should be enough to accommodate two or three full servings at a time.
The basket is lockable, which means easy flipping and serving. If any of your friends love to barbeque, it might be a good idea to gift them this basket for their experiments.
Of course, some might still find the size problematic. It could hold too little at a time, or be too large for the grill. We suggest measuring your available cooking space and estimating the amount of fruit before ordering.
Grilling fruit can be a bit tricky, but one can soon get the hang of it, especially if they practice with the right equipment. Fortunately, there are several options for skewers and grilling baskets out there, so take your time and browse properly before committing to any one item.
You might have to face some trials and errors at first, but the ultimate reward is in the grilled fruit itself. You’ll be thankful for this new skill once everyone is enjoying the unique appetizers, salsa, or delectable desserts you churn out at your barbeques in the future.