Most people know someone who calls themselves a so-called grill master. A lot of these so-called experts say that you cannot get the good flavor out of a gas grill. This statement is truly false.
A gas grill can provide a much more convenient way for the average person to make amazing grilled food. If you want to get some expert opinion on what gas grills to get for yourself, our friends from Outdoor Cooking Pros have some great suggestions for top-performing grills. If you already have a grill that you’re happy with, read on to learn how you can grill vegetables perfectly.
When using a gas grill there are some important steps you should take before grilling. An advantage of the gas grill is that it heats up much faster than wood fires or charcoal. This however doesn’t mean that you don’t need to heat it up sufficiently before grilling.
Fire up your grill and leave it on full blast for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Using high heat for short periods of time is called direct grilling, and is good for applications such as seafood, steaks, chicken breasts, and most vegetables. Now that you have a general idea on how to grill your food, let’s focus on one type of food that you can totally enjoy grilling: vegetables.
Why Grill Vegetables?
It is always a dream to throw on a rack of ribs or juicy steak on the grill to be kissed by the infernal heat of the charcoal briquettes or propane flame. The results are magical and you call it a complete weekend when mixing such delicacies with good company, drinks, and laughter. The grill creation does not start and end with just the chunk of protein about to be seared under scorching conditions.
The backyard chef must also consider adding some color and flavor such as vegetables to the picnic plate. Dietary guidelines tell us to get five servings a day so why should an outdoor prepared meal be any different? The ability to cook veggies on the grill is quite easy and fun provided you choose the right kinds.
Ideal Vegetables for Grilling
Vegetables seem to get a bad rap not just by kids, but adults as well. How is one expected to get excited when the first image of vegetables is the small rectangular box of frozen broccoli cuts or can of creamed corn hidden in the food pantry that may be from a few years back? Erase such thoughts from your head and prepare your palate for these ideal vegetables for grilling.
Potatoes are usually one of the first carbohydrates of choice to accompany the main dish. Most cooking methodologies with the potato involve stove top methods or use of the oven for your giant baked spud. There is no need to heat up the kitchen as even potatoes can be heated through the use of the grill. The preferably way to cook potatoes on the grill is through cutting them into steak fry portions and seasoning them with butter (or olive oil) and Mediterranean herbs such as rosemary and oregano. Wrap the potatoes up in two layers of aluminum foil and place on the grill under medium heat with cover closed. Please keep in mind that these vegetables will need to begin cooking way before any meat touches the grill since the cooking time is going to take about a half-hour. The end result will amaze you but beware of extreme heat when opening the foil pouch.
Nothing adds a little color to your picnic plate-like grilled zucchini or yellow squash. I usually purchase one of each and cut lengthwise no wider than one inch thick. Coat the squash with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and lay on grill over medium heat. Cook the squash about four minutes on each side and remove from the grill. The squash will have a neat appearance and buttery flavor that will accent your main dish quite well.
Living in the Midwest, I typically do not commence eating corn until the locally grown stuff hits the markets. The methodology for cooking corn is quite simple. You will want to immerse the corn with husks still on the cobs into a bucket of water for at least a half-hour. Then the corn can be placed on a grill over medium heat. The total cooking time is about ten to twelve minutes and the cobs will be rotated every few minutes. The end result will be tasty since the kernels are apparently “steamed” and given a roasted flavor during the cooking process. I like the smoky aroma that permeates the backyard when grilling this side dish. The only negative attribute to the corn in the husk technique is trying to remove the very hot husk to serve yourself and your guests. Do yourself a favor and wear gloves when getting the corn husk removed.
Nothing accents a steak quite as well as a good cremini or button mushroom. Mushrooms are quite easy to prepare on the grill but can be very fragile and fall apart easily if not heated appropriately. The optimal way to grill a mushroom is to skewer it after a good cleaning. There is no need to oil or season mushrooms since they hold their own when it comes to flavor and moisture. Place the skewer on the grill over medium heat and grill for about ten minutes turning every few minutes. If you prefer mushroom as the main course rather than a steak, then consider purchasing a larger Portabella mushroom which can be sliced and placed directly on the grill. Portobella mushrooms are very tasty and are excellent with red wine.
Peppers are one of my favorites as I will mention them last. Peppers are pretty simple to prepare for the grill. Once the pepper is rinsed, cut the pepper in half and remove the seeds, ribs, and any extra debris. Cut the pepper lengthwise into one inch strips. The peppers can then get a little coating of olive oil and hit the grill. Watch the peppers closely as they only need to be grilled for about three minutes on each side. Peppers almost transform into fruit when heated by the flames as a sweet roasted smoky flavor seems to emit during the grill stage. When peppers are in season I will usually prepare two or three different colors of peppers to make the dinner plate more esthetically pleasing to eyes and even more so to the palate.