12 Foods You Didn't Know You Could Grill

You already knew that you could achieve life-changing char marks on your steak on your grill. You knew, too, that your asparagus, zucchini, and corn could thrive in the direct heat of the grill grate. But did you know how many other great foods were well suited for the magic of the grill? Fruits, vegetables, and even eggs—they are all there for your grilling recognition. Learn more about what you can grill and why as we embrace the upcoming grilling season with open arms.

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Skewered Grilled Cantaloupe

Grilling condenses this already sweet melon's flavor, and it also provides an interesting backbone of smoke. Plus, it changes the texture of the melon, making it softer. Pro-tip: adding a little bit of oil to the grate of your grill will help prevent melon from sticking, since the sugar in watermelon is prone to caramelization.

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Eggs on the Grill

Eggs on the Grill
Photo by Baking Nana.

Believe it or not, eggs are easy to prepare on the grill. All you need is a muffin tin and a little oil or cooking spray. The benefit of cooking eggs on the grill is that your eggs will taste smoky, like they attended their own small campfire. You can also add to them whatever spare vegetables you happen to have lying around. It's an easy way to make breakfast (or lunch or dinner) for a crowd.

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Grilled Romaine

A Caesar salad made with grilled romaine

This sturdy lettuce is one of few that can actually hold up to the high heat of the grill. What's more, the grill actually offers Romaine a depth of flavor that the lettuce does not ordinarily possess. Cut the hearts in half and place them flat side down on the hottest part of an oiled grill. Grill Romaine for a salad with complexity and character. This works particularly well for the ever-popular Caesar salad.

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Grilled Tomatoes

While fresh tomatoes are great, these nightshades are also a great vehicle for smoke and char. Because they have a high sugar content, they can take on a lot of color on their skin from the grill. Tomatoes can also assume a lot of flavor from the grill itself, making them good candidates for that rich, smoky grill taste. A few minutes on the grill is plenty, if you're looking to maintain texture.

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Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Peaches with Burrata and Basil

Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Peaches with Burrata and Basil
Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Peaches with Burrata and Basil | Photo by Chef John. Chef John

In-season peaches may be hard to beat, but why not try anyway? Tossing those incredible stone fruits on the searing hot grill will condense their already sweet juices, making them even sweeter and more tender. And not-quite-ripe peaches will benefit even more, since the heat will make them taste riper than they actually are. Slice them in half and cook them flat side down until they develop grill marks. You can serve grilled peaches as dessert, of course, but you can serve them in savory dishes, too. Use them in salads, to accompany meats, or in relishes for fish and other proteins.

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Grilled Cauliflower

Grilled Cauliflower Steaks on a white plate
France C

This cruciferous vegetable's tough exterior takes on an almost meaty taste and texture on the grill. In fact, meat lovers might be surprised by how much they like cauliflower once they have it grilled. Adding a little sugar to the mix can help amplify those browning elements, too. Brush halved cauliflower with oil and sugar, place the flat side down on the hottest part of the grill, and you're good to go. Consider adding cauliflower to your rotation as a way to eat a little less meat.

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Grilled Avocados

On the grill, avocado becomes a near-mousse, with a creamy, unctuous quality that is heightened by the slight sweetness of the grill's smoke. Cut avocados in half, leave them in the skin, and place them face-down on the grates. Spoon warm, grilled avocado over equally warm tacos, for an unparalleled culinary pairing.

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Grilled Lemons

Grilled Lemon Limeade
Photo by foodelicious.

Grilling citrus may sound strange, but putting lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruits on the grill actually reduces the bitterness and makes them sweeter. Cut citrus fruits in half and place the cut half directly onto the grates of the grill. You may want to brush the grates with oil beforehand. Check the citrus fruits often, since the high sugar content in these fruits will make them prone to burning. It will only take a few minutes for them to caramelize. You can use them to squeeze over cooked fish, in juices and cocktails, or in desserts.

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Grilled Kale

Coconut and Lime Grilled Kale
Photo by Kim's Cooking Now!.

The era of kale is not behind us yet—and that's just fine by us. This leafy, tough green stands up well to the high heat of the grill. Tender leaves turn crispy and green-brown, like those kale chips you used to make in your oven (but no longer!). Unlike oven preparation, when you cook kale on the grill, you'll want to cook them whole and de-stem them afterwards. Kale can absorb pretty much any flavor you throw at it, making it a great vehicle for your boundless culinary imagination.

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Grilled Pineapple

This high-sugar fruit does particularly well on the grill. Trim, peel, and core the pineapple, and cut it into the largest pieces possible. Thick chunks work best for the grill. Place the fruit on the hottest part of the grill to develop good a good char. This fruit works well with ice cream, as an accompaniment to pork, and in all manner of spicy and sweet cocktails.

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Grilled Cabbage

A hearty vegetable that holds a ton of moisture within its plentiful leaves, this veggie was born for the grill. Brush cabbage with olive oil and let it go until the char has fully developed. Then, slice it long and thin and let it hang in a little bit of vinegar and you've got a delicious and complex slaw that will be the envy of any get-together.

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Grilled Bok Choy

Also a member of the cabbage family, this smaller style of cabbage cooks quickly and is an ideal side dish. Bok choy can have a slightly earthy, unpleasant aftertaste at times, but grilling eliminates that component, which is a good argument for putting it on the grates. Slice bok choy in half and place them flat side down on the grates of the grill until they begin to char.

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