Summer dinners can be challenging. It’s too hot to fire up the oven, and you don’t really feel like eating a heavy meal anyway. The perfect solution? Grill up some veggies. When you cook outdoors, you keep your house cool and spare yourself a big mess in the kitchen – plus, the food can be out of this world.
When you think grilling, you probably think burgers and dogs – but there’s so much more than that. Some veggies were just made to be grilled (I mean, have you ever had grilled asparagus? There is nothing better!) Grilling produce requires the same basic equipment as anything else you want to cook over the coals, with a few exceptions. Here’s what you need to get started:
Not a shock, right? You can’t grill anything if you don’t actually have a grill! The type you go with mainly comes down to preference – some people like that charcoal flavor, and some don’t. We prefer a propane grill, due to the even heat and uniform temperature control. Our favorite is this Weber Liquid Propane Grill. Everyone recognizes the Weber name – and for a reason. The brand has been around forever, and they offer a high-quality product. The last thing you want is a second-rate grill with an ignition switch that doesn’t fire or a burner valve that doesn’t work!
A Great Set of Tools
How’s that old saying go? A grill master is only as good as his toolset? Something like that. When it comes to cooking out, tools really do matter. Cheap utensils can rust, melt, or even fall apart mid-burger flip. Look for a set that’s made from stainless steel for long-lasting quality, and make sure you have all the essentials – at a minimum, you need a spatula, tongs, grill fork, and grill brush. Corn holders are an unnecessary, but fun, extra.
A Grill Basket
Grill baskets are magical. They allow you to cook all the little stuff (like zucchini wedges or button mushrooms) that would otherwise fall through the grate. We like this option because the curved handles make it easy to pick up and carry, and the raised edges help keep everything inside. Like grill tools, your grill basket should be made from stainless steel – and make sure it’s suitable for the type of grill you own.
A Fun Apron
No BBQ is complete without a sassy apron! We’re going fairly sensible with our choice – but you’ll be the most popular person at the party when you whip out its attached bottle opener! No matter how whimsical and fun you want to get, look for a few key features: lots of pockets and a sturdy, durable fabric that repels moisture.
If you’re like us, you have a few basic recipes memorized, and that’s what you go to every time. Mix up your grill sessions with new, interesting recipes from a quality cookbook. Two to consider: “From Garden to Grill: Over 250 Vegetable-based Recipes for Every Grill Master” and “The Gardener & the Grill: The Bounty of the Garden Meets the Sizzle of the Grill.” With seasonal recipes including items like kale and feta pizza, butternut squash kebabs, and grill-baked apples with cinnamon nut stuffing, you really can’t go wrong with either one.
Even if you don’t typically like vegetables, you might find that you actually love the way they taste fresh off the grill. From lettuce to corn to potatoes, there are countless options when it comes to grilling your veggies – experiment and try new recipes to see what you like. It’s a great way to get some more produce into your diet!