Grilling into the Fall

Grilled vegetables and fruit taste as good in the cold weather as on warmer days.

By Familytime


Don’t let the cool weather put a stop to grilling. You can keep those outdoor fires going long into the fall and winter. Put on a warm coat, make sure there’s good light near the grill, and have fun! Here are some tips for grilling vegetables and fruit.

Know Your Veggies Some produce, like asparagus and tomatoes, take only a few minutes to grill, while denser vegetables, like potatoes, take longer to cook. To avoid burning your veggies,sear them over high heat, move them to the top rack of the grill to finish cooking. You can also precook them before tossing them on the grill for a few minutes to get some color on the outside and for that fresh-off-the-grill, smoky flavor.

Use the Right Accessories Smaller veggies, like cherry tomatoes, are delicious fresh off the grill, but they can be a little challenging to work with. Put them and other small veggies in a grill basket to keep them from rolling off or falling through the grate.

Stick it. A fun way to reduce barbecuing time is to thread small pieces of vegetables, fruit, and meat, poultry, or seafood on a stainless steel skewer. It’s easy to get kids to eat their veggies when they make their own special grilled kabob.

Move Over Bratwurst, Here Comes the Zucchini. When grilling your evening meal, make room on the grill for at least one fruit or veggie. Or, let the meat rest while you season and then cook the veggies.

Oil Up or Go Plain. Before hitting the grill, brush or toss vegetables with a light coating of oil, your favorite marinade, or melted butter. A little goes a long way. Plus, the liquid helps seasonings stick to the fruit. Some very juicy fruits, like pears and pineapple, can go straight on the grill without oil or any seasonings.

Bring on the Flavor. There’s no better method to bring out the flavor of produce such as pineapple and broccoli than grilling them. When cooked over a charcoal, gas or wood pellet grill, the heat of the flame intensifies flavor components while adding a smoky taste. Upgrade to a high quality grill and add a few apple or cherry flavored chips to your flame to improve the taste and texture.

Go Vegan. Skip the meat and go straight to the veggies on Meatless Monday or any other day. Grill foods such as portabella mushrooms, which have a thick and meaty texture similar to steak. Or try thick slices of watermelon. Both are not only good for you, they’re delicious, too.

Grill Up the Best of the Season. During the harvest season, make a trip to your farmer’s market to select fresh-picked, seasonal and local produce. Challenge yourself to see if you can grill the recommended five to nine daily servings of produce!

Leave Room for Dessert. Because grilling brings out the natural sweetness of fruits, they make healthy and fun desserts. Sprinkle some cinnamon on grilled peaches or mangoes, and once off the grill top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Looking for more #BarbecueProduce inspiration? Visit for produce recipes from commodity boards and food growers from around North America.