Step aside steak; move it lamb; take a walk chicken; there are new players in BBQ-town. They’ve been around forever, you love them, they’re lean, healthy and delicious…they’re veggies!
Without doubt, veggies are the most under-utilised BBQ food and I’m at a loss to understand why. Just as with meat, the high heat of the BBQ and open flame of the grill has the ability to bring out the rich, natural flavours of almost all veggies. Plus, cooking them is dead simple!
Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to creating the perfect complement to your barbecued meat, or creating a delicious meal in its own right:
1. Chop Up
Larger veggies such as capsicum, eggplant and zucchini generally cook through more evenly if chopped up into smaller pieces – either slices or chunks. To prevent these, and other naturally small veggies such as cherry tomatoes, from falling through the grill bars or rolling away, stick them on a skewer, which conveniently doubles as a great serving method. We have two versatile products perfectly suited to small items like vegetables and prawns- BBQ Non Stick Skillet Basket or the BBQ Grill Wok/Vegetable Basket.
2. Oil Up
It’s best to ‘paint’ your veggies with a thin coating of oil prior to cooking, rather than drizzle it on liberally. Too much oil causes BBQ flare-ups, while an even coating of oil will ensure an even cook and an even distribution of seasoning.
3. Season Up
While most vegetables are delicious on their own, they often need a little bit of help in bringing out their natural flavours when cooked. A light seasoning of salt and pepper will do the trick. If you’re feeling adventurous, various herbs and spices will add some extra character, and help match your veggies to your other dishes.
4. Grill, NOT Hot Plate
To bring out those deep barbecued veggie flavours, cook over the grill. Not only will they taste better, but also have that typical blackened, grill bar branding that people love. In the case of large pieces or dense veggies, you may want to move them to the hot plate to cook through after being seared on the grill.
5. Barbecuing Veggies is NOT One Size Fits All
Some veggies cook fast; some slow. Some are best cooked in an al-foil jacket; some only require a light sear on the grill. It is important to know the best way to cook each individual vegetable to ensure they don’t end up burnt, ‘raw’ in the middle, or tasteless.
How will you know how to cook each individual vegetable? Tune in next week for our top tips on how to cook our favourite BBQ-specific veggies.
What do you think? Do you regularly cook veggies on the barbie? Do you have any tips of your own, or any questions? Send us your favourite recipes. We’d love to share them here on our blog.