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5 Tips for Grilling Fruit
Summer is here. That means the grills are coming out and we're looking forward to eating outside. It also means that many of us are going to increase the amount of fruit that we eat since fruit is juicy, light and great for summer. Why not combine these two great things and do some fruit on the grill this summer?
These five grilling tips should help you when cooking fruit on the grill:
- Start by grilling firm fruits. It is a lot easier to grill fruits that are firm than to grill fruits that are soft. For that reason, you should consider getting firm fruits for your first try or two at fruit grilling. Great choices include apples and pineapples. Later on you can go with softer fruits including everything from bananas to nectarines.
- Leave the skin on. When grilling most fruits, it is best to leave the skin or peel on the fruit. This will help keep the fruit held together so that it grills properly without falling apart. If you aren't going to keep the peel on your fruit then you will want to use a grilling pan to catch the fruit that falls away. Of course, you aren't going to grill most fruit whole with the peel on. Instead, you will slice or chunk the fruit but leave the peel on when you do. For example, you might grill lemons and you would do so by cutting the lemons into large slices or chunks without peeling the lemon first. It would be the same thing with oranges or most other types of fruit. Even with bananas you will leave the peel on, slicing the banana in half for grilling. When you place the fruit on the grill, you will place it skin up. Make sure that you remove the pits from any pitted fruit before grilling.
- Make sure the fruit isn't going to stick to the grill. Fruit is juicy so it's a lot less likely to dry out on the grill than certain other grilled items like fish. Nevertheless, you want to moisten it so it doesn't stick to the grill. A little bit of butter will help with this. If you want to be healthier than that then choose a lightly flavored olive oil. You can brush the olive oil on to the grill, the fruit or both. Another great option is to soak the fruit in cold water before you grill it; let it soak for about twenty minutes so it fills up with water and stays moist during grilling. You can add lemon juice, flavored extracts like vanilla extract, or spices such as cinnamon to the water for additional taste. You can even add alcohol (like rum) if you so desire.
- Watch the grill carefully. Fruit grills very quickly. You will typically set your grill to medium-high heat (around 350-400 degrees). Most fruit will grill in about 3-5 minutes. This is if you're going to be cooking the fruit directly over the heat on the grill which is the best way to grill most fruits. However, you also have the option of packet grilling your fruit in indirect heat. To do this, you will wrap the fruit in foil and put the foil off to the side of the grill away from the direct heat of the flame; this will take anywhere from 10-20 minutes.
- Serve the fruit as is or in many other ways. Grilled fruit can be served without any additional toppings. However, it can also be drizzled with a caramel or chocolate sauce, spooned over ice cream or covered with a fruit puree. Note that if you are packet grilling your fruit then you can actually add chocolate to it before you grill it. And if you are grilling a pitted fruit that has been cut in half then you can spoon ungrilled fruit or chocolate into the pit and serve it that way.