How Long to Grill Vegetables
Grilling Times for Vegetables
Just a tiny bit of preparation can get most any fresh vegetable ready to toss onto the grill. Universally, you can wash the intended vegetable and then spray it with a little bit of olive oil and you’re good to head out toward the hot coals. The reason that veggies should be gently tossed with a little oil, cooking spray or melted butter is to prevent them from sticking to the grates.
Veggies can also be seasoned with a little salt & pepper (and/or other desired spices) before grilling, if desired. Marinating vegetables is also a great way to introduce more flavor, just beware that marinades will quickly absorb into soft fresh vegetable flesh so an hour of marinating time is generally considered plenty. If vegetables spend too much time in a marinade, they will end up tasting like straight marinade.
The following chart indicates the heat and time requirements for many popular vegetables. A few definition reminders first:
|Asparagus||Cut off the bottoms||Perpendicular to grates||Medium-high Indirect||3 to 5 Minutes|
|Beets||Wrap loosely in aluminum foil after tossing with oil||On grill||Medium Direct||30 to 35 Minutes|
|Broccoli||Soak in salted water for 5 to 10 minutes||In grilling basket||Medium-high Indirect||5 to 10 Minutes|
|Broccolini||Trim the bottoms||Perpendicular to grates||Medium-high Indirect||3 to 5 Minutes|
|Bok Choy||Halve and soak in salted water for 5 to 10 minutes||In grilling basket||Medium-high Indirect||3 to 5 Minutes|
|Carrots||Remove tops and wrap in foil||On grill||Medium Direct||15 to 20 Minutes|
|Cauliflower||Soak in salted water for 5 to 10 minutes||In grilling basket||Medium-high Indirect||5 to 10 Minutes|
|Corn||Soak in water for 5 to 10 minutes (or remove the husks and skip this step)||Perpendicular to grates||Medium-high Direct, turn often||20 to 30 Minutes (or 10 to 15 if no husk)|
|Eggplant||Slice into 3/4 inch thick circles||On grill||Medium-high Indirect||3 to 4 Minutes per side|
|Fennel||Cut bulb in quarters (save the tops!)||On grill or in basket||Medium-high Indirect||12 to 15 Minutes|
|Garlic||Wrap entire bulb tightly in aluminum foil||On grill||Medium Indirect||45 to 60 Minutes. Slice off the top & squeeze out the bulbs to serve|
|Mushrooms (Portobello)||Remove the stem||Cap side down||Medium Direct||5 to 10 Minutes|
|Onions||Slice into 3/4 inch thick circles||On grill or in basket||Medium-high Indirect||5 to 7 Minutes|
|Peppers||Halve and remove seeds before grilling for most larger peppers||On grill or in basket||Medium direct||2 to 3 minutes per side|
|Scallions||Cut off the roots||Perpendicular to grates||Medium-high Indirect||3 to 5 Minutes|
|Zucchini||Cut in half lengthwise||On grill or in basket||Medium-high Indirect||3 to 5 Minutes|
How Long to Grill Vegetables
Fruits are also great if grilled.
For most fruits; including pineapple, peaches, plums, pears, mangos and plantains the following instructions will apply:
- Remove any pits from the fruit.
- Oil or spray the grill.
This is important so that the resulting caramelized sugars won’t stick to the grates.
- Place the fruit directly on the grates over direct medium heat.
- Cook until grate lines appear.
- Flip the fruit.
Finish cooking until grill lines also appear on the other side. Flipping may not be necessary for smaller fruits like apricots and plums.
Grilling baskets are great for smaller vegetables and for those that tend to fall apart easily once softened. This one works great for us.
For some general grilling tips and ideas, see our grilling ideas post.
For more on alternate ways and times for cooking corn, see our how long to boil corn post.