Trade classic cookout desserts like pie and cobbler for something different — grilled fruit. From peaches to watermelon, grilled fruit makes for a refreshing, smoky-sweet treat that’s simply irresistible. Not to mention, it looks stunning. What are the best fruits to grill? Consider stocking up on these four fresh fruits before your next backyard barbecue.
Why? Grilled peaches scream "summer!" Top them with ice cream for a sweet fix or serve them on their own. Use them for a salad course (or a main course) with our recipe for Grilled Peaches with Dandelion Greens and Ginger Dressing.
How? Slice clean peaches in half and remove the pits. Place cut-side-down on a clean, oiled grill. Grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until light grill marks appear and the flesh is tender. If desired, flip and grill for another 3 minutes to caramelize the skin, too.
Why? Juicy watermelon is another harbinger of summer, and grilling infuses the moisture-rich fruit with a pleasant hint of smokiness. Try our recipe for Grilled Watermelon with Olive Oil and Sea Salt.
How? Slice a watermelon into half-inch-thick pieces, then cut each piece into 6 evenly sized wedges. Place on a clean, oiled grill. Grill over medium heat for about 1 minute or until light grill marks appear. Flip and grill for another minute.
Why? Delicious paired with sweet (a drizzle of honey), spicy (a dusting of chile-lime salt) or a combination of sweet and savory (like our recipe for Grilled Pineapple with Balsamic Honey Glaze), grilled pineapple is endlessly versatile. The sturdy nature of pineapple makes it ideal for grilled fruit novices.
How? Peel a pineapple and slice into half-inch-thick rings. Place on a clean, oiled grill. Grill over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until light grill marks appear. Flip and grill for another 3 minutes.
Why? Not a fan of fuzzy peach peels? Try the same method with nectarines! Use the sweet and tender grilled stone fruits in cocktails, like our Smoky Nectarine Punch, or simply drizzled with honey and garnished with fresh blueberries for a sweet dessert.*
How? Slice clean nectarines in half and remove the pits. Place cut side down on a clean, oiled grill. Grill over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until light grill marks appear and the flesh is tender. If desired, flip and grill for another 3 minutes to caramelize the skin, too.
Our Top Fruit Grilling Tips
Start with quality fruit. Not only will you find a wide selection of organic produce in our Produce department, but our field inspectors personally visit farms to select the best-tasting fruits and vegetables at peak season.
Opt for fruits that are naturally medium to firm in texture, medium to large in size and just reaching ripeness. (In other words, it's probably best to skip overripe, itty-bitty raspberries that will melt right through the grates.) This way, the ingredients offer the ideal blend of sweetness and ability to stand up to the heat.
If you're worried about losing any of your fruit to the flames, try grilling in a parchment-paper-lined foil packet rather than over an open flame.
Clean your grill grates beforehand. Scrub with a grill brush or crumbled-up ball of foil then dampen a towel with oil and grease the spick-and-span grates with tongs for a nonstick surface. If you find you still have trouble with sticking, brush the fruit with a layer of a neutral-flavored oil, such as canola, too.
Cook fruit over medium heat so the natural sugars get caramelized rather than scorched.
If you don't have an outdoor grill, no worries — try the same strategy using a grill pan on your stove.
*Disclaimer: Must be 21+. Please drink responsibly.
**While supplies last. Quantity limits apply. Quantities limited. No rain checks except where required by law.