Right now is the perfect time to enjoy stone fruits, as they’re at their peak throughout much of the U.S. during August and September. Late summer is also our favorite time to savor outdoor cooking, as the intense heat of August has given way to milder temperatures as fall approaches. To make the most of the short window between summer and fall, we’re taking our fruit out back and grilling it up as a farewell to summer. So if you’ve got a glut of fruit from the farmers’ market and can’t bear turning on the stove, check out the easy methods and some fun recipe ideas to use them in below:
How to Grill Peaches & other Stone Fruits 🍑
Peaches and other stone fruits are soft but sturdy enough to hold up to a grill but can get real soft if you grill them for too long. Their sweetness makes them an ideal candidate, as the sugars will caramelize over higher heat. The trick is to cook the fruit over a medium-high heat level. Warm the fruit through and give it a nice char on either side without cooking it too much. Think of this as the al dente cooking instructions for fruit! Here are a few of our top tips:
- Keep the skin on. It will help keep the fruit intact and guide the grilling process.
- Brush the flesh side of the fruit with oil to keep it from sticking to the grill grates. Olive, avocado, vegetable oils or melted butter all work. Bonus points if you have a grill spray to prevent sticking.
- For halved fruit, grill 3-5 minutes until you see defined marks. For quartered or sliced fruit, grill about 3 minutes per side. Grill time will depend on how thick the fruit is.
- For a milder grill flavor on your fruit, wrap in foil and set on the grill for about 5-7 minutes.
- For an extra sweet touch, after flipping the fruit, sprinkle the cooked side with a little brown sugar. It will caramelize while the second side cooks.
Grilled peaches and stone fruits are delicious to use for shortcake with your choice of ice cream, on pizzas and flatbreads, in salads, and so much more. Here are a few recipes we’re loving right now:
- Browned Butter Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon “Toast” Crumbs – Half Baked Harvest
- Grilled Peach & Spinach Salad with Honey Glazed Pork Chops – Lattes, Life & Luggage
- Grilled Plum Salad with Maple Nut Clusters – Floating Kitchen
- Grilled Apricot, Corn, & Arugula Salad – How Sweet Eats
- Grilled Nectarine Sundaes – The Recipe Critic
How to Grill Pineapple 🍍
Grilled Pineapple is wholly underrated in our opinion. Let’s get all Bill Nye for a second. When you cook pineapple, a chemical compound called Bromelain is broken down. Bromelain is responsible for that stinging sensation you get in your mouth while eating fresh pineapple. There’s nothing wrong with that, but sometimes it’s just annoying. Cooking pineapple removes most of the bromelain making it much more pleasant to eat. So with further ado, let’s talk top tips for grilling pineapple:
- Cut the pineapple into spears or thick slices. It’s easier to handle these on the grill without worrying about the fruit falling through the grates.
- Brush the flesh with oil to keep it from sticking to the grill grates. Once again, olive, avocado, vegetable oils or melted butter all work and bonus points if you use a grill spray.
- For thick spears, grill about 5-7 minutes per side. For slices, stick to about 3-5 minutes per side. Pineapple is sturdier so if you leave it on a little too long, you should be okay.
- Pineapple is also delicious steamed in a foil pack over the grill. You can cube your pineapple instead if you use this method. Cook over medium-high heat for 10-12 minutes.
Grilled Pineapple is great to use in salsas, on pizza, on top of burgers, in tacos, for desserts, and more! Here are a few recipes we’re loving right now:
- Grilled Pineapple Spears with Jalapeño Honey – Bite Sized Kitchen
- Grilled Pineapple Barbecue Chicken – Slender Kitchen
- Pineapple Avocado Salsa – Tasty Yummies
How to Grill Melon 🍉
We might be getting a little controversial here but give us a chance. Grilling melon is a fun way to break up the monotony of chowing down on plain old slices all summer long. It’s also really easy and worth a shot at least once. Here are our top tips for grilling melon:
- The best melons to grill are Watermelon, Cantaloupe, or Honeydew
- Don’t forget to oil up! Brush the flesh with your choice of oil or melted butter to keep it from sticking to the grill grates
- To grill Watermelon, cut into classic triangles making sure to leave the rind on. Grill for about 1-3 minutes per side. Watermelon is mostly water so it softens fast. You just want to kiss the flesh with high heat, letting those grill marks happen without turning the fruit to mush.
- Give Watermelon a twist by seasoning it with chile seasoning like Tajin and a little squeeze of lime juice.
- To grill Cantaloupe or Honeydew, we recommend cutting them into spears, rind optional. These melons are much more solid compared to watermelon so they need more time. Let each side cook 3-5 minutes over high heat. Once the grill marks appear, you’re good to go.
Grilled watermelon is delicious to enjoy on its own or use it for salads, desserts, appetizers and more. Grilled cantaloupe and honeydew are tasty for salsa, garnish, appetizers (especially with prosciutto), and more. Here are a few recipes we’re loving right now:
- Spicy Grilled Watermelon with Honey-Yogurt – Floating Kitchen
- Grilled Cantaloupe Black Bean Salad – Give it Some Thyme
- Honey Lime Grilled Cantaloupe – Marisa Moore
We ❤️ Grilling These Fruits, Too!
Mangoes! 🥭 Mangoes can be grilled similar to pineapple. Slice into spears or discs, brush with oil, and grill for 3-5 minutes per side. The flesh of mangoes is more delicate than pineapple. They’re not as forgiving if you leave them on too long so be careful! Grilled Mangoes are great to go with pork dishes as well as slip into salsa.
Grilled Mango & Arugula Salad – Suwannee Rose
Pears! 🍐 Pears don’t get enough credit for their versatility. They’re also great for beginner grilling with a hearty flesh. Follow the same steps for grilling stone fruit. Grilled Pears are great for pizzas, salads, or on their own with a little brown sugar and vanilla ice cream.
Grilled Pear & Halloumi Skewers – Naturally Ella
Bananas! 🍌 Yep, you read that right. Bananas are an interesting but tasty grillable fruit. If you’re worried about them being too soft, it’s ok. The key to grilling bananas is having an extremely well oiled grate and leaving the peel on. If your grill is notorious for things sticking, don’t try this.
- Unlike other fruits, you’re going to grill bananas on a medium-low heat
- Sprinkle with lemon juice (to prevent browning)
- Season as desired – we recommend at least sprinkling with brown sugar
- Cook for about 2-3 minutes until grill marks form, and then let cool before removing the banana from the peel. You should have a perfectly caramelized banana.
Grilled Bananas a La Mode – A Couple Cooks
Tag @realhomechef in your posts on social grilling fruit so we can see what you’re cooking up on the grill!