While the grill has long been the domain of meat, there’s no reason why it can’t add flavor to your favorite vegetables.
In a hurry? Here is my personal favorite: Weber Stainless Steel Vegetable Basket because it’s PRO Grade stainless, and I love Weber!
If you have a little vegetable patch in your garden, there are fewer greater pleasures than cooking your own produce on a grill in the very same garden. Homegrown veggies are particularly robust and hardy, perfect for cooking in a grill basket.
Veggies on the grill
Many people use the kitchen to cook the vegetables, the meat is the star outside. Check out my detailed post on USDA rib-eye steak. However, more and more people prefer a dedicated vegetarian option at the BBQ. Nothing is as awkward as inviting a friend to a barbecue, only to find out that they’re vegetarian and can’t eat anything.
Side dishes like potato salad are all well and good, but why not put the grill to good use while it’s already hot? Everyone should get to enjoy the grill’s smokey bounty.
Which grill baskets work best?
The main advantage of using a grill basket for vegetables is that the spaces between the grate can be large enough for them to fall through. That’s not only annoying, it’s also dangerous to try to fish them back out.
Tip: Stay safe while grilling! Prefer oven mitts designed to handle the higher temperatures of the grill to those designed for the stove.
With a grill basket, you also don’t need to waste time flipping each piece individually. A grill basket also allows you to use a higher cooking temperature and get that wonderfully flavorful char on the outside, while keeping the middle nice and firm.
What to put in the basket?
Nearly every vegetable you can think of benefits from grilling. Corn, peppers, and zucchini are classics, but you don’t have to stop there. How about mushrooms? Admittedly, mushrooms aren’t part of vegetable family, but I still love to invite them to the reunion! Grilled portobello burgers make a hearty substitute for beef.
Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do on a grill, but you need to have the right tools. A grill basket ensures your veggies stay where you put them, rather than spilling onto the coals. Let’s look at a few of the options available to you and rate the most popular baskets for grilling vegetables on the market today.
Outset Outdoor Grill Basket and Skillet
This model uses the classic fill, close, and shake design, and features a double helper handle that lets you manipulate it with confidence. It has enough room to cook a large amount of vegetables but, at just under 12 inches in diameter, it won’t take up all the room on the grill. The non-stick PTFE/PFOA free coating means that cleaning up afterward is easy.
This is a good, traditional basket and very versatile, as it can also be used as a skillet. Once you start using one, you’ll probably find a ton of other uses for it besides just grilling vegetables.
Weber 6481 Small Stainless Steel Vegetable Basket
The Weber 6481 basket is small and simple in design. The upside, of course, is that there’s little that can go wrong. This grill basket will stand up to continued use year after year. It fits all Weber grills and won’t take up a lot of room.
The design is also great for serving the vegetables after they’re cooked, meaning they’ll stay hot sitting on the table. This model is perfect for self-serve, family-style grilling. If you regularly host larger gatherings, there’s also a larger size.
Culina Stainless Steel Square BBQ, Vegetable, and Grilling Basket
This last model utilizes a more open wire grill construction, similar to the Outset, but in a design and shape more like the Weber. Choose this basket if you’re cooking over very hot fire. Its large 15” x 11” x 2” dimensions let you to blacken and roast a large amount of veggies at once.
This robust workhorse is ideal for larger parties, or if you grill on a regular basis.
Even more reasons to use the grill!
No more excuses for losing vegetables to the coals or running in and out of the kitchen to cook your sides. With one of these baskets, you can easily prepare grilled vegetables with the minimum fuss.
For more reviews like this one, see my recommendations on the best grill baskets for fish.
Did you know that you can cook pizza on the grill? Check out this post on the best pizza stones and pizza peelers for outdoor the Big Green Egg. And, see this article for a discussion of the best home pizza ovens!