Do you love eggplant but don’t know how to grill it? Do you want to serve your family delicious, healthy eggplant dishes? If so, then this blog post is for you! We’ll discuss the best way to prepare and cook the eggplant on the grill and how long it should take. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
Preparing the Eggplant
When preparing to grill an eggplant, the first step is to ensure that you have the necessary ingredients and supplies. Start by selecting a firm eggplant and washing it off under cold running water. Once clean, removing the stem and cutting it into slices is important.
For the best results, the slices should be about 1/2 inch thick. Once the eggplant has been cut, brush it with oil to ensure it doesn’t stick to the grill. You can also season the eggplant with your favorite seasonings to add flavor.
Finally, preheat your grill to medium-high heat to ensure it is hot enough to cook the eggplant properly.
Cutting the Eggplant
Preparing the eggplant is the first step to making a delicious grilled eggplant dish. After washing and drying the eggplant, the next step is to cut it into slices.
Depending on the size of the eggplant, you may need to cut it into half-inch slices or even thicker slices. Make sure to use a sharp knife when cutting the eggplant to get even slices. Once the eggplant is cut, it’s time to move on to pre-cooking the eggplant.
Pre-Cooking the Eggplant
Before getting started with grilling the eggplant, it’s important to pre-cook the eggplant for a few minutes to ensure that it is properly cooked before adding it to the grill. Pre-cooking the eggplant helps keep the slices from drying and sticking to the grill.
Start by heating the grill or pan to medium-high heat (375-400F degrees). Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the oil of your choice and place them on the grill. Close the lid if using a gas or electric grill and cook until grill marks appear; this usually takes about 5-7 minutes.
Once the eggplant slices show charring and grill marks, they are ready to be removed and added to the grill.
Grilling the Eggplant
Once the eggplant has been pre-cooked and cut, it is time to start grilling! Start by heating the grill to medium-high heat (375-400F degrees). Then, brush the eggplant on both sides with the olive oil mixture. Place the slices on the grill with the oiled side facing down. Close the lid if using a gas or electric grill and cook until grill marks appear.
Grill for approximately 6 minutes per side until golden in color with grill marks. You mustn’t undercook the eggplant, or it may become bitter. Flip the eggplant slices and cook for another 5-7 minutes.
Checking for Doneness
Once you’ve grilled the eggplant for the recommended time, it’s important to ensure it’s cooked through. To do this, you can use a fork to test the texture of the eggplant to confirm that it is tender and cooked through.
If the eggplant still feels a little hard or dry, give it a few extra minutes on the grill and check again. Check for grill marks and nice charring on the eggplant before removing it from the heat. Once the eggplant is cooked through, it’s ready to be enjoyed!
Flipping the Eggplant
Flipping the eggplant is an important part of the grilling process. After the eggplant has cooked for about 5-7 minutes and has developed nice grill marks, it’s time to flip it.
Carefully lift the eggplant off the grill using tongs and flip it over. Grill the other side for approximately 6 minutes until it’s golden in color with grill marks. If the eggplant starts to dry out and stick to the grill, you can add a bit more oil to help prevent sticking. Once both sides are cooked, your eggplant is ready to serve!
Adding Favorite Toppings
Once your eggplant is grilled to perfection, it’s time to add some of your favorite toppings! There are so many delicious options to choose from. You can add a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly ground pepper for a simple, classic flavor.
Or, try fresh herbs like basil or thyme for a bright pop of flavor. If you’re looking for something crunchy, try adding some toasted nuts or seeds. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add a balsamic vinegar drizzle for a sweet-tangy flavor.
Whatever topping you choose, add it to your grilled eggplant just before serving for the best flavor!
Serving Grilled Eggplant
Serving up a grilled eggplant dish is a great way to enjoy this delicious vegetable’s smoky, savory flavors. The eggplant should be cooked until it’s soft, golden brown, and slightly charred outside.
You can serve it as a side dish or as the main course. If you’re serving it as a side, you could pair it with a salad, potatoes, or grilled vegetables. For the main course, you could top it with your favorite marinara sauce, pesto, vegetables, hummus, feta cheese, and grilled vegetables.
Grilled eggplant also pairs well with various kinds of cheese, such as mozzarella, feta, or goat cheese. However you decide to serve it, grilled eggplant is an easy and delicious way to enjoy this amazing vegetable.
It also pairs well with grilled meats and fish. Eggplant is a great addition to veggie burgers, pizza, and sandwiches. You can chop it up and add it to a salad or stir fry. Enjoy the smoky flavor of grilled eggplant in any way you like!
Once you’ve grilled the perfect eggplant dish, you may wonder how to store your leftovers. Fortunately, grilled eggplant stores quite well. To store, cover the eggplant in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. The eggplant can be stored for up to 5 days.
Reheat the eggplant in the oven or microwave until it’s warmed through. If you have any grilled eggplant leftovers you don’t plan on eating shortly; you can also store the eggplant in the freezer.
To freeze the eggplant, place it in an airtight container or freezer bag and store it for up to three months. To thaw the eggplant, place it in the refrigerator overnight or microwave it for a few minutes until it’s thawed.