Amidst the hot summer days, every good barbecue ends with a dessert. Don’t turn off the grill after dinner is served. Keep that grill fired up for dessert! We discussed the basics of grilling, building a better burger, healthier barbecue sauces to serve up, and now we are finishing off with dessert.

Grilled fruit is a delicious and healthy dessert to serve up this summer. When fruit hits the hot grates of the grill, it reduces the water content of the fruit, caramelizing its natural sugars.

Almost any fruit can be cooked on the grill. Firmer fruits like apples, pineapples, and pears tend to be easier to grill whereas softer fruits like peaches, plums, watermelon, and mango require a little extra attention when being grilled to prevent overcooking, which will cause fruit to become mushy.

Whatever fruit you decide to grill follow these steps for success:

Ripe, but not too ripe

Fruit should be lightly firm to hold up on the grill. When fruit is heated, it weakens its structure. An overripe fruit will end up mushy or fall apart when grilled.
Tip: Leave the skin on softer fruits like peaches. It helps maintain their shape and structure when grilled.

The bigger the better

Cut fruit into large chunks with a larger surface area to prevent fruit from falling between the grates of the grill or skewer smaller pieces of fruit together for easy flipping. Don’t have skewers? Try using a grill basket. You don’t want your delicious fruit to fall into the coals.
Tip: If using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning on the grill.

Don’t touch

Clean off grill grates before placing your fruit on the grill. Once the fruit is placed on the grill, grill fruit over high heat for 3-5 minutes without moving or turning to get the perfect sear and grill marks. Flip and cook for another 1-3 minutes depending on the type of fruit you are grilling.

Pair for sweet or savory

Grilled fruit is equally delicious in sweet and savory applications. Try grilled watermelon with feta cheese and mint or grill peaches with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

Inspired to grill some delicious fruit dessert? Start off with one of these recipes:

Share your favorite grill-able desserts in the comments section!

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