Published July 1, 1996.
To avoid precooking, slice the vegetables just right and use the correct cooking temperature.
Sounds simple, but a number of issues immediately arise. Do you have to precook the vegetables? How thick should they be sliced? What's the best temperature for grilling? Are hickory chips or marinades worth the effort?
Grilling vegetables should be easy. You've made a fire to grill a couple of steaks, some swordfish, or maybe a few pieces of chicken. There are some vegetables in the fridge, and you want to turn them into a side dish without having to heat up your kitchen.
We found that most vegetables are best cooked over a medium-hot fire. Even lower heat is needed to cook through vegetables with a low moisture content, like potatoes. To gauge whether or not you have a medium-hot fire, hold your hand about 5 inches above the fire. If you can keep your hand there for four seconds, the fire is medium-hot. For medium-low, you should be able to keep your hand above the fire for six seconds. As for wood chips, vegetables, we found, do not cook long enough to pick up any wood flavor. A better way to add flavor is to brush vegetables with a flavored oil just before grilling. (Marinating makes vegetables soggy.)list of recipes