HOW TO GRILL MUSHROOMS AND
MUSHROOMS ON THE GRILL:
Mushrooms are the ultimate grilling hero. They can take the heat and absorb marinades and basting sauces like meat, but can also be used so many ways on the grill. Whether mushrooms are the entrÃ©e, side dish or appetizer, they pair well with other grilled foods. Plus, mushrooms offer the unique “fifth flavor,” umami, which is found in savory foods, giving a delicious satisfying taste to any cook out.
MUSHROOM GRILLING TECHNIQUES:
Try any of these approaches to grilling mushrooms next time you fire up the grill:
- Straight on the Grill – Mushrooms cook great directly on the grill, just like meat. Toss Portabella caps on the grill for a fast, smoky Portabella burger. Or grill thickly sliced Portabella mushrooms and use them in favorite dishes like salads, wraps, sandwiches or pasta.
- Basted/Marinated – Before tossing mushrooms on the grill, marinate or baste them with a light olive oil or Italian or balsamic dressings. Marinades complement mushrooms’ natural flavor factor while keeping them moist.
- In a Basket – For smaller or more delicate mushroom varieties, a grilling basket is a good choice. It keeps the mushrooms from slipping down the grates and allows you to get the grilled taste everyone loves.
- SautÃ©ed – To sautÃ© mushrooms directly on the grill, use a disposable pan or layer several sheets of aluminum foil and crimp the sides to make a shallow pan. Place on the grill and heat a small amount of olive oil or butter. Add a single layer of mushrooms and cook, without stirring, until mushrooms become red-brown on one side. Flip and cook until other side is the same color.
- Skewered – A tried and true grilling favorite. For the best results, always put similar mushrooms on the same skewer. If you’re using multiple varieties, put each on its own skewer. If you’re just cooking one variety, group the mushrooms by size. Cooking times for different varieties and sizes will vary, so this is the best way to ensure all your mushrooms are perfectly done.
- Get Creative – Grilled mushrooms can be even more delicious when paired with fresh herbs. For flavor inside and out, try using rosemary “skewers.” Look for long sprigs of rosemary with woody stems and thread button mushrooms on the stems for a clever presentation that will impress your family and guests.
COMMON VEGETABLE GRILLING TECHNIQUES:
Mushrooms pair well with other vegetables on the grill. Follow these tips on grilling vegetables, keeping in mind that all vegetables are different and therefore have varying approaches:
- Before grilling vegetables, pre-heat the grill, then spray or brush the grates with vegetable or olive oil to prevent the vegetables from sticking.
- When cutting vegetables for the grill, try to keep sizes uniform so pieces will have similar cooking times.
- To keep smaller vegetables from falling into the fire, try using a grill basket.
- Firmer vegetables take longer to cook than softer ones, so put the firmer vegetables on the grill first followed by the softer ones so they all finish at the same time without overcooking.
- Because of the varying cooking times based on vegetable firmness, also don’t mix vegetables when placing them on skewers. Keep veggies separate by putting all of one type on its own skewer, which allows you to properly manage their individual cooking times.
- Remember that many vegetables, like Portabellas, can be thrown straight on the grill. Try a skewer-less grill out with “long” veggies like asparagus, corn on the cob and zucchini sliced lengthwise. (Note: lay vegetables perpendicular to grill slats, so vegetables don’t fall through.)
- If you are not using a marinade, brush vegetables lightly with olive oil before placing them on the grill to keep them moist. If necessary, brush again while cooking to prevent veggies from sticking to the grates.
- For harder vegetables, like potatoes, try roasting them in the embers in foil packages.
- Vegetables are done when they have slight grill marks and are tender if pierced.
The Mushroom Council
The Mushroom Council is composed of fresh market producers or importers who average more than 500,000 pounds of mushrooms produced or imported annually. The mushroom program is authorized by the Mushroom Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act of 1990 and is administered by the Mushroom Council under the supervision of the Agricultural Marketing Service. Research and promotion programs help to expand, maintain and develop markets for individual agricultural commodities in the United States and abroad. These industry self-help programs are requested and funded by the industry groups that they serve. For more information on the Mushroom Council, visit mushroomcouncil.org.