When it comes to grilling, we tend to think of sizzling steaks, succulent burgers, or skewered veggies. But have you ever considered grilling watermelon? Yes, you read that right! Grilled watermelon is a surprising, sweet, and smoky treat that can elevate your next BBQ to a whole new level.
In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to serve up this delightful cookout treat!
Selecting the Perfect Watermelon
To start your grilling adventure, you need a ripe, juicy watermelon. Follow these tips to select the perfect one:
- Look for a uniform shape: Choose a watermelon that’s symmetrical and free from irregular bumps or dents. A consistent shape indicates even ripening.
- Check for a creamy spot: On the underside, there should be a creamy, yellowish spot where the watermelon rested on the ground while growing. This spot is a sign of ripeness.
- Tap it: Give the watermelon a gentle tap. If it sounds hollow, it’s a good sign. A dull thud suggests it’s underripe.
- Inspect the skin: A dull, matte finish is a positive indicator, while a shiny skin might mean it’s underripe.
- Heavy is good: A heavier watermelon is usually juicier, so go for the one that feels weightier for its size.
Cutting and Preparing the Watermelon
Once you’ve picked the perfect watermelon, it’s time to prepare it for the grill. Here’s how:
- Wash it: Begin by rinsing the watermelon under cool, running water to remove any dirt or residue from the surface.
- Cut off the ends: Slice off both ends of the watermelon to create stable, flat surfaces for further cutting.
- Cut into rounds: Slice the watermelon into rounds, about 1 inch thick. These rounds are the perfect size for grilling.
- Remove the rind: To make it easier to eat, carefully cut away the green rind from each round, leaving only the juicy, red flesh.
- Season (optional): If you want to add a twist of flavor, you can lightly sprinkle the watermelon with salt, pepper, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper to enhance the taste.
Grilling Watermelon to Perfection
Grilling watermelon is all about achieving a smoky, caramelized exterior while keeping the inside juicy and tender. Here’s how to do it:
Preheat the grill
Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, aiming for around 400°F (200°C). If you’re using charcoal, make sure the coals are white and ashy.
Oil the grates
To prevent the watermelon from sticking, brush the grill grates with a little vegetable oil or use a grilling spray.
Grill the watermelon
Place the watermelon rounds directly on the grill grates. Grill each side for about 2-3 minutes or until you see grill marks and the edges begin to caramelize.
Grilling times may vary based on your grill’s temperature, so keep an eye on the watermelon. You want it to be slightly softened but not mushy.
Serving Grilled Watermelon
Now that your grilled watermelon is ready, it’s time to enjoy this delightful dish. Here are some serving suggestions:
For a refreshing twist, place the grilled watermelon in the fridge for a short while before serving. The contrast between the warm, smoky exterior and the cool, juicy interior is fantastic.
Enhance the flavor with a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of fresh mint leaves, or a crumble of feta cheese. These toppings complement the sweetness and smokiness.
Pair it up
Grilled watermelon makes an excellent side dish for grilled chicken, pork, or seafood. It can also be a fantastic addition to salads or used as a base for a summery salsa.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavors. Try a dash of balsamic vinegar or a sprinkle of chili flakes for a unique kick.
Grilled watermelon can be a delicious treat and a unique conversation starter at your next BBQ gathering. It’s a remarkable combination of sweet, smoky, and savory flavors that will leave your taste buds craving more. It’s a fantastic way to surprise your taste buds and impress your friends and family at your next cookout. What a great addition to your outdoor cooking repertoire!