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Fire Up the Grill for Fruits

June 22, 2006
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Almost any fruit can be cooked on the grill. Hard fruits, such as apples, pineapples and pears, are easier to grill than softer fruits, such as peaches, nectarines, plums and papaya. Softer fruits require more attention when being grilled to prevent overcooking, which will cause the fruit to become mushy. Softer fruit only needs to be heated, not cooked.

Many fruits contain a high level of water. This water content will make the fruit extremely hot when grilling. If you do not allow the fruit to cool slightly after removing it from the grill, the fruit may cause serious burns to the mouth.

Here are some tips for grilling fruit:

• Fruits are best grilled when the coals have begun to die out or when placed on the outer edges of the grate, using more of an indirect type of heat.

• If placing fruit directly on the grill rack, cut the fruit into pieces that are large enough so they do not fall through the grates.

• Fruits can be grilled with skins on. Softer fruits benefit from leaving their skins on, in that it helps maintain their shape and holds them together as they are being grilled.

• Brushing fruit with melted butter or favorite oil during grilling will help to keep the fruit from sticking to the grill grate. Spraying a nonstick cooking spray on the grate before heating grill also keeps foods from sticking.

• Use skewers or a grill basket to prevent small chunks of fruit and soft fruit from falling through the grate. If you choose to use skewers, two skewers will help prevent fruits from spinning while the cook is turning them on the grill. Remember to soak bamboo skewers for 30 minutes or more before using to prevent them from burning on the grill.

• To enhance the flavor of the fruit, try brushing cut fruits with melted butter and sprinkling with sugar, cinnamon, brown sugar or lemon juice while grilling. Sugar tends to burn so it is best to apply it toward the end of cooking time.

Crack open a fresh coconut for an unexpected great grill taste. Slice the coconut into wedges and lay the pieces white side down on the grill over low coals. Grill until lightly browned. Dip the grilled coconut in melted chocolate and enjoy!

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