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Get Fruity with Your BBQ

Let’s face it – meat is generally the first thing you think of when you hear the word ‘barbecue’. And while we love our grilled steaks, burgers and snags, we also enjoy mixing it up. One thing we’ve been trying on our barbecues this summer is fruit; the intense heat of the grill, gas or charcoal, adds a smoky-sweet flavour as well as an almost caramelised texture, which we can’t get enough of. Keen to fire up the barbecue? We’ve shared some ideas for you to try at home, as well as some tips from our expert fruiterers.

Fruity Skewers

Barbecue skewers don’t have to be only meat and veg; fruit is ideal for skewers and are delicious when barbecued. Mix it up and use your favourite in-season fruit or try our favourites: strawberries, pineapple, rockmelon, seedless grapes, kiwi and mango.

Cut the fruit into approx. 3cm cubes. Keep sizes consistent to ensure even cooking.

“We suggest using different coloured fruits to make rainbow skewers,” says Henry at Reliable Fruit.

“Not only do they look great, but they really appeal to the kids too!”

Grilled Fruits

Make your fruit look and taste barbecued by placing slices and halved pieces directly onto the grill. Softer fruits such as peaches only need a few minutes on each side and grill marks will form as they cook. Firmer fruits such as pineapple may need 5 minutes or so. Many fruits will hold their shape over the coals and the smoke works well to complement the flavour.

Try triangle slices of watermelon, halved pears and peaches, pineapple rings and figs. Eat them on their own or with a sponge cake or ice cream.

“I love to put peaches on the barbecue,” says John at Pino’s Fine Produce.

“Simply cut them in half, remove the stone and grill on each side. They will go soft but hold their shape, as long as they are not over ripe, and make for such a great sweet and healthy treat.”

Barbecue Fruit With Meat

As a complementary side to go with your grilled meat, try grilling avocado cheeks or tomato halves. They can be served up solo or put on a simple green salad.

“Barbecued fruit goes so well with meat,” says Julian at F&J Fruiterers.

“By cooking the avocados or tomatoes with your protein, it makes it so easy. There’s no going back and forth to the kitchen. Just make sure the fruit is ripe enough to eat but not too ripe, and cut in half. Remove the stone if there is one. Give each side a few minutes on the hot grill and they are ready to eat, so ideal to cook while the meat rests.”

Baked Banana Dessert

Barbecues do not always have to be about grilling, you can bake in them too. A delicious childhood recipe of ours is to put a banana in kitchen foil and cut a slit lengthways, sprinkle in brown sugar and seal the foil on the top, then bake the banana for at least 15 minutes in the top of the BBQ, longer is fine. You can also add a splash of brandy or your favourite liqueur on the banana before cooking for the adults. Serve with cream or ice cream.

Top Tips for Barbecued Fruit

Keep it big! Apart from when making skewers, go for large slices of fruit to help them maintain their structure as they heat up and break down. They are also less likely to fall between the bars.

Get your grill hot. Heat your BBQ to medium/high for at least 10 minutes and then add a neutral tasting oil over the grill before putting the fruit on.

Sugar coat the citrus. When grilling citrus fruits like lemons, limes, oranges, and grapefruit, sprinkle some granulated sugar on them first. It will help stop the fruit from sticking and add a lovely, caramelised finish. If you are looking to add a garnish to your cocktail, think about sugared and barbecued citrus wheels.

Fruity BBQ recipes from Prahran Market

Need more fruity BBQ inspiration? Try these recipes from our website:

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