pile of pickles

Enhance Your Pickles with a Smoky Charred Flavor on the Grill

If you’re a pickle lover, it’s time to move beyond just eating them fresh out of the jar. You can turn them into pickle bread, pickle butter, and even pickle martinis. When the sun is shining and you’re ready to bust out the barbecue, it’s also a good idea to grill your pickles. The next time you’re making burgers for a backyard pool party, don’t just throw the patties on the barbecue, put your spears on the grates as well.

Why would you want to grill your pickles? As with any food that goes over the flame, you can infuse your spears with smoky notes, which work to balance out their signature briny taste. Plus, any sugar in their juices will caramelize over the coals, which means you end up with snacks that have a greater depth of flavor than before. And luckily, pickles will still retain plenty of that yummy brine after grilling. It’s the perfect way to take a simple snack and turn it into a crave-worthy ingredient or side dish all on its own.

How to make and serve grilled pickles

cuban sandwich halves

There are technically two ways to produce grilled pickles: You can grill cucumbers before pickling them, or throw already brined pickles on the barbecue. The latter is essentially what we’re talking about here since the vinegary flavors will stand out the most in this situation. But, if you want to try the former, cut your cucumbers into thick spears so that they hold up over the high temperatures, then can them after barbecuing like you normally would. 

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When grilling pickles, you’ll first want to pat them dry and spray them with just a little cooking oil. Then, they go right on the grill grates for up to four minutes on each side. Keep a close eye on your pickles as they cook — you want to see some nice char on each side but you don’t want your spears burnt to a crisp. 

Once you let them cool, the most obvious way to consume these delicacies is to eat them plain, potentially with a creamy dipping sauce like tzatziki or ranch. But, feel free to also throw them on a burger, hot dog, Cuban sandwich, or chicken sandwich. You can also stir them into barbecue-friendly salads like macaroni and potato, add spears to bloody marys, or sprinkle slices on top of pizza. However you like to eat pickles, grilling them first will only enhance your experience.

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