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Creative Vegan BBQ Ideas for Barbecue Month

Creative Vegan BBQ Ideas for Barbecue Month

 

Vegan grilling is a healthy, delicious way to include more veggies. With an impressive selection of tasty mock meat alternatives, you can barbecue mouthwatering vegan burgers or bratwursts in no time, making veggies the star of the show.

Even if you're a seasoned grill master, vegan grilling requires a different approach since vegetables and mock meats don't cook exactly like a cut of beef. How you prepare fresh, seasonal ingredients is key to ensuring a successful vegan BBQ. Here's your guide to grilling up the perfect vegan feast.

Getting Started

  • Prep Your Grill Areas: When grilling meat alongside veggies, keep them apart to accommodate vegan guests and bring out the best flavor. If you need access to two grills, reserve a separate area specifically for vegan grilling.

Top Tip: Ensure your grate and grill are adequately cleaned before firing them up.

  • Use Oil to Grill Easily: Lightly brush the grate with oil to prevent sticking and burning. Vegetables and plant-based meat alternatives like soy patties don't release fat, and juices like real meat don't, so they need an additional barrier. Apply oil or marinade directly to your veggies before they hit the grill.
  • Check Your Sides and Sauces: Vegan grilling omits all animal-based products, but a few simple substitutions make your favorite dishes vegan-friendly. Use margarine instead of butter, almond milk in place of dairy, and agave nectar instead of honey. Remember to check the ingredients in baked goods, as they might contain animal protein.
  • Keep Cool, Calm, and Collected: Set up your grill for low to medium, indirect heat. Vegetables can blacken, taste bitter, and lose valuable nutrients if temperatures are too high. Remember that tomatoes, cucumbers, and eggplants grill much quicker than bell peppers, zucchini, and onions. Generally, the higher the water content, the faster it burns.

Creative Vegan BBQ Options

There are countless vegan and vegetarian options for BBQs, including:

  • Meat Alternatives: Plant-based sausages, hot dogs, burgers, and tofu skewers.
  • Vegetables: Grilled corn, eggplant, mushrooms, and more.
  • Dips and Spreads: Plant-based dips and spreads like guacamole, hummus, and salsa.
  • Salads: Fresh fruit salads, potato salad, and halloumi & watermelon bulgur salad.
  • Sauces: BBQ sauce, which is usually vegan, though some contain granulated sugar processed with animal bones.

Tips for Grilling Vegetables

  • Lightly Brush with Oil: Prevents sticking and burning.
  • Use a Nonstick Grate or Basket: Eases the grilling process.
  • Don't Peel Vegetables: Saves time and retains nutrients.
  • Use Extra-Firm Tofu: Stands up to the grill and retains texture.
  • How to Grill Vegan Alternatives
  • Don't just stop at grilling vegetables—everyone wants something filling at a cookout. There's no shortage of quality vegan alternatives to grill, such as tofu, tempeh, mushrooms, veggie dogs, veggie sausage, and veggie burgers.

Tofu

Choose firm or extra-firm tofu when grilling. Press it to remove excess moisture, then marinate the tofu overnight in the fridge (or for at least 30 minutes). Brush it lightly with oil to prevent sticking. Grill over a preheated, not-too-hot grill for 5-7 minutes per side, directly over moderately hot coals or via indirect heat. Rotate or move it to a cooler part of the grill to avoid cooking too fast. 

Tempeh

Tempeh's firm texture makes it ideal for grilling. If it tastes a bit bitter, steam it for 10 minutes beforehand. After marinating for a few hours, grill the tempeh until browned on each side. Serve in tacos, grain bowls, or alongside grilled veggies. 

Mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms make excellent burger substitutes, and white button mushrooms are perfect for kebabs. 

Vegan Meat Alternatives

Vegan burger, sausage, and hot dog alternatives grill quickly over indirect heat. Follow the instructions on the packaging, as ingredients and cooking times vary.

Bringing it All Together with CHEF iQ

The iQ Cooker and iQ Sense can streamline your vegan BBQ experience. The Smart Cooker makes it easy to pressure-cook grains and veggies to perfection before grilling. With the Smart Thermometer, you can accurately monitor the internal temperature of vegan burgers or sausages, ensuring they're perfectly cooked every time. Plus, the CHEF iQ App offers a growing collection of guided recipes, making your vegan grilling journey smoother than ever.

 

Embrace Vegan Barbecue Month with these creative grilling ideas, which prove that plant-based BBQs can be satisfying, delicious, and inclusive. Experiment with these tips and ingredients to bring the joys of vegan grilling to your summer gatherings.