Over the Memorial Day weekend, I got a little crazy on the grill. Someone sent me a link to some restaurant in Florida that grilled watermelon. So I decided to give it a shot, and of course I had to play with it a bit. I grilled not just watermelon, but cantaloupe and honeydew as well and I did them two different ways.
Grilling melon is a bit interesting and there are things you need to consider before you start. Read below and I will clue you in on what makes good grilled melon and what doesn’t…
The first thing to consider when grilling melon is how exactly to place them on the grill. These melons in their current state below are not really grill ready:
So first off slice the melon into approximately one inch thick slices:
For the honeydew and cantaloupe scoop out the seeds.
Some of the slices I coated with brown sugar. The others I did nothing with:
I also chunked up some of the fruit for general consumption. In doing so I found out that the honeydew was not a very good honeydew when I sampled it. The watermelon was decent but not all that great. The cantaloupe was excellent. This is a key point that I will address later.
Below we have the fruit ready for the grill. The upper fruit had the brown sugar on it but the brown sugar along with the juice of the fruit turned the sugar into a sweet syrup:
I cooked the un-sugared fruit first. One slice of each type:
Here is the watermelon and the cantaloupe flipped:
Once they were grilled for about 6 minutes per side over medium heat I pulled them off and chunked them up for people to sample. I’ll get to the results shortly:
Since the brown sugar and fruit juice sort of turned into syrup I added more brown sugar right before I put them on the grill:
This pic below is interesting. When I added the sugar I expected the fruit to blacken much more than the fruit I did not put the sugar on. If I add sugar to BBQ sauce or a rub it burns much more quickly than BBQ sauce or a rub that does not have sugar in it. So I was constantly checking these slices to make sure it wouldn’t burn. It just never really burned. In fact it charred less than the fruit without the sugar added. I am not entirely sure as to why this happened, but I have a theory. The sugar seemed to draw out the moisture of the fruit thus constantly moisturizing both the sugar and the surface of the fruit and reducing any chance of a char:
Ok, now the results. As you may have guessed the cantaloupe was by far the best and the honeydew was the worst. Basically, start off with bad ingredients and the battle is already lost before it starts. So make sure the fruit is very ripe.
Also, the sugared fruit was better than the non sugared fruit.
One more note. This was very hit or miss with people. People either really loved it or didn’t like it much at all. Those that didn’t like it just said, “Tastes like warm fruit,” and they shrugged. Those that liked it liked the slight charring and smokiness that was imparted into the flesh of the fruit. I have to wonder if after it was grilled it was chilled and put into say a fruit salad it could be stellar?
On final note, while the honeydew was not all that good to folks who knew what good honeydew was, my son had never had honeydew before and he mowed down about a half a melon!!!
Another note, the grill wasn’t very hot. I should’ve added coals and cranked it up to high heat to get a quick sear. That’s next on the agenda when I try this again.
If you have any questions about the above dish please feel free to comment below or email me.
Click here for other fruits and veggies done on the grill.