Peach season is right around the corner, friends, and when it arrives, you’ll find this juicy stone fruit featured in salads, desserts and everything in between. They also go swimmingly with your summer barbeque menu, which is why we spoke to Joonas Jokiniemi, seasoned chef and founder of Grill Smoke Love, to find out how to grill peaches the right way.
How to Grill Peaches in 5 Easy Steps (Because, Summer)
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Step 1: Pick Your Peaches
The process of grilling peaches is exceedingly simple. That said, it can go so wrong if you don’t start with the right type of peach. Jokiniemi tells us that the key to a good grilling outcome is to pick peaches that are ripe, but still firm when you squeeze them. In fact, you can even err on the side of underripe, as the heat from the grill will soften the fruit and bring out its natural sweetness. Peaches that are soft and overripe, on the other hand, won’t hold up well to the heat and your summer treat will likely turn into a stone fruit fiasco—you know, the kind that results in a sad, mushy mess all over the grates of your grill.
Step 2: Prep The Grill
Once you’ve hauled home the best bunch of peaches on offer at your local farmers market or grocery store, you’re ready to get started. Lightly brush the grill grates with vegetable oil and fire up the barbie to medium-high heat (anywhere in the 325 to 375 degree range is ideal). Then, turn your attention to those juicy peaches.
Step 3: Halve The Peaches
Grab your paring knife (or any sharp knife, really) and cut the peaches in half from north to south along the natural crease. For best results, insert the blade deep enough into the fruit that it hits the pit. Next, rotate the fruit—while keeping the blade in contact with the pit—until you’ve come full circle. Set aside your knife and use the palms of your hands to gently twist the two halves of the peach until they come apart. Do not peel your peaches prior to grilling, as the skin keeps the flesh together, says Jokiniemi. (See: stone fruit fiasco.) Finally, remove that pruny looking pit with your fingers—or, if you’ve got a more stubborn pit on your hands, use a spoon to pry it out.
Step 4: Brush The Peaches With Oil
Use a basting brush to (lightly) lube up your summer loot with some oil. Vegetable oil will do just fine in a pinch, but we love a fruity-tasting olive oil—just be sure to go with one that’s meant for sautéing, not finishing, lest the heat of the grill distort the flavor profile of the olive oil.
Step 5: Grill The Peaches
Place the peaches cut side down on the grill and cook for four to five minutes, or until grill marks are present. (Psst: To achieve those attractive grill marks try to leave the peaches alone once you’ve put ‘em on the barbie.) Then, flip the peaches so that they’re skin side down and give them another four to five minutes. At this point, the peaches should be soft with slightly charred skin. Remove the peaches from the heat and enjoy them in a salad, as a side to grilled meat or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.