Debunking Myths: How to Grill the Ungrillable


If you think of your grill as basically a big oven with a lid, you can cook just about anything on it — providing you have the right vessel. In the spirit of the hungry camper craving a fresh-baked brownie in the middle of the forest, here are nine “ungrillable” items that are great prepared over hot coals. (For the secret to the brownies, see below.)

Spaghetti with Sauce

Skip the unwieldy pot of boiling water and seal up fresh tomatoes, eggplant, dry pasta and some water in a packet of heavy-duty foil, place on the grill and voila! A hearty sauced spaghetti with a deep simmered taste.


The simplest way to enjoy this Italian staple? Buy precooked polenta in a roll, then slice, brush with olive oil and grill until crispy on the outside and warm and tender on the interior. Perfect with grilled sausages, onions and peppers.


For a hearty vegetarian lasagna on the grill, place no-cook noodles on double layers of foil and top with mozzarella, tomatoes and baby spinach (sprinkle the noodles with water to help them hydrate); repeat once more and seal tightly before grilling over medium heat for 10 minutes per side.

French Toast

Buttered nonstick foil is the secret here. Use it to wrap 2 slices of eggy soaked bread, arranging the pieces side by side (not stacked). Grill over medium-high heat with the top down, flipping once after 5 minutes. Make sure to have plenty of maple syrup on hand for drizzling.


Fill a metal (not glass, please) pan with batter, place over an unlit burner on a grill prepared for medium-high heat, cover and bake; check for doneness often.


Meatloaf (wrapped in heavy-duty foil and grilled over medium-high heat) cooks faster on the grill than in the oven, thanks to the heat-trapping nature of the reflective foil. Shape the loaf flatter than you would a standard one and flip it halfway through cooking.


You could spend an hour or so wrestling with an oyster knife, or you could open your oysters on a grill. Simply spread out the bivalves in a single layer over medium-high heat, cover and roast until the shells open. Remove to a tray carefully — you don’t want to lose any of that delicious oyster liquor. Serve with lemon wedges, melted butter or hot sauce. Loosening the oysters from their shells with a paring or oyster knife is optional.


Charred and smoky, grilled okra will convert even veggie skeptics. Toss okra with olive oil and salt, and thread each across 2 skewers like you are constructing a raft. (This will make them easy to flip and eliminate losing casualties to the spaces in the grates.) Serve with a creamy dipping sauce.