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Help with grilling onions

Does anyone have tips for grilling onions? Mine keep falling apart and through the grates of the grill into the charcoal. I sliced some big, fat red onions about 3/4 inch thick and did olive oil s and p and then threw them on but when it came time to flip them, I lost a few into the grates. Should I try a grill basket?

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  1. A grill basket would definitely work to keep them from falling through. Or heavy aluminum foil with some holes poked through it. My favorite way to do onions though is to cut in quarters (but not all the way through so they stay whole) and pour some BBQ sauce (jarred or homemade) over them, wrap tightly in foil "tent", and stick in oven or covered grill for - oh - about an hour I think. Yum.

    1. Another good way to grill them is to run a skewer through each thick slice...that's been my best method of holding the slice together. (I usually use wooden skewers and soak them in water for a little while before using them on the grill.)

      1. http://www.cooking.com/products/SkuPo...

        We use something like this. It will help you immensely with all kinds of delicate food stuffs, especially onions and fish.

        1. I like to wrap mine in a double thickness of foil, with some balsamic vinegar and butter and salt. Grill, open and stir, reclose and grill some more. This way you get a combination of tender and juicy and blackened/browned onions.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Ellen

            Yum! Have to try that next time!

            1. re: Jen76

              These are all great ideas. If you have a smoker, you can also smoke onion quarters on skewers for about an hour, basting with bbq sauce at the end. We often do this when we smoke pork butts or ribs.

              1. re: Jen76

                I should clarify that I use large sweet onions, either vidalia or Spanish, and slice them very thickly.

            2. I bought this great perforated pizza pan from Target. It's non stick, many tiny holes, so nothing falls thru. It's quite large, so it's got a lot of real estate. But skewers work great too, as some wise person suggested.

              1. Hey bw2082,

                Today at work, I grilled appx. 20 lbs. of red onions. The space between the bars on our commercial grill are a bit wider than that of a home grill. Did you leave the slices intact? Whole slices, that is how we grill ours. With seperated rings, (which we have tried) the grill gods will always get an offering.

                The one trick that I've learned over time is to make sure that the grill itself is well oiled, and that the heat is "moderate". I use tongs for flipping, which allows me to lift under the slice to the center, quick turn of the wrist, et voila!


                5 Replies
                1. re: AndyP

                  Yeah I did leave the slices whole but as they cooked and as I was flipping them with a spatula, some of them fell apart. Maybe I should have used tongs. Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Regarding the pizza pan and foil options... isn't that kind of like doing them in a pan on top of the grill so I won't get nice grill marks? The skewer method sounds like it could work well. I will try net time.

                  1. re: bw2082

                    I like to combine both methods: an initial open flame skewering (with a light spray of EVOO), then a holding/further cooking time of foil enwrapment with a dash of balsamic.

                    Wood skewers "eaten from the hand skewer", like yakitori, but for cranking out lots of onions I use metal, square sided skewers, like these cheapos (100 uses and still doing fine):


                    1. re: FoodFuser

                      FF, tyou for sharing this link...you just reminded me to purchase a bunch for summer!

                    2. re: bw2082

                      The perforated pizza pan at least allows the flames and smoke to contact the onions! I think it's better than foil, which is a more solid barrier. And if the pan is on the grill to start, it helps brown the food, cause it's hot.

                      1. re: bw2082

                        And slice the onions thicker than 3/4" next time; I usually cut in wedges leaving the root end intact to hold the wedges together better.

                    3. You could use a cast iron griddle on the stove top, you get the grill lines and being solid, you don't lose anything.

                      1. These aren't grilled, but they are a really yummy way to cook vidalias. Cut them like a Bloomin' onion, put a mall mound of brown sugar on top, sprinkle with Season-all and top with a pat of butter. Put in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake on a low heat forever.. the onions jsut melt down and are great as a side or on burgers.

                        1. Like many others I just spray Pam and lay mine on aluminum foil and sprinkle with garlic salt.

                          If it's raining though, I"ll often do them on the George Foreman.