Do You Use A Grill Basket For Vegetables?
Using a recipe from Weber's Big Book of Grilling, I grilled some sliced potatoes (1/2 inch thick) and button mushrooms today for a side dish and a few of the items fell between the grill grates as I was trying to turn them. I'm considering a grill basket for future recipes like this, but I'm thinking that extra layer of metal will prevent the food from getting good grill marks/char on it.
Does anyone have any experience with grill baskets that can tell me if this is the case? Maybe I just need to be a bit more careful when turning?
I find that when I use a grill basket I don't get the flavor or carmelization I want on the vegetables. I do lose a few, but I think it's worth it.
I have a pan like this (though not necessarily this brand) as well as a flat rectangle with same hole pattern. I get plenty of char and great flavor. The handle does get in the way. Unless I fold it down onto the food, it dictates where I position the pan and/or closing the grill lid. It is fairly useless and I keep thinking I'll just take it off. I have found I have to use tongs to slide the pan onto a sheet pan when removing from the grill.
I get great results as long as I heat the grill baskets/trays long enough to get them up to the temps your normal grill grates would be. If you put your food in a basket and then put it on the grill, I doubt you'll have ideal outcome, just like putting ingredients in a wok and then putting it on the heat.
Everything needs to be lubricated, but I don't find that a grill basket reduces flavor or
caramelization. I hate to lose food when I don't have to. I've never used one with handles that interfere, but one that fits my grill.
When I *had* a grill (not allowed to have gas or charcoal at my condo complex), yes, I used a basket. The char came from the small holes in the basket, if you left the veggies stationary long enough AND that you allowed the basket to heat up long enough on the main grill grates.