Tips for Grilling Pears
Certain varieties of pears are back in season, and why the weather still remains warm, now is the the time to take this hearty fruit to the grill. Our Kitchen Council member, Jennifer, is sharing her tips for getting perfectly grilled pears every time.
There is something so incredibly wonderful about grilled fruits. You get an intense, smoky, charred flavor that enhances both sweet and savory recipes, and the heat brings all of the natural juices to the surface. Pears are an especially good option for grilling. However, if you want the best results, there are several tips to keep in mind. Follow these easy steps, and you’ll be sure to fall in love with grilled pears!
Selecting the Right Pear
You can technically grill any type of Stemilt pear. The key is to work with them while they are firm and just barely ripe. If the pears are too soft, they will struggle to hold their shape against the heat of the grill and will likely fall apart. Leaving the skin on will also help maintain their shape and add to the presentation.
Preparing for Grilling
Speaking of presentation, feel free to leave the stem in tact. You want to slice the pears in half lengthwise, and then use a melon baller or small spoon to scoop out the seeds. While the stem should be fairly obvious after grilling, it’s a good idea to slice away the root end. Another option is to slice the pears into rounds. This would be a nice way to serve the pears alongside a savory dish, such as grilled meat. In this instance you should discard the root and stem ends. Keep in mind that since pears are very delicate, you won’t want to slice them too thin. Aim for 1 to 1 1/2-inch rounds.
Grilling the Pears
Preheat a gas grill to medium-high heat for 10 to 15 minutes. For charcoal grills, aim for moderately hot coals. While you don’t want to grill on the highest level of heat, the idea is to aim for a high enough heat to result in dark grill marks and minimal cooking time. In this instance, low and slow will yield mushy pears. You want to oil the pears very well to prevent sticking. Some good options include canola, grape seed, or clarified butter.
- To grill pears sliced in half: Place the pears cut side down on the hot grates and close the lid. Grill for approximately 4-5 minutes, then use a heat resistant spatula to swiftly remove the pears.
- To grill pears sliced into rounds: Place the pears cut side down on the hot grates and close the lid. Grill for approximately 2 minutes, flip with a spatula, close the lid, and grill for an additional 2 minutes.
Grilled pears are delicious served with a variety of both sweet and savory ingredients. They’re also quite good on their own. For a sweet treat, try these Grilled Pears with Honey Roquefort Cream. If you want to keep things more simple, top them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream (let them cool slightly first or the ice cream will quickly melt). For a savory option, try serving the grilled pears alongside grilled pork chops, steak or your favorite fish. They’re also wonderful on top of salad.