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Grilling Squash - Cooking Tips

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Preparing Squash | Grilling Summer Squash | Grilling Winter Squash | Tips

Grilling is a great way to enjoy summer and winter squash. Grilling provides a wonderful smoked flavor to the squash. All that is necessary is a little oil and your favorite seasoning and you have a great side dish for any meal.

Preparing Squash for Grilling

Summer Squash | Winter Squash

Summer Squash Preparation

Summer squash should not be washed until you are ready to use it. Because of its soft skin, the summer squash does not need to be peeled. Some summer squash is not suitable for grilling because of its water content. Zucchini is one summer squash that is great on the grill. Before grilling, prepare the squash as instructed below.

Wash the squash under cool running water and cut both ends off.

Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds with a spoon.
The squash can then be sliced crosswise or lengthwise, depending on how you are going to be grilling.

Winter Squash Preparation

Because of the thick, tough skin, winter squash should be partially baked in the microwave before peeling and cubing.

Pierce the skin of the squash with the tip of a sharp knife in several places. This will allow steam to escape and prevent the squash from exploding. Place the whole squash in a microwave safe dish and microwave for 6 to 8 minutes. After microwaving, allow the squash to stand for approximately 10 minutes.

After the squash stands for 10 minutes, begin peeling by cutting the skin off with a sharp knife. Continue to peel around the entire squash until all the skin is removed.
Once the squash is peeled, cut in half and scrape out all the seeds and stringy fibers from the center of the squash.

Once the squash has been peeled, cut in half and seeded, cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Grilling Summer Squash

Cut squash into 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick slices and then place on bamboo skewers that have been soaked in water for at least 30 minutes.

Brush squash with melted butter or cooking oil on both sides before placing on the grill.
Place squash on the grill over direct medium heat. Season to taste with your favorite seasoning. They can be seasoned with just salt and pepper; or steak seasoning adds great flavor to the grilled squash also.
Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn when first side is browned.
The squash is done when it is nicely browned on each side and is tender when poked with a fork. Do not overcook or they will become too soft and mushy. Serve while hot.

Grilling Winter Squash

Because of the dense, hard flesh that winter squash has, it is best to partial cook it before grilling. Follow the preparation instructions above for partial cooking and then peeling the squash.

Once the squash has been peeled, cut in half and seeded, cut it into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Place the squash pieces on metal skewers and brush with melted butter.
Place the squash on the grill over indirect high heat. Cook with the hood down for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once through cooking time.
Check squash for doneness by poking with a fork. Squash should be tender when pierced.
When done, remove squash from the grill and brush with a mixture of 1/4 cup melted butter and 2 tablespoons of honey. Serve while warm.

For more information about squash, see
All About Summer Squash and All About Winter Squash.

Grilling Tips

  • Watch summer squash closely when grilling because they will cooking quickly and may become too soft and overcooked.
  • Summer and winter squash does not have to be placed on skewers; just cut pieces large enough so they will not fall through the grates and so they are easy to turn.
  • When grilling, add a little sweetness to the smoked flavor of the squash by brushing it with melted butter and brown sugar while it is cooking or wait to add it after it is taken off the grill.
  • To remove some of the moisture from the squash before cooking, sprinkle the raw flesh with salt, place cavity side down on a couple of layers of paper towels and allow to stand for 20 to 30 minutes. The salt will draw the moisture out and the paper towel will absorb it. Rinse with cold water before cooking.
  • When grilling winter squash cut the pieces or thinner for faster cooking.