The Unexpected Way To Get Perfectly Grilled Mushrooms

Mushrooms are much more than the veggie you throw on the grill when having a vegan over for dinner. They can make a meal exponentially more delicious by bringing a variety of flavors and textures to the table, and Everyday Health notes that they are loaded with potential health benefits to boot. Consumers searching for a healthy boost from a whole food source need look no further than the mushroom section of the produce aisle. Fungi are one of the very few plants that produce and provide vitamin D, an immune-boosting vitamin that contributes to healthy bones. They're also chock full of other vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and prebiotics that can help fight off cancer, high blood pressure, and other chronic diseases while improving gut health along with many other nutritional perks.

In addition to extensive possible health benefits, mushrooms offer an array of textures and flavors that play well with many dishes. The earthy, umami essence of fungi makes them a great meat substitute, and their savory flavor is enhanced when sauteed or grilled. And while mushrooms are becoming popular, they may not have hit mainstream menus because they can be prone to a rubbery or slimy texture that doesn't appeal to palates. However, there's a trick to grilling up phenomenal fungi, and the method might surprise you. Following a simple tip to yield the tastiest grilled mushroom makes it easy to feature fungi as the new dinnertime darling.

Steam them first

Despite mushrooms being delicious and healthy, many people are turned off by their texture, as simple cooking mistakes can easily turn them rubbery and downright inedible. Raw mushrooms contain a bounty of water and air within their uniquely-shaped walls that Cook's Illustrated attributes to their porous texture. When fungi are thrown into a hot pan or a fiery grill, their exterior skin forms a seared barrier that traps all that moisture inside of them, resulting in a hot mess of wet shrooms.

It seems like faulty logic to fight water with water, but steaming mushrooms before cooking them will yield the best results. Applying moist heat to mushrooms breaks down the interior air pockets providing a home to fungi's natural water content while thoroughly cooking them from the inside out. After steaming the mushrooms and allowing them to rest, drain them well at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.

Give your steamed and drained mushrooms a toss in your preferred oil and seasonings before heading to the grill for a quick sear. Grilling moisture-free mushrooms will allow the exterior to reach a perfectly charred texture while infusing their already earthy essence with a kiss of savory smoke. In addition, by steaming first, your grilled fungi can achieve a meaty texture with full flavor, making mushy mushrooms a thing of the past.