Grill Your BLTs For Sweeter, Smokier Results

Crunchy bacon, crispy lettuce, juicy tomato, and toasted bread stacked together and slathered in zesty mayonnaise are the main ingredients that make up a delicious BLT sandwich. It may seem nearly impossible, but there's an easy way to elevate this classic: grilling the ingredients before assembling your sandwich. 

Grilling the vegetables and bread are an easy way to get sweeter, smokier flavors in every bite of your BLT. It's certainly not an expected go-to for grilling, but it actually makes a lot of sense. Grilling your bread will give it a nice crunchy char that your toaster cannot accomplish on its own. Meanwhile, throwing the lettuce and tomatoes on the grill will bring out the sweet and savory notes from the vegetables. And if you have room for a griddle (or your grill already has one), you can easily grill the bacon to combine the flavors for deliciousness in every bite.

The key to grilling your BLT ingredients

There's a reason why grilling vegetables for your BLT elevates the flavor profiles. When lettuce is grilled, the high heat removes the water and breaks down its natural sugars. This caramelization process is what leads to an overall light-brown color and slight sweetness. Similarly, grilling the tomatoes will blister the skin, giving a smoky taste on the outside with juicy umami notes on the inside.

To achieve this, slice your tomatoes and cut the head of lettuce in half before tossing them on the grill. Brush your veggies with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper for additional seasoning. Just don't overdo the oil or your vegetables might not crisp like you're expecting. 

The next trick is getting your grill to the proper temperature so you aren't left with burnt (or undercooked) ingredients. A medium to high heat, around 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, for just two to three minutes is ideal for lettuce. The tomatoes can cook for a bit longer but should be ready in about four minutes, while the bread can be cooked up to one or two minutes on each side.