How to Barbecue Fruits

Barbecued fruit has a delicious flavor brought out by the intense immediacy of the flame or heat, often causing the tasty juices to bubble to the surface as it evaporates, making the fruit extra sweet and delicious. If you're entertaining using a barbecue, barbecuing fruits at the end of the meal is a great way to save on additional cooking and to end the meal the same way it started –- standing around the barbecue!

Not all fruits are suitable for barbecuing and some fruits barbecue much better than others, so this article provides a simple list of fruits and approximate times to guide you. All the same, feel free to experiment.

Here are some suggestions on how to make some simple, tasty hot desserts.


Fresh fruits suitable for barbecuing –- a recommended serving portion of fruit is approximately 150g to 200g or 5 to 7 oz per person:

  • Pome fruits: apples, quinces, pears (being fibrous, these can withstand longer cooking times); in wedges, slices or halves
  • Stone fruits: nectarines, peaches, apricots, plums and cherries, etc. (wooden skewers, as in shish-kebabs, can prevent smaller pieces falling through the grate)
  • Melons (preferably ones just approaching ripeness), and watermelons are especially good cut into large "steak" slices
  • Tropical fruits, such as pineapple (the number one choice), carambolas, papaya, mangoes and so forth
  • Some berries –- strawberries are very good, but be aware that most berries break down when barbecued
  • Tinned fruits aside from tinned pineapple (drained and patted dry) are not really ideal, unless they're wrapped in foil
  • Citrus fruits are not always ideal; you're better off using citrus juice as a sauce option, although kumquats can grill well
  • Although soft and delicate, peeled banana can barbecue well, if it is cut in small portions and threaded onto a skewer, or barbecued whole in the skin (this is often done with chocolate drops pressed through the skin into the flesh of the banana).

A baste – a baste made from spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or allspice (to taste) is recommended. To make it, mix your choice of spices from the suggested ones in 2 or 3 tablespoons of melted butter or orange juice. Apply to the fruit as needed.

Sauce suggestions – (for 4 people):

  • 150g, 5.3 oz palm sugar, 1 cup of coconut cream
  • 150g, 5.3 oz brown sugar and 1 cup of pouring cream
  • Chocolate or other pre-made syrups (to taste)
  • 250g (approx 1/2 lb) frozen or fresh berries, crushed or blended with added sugar to taste

Other serving options:

  • Large or small pancakes
  • A slice of cake
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Soft brown sugar or toasted coconut to sprinkle


  1. Image titled Barbecue Fruits Step 1
    Choose the fruit. As you can see from the list above, there are numerous recommended fruits as well as some suggestions about what to avoid. In general, it's best to avoid fruits that have a high water content (such as some berries) or delicate fruits, but pretty much any other sort of fruit can be barbecued with care or with a wrapping such as foil around the fruits. And, although watermelon has a high water content, it barbecues surprisingly well when cut into thick chunks.
  2. Image titled Barbecue Fruits Step 2
    Prepare the chosen fruits. Wash, peel, and remove any hard or inedible portions from the fruits. The items you'll need to remove will often be the skin, core, pith or any seeds or pits, but be guided by the type of fruit you're using.
  3. Image titled Barbecue Fruits Step 3
    Slice the fruits into slices no thicker than 1cm or 1/2 an inch. You can cut them into chunks of any shape you wish, but aim to keep the width no thicker than 1cm or 1/2 inch thickness, and keep all pieces uniform to ensure even cooking times for all of the fruits. The thinner slice size helps the fruit cook evenly and quickly, without falling apart.
    • Stone fruits such as peaches actually can be cooked in halves.
    • You can cook large wedges of pineapple, but on a much lower heat. It's easier to cut such fruit into wedges.
    • , it's recommended that you soak them in water for 15 minutes before use. Doing this prevents burning.]]Aim to have the shapes made so they will not fall through the slots of the grill, or place them on a skewer in the same manner as making a shish-kebab. Don't crowd them on the skewer -– simply place them along the skewer evenly.
    • If barbecuing skewered fruits, aim to make the fruit kebabs from a range of fruit pieces to make it more interesting, such as pineapple, banana, melon, kiwifruit, strawberries and grapes. A marshmallow can be stuck on the kebab for added sweetness too, and it can drip down on the fruit pieces just after cooking.
    • Brushing fruit pieces destined for the grill/grate top with vegetable oil can help to ensure that they won't stick to the grill plate.
  4. Image titled Barbecue Fruits Step 4
    Use foil packets (or "papillotes") for softer fruits to barbecue inside them. Simply chop fruit up into small pieces or slices, fold foil over and wrap securely inside the foil packet. This can be added straight to the barbecue and cooked for around 15-20 minutes, and you'll find that all the fruit inside will be delicious and easy to remove.
    • Sprinkle seasoning, sauce or other suitable flavourings over the fruits inside the packet before closing it. The juices will soak up the flavourings and disperse them across the fruit pieces.
  5. Image titled Barbecue Fruits Step 5
    Prepare the sauce mix either from one of the above suggestions or your own. All sauces should be heated through in a small pan either on the barbecue or on the stove until smooth. Keep them below simmering point.
  6. Image titled Barbecue Fruits Step 6
    Clean the barbecue grill plate well. This means scraping down the surface and rubbing with a piece of paper towel or cloth until minimal residue is left on the plate. You want the fruits to take a nice caramelised flavour, but it's not ideal if the previous meat, fish or vegetable foods cooked on that grill were burnt on or have left behind their strong flavours, as these will affect the dessert.
    • You can tell when the barbecue plate is sufficiently clean is when it does not smoke when made hot enough to cook on. Some cooks scrape the plate down then leave the heat going during the main meal to burn any residue off the grill plates.
    • Provided the burned and fatty residues have been removed, you can also place the fruits onto the barbecue using a perforated foil plate or place a double layer of oiled foil onto the barbecue plate. This takes care of having the fruit sitting directly on the barbecue plate, which may not be to everyone's liking. However, be aware that it is the grill-marking that helps to caramelize the fruits and brings out that extraordinary flavour![1]
  7. Image titled Barbecue Fruits Step 7
    Place the fruit, fruit kebab or foil packet of fruit directly on the grill plate and grill 3-5 minutes or until tender enough for eating (the foil packet can take 15-20 minutes). Use direct medium to high heat for short periods of cooking. Turn the fruit often (unless it's in a foil packet) and if you made the baste spice mix, baste during this stage, aiming not to drip the baste mix where it may scorch and create smoke. Some common cooking times:[2]
    • Apple or pear wedges need about 5 minutes each side
    • A peeled banana wrapped in foil cooks in about 5 minutes
    • Grilled mangoes should be turned every 3 to 5 minutes
    • Fruit kebabs should be turned every 3-5 minutes
    • Soft fruits such as strawberries cook very quickly; keep an eye on them at all times.
  8. Image titled Barbecue Fruits Step 8
    Serve with sauce and serving options and sprinkle with brown sugar as desired to make best use of the caramel flavours.
    • When barbecued and rolled inside a large, thin, cooked pancake for example it can work much like a filled-crepe dessert.
    • Serving a slice of cake underneath the barbecued fruit makes it richer with the sauce poured over the top, but there are as many options as the imagination offers.


  • If barbecuing apple wedges, banana lengths, and other fruits that brown due to exposure to air, it is recommended that you baste them with lemon juice first, to preventing this browning.
  • Honey can be used as another flavouring.
  • Scrape and wipe the plate dry quickly after use and brush lightly with oil to protect the plate from being affected by the fruit acids. This will ensure that the barbecue grill will last longer and not have corrosion problems.
  • 300ml (10 fl oz) squeezed citrus juice (such as orange, lemon or lime) sweetened to taste or 300ml (10 fl oz) of balsamic vinegar, sweetened to taste make good alternative sauces for a lighter dessert, but these sauce types aren't ideal with every type of fruit (such as banana).


  • Soft fruits heat up faster; keep an eye on their cooking time!

Things You'll Need

  • Barbecue grill
  • Cutting board and knife
  • Skewers (wooden, bamboo), if preferred
  • Foil for wrapping softer fruits or for making barbecue fruit recipes
  • Foil, perforated foil plate or a fine metal mesh grate for placing over the barbecue grate or grill to prevent contact with residues of meat fat and juices, etc.

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