Peaches are a popular fruit that can be served raw or in various cooked forms. One such form is grilled, and grilled peaches often serve as a side dish or dessert during the outdoor cooking season. Those intending to grill peaches should look for freshly ripened fruits that have not been bruised during transport. The fruit should be cut into large slices or put in a grill basket before being placed over the heat source. During colder weather, some grilled peach recipes can be adapted for use with an indoor grill pan or broiler oven.
The first step to making grilled peaches is selecting the right fruit for the grill. Grocery stores and local farmer's markets provide good sources for fresh peaches, and some peach orchards will allow customers to pick their own fruit. One should avoid peaches with any green coloring on the skin and any fruit that appears to have been bruised. Buyers also should look for peaches that are still firm enough to hold together on the grilling surface.
Many cooks opt to prepare grilled peaches along with meats and vegetables as a side item or dessert. Before grilling, the peaches should be washed thoroughly and scrubbed to remove any lingering pesticides. The cook also may remove the skin from the peach, if desired, although the skin is edible and will help keep the fruit intact during cooking. Most recipes call for the peaches to be halved or quartered before going on the grill. Smaller pieces will usually need to be placed in a grill basket so the fruit doesn't slip between the grill's grates.
Peaches cook fairly quickly, usually in only three or four minutes per side, so many cooks grill them toward the end of a meal so each diner gets a fresh, hot peach. The cook may wish to give the grill a quick cleaning with a wire brush to help ensure good grill marks on the fruit, particularly if several other items have already been prepared on the cooking surface. Brushing some olive oil or other cooking oil on the grates can help keep the fruit from sticking and falling apart.
Many recipes call for sweeteners and other ingredients to help enhance the flavor of grilled peaches. Adding sugar or honey to the peaches will help sweeten the fruit and help it caramelize better on the grilling surface. Cooks may wish to include some extra sugar if their peaches are particularly tart. Once finished, grilled peaches can be served by themselves as a side dish with dinner or along with ice cream as dessert.