10 Foods You Should Never Cook on a Grill, According to Experts

Grill season is a delight for anyone who likes perfectly charred burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers and other tasty items – so much so that people these days tend to throw just about anything on the grill, from watermelon to lettuce. That said, a propane, charcoal, or natural gas grill is not the ideal place to cook. all type of food.

We asked professional chefs, cookbook authors and grill experts to name the foods they no recommend for grilling. They mentioned these 10 items, some of which might be a little surprising.

flaky fish

Grilled fish is a summer staple for an excellent reason, but certain types of fish work better on a hot grill than others. Joonas Jokiniemi, a former professional chef who runs a grill advice website Grilling Smoke Love, told us that “dry, flaky fish are not good for grilling. They are very delicate and easily stick to the grill grates and fall apart. In addition, they tend to be dry and tasteless when grilled.”

Hank Shaw, cookbook author and James Beard Award winner behind the podcast”Hunt Gather Cook”, also pointed out that skinless fish fillets can be problematic on the grill. “Fish is so delicate that you need the skin to hold things together – if you lose that, the meat falls apart and falls through the grates of the grill.”

Shaw explained that most freshwater fish — including walleye, perch and bass — fall into this category, as do black bass, halibut, snapper and Pacific manatee.

“They all work fine if you have the skin on the fish, but even then, the trick is not to turn the fish over,” Shaw advised. “Just cover the grill and let the ambient heat finish cooking.” As a precaution, choose fatty, oily fish (like tuna and salmon) when cooking on the grill.


A dense cut of beef from the brisket and pecs of the cow, brisket tastes best when it’s “roasted or slow-cooked,” said Ryan Cade, co-owner of RC ranch digital butcher shop. Brisket tends to have a hard texture when it doesn’t have time to break down its connective tissue and release its juices, which is why it’s best prepared Texas-style, or “slow and low in a smoker that regulates the heat well, – said Cade.

peeled shrimp

When cooked on the grill, shrimp acquire a beautiful level of smoke that highlights their natural sweet and salty notes, making them an ideal meal for hot weather. However, the key to high-quality grilled shrimp is keeping the shells.

Peeled shrimp don’t do as well on the grill because “they tend to dry out very easily. They literally take one to two minutes on each side, and it’s easy to overcook them,” explained Mareya Ibrahim, a Los Angeles-based chef and cookbook author.. Ibrahim said the best way to cook shrimp on the grill is to “keep the shells and watch them closely, watering them to keep them from turning into little pieces of rubber.”


Like prawns, scallops are a challenge (and not always justifiable) on the grill, so Nathan Voorhees, chef de cuisine at Epping’s on the east side in Lexington, Kentucky, does not recommend them for this style of cooking.

“There are so many grilling taboos, but scallops come to mind first,” he said. “They are such a lean protein and cook so quickly. They tend to dry out on the grill, potentially ruining a beautiful ingredient.” Instead, get the most out of your scallops by frying them while basting with butter, “which will produce that beautiful caramel crust and juicy interior.” said Voorhees.


Meatless grilling has never felt more possible or more exciting than it does now, with plant-based burgers reaching unprecedented levels of popularity. Unfortunately, not all vegan proteins are as grill-friendly as Beyond Meat and Impossible Meat.

“I see a lot of people trying to grill tofu, but it falls apart and doesn’t look great,” said Josh Healy, head chef at Loro Asian Smokehouse & Bar in Dallas. Instead, he prefers to “fry the tofu, make it crispy and mix it with the sauce of your choice.”

Green leaves

When you select the right vegetables to grill, the end product is charred on the outside, juicy on the inside, and a delicious addition to a summer entree. Leafy greens, however, do not fall into this category, despite attempts by many home cooks to make grilled Caesar salads.

“If your grill isn’t hot, the vegetables will wilt. Plus, you run the risk of vegetables falling through the grill racks,” said Brian Jupiter, executive chef at Chicago border and Ina Mae Tavern, both in Chicago. He said another way to carbonize greens is to “use a cast iron pan on the highest heat on the stove. Or, if you are ready to use the grill, place the grill on the highest heat for 20 minutes and place the cast iron pan filled with greens on the grill grates to begin cooking.

Melted cheese

Any cheese capable of melting will create a huge mess on your grill, as Morgan Bolling, executive chef of the cooking magazine and recipe database cook country, explained. “Cheese that melts is not good for grilling, like halloumi or aged provolone. But if it’s melted cheese, it’s going to melt right through the grills.”

Instead of grilling the melted cheeses yourself, use a classic technique and place a slice of cheddar or American cheese on top of your burger as it sizzles on the grill.

EasyBuy4u via Getty Images

You didn’t expect pork chops to be on this list, did you?

Pork chops

Pork shoulder and pork ribs are grilling MVPs, but you might be surprised to learn that pork chops aren’t as grill-friendly as their tasty countrymen. “Contrary to popular belief, pork chops are not great on the grill because they have a lower fat content than pork shoulder. So they can dry out easily,” said Jakob Esko, executive chef at the resort’s Gaylord Hotels. Sealing your pork chops in a hot skillet and then transferring them to the oven to cook is the best way to keep that cut moist and tender.


Bacon already has a smoky flavor, so it should really stand out on the grill, right? Well, the truth is not so simple, as Chris Riley, the recipe developer of the barbecue blog smoked meat sunday told us.

“Throwing bacon on the grill will likely cause a fire, as the fat is easily flammable,” Riley said. “It can burn the bacon and ruin its flavor before you even react. Also, a sudden fire can be quite dangerous. It would be best to keep the bacon off the grill. Simply cooking it in the oven or in a non-stick skillet will be easy, keep the bacon juices in place and ensure the best flavor.”


A tomato’s juiciness is among its most appealing characteristics, but it’s also a major source of dysfunction when it comes to grilling.

“Tomatoes are rich and delicious when roasted with meat and vegetables, but may crumble or not hold their structure well when cooked over direct heat,” said Josh Aslanian, owner of Fireside BBQ and Appliances. in california. “The mess and the parched effect won’t do you or your guests any favors.”

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