|Our finished wood roasted onions!|
One vegetable that is available throughout the year is the onion. Although you’re likely accustomed to using this in recipes as an added natural flavor when you wood-fire the onion, something magical happens to its cell structure that turns these into the buttery, melt-in-your-mouth gems that you’ll want to use in even more recipes.
Onions are high in vitamin C, can aid in weight loss, and have reduced certain cancer risks, especially those associated with the digestive tract.
Whether you elect to do the standard yellow onion, the sweet red onion, or shallots, you will love how smoke vapor works to bring out the best in any variety.
Preparing for the GrillBefore preparing the onions for the grill, let’s get the grill started by lighting the burners on only half the grill. This is referred to as two zone cooking. On the lit burner side, I place 2 wood chunks – I’m using the Single Filet size from SmokinLicious® – directly on the heat shields of my hot burners. This will provide the wood flavoring to the onions. My burners are set to medium-low which usually produces a cooking temperature of about 300°F. Simply adjust your burner setting to reach this temperature.
For the onions, I simply cut the tops of, slice in half and remove the skins. I place the halves cut side down in a roasting pan and add about ¼ cup of oil to the pan. With my pan ready, I place it on the unlit side of the grill and close the lid. In about 75 minutes, these will slightly charred, tender, and juicy.
Tasting Notes: Although I used avocado oil since you are not grilling over direct heat, you can use other oils such as olive, almond, walnut, grapeseed, coconut, sesame, canola, etc. Remember, some varieties of onion are considered herbs so doing an assortment of types will give you an abundance of flavors.
The Longer the Wood Roast the More Flavor
You’ll find as these onions cook and absorb both the smoke vapor and oil, the scales of the onions will separate and caramelize. The results are tender, juicy and flavorful with a hint of woodsy from the charred edges.
I decided to make a simple sauce of butter, cheese, parsley, and pepper for my onion mix and served these alongside a pork steak, also cooked on the grill with a two-zone method.
The best part is onions are available year-round so I can do this method even in the dead of winter, as remember, the gas grill still functions even in the cold! For those who like to freeze produce, this freezes very well so grill a lot keep them so they’re ready for the winter days you don’t feel like lighting the grill. Just think what an onion soup will taste like when you wood-fire the onions first!
Tasting Notes: If using a charcoal grill, still use a two-zone cooking set up meaning charcoal on only one side of the grill. Be sure you only cook with hot coals, no flames. This type of grilling can have more challenges to steady temperature so make sure you check the onion pan more frequently.