It’s pretty hard to improve upon a ripe, Southern-grown peach. Unless you throw it on the grill. High heat grilling caramelizes the fruit, making it taste even sweeter, while also infusing it with bold, smoky flavor.
Grilled peaches are incredibly easy to make and can be eaten in so many ways. They can be served alongside grilled meat—we love pairing them with pork and chicken. They can be the star of a summery salad, like this Grilled Peach and Arugula Salad with Feta. And of course, they make an incredible dessert. Served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a drizzle of caramel sauce, or even on its own, a juicy, caramelized grilled peach is a thing of beauty.
The one mistake to avoid when making grilled peaches is to buy fruit that is too ripe. The fruit needs to be ripe but still firm, so that it can stand up to the heat of the grill without turning to mush. Save soft, aromatic peaches for pies or eating out of hand, and use the firmer ones for the grill.
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Grilling is actually a great way to use peaches that have been picked too soon and aren’t able to ripen fully. Instead of tossing out peaches that are a little less sweet, caramelize them on the grill to soften the fruit and bring out its natural sugars.
Once you’ve picked the perfect ripe-firm peaches, heat the grill to high (450˚ to 550˚F) and oil the grates. Slice the peaches in half, remove the pits, and brush the cut sides of the fruit with oil to keep the fruit from sticking to the grill. Place on the grill and don’t move the fruit so that it can develop nice char marks. Grill, uncovered, until well charred, about 4 minutes. Remove from the grill and enjoy.