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Cooking Tips

When Life Hands You Lemons (or Limes), Grill Them

Grilling citrus gives lemons and limes a new dimension, perfect for vinaigrettes and sauces.

Published June 22, 2021.

Grilling meats and vegetables, we don’t need to tell you, is great. Grilling stone fruit adds char and smokiness to its sweetness. But have you considered grilling citrus?

Grilling your lemons and limes adds a subtle smoky flavor to the fruit. It magically transforms the flavor from tart and acidic to something deeper, sweeter, and more complex. It gives your citrus a new dimension—a great twist for sauces and cool drinks. 

If you want to make your citrus extra-juicy, grilling helps soften it, allowing the fruit to release every ounce of juice. Plus, it’s so easy to squeeze with your hand that you may not even need to pull out the citrus juicer. 

Not to mention, grilling citrus is easy. Simply cut them in half or in wedges and place on the hot grill with the rest of what you’re cooking. Leave them on the grill until they are softened and lightly charred, boasting gorgeous grill marks.

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So, now that you have your lemons ready to go, what should you do with them? Here are some ideas.

  • Use the juice in your favorite vinaigrette or sauce. You can also use them in our Grilled Lemon Dressing for a dressing that is smoky and sweet, but still slightly acidic.
  • Squeeze the juice over fish, chicken, or steak. It adds brightness to the dish without adding too much tartness.
  • Use them in your favorite summer beverages. You can use wedges to garnish your iced tea or sangria. Another option is to muddle the fruit or juice them to use in your favorite lemon- or lime-based cocktail.

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