The Absolute Best Type Of Onion For Grilling

red onions and garlic on grill
red onions and garlic on grill - 4kodiak/Getty Images

Look, grilling meat is great, whether you're talking about steak, bratwurst, burgers, chicken, or whatever else (although you definitely don't want to grill brisket). But there's more to grilling than just steak, and it's entirely possible to have a great meat-free meal cooked entirely on the grill. While certain things should stay away from the grill, there are a couple of choices that make for excellent grill fare, and maybe none are better than onions. A good grilled onion has a taste that simply can't be replicated anywhere else.

But there are plenty of kinds of onions, so which are the best types for grilling? Any of the major round onions (yellow, white, Spanish, etc.) will work -- but if you're looking to get the most out of your vegetarian BBQ, the types you're looking for are probably sweet or red onions. While all onions benefit from grilling, for reasons of both taste (their natural proclivity towards sweetness) and texture (they tend to turn jammy rather than mushy), these are your two best bets.

Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling

Red And Sweet Onions Have Different Reasons They're Great For Grilling

sweet yellow onions
sweet yellow onions - Bhofack2/Getty Images

Red onions are an interesting food because of the vast difference between their cooked and raw form. A raw red onion tends to be extremely potent, often overpowering whatever it's put in, especially if the onion itself is even stronger than others of its type (typically because the soil it was grown in was higher in sulfur than normal). All onions mellow and become sweeter when you cook them -- but none have as strong a transformation as red onions. Instead of a pungent, sharp onion bite, you get a surprisingly sweet, mild taste that lacks pretty much all of a raw onion's pungency. Add to this the fact that they hold up much better texturally than white onions and you've got a winning combination.

Sweet onions, meanwhile, don't start from a place of near as much sharpness as red onions, but they (as the name implies) also have a naturally high sugar content. This sweetness (particularly if you're using something like Vidalia onions) melds very well with the counterpoint of a nice, smoky flavor, which is what makes them such a great grilling choice. This sweetness is also why they're such a good choice if you want to caramelize some onions. Either way, these are your two best choices.

You Should Also Avoid Some Other Onion-Grilling Mistakes

red onion with grill marks
red onion with grill marks - vitals/Shutterstock

There are definitely other things you should know about grilling onions aside from which type to pick, though. First and foremost among these is how to cut them. Though it might seem obvious, it bears mentioning, because plenty of people slice onions, then put them on the grill -- and are surprised when they slide right through the grill onto the coals. There's two main methods to cut onions to keep them from falling through the grill: cut them into wedges or rounds, both of which are sturdy with enough surface area for this not to be a problem. (Of course, you can just use smaller pieces of onion if you're putting them on a kebab skewer.)

As long as you cut them the right way -- and pick the right onions for the job -- you'll have a great time grilling onions. Next time you want that great grill flavor but aren't in the mood for meat, give it a try.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.