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Looking for how to grill cauliflower? It requires a 5-minute steam before grilling, then throw it on the grill for 8 minutes until it’s tender and charred!

How to Grill Cauliflower

Cauliflower is the new sexy veggie, right? After being relegated to only being served raw on veggie trays, cauliflower is having a moment these days. Ever had buffalo cauliflower bites? Or crispy cauliflower tacos? Or cauliflower gnocchi casserole? There are endless cauliflower recipe ideas: so why not try it grilled? It’s one of Alex and my favorite cooking methods, giving it a smoky and charred flavor. Get ready for your favorite new way to eat this cruciferous veggie! Here’s how to grill cauliflower, and a few ways we like to serve it.

How to grill cauliflower: stream it first!
Don’t throw it on the grill first: steam it!

How to grill cauliflower

You might think to grill cauliflower, you just throw on raw florets until they’re lightly charred. Wrong! Because cauliflower has such a tough texture raw, you’ll need to cook the florets prior to grilling them. Otherwise you end up with very tough cauliflower that’s charred and blackened: not tender and delicious! So in our instructions on how to grill cauliflower, we add a step to steam it in a pan. This makes sure that it’s perfectly tender prior to grilling. We use the same technique of cooking veggies before grilling them for hard veggies like potatoes and carrots.

Here’s how to grill cauliflower

  1. Preheat a grill to medium high heat.
  2. Cut the cauliflower into large florets.
  3. Place the florets into a pan with water. Bring to a boil, then cover and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes until fork tender.
  4. Place the cauliflower on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  5. Grill for about 4 minutes per side, until tender.

See the recipe below for more details on the exact method. We’re also included a BBQ version of this grilled cauliflower that uses our Homemade BBQ Sauce. In this case, you’d paint on the BBQ sauce before grilling (instead of the olive oil), and then paint on another coat after grilling.

How to grill cauliflower

Video: How to cut cauliflower

Now, the only tricky part to working with cauliflower is actually chopping it into florets! Have you ever tried to chop cauliflower and get crumbles all over the counter? We have a method for you that’s much simpler: and you don’t end up with as much mess! Watch the video below to see me cutting cauliflower in our kitchen.

How to eat grilled cauliflower?

There are so many ways to eat grilled cauliflower: here are a few of our favorite ideas:

BBQ sauce
Serving suggestion: add our Homemade BBQ sauce

Looking for more grilling ideas?

And, if you’re looking for more grilling ideas for a cookout, we’ve got you covered:

How to grill cauliflower

This recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free.

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How to Grill Cauliflower

How to Grill Cauliflower

  • Author: Sonja
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Looking for how to grill cauliflower? It requires a 5-minute steam before grilling, then throw it on the grill for 8 minutes until it’s tender and charred! 




  1. Heat grill to medium high (375 degrees Farenheit).
  2. Cut the cauliflower into large florets.
  3. Place the florets in pan with 1 ½ cups water and heat to high until bubbling. Reduce the heat to medium and cover; steam for 5 minutes until the water cooks out and the cauliflower is slightly tender when pierced with a fork.
  4. Place the steamed cauliflower on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper. (Or if you want to do BBQ sauce: skip the olive oil: sprinkle it with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Then use a brush to paint the BBQ sauce on both sides of each floret.)
  5. Place the cauliflower on the grill and cook until tender and blackened, about 4 minutes per side.
  6. Remove the cauliflower from the grill and place it back on the tray. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. (Or if using BBQ sauce, use the same brush to brush each side of the florets with another coat of BBQ sauce.) Serve immediately.
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Grilled
  • Cuisine: Vegetarian

Keywords: How to grill cauliflower

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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