Lingering by the grill on a warm afternoon—cold drink in arm’s reach, easy music floating on the breeze, a crowd of hungry pals milling about—it’s the stuff of summertime daydreams. It’s also one of the easiest daydreams to make come true: Text your friends and tell them to bring some bags of ice, then head to the store to pick out your favorite veggies and stock up on Impossible™ Burger and Impossible™ Sausage Links Made From Plants. Whether you want the flexibility of Impossible Burger, the convenience of Impossible™ Burger Patties, or the snappy fun of Impossible Sausage Links, these plant-based meats are made for grilling. Read on for 10 tips for executing a plant-based BBQ sesh.
1) Ready Your Grill
The last thing you want on a marathon day of grilling is to run out of fuel. Make sure your gas tank is filled, or, if using charcoal, have a stack of old newspaper on deck to get the fire going. Heat the grill to medium-high, which is just right for Impossible Burgers, Impossible Sausage Links, and any veg you’ll want to add to the mix. As with all grilling, it’s a good idea to have a hotter zone, for direct cooking, and a cooler one, for keeping things warm once they’re cooked (or for melting cheese on top of a just-grilled patty).
2) Set Up A Grilling Tray
Easy to clean, heatproof, and rimmed to help keep everything contained as you carry it from the kitchen to the yard, a baking sheet might be your best grill-side friend (aside from your pal who’s keeping you hydrated and the playlist grooving along). Fill the tray with all the tools you’ll need:
- Foil for scrubbing clean the grill grates and tenting over cooked food
- Long metal tongs and a metal spatula for easy flipping and maneuvering
- Neutral oil for greasing
- A kitchen towel or a few paper towels for hand-wiping
- High-heat oven mitts to protect your hands
3) Use An Onion To Oil Your Grates
Once your grill’s hot but before you start to cook, ball up a piece of foil, grab it with your tongs, and use it to scrape the hot grates clean. Halve an onion and lightly brush it with neutral oil, then use your tongs to rub the oiled onion along the clean grates. This greases up the grates and adds a subtle oniony flavor. Plus, you can eat the onion once it’s tender.
4) Pick The Right Proteins And Time Your Cooking Right
A mix of burgers and sausages made from plants that look, cook, and taste like meat means everyone (meat-lovers and vegetarians alike) gets what they want: a staggered parade of hot food, a range of flavors and styles, and more opportunities for fun toppings. Form Impossible Burgers in advance—or save time with premade plant-based Impossible Burger Patties. Or mix it up with Impossible Sausage Links. Keep in mind that you’ll want to grill burgers for about 2 to 3 minutes per side and sausage links for about 10 minutes, so that everything is a little charred on the outside but juicy within.
5) Surprise And Delight
Impossible Burger doesn’t need anything except a little salt and pepper and a quick rendezvous with the grill—but for something totally over-the-top, try forming the burger around a bit of shredded cheese for a take on a Juicy Lucy.
6) Mix It Up With Arayes
For a juicy, handheld, grilled treat that’s not a burger, try making arayes! These Lebanese stuffed pitas couldn’t be easier to make: Cut pitas (the kind with a pocket) in half or into quarters, then stuff with a few tablespoons of ground Impossible Burger. (Keep it simple and delicious with straight-up Impossible Burger, or fold in chopped onion and garlic and spices like allspice and baharat for an extra punch.) Lightly oil both sides of the pita, then grill over medium-high until the pita is golden and beginning to char and the Impossible Burger is cooked to your liking. Serve with a bowl of garlicky yogurt for drizzling.
7) Try A Grilling Basket (Or A Cast Iron Skillet)
A grilling basket keeps smaller or chopped vegetables from falling through the grill grates—but you can also think of it as a flavor-melding zone. For the easiest grilled plant-based Italian-style sausage and peppers, slice up a few Impossible Italian Sausage Links and place them into a grilling basket with lightly oiled chunks of red and green bell peppers, red onion, and cherry tomatoes. Cook, tossing occasionally, until sausage and vegetables are lightly charred and tender.
8) Prep A Landing Zone And Platter It Up
You’re gonna need a place to put hot things down as they come off the grill. Best to think about it before you start cooking so you don’t get caught unprepared with your hands full. First, identify a heatproof place to put down your grill basket or skillet. (Hint: Try turning a rimmed baking sheet upside down and using that as your trivet.) Pre-party, position big serving platters (and serving utensils) so they’re waiting there for you, so all you have to do is transfer the hot food and head back to the grill.
9) Make A Toppings Buffet
What’s more fun than a toppings bar? Set out…
- Expected sauces, like classic mayo, mustard, and ketchup, as well as herby yogurt, guacamole, and hot sauce-spiked mayo
- Fresh toppings, like mixed herbs, fresh greens, slices of tomato and raw onion, and lemon or lime wedges for squeezing
- Pickly things, like bread and butter coins and pickled jalapeños
- Sliced and spreadable cheeses galore
10) Mix And Match For A Meal
Impossible Burger and Sausage Links are nutrient- and protein-rich—all you need to add for a full meal is a side of vegetables. Pre-chop lots of mixed vegetables and toss them in a large bowl with a bit of oil, salt, and pepper. (Or throw it all on a big tray or platter with shucked corn on the cob.) Whenever there’s room on the grill, add a few veggies from the bowl or tray and cycle them out to guests so that hot vegetables and hot plant-based meats are always hitting the table. Any vegetables will be delicious—but try matching them to your sausages:
- Impossible Bratwurst Sausage Links: Wedges of green cabbage, sweet onion, parboiled potato wedges
- Impossible Italian Sausage Links: Red and green peppers, eggplant, cherry tomatoes
- Impossible Spicy Sausage Links: Red onion, red peppers, peaches, wedges of romaine
Caroline Lange is a recipe tester and developer, writer, and food stylist living in Brooklyn, New York.