• how to bbq halloumi

    How to BBQ halloumi

When it comes to grilling, the thrill is often in the meats. Yet, hidden in the corners of the culinary world is a cheese that defies the melt-on-the-grill rule – halloumi. This Cypriot cheese has gained a cult following among vegetarians and meat-eaters alike for its unique grilling properties. In this article, we’ll dive deep into how to BBQ halloumi to perfection.

Understanding Halloumi

Halloumi is a semi-hard, unripened, and brined cheese, often made from a mix of goat and sheep’s milk. Its high melting point makes it an excellent candidate for grilling. When exposed to heat, halloumi retains its shape, turning a beautiful golden brown while maintaining a soft, layered interior.

Preparation Is Key

Before embarking on your halloumi grilling journey, there are a few preparation steps to ensure optimal taste and texture:

Draining and Drying: Since halloumi is sold in brine, it’s essential to drain the cheese and pat it dry with a paper towel. This step removes excess moisture, ensuring a crisp exterior when grilled.

Slicing: Cut the halloumi into thick slices, approximately ½ inch each. This thickness is ideal for ensuring the inside remains soft while the exterior gets crispy.

BBQing Halloumi: Step-by-Step Guide

Preheat the Grill: Start your BBQ and allow it to reach a medium heat. For a charcoal grill, this means the coals should be covered with white ash. If you’re using a gas grill, aim for a temperature of around 350°F (175°C).

Brush with Olive Oil: Lightly brush both sides of the halloumi slices with olive oil. This not only prevents sticking but also contributes to a richer flavor profile.

Grill: Place the halloumi slices directly onto the grill. Allow each side to cook for 2-3 minutes or until you see distinct grill marks and a golden-brown hue.

Serve Immediately: Halloumi is best enjoyed straight off the grill. As it cools, it tends to become more rubbery in texture.

Flavor Variations and Serving Suggestions

Halloumi’s slightly salty taste makes it a versatile canvas for various flavors:

Marinated Halloumi: Before grilling, marinate your halloumi slices in a mixture of olive oil, lemon zest, crushed garlic, and chopped mint for an hour. This imparts a refreshing Mediterranean flair to the cheese.

Spiced Halloumi: Sprinkle some chili flakes or your favorite BBQ rub on the halloumi slices before grilling for a spicy kick.

When it comes to serving, the possibilities are endless:

Salads: Grilled halloumi can be added to salads, providing a warm, salty contrast to fresh greens and veggies.

Sandwiches and Wraps: Replace your usual meat patty with grilled halloumi in burgers or add it to wraps.

Appetizers: Serve grilled halloumi slices with a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of za’atar, and some olives for a Mediterranean-inspired appetizer.

Grilling halloumi is a culinary adventure that extends the boundaries of typical BBQ fare. Its unique texture and flavor profile make it a delightful addition to any grill master’s repertoire. So, the next time you’re firing up your BBQ, remember that there’s a cheese waiting for its moment to shine!

More BBQ inspiration