Grilled cauliflower steaks prepared in a BBQ dry rub and cooked until tender. Spicy and smokey, this is the perfect outdoor appetizer.
Cauliflower is hugely underrated, especially within barbecue circles. Most people roast or steam it, but today we’re going to grill it. And we’re not going with tiny florets. Oh no, we’re going for cauliflower steaks.
These slabs of cauliflower are prepared with a spice rub before cooked to tender on the grill, giving us a plate of veg that’s deliciously smokey and spicy. It works perfectly as a main, or as an appetizer if you’re doing a serious weekend barbecue session for a crowd.
How to slice cauliflower steaks
- Trim any remaining green leaves or brown spots across the outside of the cauliflower head.
- Cut about ⅛-inch of the stem off from the bottom
- With the stem facing down, slice the cauliflower head down the middle from the top, through the stem. Ensure you do this in the middle because we need the stem and florets to stay intact
- Cut each half in half again, to give you thick cauliflower steaks, about ½-inch thick.
- You can discard the florets, or use them for another dish
Because we need to keep the stem of the cauliflower, you’ll only be able to get four steaks maximum from one head. It’s not uncommon to only be able to get two or three. So, if you want to make eight cauliflower steaks, I recommend buying a backup head of cauliflower to give you some wiggle room.
I find cauliflower steaks too brittle to be cooked directly on the grill, so I use a grill mat (also called a grill topper). These mats conduct cooking heat well and can help grill vegetables while keeping them intact. If you don’t have
Grilled Cauliflower Steaks
- Grill mat/topper
- 2-3 heads cauliflower
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- fresh cilantro for garnish
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Prepare the cauliflower by removing all leaves and trim off any brown spots. Cut off the lower ⅛ inch of the stem and then with the stem facing upwards, cut down through the stem to make four steaks, each about half an inch thick.
- Combine spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Use a fork to crush any lumps. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle spice rub over the cauliflower. Apply to both sides.
- Fire up grill to 300-350°F, and set up for 2-zone cooking. Place grill mat on indirect size.
- Place cauliflower steaks on grill mat. Close lid and cook until tender, usually 20 minutes. You should be able to glide a fork into them with little resistence.
- Optional: Move cauliflower steaks to the direct side to create a seared finish. Flip regularly until done.
- Remove from grill and serve immediately.