Grilling imparts a welcome smokiness to rich, buttery artichokes; simply boil or steam them beforehand, then introduce them to a fiery hot grill for a few minutes to finish. You want the artichokes cooked through and tender when you put them on the grill; it adds a subtle flavor that the precooking methods can't provide. Try serving grilled artichokes with a melted butter sauce or herbed aioli for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.
Artichoke Precooking Prep
Artichokes have inedible parts that must be trimmed away. Remove the tough leaves near the stem by pulling them out with your fingers or carefully cutting them off with a knife. Trim the end of the stem and use a peeler to remove the tough outer layer. Cut the very top of the artichoke off, removing about an inch. Use scissors to remove any tough tips from the remaining exterior leaves. If you like, you can halve the artichoke, dissecting the stem. Once it's halved, remove the choke, using a spoon to scoop the fuzzy mass from the center of the artichoke.
The heat from boiling or steaming water penetrates an artichoke's tough leaves to cook the edible parts inside. Artichokes can be cooked either whole or halved, but if you're using halves, immediately rub them with lemon juice to prevent discoloration.
Boil whole artichokes in water to cover for 45 minutes and artichoke halves for 20 minutes, or until tender.
To steam them, boil a few inches of water in a pot, then place the artichokes in a steaming basket above the water. Put a lid on the pot and steam whole artichokes for 30 to 45 minutes and halved artichokes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender. Overall cooking time depends on the size of the artichokes.
Bring a gas or charcoal grill to high heat. Cut whole, cooked artichokes in half and remove the fuzzy choke with a spoon. Brush both sides of the artichoke with melted butter or olive oil. Add seasonings, such as salt and pepper or garlic powder, if desired. Place the artichokes on the grill, cut side down, and grill for 3 to 5 minutes. You can flip them and grill the exterior, too, for 3 to 5 minutes, if you like. Remove them from the grill and serve.
Tips and Serving Suggestions
Serve grilled artichokes with a dipping sauce such as a Sriracha aioli; a lemon, chive and melted butter sauce; or a minced garlic and black pepper mayo. Artichokes can be boiled or steamed in advance, then marinated before they hit the grill to add more flavor. Try marinating in olive oil seasoned with minced garlic, lemon juice and black pepper. Marinate for at least 1 hour or up to overnight.