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Grilled Okra

Virginia Willis' Grilled Okra

Serves: 8 to 10

Hands On Time: 

Total Time: 


3 pounds okra, stems trimmed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prepare a charcoal fire using about 6 pounds of charcoal and burn until the coals are completely covered with a thin coating of light gray ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Spread the coals evenly over the grill bottom, position the grill rack above the coals, and heat until medium hot (when you can hold your hand 5 inches above the grill surface for no longer than 3 or 4 seconds). Or, for a gas grill, turn all burners to high, close the lid, and heat until very hot, 10 to 15 minutes.

Thread the okra crosswise onto 2 skewers, building a ladder of sorts so the okra won’t spin on the skewer.

Brush with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the grill and cook until bright green and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and serve immediately.

About the recipe

Virginia Willis likes okra every which way — raw, boiled, steamed, fried — you name it, she loves it. Not everyone does. Grilled or broiled okra is a revelation. Many recipes suggest soaking bamboo skewers in water to use on the grill. This never seems to work well enough for me, and they always burn to a crisp. My suggestion is to buy some stainless-steel skewers and be done with it.