AmazingRibs.com is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Grilled Lemonade, Summer’s Most Refreshing (And Smokiest) Beverage

Share on:
Grilled lemons

When life gives you lemons and a grill, you make grilled lemonade!

David Rosengarten is a superb chef, a brilliant taster, an entertaining writer, and an inspirational teacher. He is best known for his popular TV programs on The Food Network, where he hosted about 2,500 shows in the 1990s.

rosengarten

I met Rosengarten in Ithaca, NY, where he was working in a wine shop and I was writing about wine and teaching wine part time at Cornell. I hadn’t seen him for several years until one day I got an email from him at my new home in Chicago. He was coming to town to conduct a spectacular gourmet dinner for the benefit of Share Our Strength, an important charity that fights hunger. He wanted to taste the best Chicago Hot Dogs and wanted me to help him find them. The next morning we started at 7 a.m. and hit four classics stands by noon (yes, there are hot dog stands open at 7 a.m. in Chicago). By 2 p.m. he was on a plane back home to NYC. On our drive around town I asked him what he preferred to drink with barbecue and without hesitation he said “lemonade” and that he had a great recipe.

chris lilly

Chris Lilly is one of the best pitmasters in the nation. He is executive Chef of Big Bob Gibson’s in Decatur, AL, owner of more competition trophies than you can count, and an advisor to Kingsford. I met him at the Jack Daniel’s world Championship Invitational Barbecue in 2005. He was a competitor and I was a judge. We hit it off instantly, and our paths have crossed many times since, even at Big Bob Gibson’s. He makes his homemade lemonade by slicing the lemons in half and then he grills the cut side over medium heat until there are grill marks and have a light touch of smoke.

So I combined both recipes.

oxo juicer

For making grilled lemonade, you’ll need a 1 gallon pitcher, and you can squeeze the lemons by hand, but a juicer is more efficient and it will help you get more juice. I have two that I can recommend. The OXO Good Grips Citrus Squeezer (above) is nice because it strains out seeds and pulp, but it requires a bit of hand strength.

norpro

The Norpro Glass Citrus Juicer (above) is inexpensive and really easy to use, but you need a strainer to separate seeds and pulp.

electric juicer

A reader tipped me on the Proctor Silex Alex’s Juicer.

Grilled Lemonade Recipe


Grilled lemons
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
2.53 from 34 votes
Grilled lemons? Absolutely. Brisk, refreshing lemonade with a smoky flavor.

Serve with: your favorite BBQ.


Course:
Beverage
Cuisine:
American

Makes:

Servings: 6 large glasses

Takes:

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 5 large lemons)
  • 1 cup of granulated sugar (less if you want it more sour)
  • 3 cups warm water
Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page

Method

  • Prep. Wash the lemons thoroughly. Cut them in half at the equator and place them in a non-reactive pan. The acidity in the lemons can react with the aluminum or cast iron and discolor both. Don't lose any juice that leaks.
  • Fire up. Preheat your grill to medium high, about 325°F. When it is hot, make sure the grates are really clean. There can be no traces of grease on them.
  • Cook. Place half the lemons, cut side down on the grill and cook until the surface browns slightly but don't let them blacken. Remove them and put them back in the pan.
  • Prep again. Squeeze all the lemon halves into a 1 gallon pitcher, then add the squeezed lemon halves to the pitcher (you should get about 1/4 cup of juice per lemon), add the warm water (warm water helps dissolve the sugar), dump in the sugar, and stir well with a wooden spoon.
  • Taste for sweetness. Add a little more sugar if you think it's necessary. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Surprisingly, when lemon juice has had a chance to age an hour or three, the flavors open up, similarly to the way red wine flavors open when aired.
  • Serve. When ready to serve, stir the lemonade, fill the glasses with ice cubes, and pour.

Related articles

Published On: 12/2/2016 Last Modified: 4/22/2021

Share on:
  • Meathead - Founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.

 

High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!

Millions come to AmazingRibs.com every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.


Post comments and questions below

grouchy?

1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.

Moderators

  Max

Click for comments...

Here’s a video by our friend Jason King.

Spotlight

These are not ads or paid placements. These are some of our favorite tools and toys.

These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs


Our Favorite Backyard Smoker

The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker


The Efficiency Of A Kamado Plus The Flexibility Of The Slow ‘N Sear Insert

kamado grill
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.

Click here for our article on this exciting cooker


The Cool Kettle With The Hinged Hood We Always Wanted


Napoleon’s 22″ Pro Cart Charcoal Kettle Grill puts a few spins on the familiar kettle design. In fact, the hinged lid with a handle on the front, spins in a rotary motion 180 degrees. It’s hard to beat a Weber kettle, but Napoleon holds its own and adds some unique features to make the 22″ Pro Cart a viable alternative.

Click here for more about what makes this grill special



Surely you know somebody who loves outdoor cooking who deserves a gift for the holidays, birthday, anniversary, or just for being wonderful. There he is, right in the mirror! Here are our selections of best ideas, all Platinum or Gold Medalists, listed by price.

Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts


Bring The Heat With Broil King Signet’s Dual Tube Burners

3 burner gas grill

The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Click here to read our complete review


Compact Powerful Sear Machine For Your Next Tailgater


Char-Broil’s Grill2Go x200 is a super-portable, fun little sizzler made of heavy, rust-proof cast aluminum. The lid snaps shut. Grab the handle and you’re off to the party! Char-Broil’s TRU-Infrared design produces searing heat while reducing fuel consumption. A 16 ounce LP gas canister is enough to keep you flipping burgers for hours.

Click here to read our detailed review and to order


Fireboard: The Ultimate Top Of The Line BBQ Thermometer

Fireboard Labs Product Photo Shoot. Kansas City Commercial Portrait and Wedding Photographers ©Kevin Ashley Photography

With the ability to monitor up to six temperatures simultaneously with either Bluetooth or Wifi on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer, Fireboard is the best digital thermometer we’ve tested.
Click here to read our detailed review