The Portabella is, no doubt, the King of the Grilled Mushrooms. This big, bold beautiful fungi’s cap is perfect for soaking up marinades on the grill since its gills absorb flavor and retain moisture.
Best of all, these tender mushrooms are a plant-forward favorite, often eaten in lieu of a meat patty as a hamburger replacement or sliced into thick vegan “steaks.”
Here at Monterey, we’re obsessed with Portabellas for summer grilling, and we want to make you this summer’s Mushroom Grill Master! Here’s a step-by-step guide (and fun video) from our fungi experts on how to grill Portabella caps to perfection!
How To Prepare Portabella Mushrooms
Step 1: Decide Whether You Want To Baste or Marinate
Portabella mushrooms have a robust flavor profile that helps them stand out all on their own — but you can make them even better with a little seasoning or marinade.
You can simply baste your caps with a coating of extra virgin olive oil and your favorite seasoning and grill them! Or, you can kick things up a notch by whipping up an easy (yet super tasty) mushroom marinade. Here’s our go-to portabella cap marinade for summer grilling:
Monterey's Portabella Mushroom Marinade
Yield: Makes enough to coat four large Portabella caps
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- Close the ingredients of the marinade in a plastic Ziploc bag with your portabella caps and shake to mix well. Let it marinate for 10 minutes, shake it again, and flip the bag. Then, let the other side marinate for another 10 minutes.
- Remove the caps from the bag and place them on a clean plate to prepare for grilling.
Step 2. Prepare and Preheat the Grill
While your mushrooms are marinating, it’s time to prepare your grill. After you’ve made sure your grill is nice and clean, light up the grill or stack the briquettes.
Grilling Mushrooms on a Gas Grill
If you’re using a gas grill, go ahead and turn it on high. If you have temperature controls, 375°F is the perfect heat.
Grilling Mushrooms on a Charcoal Grill
If you’re using a charcoal grill, follow these steps:
- Stack briquettes in a chimney grill starter over wads of newspaper. You’ll need enough briquettes to evenly cover the bottom of the grill.
- Light briquettes from the bottom and watch those babies burst into flames.
- Wait 10 minutes, and then check. Once your briquettes start to turn grey, dump them into the bottom half of the grill.
- Once all coals are gray, you’re ready to grill.
Smoked Portabella Caps on a Pellet Grill
If you're using a Traeger, Camp Chef, Green Mountain Grill or other pellet grill and want to add a smokey flavor to our portabella steaks, follow these steps:
- Set the temperature to 180℉ and place mushrooms directly on the grill cap side down. Smoke for 30 minutes.
- Increase the grill temperature to High (about 450℉) about 15 minutes longer.
Blackstone Griddle Portabella Mushrooms
- Preheat your griddle to medium heat.
- Place the mushrooms top side down on the griddle.
- Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Uncover and using a bench scraper or large spatula with a cutting edge and cut the mushrooms into slices. The marinade will fall out and cook on the griddle and reduce. Use a spatula to scrape it up with the sliced mushrooms when you remove them from the griddle.
Gather Your Mushroom Grilling Supplies
While your grill is preheating, gather your supplies, including:
- Some long tongs with padding around the handle.
- An oven mitt to avoid getting burned.
- A clean plate to place your caps on once they’re cooked.
- A timer to make sure your mushrooms are perfectly cooked.
- Your friends and family so you can show off your new grill skills.
Step 3. Get Grilling!
Finally — it’s time to grill your mushrooms!
Place your portabella caps on your grill over direct heat with the cap-side down so the mushroom gills look up at you. Immediately cover the grill with a grill-safe lid.
Direct vs. Indirect Heat
Direct grilling is a barbecue cooking technique in which the food is placed and cooked directly over the fire. When your mushrooms are only grilled over direct heat for short periods of time, it’s the perfect way to achieve those charred grill marks we all know and love.
But be careful, if the caps sit too long over direct heat, they’ll burn and lose the delicious juices that make them so tender! Learn more about direct heat vs. indirect heat when grilling mushrooms here.
How Long To Grill Portabella Mushrooms
Set a timer for five minutes and stay nearby. Remain close to avoid burning your mushrooms!
After five minutes, check your caps. Use your long tongs to flip your mushrooms, being careful not to burn yourself. If lightly browned on the bottom, the caps are ready to grill gill-side down. Cook the opposite side for another five minutes, checking for those beautiful grill lines.
You may need to continue checking on your caps in two-minute increments if you think they could use a little longer on the grates. Just keep flipping until you achieve your desired char.
Then you’re done! It’s time to plate and serve your perfectly grilled Portabella mushrooms!
Become a Mushroom Grill Master
Whether this is your first summer fun with fungi on the grates or you’ve been grilling mushrooms for years, we’ve got you covered with our Summer Grilling Guide.
This handy cookbook has some tips for grillers of all levels and comes chop full of mouth-watering recipes to help you become the designated grill master. Download the guide today and fire up your grill!