How To Make Halloumi Cheese Without It Sticking To The Grill

There's a nearly endless list of things you can grill, but few are as unique as halloumi, a delightfully tasty cheese that hails from the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. But, if they're not careful, hungry cheese lovers can run into unpleasant sticking issues when the time comes to flip or remove the cheese from the grill. Fortunately, there are some easy tactics to avoid this.

The first step involves thoroughly patting down the cheese on all sides before grilling to remove as much water as possible. This should be followed by lightly oiling the cheese with olive oil. In the meantime, preheat your grill to a medium-high temperature of around 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Use this time to give an extra-deep clean to your grill grate, as well as a light oiling for further sticking protection.

Even after following all these steps, it's still possible to encounter a bit of sticking. Sometimes, all that's needed is an extra minute or two of cooking time. When the halloumi has reached the ideal texture and temperature, the proteins on the surface of the cheese will naturally release from the grill grates.

Why grill halloumi? And why grill it carefully?

The firm, almost springy cheese is traditionally made from goat and sheep milk. While some compare the texture to a combination of mozzarella and feta, it's most notable for its high melting temperature. This characteristic is what allows it to survive on the grill, taking on a smokiness and char rather than melting away to nothing. The technique also perfectly complements the mild, tangy, salty flavor of the cheese.

Among the many reasons it's vital to avoid sticky situations that could ruin your cheese is halloumi's price tag, which can reach $20 or more per pound. However, it's understandable when considering the real reasons halloumi can be so expensive. These range from residual effects of the Cypriot financial crisis of the 2010s to the strict control and regulations that, while they ensure quality in ingredients and production, also limit the supply.

However, with these simple techniques, home cooks should enjoy as much halloumi as they can handle without worrying about wasted cheese and a messy grill from sticking.