7 Tips For Turning Your Gas Grill Into An Oven
It’s true, that gas grill of yours can totally double as an oven. In just a few easy steps, you’ll be all systems go to crank out cookies, cakes and a whole bunch of other deliciousness. Good timing, too—you know, unless you love having your oven turn your kitchen into a sweatbox during the summer months. To keep more of the baking to the backyard, just follow these steps:
1. Clean Your Grill
To ensure your vanilla cake doesn’t come out tasting like last night’s steak, give your grill a quick scrub. And if your grill needs a deep clean, check out our gas grill tips and basics for information on cleaning your grill.
2. Choose Your Recipes Carefully
Especially when you first start baking on your grill, choose recipes that are somewhat forgiving to fluctuations in cooking temperature. Dishes like roast chicken, pizza, hearty breads, casseroles and cookies all work well, while a delicate soufflé would be tricky.
3. Use the Right Tools
Make sure you choose baking tools that can withstand the heat, even if it is indirect. Cast iron pans and skillets work great, especially for items like casseroles and cobblers. Pizza stones work as a nice flat surface for everything from pizza to cookies.
4. Get A Thermometer
You’ll need to know the temperature inside your grill in order to bake properly. If your grill has a thermometer built in, you’re all set. If not, separate barbecue or oven thermometers are inexpensive to purchase. While your food is baking, check the temperature and adjust the flame as needed.
5. Set Up For Indirect Heat
Unlike a seared piece of meat or charred veggie, baked items shouldn’t grill quick and hot. Instead set your grill up for ‘indirect heat’ where only some burners are turned on, and the food being ‘baked’ is placed over an area where the fire is off. For instance, on a 3-burner grill, light the right and left burners, but leave the middle burner off. Convection and radiant heat will then cook your food, without the chance that direct heat will burn it.
If you have a single-burner grill, you can still grill-bake. Turn the burner on, but place something in between the fire and the food to be baked. This could be an inverted cast iron pan or grill bricks.
6. Preheat The Grill
Preheat your grill – with all burners on – about 25 degrees hotter than the recipe calls for. When you lift the lid to place your food on the grill and then turn off a burner for indirect heat, the temperature will drop a bit.
7. Close The Lid and Don’t Peek (Much)
Once your food goes on the grill, shut the lid and resist the urge to peek often! Set a timer for 10-15 minutes before your food should be done and check then for doneness. Remember each time you open the lid, the temperature will drop and require a little time to get back up to optimal baking temperature for your recipe, so peek wisely.