Did you know that you can use your gas grill as an oven?
Yes, you can!
That means you can bake cookies, cakes, breads, pizza, and casseroles outside, all summer long, without heating up your kitchen! And although it may take a bit of practice to get the hang of it, it's still pretty easy.
10 Tips For Using A Gas Grill As An Oven
Here are my top 10 tips for successful baking on a gas grill!
#1 — Start With A Clean Grill
Unless you want your cake to taste like last night's steak. 😉
#2 — Use Indirect Heat
Direct heat will burn most baked goods. Turn on only some of the burners and bake over the unlit side. Our gas grill has 4 burners, so I turn on the 2 side burners and bake in the center of the grill.
#3 — Use A Thermometer
If you're going to bake, you need to know the temperature inside your grill with the lid closed. If your grill doesn't have a thermometer built in, invest in one!
#4 — Choose Your Baking Tools Wisely
Even indirect flame provides intense heat. Choose baking dishes that can withstand it, like a pizza stone or a cast iron skillet. I bake cookies, pizza, and bread on my pizza stone — and I use my cast iron for everything from casseroles, cakes, brownies, cobblers, and crisps!
So next time you're at the thrift store or a yard sale, keep an eye out for a pizza stone or cast iron skillet! (Read about how to season cast iron here.)
If you don't yet have either of those options but you still want to get started, any metal or stoneware containers should work well.
Glassware is risky since it is prone to breaking under direct heat.
#5 — Choose Your Recipes Wisely
Grill baking is less precise than oven baking. When you're still getting the hang of it, choose forgiving recipes that won't be harmed by fluctuating temperatures as you learn the nuances of your grill. Simple cookies, brownies, pizzas, and fruit crisps all baked well for me despite inconsistent heat.
On the other hand, a cake or loaf of bread might not be as forgiving.
#6 — Preheat The Grill
Preheat your grill about 25 degrees hotter than the recipe calls for, since opening the lid will release a lot of heat.
Additionally, wait until you have consistent heat to start your baking. I have to heat my grill up and play with the strength of the flame for a bit before I achieve a consistent temperature.
#7 — Check The Temperature During Baking
A grill doesn't keep a consistent temperature as well as the oven does. Check on it a few times during baking and adjust the flame as needed.
#8 — Don't Lift The Lid
This releases a lot of heat, and will make your baking take longer. If you absolutely must, make it quick!
#9 — Use Your Nose
When you can't see inside, it's hard to know what's going on in there!
With practice, you will come to recognize when something is done by the way it smells. There's the smell of food as it's starting to brown… the smell when it is perfect… and the very distinct smell of food that has baked for too long. It only took me a few tries to know when to open the lid.
#10 — Don't Rely On The Recipe For Baking Times
In general, I find that dishes cook more quickly on the grill than in the oven. If there's a range of baking times given in the recipe, set your timer for the lowest number. With practice, you'll get a feel for the timing.
That's it! Now you're prepared for baking all summer long without heating up your house!
BONUS! Using a gas grill as an oven means you can still provide nourishing meals for your family in case of a power outage!
Ready to get baking on the grill? What will you try first?
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