Yes, You Can Bake on the Grill!

Hot Grill Everyone loves cooking food outdoors, and there’s not much better than biting into a juicy cheeseburger or steak right from the grill. You might not realize, though, that your grill can be used for much more than...

Hot Grill
Hot Grill

Everyone loves cooking food outdoors, and there’s not much better than biting into a juicy cheeseburger or steak right from the grill.

You might not realize, though, that your grill can be used for much more than cooking delicious cuts of meat or fresh vegetables. In fact, your grill is similar to your oven. You can even bake with it.

It’s true! With the grill lid down, hot air circulates around the food much like it does in the oven, creating an environment conducive to baking everything from pizza to bread and even cakes and casseroles.

A Delicate Process

Baking on the grill requires a little more finesse than baking in the kitchen oven. Unlike your kitchen oven, which has an internal thermostat that allows you to set a specific temperature, your grill’s temperatures tend to vary.

However, by using a thermometer, you can determine the grill’s temperature and adjust the controls (or the coals) to raise or lower the temperature accordingly. You may need to test the temperature in various spots around the grill to determine where the best spot for your food will be. Much like when you cook food near an oven’s edge, cooking your food right over the flame will cause it to burn, so you’ll want to place your baking dish or stone somewhere near the center of the grill.

What You Can Cook

While you can cook any type of baked goods from cakes to breads on the grill, most beginners start with something simple, like pizza crust or tortillas. To make a pizza, place the dough on a pizza stone or grill pan and cook it until it’s slightly crispy on the bottom before adding sauce and toppings.

It’s also possible to cook a frozen pizza on the grill. Pick up thin crust pizzas at your favorite retailer and cook them over the open flame using a pizza stone or grill pan. For a more personal touch, purchase a plain cheese pizza and add your favorite toppings.

Other types of flat breads are also easy to cook on the grill. Try your favorite focaccia recipe on the grill, or warm up some dinner rolls. If you’re using a pizza stone, you can use the grill to cook drop biscuits, cookies, calzones and other treats. At your next barbecue get-together, try cooking some warm chocolate chip cookies on the grill to use in ice cream sundaes or to make ice cream sandwiches.

Calzone
Calzone

Baking Bread

Once you’ve mastered the simpler grill baking techniques, try cooking more complex dishes. Again, temperature is the most important factor in your success. It might take a little longer for items to bake on the grill than indoors, due to temperature fluctuations. Check the food at the lowest baking time to gauge its progress, keeping in mind that when you open the grill lid, heat escapes and it will take a few minutes for the interior of the grill to warm up again.

Baking on the grill takes a bit of practice, but the results are worth it. Cooking over an open flame brings out new flavors — and during the warmer months, allows you to keep the heat outdoors instead of in the kitchen. Add something grill-baked to your next cookout menu and learn exactly what your grill can do.