There’s nothing better than pulling a pan of warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies fresh out of the… grill. Yes, you can use your grill just like you use your oven, which is pretty handy if you’re going through a kitchen renovation, an unbearable hot spell or just want to impress at your next backyard barbeque.
It’s not just a party trick, though. Using a grill as a second oven lets you to cook even more (hello, Thanksgiving!) or better utilize grill space during a cookout. Bake brownies right next to the chargrilled burgers. Want fries with that? No problem!
Start With These Pointers
A gas grill works best since it allows for better fuel and temperature regulation, but an old-fashioned charcoal grill works too — just keep an eye on it and don’t let it get too hot. Investing in a cheap oven thermometer will help.
Because grills often get much hotter than ovens, make sure to use uncoated metal pans here — the metal pizza pans that cost just a couple of dollars at the local grocery store are perfect.
You can bake directly on top of the flame (for foods that normally bake above 400 F) or — using a gas grill — use indirect heat by placing a pan next to an ignited burner (this is best for traditional baking and roasting). Don’t forget to preheat the grill, just like you would an oven, and keep the grill cover down during baking.
Ready? Here are five no-fail dishes to bake on the grill right now!
Make pizza that’s better than your local go-to, with crispy edges, gooey cheese and no grill marks or charred crust. You can bake a pie as large as your grill, enough to feed all of your friends and family.
Heat and Time: High heat (500-600 F) for 14 minutes for a 16” pizza
Pro Tip: Elevate the pizza pan above the barbeque grate to protect that bottom crust. A couple empty small food tins or metal cookie cutters work great for this. Also, rotate the pizza 90 degrees every 3-4 minutes and start checking it at 10 minutes (it can turn on you quickly).
2. French Fries (or Tater Tots)
A really good grilled burger needs an equally strong side — not the sad broken bits of potato chips usually served at a cookout. Just place a tray of oven fries or tots next to the burgers.
Heat and Time: Direct medium (450 F) for 20+ minutes
Pro Tip: If you’re making fries, be sure to turn them over halfway through cooking so they crisp on both sides. For tots, give the pan a little shimmy every 5 minutes to roll them onto a new side and make them crunchy all over.
Grill baking isn’t just for dinner — you can make delicious breakfast staples right on the grill too. A cast iron pan works best for this one because the pan’s thick walls will ensure even baking. Then just remember: slow and low is the key here. It’s going to take a little time to set, so don’t rush or the crust will burn.
Heat and Time: Indirect low (300 F) for 30-40 minutes
Pro Tip: Blind bake the crust first for a flaky bottom layer. Just form it into a cast iron pan and place a sheet of foil over it along with some pie weights (or dry black beans) in the center to keep the crust flat. After blind baking, carefully remove the foil and weights, then load up your crust with your filling and proceed just as you would in the oven.
4. Sweet Buttermilk Drop Biscuits
Hello, shortcake! Use your favorite buttermilk drop biscuit recipe (or grab a box of baking mix) to create deliciously fluffy biscuits. They’re the perfect partner to absorb the sweet juices of your favorite fruit for the ultimate summer treat. Don’t forget the whipped cream!
Heat and Time: Indirect medium low (350 F) for 20-25 minutes
Pro Tip: Use a cast iron pan, and no peeking (don’t lift the grill lid!) for at least 10 minutes — otherwise the biscuits won’t rise and set properly. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking.
Brownies on the grill turn out warm and gooey, and they’re nearly foolproof. Plus they make the entire backyard smell like chocolate. And really, what could be better than that?
Heat and Time: Indirect medium low (350 F) for 45 minutes
Pro Tip: Use cast iron if available, or raise a disposable aluminum pan up on a couple of empty small food tins so the bottom doesn’t cook too fast. Don’t rush these — turning up the heat will make them burn.