How to Bake on the Grill
Learn how to bake on the grill and avoid turning on your oven during hot summer months!
It’s only the beginning of July, but already this summer is a hot one. I’ve been using our outdoor grill for almost all of our cooking and one day I thought to myself could I bake on the grill? I did a little research, used a little creativity, and did it! And not only was using my grill as an oven successful, but it was actually pretty simple. I may not turn on my oven for the rest of the summer!
Keep reading for all of my best tips and techniques for using your outdoor grill for baking all kinds of goodies, from cookies, cobblers, and bread.
What equipment you’ll need
- Any kind of covered grill will work, although it is easier to control the heat with a gas grill than a charcoal grill.
- A thermometer is quite helpful, though not necessary. Many grills come with them. If yours doesn’t, use an oven thermometer.
- You’ll also need something heatproof to set your sheet pan or baking dish on so that it’s not sitting directly on your grill rack, a buffer. I prefer to use a cast iron pan.
How to Bake on the Grill
In order to use a grill as an oven you need to turn direct heat into indirect heat. Every grill is different, so you’ll need to figure out what will work best with what you’ve got. It may take a few times to get it just right, so be patient. It’s also a good idea to start with something simple like cookies, and then work you way to more finicky baked goods like cakes.
1. Turn on the grill
If you are using a gas grill with only one burner, then turn it on. If you have a gas grill with multiple burners, turn on only some. You’ll do your baking above the unlit burners. Our grill has four burners, so I turn on the outside ones and bake in the middle.
If you are using a charcoal grill, arrange the charcoals so that there is an open area for indirect heat. For example, placing the charcoal in a ring around the outside, leaving the inside empty.
2. Preheat the grill
Aim for up to 25 degrees (Fahrenheit) higher than the desired temperature, as some heat will be lost when you place your unbaked items inside and won’t be regained as easily as it would in an oven. So, if your cookie recipe usually bakes at 375°F, try to get your grill to about 400°F. Getting the temperature right may take a few tries, but keep at it.
3. Insert items you wish to bake
If you are using a charcoal grill or a single burner gas grill, then it is vital you place something on the grill between it and your baking pan. Even though I bake over burners that are off, I still use a buffer just in case. Lift the lid of the grill for only as long as it takes to slide your baking dish or pan inside.
4. Adjust heat as necessary
It’s okay do a little peeking, but try to limit it. Every time you open the grill you’re losing heat. As you get to know your grill, hopefully you will need to peek less and less. If it looks like your baked items are browning too fast or too slow, adjust the heat. I haven’t given any instruction on specific grill temperature settings because every grill is going to be different.
Again, if you’re baking cookies that normally bake at 375°F, try to keep your grill somewhere between 375°F and 400°F, adjusting the grill up or down as needed.
5. Enjoy your baked goods
When your baking is done, remove everything from the grill and enjoy! And take comfort in the fact that you didn’t even need to turn on the oven to enjoy freshly baked goods.
What should you bake on the grill?
My favorite things to bake on the grill are simple, “sturdy” desserts like cookies, galettes, and cobblers. Here are a few recipe ideas to get you started:
- Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (pictures in this post)
- Summer Fruit Cobbler
- Classic Apple Crisp
- Mini Blueberry Galettes
- Strawberry Skillet Pie
Post originally published July 2013.
29 Comments on “How to Bake on the Grill”
Love this! Such a great tIp
My mind has just been blown! I never though you could do this! I am not waiting for summer to try this, I am grilling my self dessert tomorrow night.
Yay! Couldn’t wait for this post to come! Now I’m super excited to try this method out…I just have to find some delicious treats to bake but I guess it won’t take me too much time to find something on my yummy-treats-I-want-to-make list!
Thanks Elisa! You’ll have to let me know what you think once you’ve given it a try!
We’ve been using our grill daily! It’s too hot to turn on the oven, but not to hot to eat cookies:)
Never too hot for cookies!
What a great post, love this idea!
Want to try this!!! We recently got a really nice weber, so we have been grilling our little hearts out!
I think I need to make some cookie dough to keep in the freezer so I can try this soon.
Questions: Do you want to start your baking at 25 degrees above the recommended temperature for the oven? And same for time, do you follow the same time-line as if baking in the oven? I’m sure modification of both will be key, but is following the oven-baked recipe a good starting point?
Yes! Perhaps I need to clarify in my post. Use the original oven-based recipe as a guide. Every grill will be different, but aim for higher than the oven temp and start checking around the time you’d expect it to be done in an oven. Hope this helps!
This is such a genius idea, Annalise! I love the idea of outdoor baking on a grill and I’m intending to give a try with your tips! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
This is just so brilliant. I first need to learn how to grill, period, but then after that it’s baking on the grill time!
I think really what you need is a new grill!! Those pics of your grill just make me sad. 🙂 Hope you have some grilling success soon!
Annalise, I love this post…and, your blog! So nice to have found you. Hopped on Twitter and saw Kristen’s shout out and link. Following you at Bloglovin’ so I don’t miss anything you bake. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! xo
Thanks so much Stacy! And welcome! 🙂
Thinking about using our Coleman Roadtrip Grill to reheat breakfast casseroles on the road. What do you think?
The pizzas look delicious. What is your review of the grill. Is it worth the high price, have you had it long, is it hard to clean etc? Thanks.
I love baking On the BBQ ,I done everything from bread to pies and everything in between
Looks like I have the same grill that you do Annalise . We really like it! It was definitely worth the price. I’m having an awesome kitchen redo right now, so we’re grilling everything!
Pizza, cake tomorrow for my Mom’s birthday…
Hi can I use a BBQ baking sheet under the cake pan instead of tin foil?
Yahoo. Just in time. I just Won a BBQ to the Value of $1,500.00.This will come in handy for Summer.
This was a great post. Just what I needed to inspire me to give it a try. I wish I could share a picture of my blueberry muffins that just came off the grill because they look amazing. Timing took about 5 mins longer than recipe said but I did have to adjust my heat a few times. My house stayed cooled and we still get a baked treat!
Yes!! This is so great to hear. Isn’t it such a fun discovery, learning that you can bake on a grill?! Happy baking all summer long. 🙂
How about a casserole?
How about a roast?
Do you bake in the cast iron ? If no cast iron what else might work?
You can bake in any oven-proof pan or dish, just know that whatever you use may get blackened on the bottom if it gets too close to the flames.
Do you have to use charcoal, or can wood be used too when baking in the grill?