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Using a gas grill as an oven? How far can I take this?

r
reptilegrrl Jun 2, 2013 02:07 AM

My partner had a giant combination gas/charcoal grill delivered this morning. It is pretty fancy, at least as far as my grilling experience has been. It has a gas grill, a charcoal grill, and a flush-mounted gas burner. It has temp gauges in the lid of both grills.

So here is what I am wondering: can I use the gas grill as an oven? With the lid closed it is basically an oven, right?

The oven in our house (rental) is poorly insulated and makes the house very hot when heated. But we eat a lot of cheap cuts of meat- I like roasting and braising. Summer and 120' temps are creeping up. I can see no reason I shouldn't use this thing as an oven, but maybe I am missing something? I would be using stainless steel pans and the occasional aluminum or enamel baking pan. Thoughts?

Mainly I would be cooking things like roasted or baked or braised meats, with the occasional roasted veggies or baked casserole.

  1. j
    JohnMD1022 Nov 1, 2013 04:15 PM

    We rented a house on the back corner of a farm for several years.

    The oven in the stove was dead, so, I learned to bake bread on a gas grill.

    I used a LaCloche sitting on a pizza stone, both from Sassafras (http://sassafrasstore.com/).

    People raved.

    1. r
      reptilegrrl Oct 7, 2013 12:23 AM

      Thanks for all the wonderful replies!

      1. p
        Philtinkc Jun 15, 2013 07:12 PM

        I have had fun over the years cooking with Dutch ovens, and even made use of a tin-foil lined box to make cinnamon rolls and pizza when camping. The trick with the Dutch oven is consistent heat, generally we use charcoal, and calculate so many degrees per briquette, most heat is applied to the top with additional heat on the bottom; not exactly the recipe with a gas grill. EVERYONE should have at least one good Dutch oven, no matter what they cook. A quick primer on Dutch ovens can be found here: http://pioneer.utah.gov/research/utah...

        I have a (ha, several) baking stones, how would that work for pizza?

        1. SWISSAIRE Jun 11, 2013 04:10 PM

          The combination gas and charcoal grills appear to be in fashion this Summer.

          Not sure if you are using propane or household service gas, but using the grill as an oven will consume much more fuel. So better to convert ( if you have the option ) to household service. We did with ours using a stainless steel connection, and a little gas tape at both ends. Check well with soapy water for bubbles. If none, then you have no leaks.

          If you can't convert, then you need to stock up on additional propane cans.

          We have done Christmas Gamon, Turkey, rotis everything, pots of vegetables, all types and varieties of potatoes. We cook Paella too, but on the side burner.

          Just keep the cover down, and purchase a good food thermometer. As the grill is used longer for baking, ensure there is nothing flammable near or behind the grill. It will also take a bit longer for the grill to cool down when finished.

          We had a German family over one day and a full cooked rotis pork with cabbage and vegetables baking inside the grill cover, on the top rack. I added 3 pies one hour on with local apples and Quark filling on the unused grill area, and that turned out fantastic with a smoke flavour. The meal did not require much attention other than basting, so we had time to talk, play with the kids, and enjoy the view.

          The house that evening was cool and enjoyable.

          1 Reply
          1. re: SWISSAIRE
            r
            reptilegrrl Oct 7, 2013 12:22 AM

            Unfortunately I am renting right now while away at college, so NG is not an option for the grill. I would definitely like to do that in the future.

            This grill he bought also has a side burner, I think it would be nice for making soup and such.

          2. f
            fledflew Jun 4, 2013 12:39 PM

            If your grill doesn't have a built in thermometer, I suggest installing one for temp control/awareness. I've installed them on smokers and kettle grills and it's a cinch. Just drill a hole and and then bolt it in. Something like this works just fine.
            http://www.homedepot.com/p/Char-Broil...

            1 Reply
            1. re: fledflew
              m
              mikie Jun 5, 2013 07:26 PM

              This type of thermometer will work, but they are usually off by +/- 50 degrees F, so you need to check it against an accurate digital thermometer. It may not be off that much when new but they go out of calibration very quickly. If you're just grilling it's not a big deal but to use the grill as an oven, you need better accuracy.

            2. j
              JWVideo Jun 3, 2013 02:00 PM

              In addition to the tips everybody else has offered, you also can put a layer of unglazed quarry tile beneath the grilling grates (on top of the drip bars above the burners). Leave space around the edges. I did this with a Weber gas grill last Labor Day when my the oven kitchen stove died. Do use the probe thermometer as others have suggested. Once I figured out temperature control, this improvised rig worked well for baking breads, quiches, casseroles and anything else in a open pan. For closed pans and roasting meats and poultry in a pan, it worked better that the oven in a neighbor's vintage 1950 Wedgewood gas stove.

              1. k
                kaleokahu Jun 2, 2013 06:59 PM

                Hi, reptilegirl:

                Yes, of course you can use your outdoor grill as an oven. If you're cooking under the lid, I suggest you place whatever you are roasting or baking at the end opposite the burners you're using. And mind/check the thermometer(s).

                You can also use the side burner to bake or roast. Back in the day, well-appointed kitchens had a stovetop "oven" to use when either the main oven was occupied or they didn't want to fully fire their stove. A typical one looked like the photo and they are still available. Basically a thin steel box with one side open, and another side fitted with a window. Most accommodated two pies.

                Aloha,
                Kaleo

                 
                1 Reply
                1. re: kaleokahu
                  LMAshton Jun 5, 2013 07:20 PM

                  I've heard of those.

                  I've done my stovetop baking with a stainless steel trivet placed inside a pan, bread or cake in small pot on top of that, and a damaged rice cooker pot inverted and resting on the pan. Worked great. :)

                2. m
                  mikie Jun 2, 2013 06:16 PM

                  During our kitchen remodel I used the gass grill as an oven. Made some great meatloaf in it. Here's the catch, you nead a really good thermometer to check the temperature, the little thermometer in the lid is not accurate enough for most oven stylecooking. I can easily be off as much a 50 degrees or more. After that, it's just like using an oven.

                  1. mcf Jun 2, 2013 09:54 AM

                    Yes, you can. I cover the bottoms of pans I don't want black and sooty with foil.

                    Helps to have a built in or accessory thermometer.

                    I just keep the pan on one side without the burner on, so it's indirect heat.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: mcf
                      THoey1963 Jun 5, 2013 11:10 AM

                      An old boy scout trick:

                      For the pots / pans you don't want the bottoms to get blackened, prior to filling them up, flip them over and rub a little dishsoap on them. When you go to clean them, the dishsoap will wash off and take the soot with it...

                      1. re: THoey1963
                        r
                        reptilegrrl Jun 6, 2013 12:31 AM

                        Is this as important when you are using a gas grill? Are things regularly blacked in a gas grill, or is that only in charcoal?

                        (I cooked in charcoal at Girl Scout camp, but I've never used a gas grill before.)

                        1. re: reptilegrrl
                          THoey1963 Jun 11, 2013 03:44 PM

                          I would think that pots on a gas grill wouldn't be as bad. This mostly protects from the soot marks of burning wood. I am not sure I would throw my best pans on the grill the first couple of times until you try it out.

                          1. re: reptilegrrl
                            Njchicaa Jun 11, 2013 04:21 PM

                            I've gotten soot stains on a ceramic baking dish (chicken under a brick) on a gas grill and I've never been able to remove them.

                            1. re: Njchicaa
                              mcf Jun 11, 2013 04:33 PM

                              Yep, gets very sooty, that's why I use foil on the bottom.

                      2. t
                        tonifi Jun 2, 2013 09:51 AM

                        I do think that a good, covered dutch oven, cast-iron, would be your saving grace. Nothing burns in those babies (well, almost nothing...I've managed a few things...) and they are almost indestructible. I don't see why you couldn't braise on your grill with a sturdy enough container. I bake bread (no knead) in my cast-iron and I'm toying with the idea of doing it on the grill during the summer...it's a little harder to get a specific temperature, but I hate heating the house up. Ask around, someone (your grandma) may have a used, pre-seasoned one that she'll let you have.

                        1. Njchicaa Jun 2, 2013 09:43 AM

                          We used to have a wall oven that wouldn't work during the summer. (The humidity did something to it)

                          Anyway I learned to roast a whole chicken on a grill pretty quickly. Even did a lasagna once!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Njchicaa
                            mcf Jun 2, 2013 09:55 AM

                            I did lasagna last fall, turned out great!

                          2. HillJ Jun 2, 2013 09:12 AM

                            Now that gas tanks for grills are avail year round, I use the grill year round. Even in NJ winters. Enjoy becoming familiar with your grill now and you'll be a master for year round use.

                            1. k
                              kseiverd Jun 2, 2013 09:09 AM

                              Several years back, oven died. Gas burners worked fine. It was of an age where I new a repair would probably cost at least half of a new stove. Since budget was pretty lean at the time, I used gas grill as oven for SEVERAL months till I could manage a replacement.

                              Roasted a smallish turkey, in a pan, over indirect heat... and ended up with plenty of brown stuff in bottom to make gravy with. Even baked a CAKE... and it didn't come out at all "smoked".

                              When weather gets hot/humid here in NJ, I pretty much swear off most indoor cooking entirely. Typically will start with both sides on high, to put some color on whatever I'm cooking. Then I turn one side off and don't have to babysit things.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: kseiverd
                                r
                                reptilegrrl Jun 2, 2013 03:45 PM

                                When you turn one side off, do you have to turn the pan around for even cooking? Also do you elevate the pans to get more distance and circulation between them and the flames, or just set them right on the grates?

                                1. re: reptilegrrl
                                  mcf Jun 2, 2013 03:54 PM

                                  I didn't, but if you have three burners, you can turn off the middle one. My grill height was fine for baking.

                              2. Sid Post Jun 2, 2013 05:20 AM

                                reptilegrrl,

                                Outdoor cooking in the Summertime temperatures is something many people, myself included, enjoy. My suggestion to you is to start with a nice Lodge Dutch Oven from Wal-Mart or some other big box store. Add a charcoal chimney, and you will have something that cooks cheaply, evenly, and is worry free. For charcoal, get the Dutch Oven with legs and a lipped lid. The Camp Chef Boy Scout models are pretty nice too.

                                The LP gas will work just fine as well but, you will find the cost and hassle of replacing the 20# cylinders to be a pain after the first few. Charcoal has become a preferred option for me today. In fact, I bought 400#'s over the Memorial day weekend! :-D

                                http://www.idos.com/

                                1. m
                                  magiesmom Jun 2, 2013 04:22 AM

                                  Well, yes, of course you can roast in it and braise but I don't think of eating braises when is too hot to cook them in the house.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: magiesmom
                                    r
                                    reptilegrrl Jun 2, 2013 03:39 PM

                                    I love braises. I suppose I would think of eating them any time!

                                  2. k
                                    kitchengardengal Jun 2, 2013 03:55 AM

                                    When I had a gas grill, I used to roast 8 lb. roasting chickens on it for 2 1/2 to 3 hours on a medium heat.
                                    I also used it for pork roasts and lamb. They all turned out beautifully tender and juicy.

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