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