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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.

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  1. 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.

    1. 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

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

      2. 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


        1. 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

            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

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

          2. 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. 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

                I did lasagna last fall, turned out great!

              2. 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. 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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

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

                    2. 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. 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.


                        1 Reply
                        1. re: kaleokahu

                          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. 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. 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.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: fledflew

                              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. 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.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                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.

                                1. re: reptilegrrl

                                  The side burner is very useful.

                                  I use ours to cook Paella, and with a round bottomed wok using a wok ring.

                                2. re: SWISSAIRE

                                  natural gas jets have a bigger hole because the gas has less energy. since you have a control knob i would think you could just open it more, though your maximum temperature will be lower. natural gas is still much cheaper than propane.

                                  coleman makes a camping oven for use on its stove. there are a lot of used ones out there

                                  1. re: divadmas


                                    Your comparison between NG and Propane is quite accurate. Bear in mind that with 3-4 burners going at once using NG, a BBQ can reach much higher temperatures than a conventional oven.

                                    Your mention of Coleman stoves and the old Coleman oven accessory brought back good memories. We had one in the 1950's, using the oven to bake bread on camping and sailing trips. It wasn't that efficient, but quite luxury on a cold, icy morning outdoors to have hot freshly baked bread. A great way to warm up.

                                3. 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. Thanks for all the wonderful replies!

                                    1. 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. Can you use a glass baking pan on the grill?

                                        3 Replies
                                        1. re: Brits

                                          Personally, I don't.

                                          I can't say that I have ever seen a glass pan intended for use on a BBQ.

                                          A modern gas grill can get very hot, well beyond the range of a household oven temperature.

                                          Glass / Pyrex cookware is intended for conventional ovens, and even then have limits usually around 200-230 C, or 400-450 F.

                                          Stainless steel, iron, and some coated steel pans, yes, but most sold today state what temperatures they can accept, and how they are to be cleaned.

                                          1. re: SWISSAIRE

                                            I have a Hasty-Bake grill which is sort of the reverse of an Argentine parilla grill. Rather than raising the level of the cooking grate above the coals it lowers the firebox via a side-crank. This allows for greater temperature control so you can effectively bake on the grill.

                                            1. re: ferret

                                              Hi Ferret -

                                              That sounds pretty cool.

                                              I will have to look that model up online.

                                              We have a small charcoal BBQ made here that allows grilling and rotisserie cooking. The base supports a wired grill, that also swings up and is fed charcoal or small wood pieces for lateral cooking. To rotis, there is a small battery operated motor with a spit rod that takes a tenderloin or similar cut to turn and cook. That spit in turn bastes down onto the next spit, if needed. You just feed the wood or charcoal every 20 minutes or so, piece by piece, and the motor (which looks like a flashlight ) does it's work.

                                              That device has made us a lot of friends camping or kayaking over the years, so we always bring a little extra along to cook.

                                        2. i know people who cook their thanksgiving turkeys on the bbq

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: eLizard

                                            Hi eLizard-

                                            Turkey baked well-seasoned on a BBQ grill is excellent.

                                            We have done this a few times, starting the turkey the night before in salt brine. It stays moist when cooked using that method. And it is served here year round.

                                            When younger I could not stand the smell of turkey cooking in the house, and left on whatever pretext I could, snow outside of not. Later in the military, the same experience in the Officer's quarters, times 20x families, all at the same time. The smell seemed to radiate up and down the walls and ceiling. A quick about face, and self-dismissed back out the door !

                                            So today, I enjoy the fragrance in moderation, when slow cooked on the BBQ outside. I use a large oval stainless pan, foil wrap the turkey, slow cook it for 2-3 hours, and remove the foil and baste it the last 20 minutes.

                                          2. You can most definitely use it as an oven. Once, when our power was out, we even baked a pie inside our gas grill with the lid closed.... :-)

                                            1. Absolutely use that grill as an oven, especially in the summer. If it is 80 degrees on our main floor it is 90 upstairs so I rarely use the oven in the summer. I use the grill, take the crock pot to the back patio, or take the Breville Smart oven to the back patio (love that thing).

                                              When we first bought our house (a forclosure) we had no oven and went without one until we could find a nice one on craigslist for cheap. We didn't want to sink a lot of money into an oven when we plan on redoing the kitchen in a couple of years.

                                              Cast Iron is great - both regular and enameled. I also have a cast iron le creuset roaster which was a god send using my gas grill as an oven. I would not use pyrex at all. Use stoneware or pullivuyt or apilco. The last two are porcelain that are fired at over 2000 degrees so they can handle the grill.

                                              Those options could get pricey for the college student. Does anyone know if the old school corning ware that can be used on the stovetop safe for a grill? Those are typically cheap finds at your local goodwill.