Everyday Cheapskate: Turn Your Barbecue Grill Into a Baking Oven
If you have an outdoor barbecue grill with a cover, you can turn it into an outdoor oven. Why would you want to do that? To preclude the need to heat up your kitchen to bake pizza, cookies, cakes, bread and casseroles. And to expand your camping-out cooking repertoire.
You can bake nearly anything with a covered grill. If your grill doesn't have a cover, improvise with a large inverted pot. The heat rises and circulates in the covered area, just as it does in your oven. The heat source can be charcoal, gas or even wood, but gas is preferable because it is easier to control and does not transfer a smoked taste to the baked items.
This is the challenge. The hardest part of using a gas grill as an oven is temperature control. A built-in accessory thermometer can be useful, but these can easily be off by more than 50 degrees F, which can really interfere when you're baking a meatloaf, a whole chicken or homemade bread.
If your grill has a temperature gauge installed, you're in luck. If not, you'll need a small oven thermometer so you can more accurately regulate the temperature of your grill when it is closed.
Always fire up the grill for a few minutes to set the temperature before baking.
When baking, never set the baking pan directly on the grill. Instead, set a brick or two on the grill, and put the baking pan on top of the brick(s).