Whenever possible, I prefer to grill food that can go on the grill during warm weather. That way, I keep the heat in the kitchen to a minimum. If it can't be grilled, then bake it. I would like to know my Aunt Dawn's secrets to baking on a grill as she knows how to bake on a grill.
Okay, best is hardwood charcoal. Not briquets, which are bits of charred sawdust glued together.
You guys would love my roast pig, mm.. nothing like a whole hog on a spit, or butterflied. I haven't made one in about 8 years - I moved and left my roaster behind. It was made from an old heating oil tank. I am going to build a BBQ pit here, after all the other projects are done!
I have a propane grill, it's great and convenient. I just did rotisserie chicken friday, but ya ain't cooking a whole hawg on a propane grill. It is MUCH better than heating up the whole house in summer, but I've also shoveled the snow off it to cook a steak in winter.
When I grow up, I want to sell propane and propane accessories. If my grades are good enough...
Today you could cook on the cement. --- 104. 2nd day in a row of this stuff, but it's going away for a few days. I'd love to make use of that smokey joe today but I don't even want to open the doors. It was 84 degrees at 8am.
This FarberWare OPEN HEARTH Broiler Rotisserie 455A is the bomb. Works fantastic, you can do bigger pieces of meat, legs of lamb or venison, than the little small enclosed ones, plus you can use coals or wood instead of the electric element to heat, adding flavor.
I cook where ever, depending on what I am cooking. Outdoors, I like to use charcoal. I do have a very small gas grill I keep rebuilding (It's about 30 years old) to cook veggies and to bake. But all in all the dish I cook determines where I cook. I love to grill meat, yes, but there are thousands of things I will never get to cook as there are only so many meals and energy to cook fancy. But I love when I have time to cook things that otherwise take too long, like recently I came up with a new stuffed pepper recipe.
There are many ways to bake on a grill. Depending on if you need smoke flavor or not, we can skip that part as another subject. Basically you just use smoking techniques to bake.
1) A way with no BBQ taste, say to bake a cake. I use brickette tiles on my gas grill. This forms a flat, thin and even barrier between the gas flame and the grill. You can buy them at Walmart. I like them much better than lava rocks.
Then simply put a pan (often it's best to double pan unless you have some really thick aluminum pans). Double pan means use two pans on inside the other to make it thicker. Spray pans with Canola oil to make clean up MUCH easier. Make sure the pans are small, no more than 2/3 to 3/4 the size of the grill to allow air to circulate. The just put what ever you want to bake like biscuits on a cake on top of the double pan. Biscuits for example could go right on the double pan, where cake in a cake pan above them. Use an oven thermometer to adjust to the correct backing temp. If it gets too high use something small to crack the lid of the gas grill open slightly. Or turn on the flame on one side and cook on the other, which is a good trick on any type of grill for many ways to grill.
2) If you bake with charcoal, you will get some flavor from it, it can't be much avoided. Cakes are not good this way! But you can bake anything like this you would like to taste like BBQ but don't want to grill. In a regular grill, just build the fire on one side, then bake on the other side of the grill. Use the same tech as above, but with charcoal you can adjust vents for temp normally. Double or very thick pans are suggested. Don't have one by have a very thick skillet? Use it.
Aside: You can also smoke very successfully by doing the same thing, fire on one side, food on the other. But in a single chamber it turns out more like grilled/smoked, than purely smoked. But this can be great for thick cuts of meat to cook them thoroughly, but searing them over the flame, then moving them to the cooler side.
3) Then of course if you have a two chamber smoker, just make the fire big enough to get the cooking chamber to 350 F or what ever you need. Then you don't even need double pans etc. Be aware and if you smoke much, you know the smoker if built horizontal is hotter on one side than the other.
I highly recommend the Weber grills. Even the little Smokey Joe is great. The Weber bullet Smokers are the bomb, best price to performance ratio.
The Green Eggs are great too, but pricey. The thick ceramic walls retain heat and help to even temperature inside. Great for baking and smoking. You can do great flat breads right on the inside of the Green Egg walls. This style flat bread cooking is classic in South Asia, Himilayas.
Another way to bake outside is to warm bricks up in your oven and then build a little house with them. They release the heat slowly and uniformly and maintain it for couple of hours inside the chamber. No peaking.
Some people line their ovens at home with bricks, because they reduce hotspotting, maintaining a more uniform heat within the oven, reducing the cycels of element heating necessary to keep temp up.
Pizza stones are great on top of your toaster oven, to prevent burns and also as a warmer pad. You can build a brick nest for your toaster oven and top it with a pizza stone if you like. Some toaster ovens have brick already incorporated into the design (full size ovens too)....the Cuisinart Brick Toaster Ovens.
Keeping a pizza stone on the lower oven shelf of your full size oven also helps, as it sits between the bottom elements and the food. Creating a barrier and also acting as heat stabilizers in the oven.