The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Baking on Grill without charbroiled mess

MISSiShrimpi's picture

Baking on Grill without charbroiled mess

Hi Everyone!

I have tried and tried and tried again to bake on my gas grill and

all I get is a charred piece of nothing. I only have two burners set

as low as they will go. I have tried with and without my baking stone

with same results. I'm even using a cast iron Dutch oven set on top

my stone. Guess the real question might be what the temperature

inside should be, any one know? Seems like the big difference between

an oven and a grill is the oven has a thermostat and turns off whereas

the grill is burning constantly. So how does one maintain an even temperature

in a grill and what is best thermometer to measure. What thermometer

can best assist me with these challenges.

Thanks Very Much in Advance.


flournwater's picture

Preparing bread on a grill is not an easy task.  If you're trying to use a Dutch oven get yourself a Dutch oven that is designed to be used on an open fire (it has short legs) and rest the legs on fire bricks or other spacers so that there is no direct heat conduction to the Dutch oven per se. 

Do a Google search on cooking with a Dutch oven to get some idea of how this might work.  Here's a start:

Just remember that, when cooking over an open fire where wood or other solid fuel is used, the Dutch doesn't actually contact the coals.  Rather, it is spaced so that the coals provide radiant heat without contacting the body of the oven itself.


dfandreatta's picture

The temperature inside the grill should be whatever your oven would be.  Do you have a thermometer so you know what the temperature is?

I worked on appliances in another life and used an electronic temperature gauge to test and calibrate ovens.

The oven thermostat cycles the bake element (electric) or burner (gas) off and on, and maintains an AVERAGE temperature of whatever you set it , typically within 10%.  So, if you set your thermostat at, say, 350 degrees, using a fast reacting temperature probe, you would see the temperature rise to somewhere around 385 (350 plus 10%, or 35 degrees), then cycle off.  The temperature will drop to around 315 degrees (350 minus 10%, or 35 degrees), then cycle back on and rise again - it will continue this as long as you are baking.  That's why you hear the "click" sound every few minutes - it's the thermostat cycling off and on.

And, while the computer on your oven will beep to tell you it's preheated in 8 or 10 minutes, it should really preheat for 30 or 40 minutes so the entire oven cavity is uniformly heated.

Your grill will not cycle that way, but will maintain a constant, if not rising, temperature.  So you need to know what the temperature is.

That $4 thermometer you have in your oven may or may not be accurate.  And it will be slow reacting to changes in temperature.



flournwater's picture

Sorry dfandreatta, we must have we worked on different types of equipment.  We replaced ovens that varied more than 20 degrees from any set temperature across the full scale of the control.   That said, no matter what the oven's radiated heat value might be, if the vessel is in full contact with a heated surface we're dealing with conducted heat along with the convected heat (the conducted heat typically being greater than the convected in this situation) so no matter how careful Rob is with the overall heat in the open space of the oven it won't help to control the tendancy for the bread to burn.

maurdel's picture

Hi Rob,

I guess we Southerners have all tried to do this. I have had some success baking off direct flame.  I don't want to brag, but I've got 4 burners so I turn the far left and far right on- very low- after I have preheated a bit-  and bake in the middle, usually on a stone with parchment. I've also used an iron skillet.

If you have two burners, I think you could turn off one side, and bake on the "off" side and you will achieve the same effect if you keep and eye on it and rotate every so often.  Actually I keep turning mine too.

It is a learning experience, and I have not achieved an an exact oven-like outcome, but it can be quite good.

MISSiShrimpi's picture

Thanks for the replies, anyone know best thermometer?

Guess I will look for something to get my cast iron dutch oven off the stone.

Thanks again.