The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

opinions on whether this will work for bread

maurdel's picture

opinions on whether this will work for bread

What do you all think about this "Cast Iron Grill Humidifier"?

The description seems to say that it is just two cast iron boxes with holey lids.  So is it anything? or not anything?

Sometimes in warmer months I will try to bake out on the grill. It is sometimes quite successful, and sometimes not so much. Does anyone believe this might help in baking bread?

I also wonder if this might work in an indoor oven too. I don't like to mess w/ water or ice tossed into a hot oven.

My only concern is that one would be unable to estimate the correct amount of water needed for baking.


AW's picture

But decided against it because the capacity seemed too small for the amount of water I use. My mother always used a cast iron loaf pan. I use my broiler pan which is already beat to hell.

maurdel's picture

AW, How much water do you use? Many people seem to say that they just use a handfull of ice cubes. I would think I only want a bit of steam at the start of baking... really i'm not sure how much volume that would be, or if this humidifier thingy would do the job.

I am surprised at the description, it does sound small.   I would think for grilling meats on the barbecue they would need more liquid.

AW's picture

I'm probably using too much water. I have a bottle and pour some until it coats the bottom of my broiler pan and steams the oven well. I spray the sides of my oven and the loaves. My bread never turns out gummy though. Do you think I'm using too much?

maurdel's picture

It's not too much if you like the bread. Would you say your crust comes out hard, chewy, crispy?

Coating the bottom of the pan is probably not much water at all, but would give you a nice quick steam. That is one of the problems with those humidifier things, probably would not give a nice "flash" of steam, but just steady humidity.  I'm not sure what that would do for me or my bread.

I don't like too hard/thick a crust but I can't seem to regulate it much with any water/ steam method I've been willing to try. I have more luck by changing the baking temperature, or spraying/wetting the bread before putting it in. I've tried a few things but it seems to be hit-and-miss.

Dillbert's picture

cast iron does have a good heat retention factor - so pre-heated on the grill with a small amount of water would probably produce a rush of steam.

note:  I have never baked bread on a grill.

the best marketing spin on this product: 

it's pre-seasoned!  keeps the "water, beer, wine, juices or other liquid" from sticking!

maurdel's picture

"it's pre-seasoned!  keeps the "water, beer, wine, juices or other liquid" from sticking!"

Yeah I was worried about seasoning it :)

So if you used this you would  pre-heat it and THEN add water when you wanted steam?     I was hoping for something I would fill, put in the oven to heat and just add bread. I dislike having to pour water into a hot oven.

I have baked some on my grill, it is rather drying. But it's not too bad for bread if you can place it off direct heat. Must watch over it more though.

Broc's picture

Regular posters are probably tired of seeing my plugs for ceramic cooking-baking, yada-yada...

I have two Big Green Eggs.  Love 'em... bake lots, mostly bread... always successfully.

I love to have a Big Winter Storm come through and bake during the worst of the cold and ice and snow, and serve bread in to my fam & buddies.  Oh, yeah!

The secret -- in a clean cooker [grease from previous cooks MUST be burnt off] stabilize the ceramics and the interior [the "dome"] at 400F.  Using some kind of spacer [like ceramic "feet" or 3/4" plumbing elbows] position the pizza stone 3/4" to 1" above the "platesetter," which is part of a ceramic cooker.  This keeps the pizza stone from direct heat from the fuel.

Transfer the dough on parchment to the pizza stone... score, and close the hatch -- and leave it closed for 12 minutes.  Rotate the loaf front-to-back, and bake another 12 minutes.  Check the internal temp of the bread... you're aiming at 200F to 205F [a little higher is OK... but I wouldn't challenge 210F].

If the internal temp is a little low, put the dough back in and guesstimate the time before hitting correct temps.

Let it cool fully [one hour] before slicing. 

Slather with real butter!  Yum!

Oh, yeah!  Wakes up your gall bladder!

Breads, pies, unside-down cakes, cookies, pizzas... Everything tastes better with an Egg... or, if you can, a wood fired outdoor oven.

~ B

PS:  Don't use lighter fluid or any chemical starter in a ceramic cooker.  Light with oil-on-paper-towel, or gas flame... Use lump charcoal, not briquettes...