TURN YOUR GRILL INTO AN OUTDOOR OVEN
Your oven cooks using indirect heat. Your grill uses direct contact heat. To turn your grill into an oven, you still want to heat the grill but, because you’ll be using it differently, you shouldn’t turn all the elements on. This effectively creates a baking/convection environment. It also leaves a place for you to put the food so it doesn’t touch a direct heat source. Which elements you prefer to use are up to you: some prefer to the inside burners while others like to turn on the outside ones instead.
Another must-do is to set your grill temperature 25 degrees F higher than what is called for in your recipe. This is because grills lose heat faster than an oven when the lid is opened. That extra little bit of heat will help compensate for it. And speaking of opening the lid, try to avoid unnecessary “peeking” since this will definitely affect your grill’s ability to cook evenly and will add to the length of time needed to finish. (Tip: If you’re using a baking sheet, a layer of foil between the sheet and the grill may help reduce scorching.)
TRY STEAMING OR POACHING
Yes, your grill will do this beautifully for you. While there are veggie trays and steam pan accessories available for some grills, you can steam or poach on virtually any grill using a foil packet. Lay a large sheet on a flat surface. Place your ingredients in the centre then pull one side over to the other, roll the edges together to seal and fold the remaining side in to close. It’s recommended that you not seal this too tightly as there will be expansion during the steaming process.
GRILLED VEGGIES ADD A NEW DIMENSION TO SALADS
Don’t be limited by the kinds of vegetables you do on the grill. Sure, there are the go-to veggies that are top performers like carrots, potatoes, corn, tomatoes and the like. But when you use your grill as your oven, it opens up a whole host of possibilities – options that your oven simple can’t offer. For starters, try amping up your greens. Have you tried grilling vegetables like cabbage or romaine? It’s the same as grilling corn or zucchini – just cut the head half, grease lightly with olive oil and place cut-side down on the grill for about five minutes.
SO MANY OPTIONS, SO MANY WAYS TO GRILL
Pizzas? Quesadillas? Yes, and more. Your outdoor grill can do just about anything that your indoor grill can – and then some. Your pizza stone will work just as well on your grill as it will in your oven. Quesadillas are another tasty surprise that you might not have thought about before. Desserts? Absolutely. There’s grilled watermelon, fruit kebabs, cobblers, even pies.
There really is no limit to the delicious possibilities that open up when you adapt a favorite recipe for the grill.