How Do I Grill A Pie?
June 7, 2011 5:00 PM   Subscribe

Tell me about grilling pies.

I've been making variations of this tart a lot lately, and have a backlog ideas for sweet and savory variations that maximize summer's produce. But I don't want to heat my house up in the summer by using the oven if I don't have to.

I have a gas grill and I would like to learn to make use of it as an outdoor oven. Tell me about temperatures, techniques, and tricks for using my grill to get my bake on. Would a pizza stone help?

Be advised: I am not usually the family grill chef, so small words and clear instructions will be much appreciated.

Bonus points for your favorite sweet or savory tart-filling combinations, I'm up for anything and the family is mostly tolerant of experimentation.
posted by padraigin to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Hm. Not sure about a standard pie in a standard pan, but perhaps you might invest in a pie iron or two and make some pudgy pies? If it works for a bunch of girl scouts over a campfire, it sure can work for you!
posted by Sublimity at 5:21 PM on June 7, 2011

You have a gas grill with a lid, right? That's an oven. The grill has a thermometer on it, right? That tells you how hot it is. Pie recipes will give you the temp and time to bake the pie. Go for it!
posted by exphysicist345 at 5:23 PM on June 7, 2011

Response by poster: Well, what I've been making have been pan-less, the crust just folds over the edges. I do them on a pizza pan in my oven. But pudgy pies sound fun, too!
posted by padraigin at 5:24 PM on June 7, 2011

Response by poster: You have a gas grill with a lid, right? That's an oven. The grill has a thermometer on it, right? That tells you how hot it is. Pie recipes will give you the temp and time to bake the pie. Go for it!

Do I do it right over the fire? Off to the side? I have, literally, never grilled anything. And my husband is pretty much just limited to meat and vegetables.
posted by padraigin at 5:27 PM on June 7, 2011

Best answer: I would suggest that, if you can, burn gas on one side only and place the pie on the other side. Also, I would shield the bottom of the pie from direct heat by putting it on top of a double layer of tinfoil. The nature of a grill is the heat coming from below can be rather intense, giving you that seared, smoky surface, which probably would really fuck with pastry. But xphysicist345 is totally right, if you have a thermometer you can, in theory, use the grill to bake. If you used a pie iron, as suggested by Sublimity, the metal surrounding the pie would even the heat out.

Be prepared to eat a lot of mistakes. Sounds like fun!
posted by Foam Pants at 5:37 PM on June 7, 2011

You wouldn't need a pizza stone -- any heat proof dishware would be fine, such as an iron skillet or dutch oven, or slow cooker clayware big enough to hold your pies. I'd preheat them in the grill and put the pies in there.
posted by garlic at 5:42 PM on June 7, 2011

Best answer: I didn't bake a pie, but I baked a mexican lasagna on our gas grill last week. It turned out pretty much just like it would in the oven, although the top of it seemed a little more dried out that normal. I guess you'd want to keep an eye on that.

But yea, like Foam Pants said, I have three burners and I used the two outer ones to keep the heat up, and I put my dish over the center, unlit burner. I don't think you would need any extra insulation from the heat. A regular oven has the heat source below the food too.
posted by cabingirl at 7:00 PM on June 7, 2011

My grill has a bun rack that's up off the direct heat of the grill. I'd stick a pie on that and adjust the burners until I get the right temp inside.

May just have to be careful closing the lid.
posted by bitdamaged at 7:14 PM on June 7, 2011

By all means, report back about your experiments!
posted by Sublimity at 8:27 AM on June 8, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone. Of course the weather cooled down significantly after I asked this question but I am going to make a stab at a peach/blueberry tart on the grill this weekend and I will report back with the results. I'm going to turn the fire on on one side and see how it goes with baking it on indirect heat, using my cast iron griddle as a pan.
posted by padraigin at 10:51 AM on June 9, 2011

Response by poster: Update for anyone paying attention: pretty successful attempt, although it turns out our Weber gas grill has three horizontal bars of flame rather than just flames on each side, so it was a tad tricky to keep the pie on indirect heat. But it still worked okay! I used my round cast iron griddle as a pan with a sheet of parchment, carefully trimmed so there was no overhang to catch alight.

Thanks for your suggestions and I strongly recommend grilled tarts for summer!
posted by padraigin at 1:00 PM on June 23, 2011

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