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1. Control the Heat
When properly grilling a steak, your grill needs to be on direct high heat. Baking instructions, however, usually offer a more exact temperature. Always use indirect heat for baking, and always make sure your grill is preheated properly and has time to level out to the exact temperature called for in your recipe.
2. Preheat the Grill
I know…you’ve heard this before. But preheating is still the most important step. Preheat with all the burners on high to clean the cooking grates. You never want the recipient of your homemade treats to be able to guess what you ate for dinner the night before. Additionally, you need to preheat your grill before baking for all the same reasons you’d preheat the oven - putting baked goods on a cold grill can prevent them from rising properly, change the texture of the finished product, and impact the chemical reactions taking place with some of your ingredients.
3. Mind the Grates
Weber grills come with a variety of cooking grates, and while no cooking grate is better or worse, the material can impact the way you bake. The stainless steel cooking grates in gas grills and the steel cooking grates in Weber Kettles will perform much the same way your ovens rack will. They hold heat well and the conductive heat will help your food cook from the bottom. Porcelain-enameled cast-iron cooking grates, however, hold heat extremely well. You may need to make adjustments to your cooking time to balance the extra conductive heat from the cooking grates. When you turn your food, it’s a good time to check if it’s cooking faster than expected and you’ll need to decrease the cooking time. You can also prevent your baked goods from getting overcooked on the bottom by setting an overturned grill basket or jellyroll pan on the cooking grate, and then placing your baking pan on the top of that. This allows airflow underneath your pan and makes the heat from the porcelain-enameled cast-iron less intense.
4. Keep the Lid Closed
When you cook on a Weber, it is always recommended that you keep the lid closed. Opening the lid lets out the heat and impacts both the temperature inside the grill and the cooking time of your food. However, it is even more important to keep the lid closed when baking. If you open the lid, the convection heat that you are relying on to cook your baked goods all the way through escapes, and they will not be cooked evenly. You also run the risk of certain baked goods, like cakes, collapsing if they haven’t set properly before you open the lid. Keeping the lid closed will keep the temperature stable and the heat even and give you great results.
5. Turn it Once
Even though it’s best to keep the lid closed while you are baking, it is important to turn your food once about halfway through. When your grill is set up for indirect heat, the burners or charcoal are lit on either side of your food. If you are cooking a roast or a whole chicken, the radiant heat from the fire provides browning, but when you are baking, this heat could cause your food to become too dark on the sides nearest the fire. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to rotate your baking pan ¼ turn about halfway through cooking. This will allow your food to brown evenly all the way around rather than becoming burnt on two sides.