The holiday season is in full swing and baking on my kettle is almost a daily event. From holiday cookies to seasonal pies, anything and everything goes on my kettle. One of my favorite techniques this time of year is the brown paper bag method to make apple, caramel apple, cherry, and berry pies.
This technique was taught to me by my good barbecue friends and fellow Grill Masters at the Weber Grill Restaurant—Larry Donahue, Dustin Green and Matt Jost. Two years ago they gave me the gift of showing me how and why to use a brown paper bag on my pies.
The brown paper bag helps brown the outside of the pie and also keeps the inside nice and soft. It truly will make any of your favorite holiday pies the absolute best ever! So now I pass on the baking on the grill “gift” to you!!
Here are my tips for baking on the grill
1. When baking on the grill you need to set up the heat using the indirect method, meaning all of the outside burners are on medium and the middle burners are off. On a charcoal grill this means the charcoal is separated on the opposite sides of the kettle leaving you a perfect indirect area for baking in the center.
2. Preheat your grill to 350 degrees. This indirect heat is the same as using your oven, but even better.
3. Prepare your pie as you normally would and even down to the pan the recipe calls for. Put the pie in a brown paper bag and fold the end over to keep the heat in the bag. Be sure to keep the pies and bag away from the direct heat while on the grill. The pie should be directly in the middle of the grate and never over the heat source. This is key. There should not be any direct heat/coal under your pie.
4. Set a timer to the time that your recipe recommends and let your grill do the rest. With about 10 minutes left to go in the recipe time, carefully cut a hole in the top of the bag for added browning of your pie. No peaking until then! Save that for the end when the pie is done.
5. Finally, take lots of pictures because I guarantee this will be a showstopper at your next holiday party!!
I always look to the holidays as a celebration of family, great friends, and the best food possible. My BBQ food is a gift I am always so happy to give to my family and friends. Since this is the holiday season and I am in the giving mood, this is my grilling “gift” for you. Enjoy!