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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Using a Grill as an Oven (Country Style Ribs with Fries)

Kitchen Update: The grout is finished! The sink is scheduled to be installed tomorrow as well as re-installing the stove. A more detailed update with pictures will be post here shortly. One more day and things can start getting back to normal. I'll be cooking in style again! Now I have to come up with a nice meal to celebrate the completion of the renovation.

I've mentioned a few time here that I use our outdoor grill much the same as an oven during the summer months. Unlike an oven the grill imparts a slightly smoky flavour to the food that can be enhanced by using smoking chips like maple or hickory. This is one of the secretes behind my roasted tomato sauce that I just can't make enough of. There are a couple of tricks to using an outdoor grill as an oven.

Ribs & Fries on the Grill

Thursday's dinner was country ribs with French fries and niblet corn all cooked on the grill. Well the corn was cooked on the side burner but if you don't have a side burner then a small pot on the grill itself will work. The first trick is to co-ordinate your food cooking time much the same as you would on a range. For the most part cooking times will be close to the same. I keep a separate set of baking sheets and ovenware for use on the grill but use my stainless steel pots and pans on the side burner. The second trick is getting the temperature right. Our grill has a thermometer on the outside and I know when both burners are set to low the temperature is 350ºF. To go lower than that, one burner must be turned off. So with a bit of experimentation with the aid of the grill or oven thermometer getting the temperature correct is rather easy and considerably less tinkering that over charcoal or wood (more on that in a later entry). The third trick is knowing your hotspots. Every grill has at least one. This will be the spot where most flare-ups tend to occur. Flare-ups are not desirable when using the grill as an oven. The fourth tick is the timing. You really have to take weather conditions into consideration. Cooler or strong winds and rain will cool the grill whereas no wind or hot, dry weather causes the grill to be a bit hotter.

The Meal

I grilled the ribs first then after the sauce was almost caramelized I moved the ribs to the middle rack of the grill and moved the French fries from the middle rack to the lower rack to brown. Yes, I cheated and used purchased crinkle cut (McCain's) fries simply for ease because cutting home fries would have taken more time and I would have to do them on the picnic table. This way I was able to continue help work on the kitchen while the food was cooking.

Method: Spread the frozen fries on a sided baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with Old Bay® Seasoning. Place the fries on the grill in indirect heat (medium or top rack). When fries are thawed fully and warmed through move to direct heat (rack closest to heat source). Allow to brown turning occasionally.


6 food lovers commented:

MarlyMS said...

oh i love food...
by d way, linked u.hope it is ok

Toni said...

That looks delicious! We use the grill as much as possible, mainly because I hate cleaning!!! haaa

Shannon said...

This is an awesome idea. Using the oven heats up the house and this is the best solution. I'm going to try it. Thanks so much!!

www.simply-digiscrap.blogspot.com

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks for linking Marlyms :)

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks Toni! I hear you on the cleaning issue. Using the grill reduces that considerably.

Garden Gnome said...

Shannon, once you try it you will be hooked! Have fun experimenting.