This simple grill hack makes baking on a grill possible. Your friends won’t believe it when you bake them a batch of grilled cupcakes.
5 from 1 vote
opening grill to reveal baked rolls inside

By Christie Vanover | Published June 28, 2016 | Last Updated July 14, 2022

Grilled Cupcakes

Your grill is essentially the same thing as an oven. It has a heat source; it has a cooking area and it can be completely enclosed.

With all those similarities you’d think you’d be able to easily bake cupcakes or cookies on the grill, but there is one main difference that makes that a little tricky.

In the oven, your heat source is on top, and you control where you place your oven rack, so the food is not super close to the heat. On a grill, the heat source is on the bottom, and your shelf isn’t adjustable, so the bottom of any baked good can burn before the baked good is cooked through.

Here’s where the hack comes in.

Preheat Your Outdoor Oven – AKA Grill

Preheat your grill temperature to match the oven temperature called for in the baking recipe. On a gas grill, medium usually registers about 350F degrees and medium-high is usually around 425F degrees. If you have 3-4 burners, consider turning the center burner(s) off and only using the side burners. This will reduce the direct heat under the baking sheet.

If you’re using a charcoal grill, you’ll have to adjust the vents on the top or bottom to find the right zone. I also recommend, pushing the coals to one side and baking over indirect heat (the side without charcoal). It’s a little more effort, but baking over charcoal can add a surprising smoky twist to rolls and breads.

If you’re using a pellet grill, you’re in luck. The grill already has an indirect heat zone, so all you have to do is set the temp. However, pellet grills do burn a little hotter right above the fire pot, so follow the next step, as well. 

Make Your Grill Grate Adjustable

All you need is a pie tin or metal pan. You can even use a veggie grill basket flipped upside down.

opening grill to reveal baked rolls inside

Place that directly on the grill grate, and then place your cookie sheet or muffin tin on top of that. Voilà! You’ve just made your grill grate adjustable, distancing the bottom of the pan from the heat.

Now that you’ve expanded your baking repertoire, let’s get grilling.

Recipes baked on the grill

Grilled Cupcakes

Whiskey Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hickory Smoked Pumpkin Pie

Fudgy Brownies Skillets

Pumpkin Pie Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

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opening grill to reveal baked rolls inside

How to Bake on a Grill

This simple grill hack makes baking on a grill possible. Your friends won’t believe it when you bake them a batch of grilled cupcakes.
5 from 1 vote

Equipment + Tools

  • pie tin or veggie basket

Grill Type

  • any type of grill


  • Preheat: Preheat your grill to the temperature that your baked recipe calls for.
  • Indirect Heat: Set up an indirect heat zone. If you're using a gas grill, turn 1-2 burners off. If using a charcoal grill, push the coals to one side. If using a pellet grill, make sure the deflector plate is installed.
  • Elevate: If your grill has a middle rack, bake your food on that level. If not, flip a pie tin or veggie basket upside down. Then place your cookie sheet, muffin tin or cake pan on top of that.
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