Pellet grills are the backyard barbecuers dream, producing reliable results with real wood smoked flavor.
Many popular pellet grill brands claim you can bake in a pellet grill. We put it to the test, and these are the baked goods that produced the best results when baked in a pellet grill.
Can You Bake In A Pellet Grill?
Pellet grills are able to hold consistent temperatures, distribute even temperatures, and are reasonably hands off. In these ways it works similar to how an oven cooks. Because of this you can easily bake in a pellet grill.
Although there are several similarities to how an oven cooks, there are also many ways that a pellet grill cooks differently. Pellet grills heat is wholly and solely fuelled by wood pellets. This adds an additional layer of flavor complexity to your foods.
This beautiful wood smoke flavor transfers to baking wonderfully.
Can You Bake Bread In A Pellet Grill?
If you love a good, flavorful crust then you have to try baking bread in your pellet grill. Similar to how smoke binds to the moisture of the exterior of the meat when smoking, bread will absorb the wood smoke and give off a fragrant and savoury smell and taste.
For best results use a lidded Dutch oven or enamelled pot, cooking for half the time with the lid on, and half the time without the lid to develop the nice smoked crust.
Preheat your pellet grill to 450°F, and add your proofed dough. After 30 minutes remove the lid, and leave for another 30 minutes or until the crust has developed to your liking.
Can You Bake A Pizza In A Pellet Grill?
If you’ve ever experienced the wonders of wood-fired pizza, you’ll be pleased to know you can recreate it all for the comfort of your own pellet grill.
You can bake a pizza in your pellet grill easily. Although, it does make a noticeable difference if you place your pizza on a pizza stone, as it heats up very effectively and provides a direct heat source to get a nice crusty pizza base.
You’ll want to preheat your pellet grill to between 450-500°F, and let the pizza stone heat up for an additional 15 minutes once it’s hit your desired temperature.
If you don’t have a pizza stone, it’s absolutely fine. You can simply transfer your pizza onto your pellet grill with a double layer of baking paper.
If you’re using a pizza stone, bake your pizza for 12-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your crust. If you’re not using a pizza stone, bake your pizza for 15-20 minutes, again depending on the thickness and size of your pizza.
In most cases, a strong smoking wood like hickory or mesquite will give you the best flavor in a short amount of time. But, there are many other great woods for smoking pizza, and it’s really up to you. For more details, check out the guide to the best woods for smoking pizza in a pellet grill.
Can You Bake A Potato In A Pellet Grill?
Crispy, creamy, fluffy, buttery. Baked potatoes are at the pinnacle of combinations of textures. Already delicious when oven baked, baking a potato in a pellet grill just elevates the flavor further (and gives you another excuse to roll out the pellet grill!)
You can bake a potato in a pellet grill the same way as you would in an oven, with the addition of your favourite wood smoke:
- Coat your russet potatoes in oil and heavily season with a layer of salt.
- Preheat your pellet grill to 450°F then place your potatoes directly on the grill grates in the center of your grill.
- Bake for at least 45 minutes, and up to 60 depending on the size of your potatoes.
- You’ll know the baked potato is ready when it appears puffy, the skin is crispy, and they are easily pierced with a fork.
Can You Bake A Pie In A Pellet Grill?
The consistent indirect heat provided by a pellet grill is exactly what a fruit pie needs to bake, caramelize, and crispen. But, although entirely possible, there are a few extra steps to take when baking a pie on a pellet grill.
You’ll need a cast iron, or ceramic baking tin, the better heat absorption and distribution the better. Always be sure to put your pie in the tin, on top of a baking tray, lined with baking paper. You do not want any overflow or bubbling fruit to overflow and make a sticky mess inside your pellet grill.
When you’re using a pellet grill, the drier air crispens and cooks the crust faster than the filling. – so it’s worth it here to use a water pan in your pellet smoker. Just like when you’re smoking meat too, once the crust has formed to your liking, cover the top with a pie crust saver, or some foil with a ceramic lid or plate to hold it over the crust. This will help the filling cook to perfection without ruining the crust.
This is the same process whether it’s an apple pie, blueberry, or other.
Can You Bake A Cake In A Pellet Grill?
Warm, crispy top, moist and well, cakey. The first time I made a cake in my pellet grill I made a fair few mistakes. I kept the temperature too high, and didn’t cover the top half way through the cook so it was a bit unevenly cooked.
But, this didn’t stop me from trying again. The second attempt went wonderfully, so I firmly believe you can bake a cake in a pellet grill. Did it taste smokey? Not necessarily. However, it did come out moist and beautifully colored mahogany.
Prepare the cake in the same way as you would if you were cooking in an oven. Keep the temperature a little lower, and when the cake has puffed up and is looking beautiful, cover the top with foil and return to the pellet grill to finish cooking.
How To Bake In A Pellet Grill
Through all my experience baking on my Traeger Pellet Grill, I’ve found a few recurring aspects that make it slightly different from baking in an oven.
So, when you’re baking in a pellet grill:
- Firstly, you will be getting a much darker, richer colour on the exterior of your baked goods.
- Secondly, covering the exterior of your baked goods before the end of the cook will keep this visually appealing colour and texture from going bad, depending on what you’re baking of course.
- Otherwise, prepare the ingredients in the same fashion as you would normally.
- Try using sweeter, nuttier, or fruitier woods like apple, maple, cherry, or pecan.
Just like when you’re using your pellet grill for smoking a new meat, there will be a learning curve here. But, after you’ve done it once or twice you will be producing expert quality baked goods, so you can prepare a full 3 course meal all from your pellet grill.
Hot Tips For Baking In A Pellet Grill
Follow A Recipe You Know Well
If it’s your first time baking in a pellet grill, now’s not the time to get experimental. Simply try to bake something you’re used to!
This way you will have a point of reference throughout the stages of the cook, and you can compare the end result with the oven baked counterpart.
This will help you learn the nuances of baking in your pellet grill.
Use Subtle Smoking Woods
Instead of going full throttle and using a strong smoking wood like mesquite or hickory, try playing on the sweeter and fruitier side of things.
Apple wood gives a distinct fruitiness.
Maple wood is a bit more subtle.
Pecan gives a distinct nuttiness.
We’ve done our homework here, check out our guides for the best wood pellets for smoking, or our breakdowns of individual wood pellet brands like Bear Mountain smoking pellets.
Don't Complicate Things
Don’t overthink it. Treat it as if you would an oven, with the addition of the beautiful wood smoke we’re all addicted too. This principle applies whether you’ve got a Traeger grill, Pit Boss grill, or even a portable pellet grill.