For Perfectly-Baked Banana Bread That Requires Almost Zero Effort, Use Your Grill—Here’s How

Photo: Stocksy/ J. Anthony
Heading to a barbecue? You might want to pack the essentials: burgers, hot dogs, and lots of SPF. But aside from the usual seared shrimp on the barbie and chicken kebabs, we strongly encourage you to give your grill a shot at baking, too.

Let me clue you in on a little secret: A grill can easily be transformed into an oven. As someone that’s lived the majority of their lives in one of the most hurricane-prone areas in the country, when either A) the power is out or B) your house is too darn hot to even fathom the idea of turning on the oven, making baked goods outside on the grill (!) is a genius idea. And we’re not just talking about your normal campfire spread like s’mores and grilled banana boats (though they’re delicious, too).

On the menu this summer is real-deal slice of grilled banana bread that’s moist, fluffy, and browned to perfection. More on how to configure your grill into a makeshift oven ahead using the effortless “MOM” method.

How to turn your grill into an oven

According to Weber Grills, using your grill as an oven is much easier than you might think. On their company website, they note that an “outdoor grill should be an extension of your indoor kitchen.” IMO, truer words have never been spoken. Making the switch is simple: You do pretty much the exact same thing as your usual grilling routine, with just a few small modifications.

First things first, start by preheating the grill for about 10 to 15 minutes, as you usually would. The only difference? You’ll want to implement the “MOM” or “medium-off-medium” trick. This entails turning the outside burners on medium or medium-low while keeping the center ones off. In doing so, it mimics the indirect heat of an oven to bake food rather than char it. Easy enough, right?

You’ll want to implement the “MOM” or “medium-off-medium” trick. This entails turning the outside burners on medium or medium-low while keeping the center ones off. In doing so, it mimics the indirect heat of an oven to bake food rather than char it.

In addition to only turning on the select burners, you’ll want to use a grill that shows the internal temperature or a thermometer to regulate how hot it is inside. Note: The temperature will drastically change when opening and closing the lid for long periods of time—which is important to account for, especially when making baked goods. You’ll want to keep a close eye throughout the cooking process and regulate the temperature by using the control knobs on the grill.

Generally speaking, a grill with a “medium-off-medium” setup should result in a 300° to 350°F oven-like temperature. That said, it’s important to keep in mind that this trick only works when using a grill with a lid that’s closed for obvious reasons. What’s more, you’ll need to keep the food at the center (the area away from direct flame and heat) to achieve a roasted, oven-like effect and not burn the food.

If working with charcoal (and not gas grills), you can also create a makeshift “MOM” setup by placing a heat-proof aluminum pan at the center of the grill and the coal around the perimeter to create a safe space that shields the food from a direct source of high heat.

Time to make grilled banana bread

In a TikTok video by @bitemebbq, we learn how to make grilled banana bread—and, yes, it’s as life-changing as it sounds. First, you’ll make the banana bread batter (super-ripe bananas are a must, obvi). For the mixture, you’ll need the usual culprits: banana, sugar, egg, butter, salt, baking soda, baking powder, flour, and boatloads of chocolate chips. (Sart by mixing the wet ingredients together before incorporating the dry ones into the mixture.) Finally, transfer the batter onto a greased loaf pan to prep it for the oven grill.

@bitemebbq Banana Bread #bbq #grilling #baking #culinary #seeya #fyp #foryoupage #traeger #traegergrills #tiktokfoodie #foodie ♬ Memories (Drinks Bring Back) - Ajay Stephens

Once it’s evenly spread out on the pan, you’ll transfer it to a preheated grill (in the video, they use a Traeger Pellet Grill, which has an already ideal indirect heat source as it primarily functions as a smoker). Then, they cook the loaf at 375ºF for 25 to 30 minutes. The result is moist, chocolatey, tender banana bread that has even more flavor than when cooked in a regular ‘ol oven. But if this recipe isn’t your jam, we have tons of other options for you to try, like gluten-free banana bread, protein-packed banana bread, and vegan banana bread, which are also great for grilling. Take your pick.

Pro tip: If you want to reheat or “toast” a slice of the cooked banana bread, simply turn that grill on and plop the bread directly on the grates over direct heat for just a few seconds. Like magic, you’ll have toasty bread with beautiful grill marks for bonus presentation points.

An easy, breezy banana bread recipe:

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