Cast iron on a grill -

Can You Use Pots on a Grill? (What Works and What Doesn’t)

If you’re like me and love to grill out, then you’ve probably wondered if there are any cookware that can be used on the grill.

One of the most popular questions is whether or not pots and pans can go on a grill.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what happens when you put your pots on the grill and how to make sure they don’t get ruined!

Can you use pots on a grill?

Yes. Pots are built to withstand extremely high temperatures which include the kind of flame a grill can produce. It’s quite similar to cooking with a gas stove which cooks under an open flame.

However, it’s important to understand that not all pots (such as those made with Teflon coating) are suitable for open fire cooking and if you make the mistake of using one, it may end up costing you some new kitchen cookware.

Here are the best cast iron pots that can be used safely on a grill

2-in-1 Multi-Cooker
Deep Cast Iron with Lid Skillet

Deep Cast Iron with Lid Skillet

  • Precision heat distribution
  • True cooking versatility
  • Superior craftsmanship
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Lifetime warranty
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10.5 inch square seasoned
Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan

Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan

  • Already seasoned and ready to use
  • Can be used on any surfaces, grills, and campfires
  • Oven safe
  • Sautee, Seer, fry, bake, and stir fry
  • Made in the USA
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Seasoned lid loop handles
Lodge Double Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Lodge Double Cast Iron Dutch Oven

  • 5 quart cast iron Dutch oven
  • Lid skillet
  • Seasoned cookware
  • Family-owned company
  • Made in the USA
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Flat base wok loop handles
Lodge Pro-Logic Wok

Lodge Pro-Logic Wok

  • Pre-seasoned 14 inch cast iron wok
  • Large handles and flat base for easy handling
  • Very good at heat retention
  • Oven safe, stove safe, Grill safe, and campfire safe
  • Will work on induction cooktops
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Why do pots work on a grill?

Pots work on a grill because they allow for more versatility in cooking methods. Grills are typically used for grilling, which involves direct heat and high temperatures.

However, pots and pans can be used to cook a wider range of foods, such as soups, stews, and sauces, which require a gentler heat and a covered cooking environment.

Also, pots and pans can be used to cook food indirectly, by placing them away from the direct heat source and allowing them to cook slowly and evenly.

Using pots on a grill can also add a smoky flavor to the food, which is characteristic of grilled foods. Overall, using pots on a grill allows for a greater range of cooking options and can enhance the flavor of the food.

Cooking with a pot allows the heat to be evenly distributed and its shape helps to keep food away from the flame.

This can also provide a more evenly cooked meal. For example, if you had some meat cuts, rather than charing one corner of the beef if you accidentally leave it on one side against the corner of the flame for too long, a pot will get hot all around and cook your meat evenly.

It’s one less thing to worry about which translates into using a pot arguably easier than direct fire grilling.

What are the benefits of using pots on a grill?

  • Convenience and ease of cooking: Using pots on a grill can make cooking more convenient and easier, as pots can be used to prepare and cook a wide variety of dishes.
  • Greater variety of food options: Pots on a grill can expand the types of food that can be prepared, allowing for a greater variety of dishes to be cooked.
  • Improved flavor due to charring: Pots can help improve the flavor of food on a grill by allowing it to char and develop a rich, smoky flavor.
  • Ability to get cooking hot spots off the counter: Placing pots on a grill can help get cooking hot spots off the counter, freeing up space and reducing the risk of accidents.
  • Pot-on-grill cooking is more efficient than grilling only: Cooking with pots on a grill can be more efficient than grilling only, as the heat from the grill can be used to cook multiple dishes at once.
  • Pot-on-grill cooking is less messy than regular grilling: Cooking with pots on a grill can be less messy than regular grilling, as the pots can contain spills and splatters.
  • Ability to cook tender food without getting burned: Pots can be used to cook tender food, such as fish or vegetables, without getting burned or dried out.
  • Pot-on-grill cooking allows for greater control over temperature and heat distribution: Using pots on a grill can provide greater control over temperature and heat distribution, allowing for more precise cooking.
  • Pot-on-grill cooking can be easier to clean up: Cleaning up after cooking with pots on a grill can be easier, as the pots can be washed and cleaned separately from the grill.
  • Pot-on-grill cooking allows for increased safety due to the use of pans: Using pots on a grill can increase safety by providing a stable surface to cook on, reducing the risk of accidents or burns.

What things work with pots on grills, and what things won’t?

Things that work with pots on grills

  • Stews and soups: Pots are perfect for making stews and soups on a grill. The heat distributes evenly, and the pot helps to prevent the liquid from evaporating too quickly.
  • Rice and grains: Pots can also be used to cook rice, quinoa, and other grains on a grill. The grill adds a smoky flavor to the grains and gives them a crispy texture.
  • Chili: Chili is another dish that works well in a pot on a grill. The heat helps to meld the flavors together, and the smoky flavor of the grill adds an extra layer of deliciousness.
  • Baked beans: Baked beans are a classic side dish that can be made in a pot on a grill. The beans absorb the smoky flavor from the grill, making them even more delicious.

Things that do not work with pots on grills

  • Glass cookware: Glass cookware does not work well on a grill because it can shatter due to the heat. It’s best to use metal or cast-iron pots when cooking on a grill.
  • Plastic cookware: Plastic cookware can melt on a grill and can release harmful chemicals into the food. It’s best to use metal or cast-iron pots when cooking on a grill.
  • Thin-walled pots: Thin-walled pots can heat up quickly and can burn the food inside. It’s best to use thick-walled pots when cooking on a grill to ensure even cooking and to prevent burning.
  • Large pots: Large pots can be difficult to maneuver on a grill and can take up too much space. It’s best to use medium-sized pots when cooking on a grill to ensure that there is enough room for other items on the grill.

Which types of pots should you use for a grill?

Stainless steel

Depending on the alloy used to produce this stainless steel, you can see it melting anywhere from 1375-1530°C (2500-2785°F) which makes it more than worthy of the grill.

Stainless steel pots are a popular choice for grilling.

While stainless steel is a material built to resist corrosion, it’s important to know that it will eventually rust over a grill. And it will rust a lot sooner than later if it’s not properly cleaned and dried frequently.

It is recommended that you clean these types of pots with dishwashing soap and water. Avoid using wire wool or steel wool when cleaning them. These rough cleaning tools may damage the steel.


Aluminum melts at 660°C (1,220°F), so you don’t have to worry about these pans melting inside a grill.

Aluminum may be the most common material used on a grill when not cooking directly on the grill itself.

Most households will purchase these disposable aluminum pans to do the cooking on. This is a good choice because aluminum is very good at absorbing heat and it can even regulate the temperature of your grill not to get too hot and burn the food inside.

Cast iron

This is the preferred cookware when deciding on a pot for a grill.

The reason why is that these pots can withstand extremely high heat and are not likely to scratch or damage the grates of your cooking appliance when they’re in use on it.

Cast irons melt above 1204°C (2200°F) and they don’t show any signs of damage until well above 1000°F so placing it inside a grill is safe.

There’s really no household grill that can get to this temperature.

It’s a durable material that can be safely placed on a gas or charcoal grill. However, you must make sure that there are no plastic, rubber, or wooden parts on this cast iron pot when used. These materials will be damaged severely when used on a flame because they are not resistant enough to the heat emitted inside a grill.

Also, the benefit of using a cast iron pot is the potential to acquire iron for those who are iron deficient.


Ceramic pots and pans are no doubt extremely resistant to heat and flames. The melting point of ceramic is 2000°C. This is because ceramic materials are made up of ionic and covalent bonds that are able to absorb heat. This means that ceramic materials have an incredibly high melting point.

At the same time, they also work as fantastic heat-insulated containers.

Dutch ovens

Dutch ovens are a type of cast iron pot with a lid that can be used for cooking a variety of dishes on a grill. They are great for slow cooking and can be used for dishes like chili, braised meats, and baked beans.

Dutch ovens can withstand up to 2000 degrees Celsius.

How do you know when your grill is hot enough to cook on?

  • Use a thermometer: The most accurate way to measure the temperature of your grill is to use a thermometer. Place the thermometer on the grill grates, close the lid, and wait for a few minutes until the temperature stabilizes. A temperature of around 400-450°F (204-232°C) is ideal for most grilling.
  • Conduct the hand test: Hold your hand about 6 inches above the grill grates and count how many seconds you can hold it there before it becomes uncomfortable. If you can only hold your hand there for 2-3 seconds, the grill is at high heat, which is ideal for searing. 4-5 seconds indicates medium-high heat, 6-7 seconds is medium heat, and 8-10 seconds is low heat.
  • Listen for the sizzle: When you place your food on the grill grates, listen for the sizzle. If your food sizzles immediately, the grill is hot enough to cook on. If there is no sizzle, the grill may not be hot enough.
  • Use a visual cue: Look at the grill grates. If they are covered in white or gray ash, the grill is at the right temperature. This method is best for charcoal grills.

Which types of pots should NOT be used for a grill?

There are a few materials that your kitchenware pots may be made with that should be avoided when deciding on using it with a grill. Those materials include:

  • Teflon
  • Silicone
  • Sol-Gel Ceramic
  • Wood
  • Plastic
  • Rubber

These materials will either melt or burn when placed on top of a hot flame. They are not heat-resistant.

How to properly use pots on a grill

There is a right way of cooking pots on a grill and then there’s the wrong way. To avoid any confusion, I’ve listed the steps on how to use a pot on a grill.

  1. Make sure the grill is clean and devoid of grease before placing your pot over your grill. Use a scraper to remove any of these gunks as much as possible. It’s going to be pretty obvious that you won’t be able to remove it all but that’s okay. Removal of as much of it as you can prevent damage to your pot as well.
  2. Start heating the grill for at least 5 minutes before putting anything on it. Start preparing for cooking. Keep the temperature on the medium by keeping the flame dials turned mid-way. This allows your food to be thoroughly cooked and avoids burning or charing the food.
  3. Place some grease or oils inside the pots as you place it on the grill. Be sure to add as much seasoning as you wish and continue to stir the food occasionally.
  4. You can cover the lid of the grill, but make sure you check up on your meal often as it may overcook at some point. Remember, to consistently stir the food with a wooden spoon so that none of the food sticks to the bottom of the pot.
  5. Once you are done cooking, turn off the flames, remove the pot using heat-resistant mittens and allow it to cool down.
  6. Enjoy a great meal and share it with friends and family!

Helpful tips when using a pot on a grill

Let’s talk about a few helpful tips I’ve encountered along the way while grilling with pots.

Separate your grilling pots from your home kitchen pots.

I would keep these two sets separate from each other. Even though your pots may be resistant to heat, the likelihood of the flames discoloring your pots is high and that may be a good reason to keep one pot exclusively for grilling.

You don’t want all your pots to eventually discolor.

Pre-boil your veggies before placing them in the grill.

I found that it’s best to start boiling your veggies first just to soften them up before throwing them over a flame. The best kinds of vegetables to do this with are potatoes, beets, carrots, etc.

But if you like it to be still a bit on the crunchy side, throwing them straight onto a pan on the grill will work.

It’s just a preference.

Separate your grill into 2 collections, one for cooking, one for warming

The reason for doing this is that sometimes you might want to first cook the food in the pot then you might want to keep it warm and go on with another batch.

The way to do this with a charcoal grill would be to place most of the charcoal on one side and less on the other.

On a gas grill, simply turn the gas dial higher on one end while lower on the other.

What other kitchen accessories can you use on a grill?

  • Keep a cutting board handy for when you need to chop your meats and vegetables.
  • Make sure to have an extra pair of tongs to grab your food and meat.
  • Make sure you buy some paperweights because the wind can blow everything away.
  • Get a full set of seasoning and spice flavors to make things more convenient when you want to immediately add flavor.
  • Add to your exclusive grilling list, some extra virgin olive oil

My final thoughts

Grilling with pots is a great idea because it can allow you to cook in more ways than one.

Don’t worry about the pots you use, most of them will work just fine.

If you have a really expensive set of pots, I would not recommend using it on the grill because they are more likely to discolor and become damaged over time. That’s just the nature of grilling.

Always make sure you’re not putting something in the grill that you’re not completely sure about.

There are some great pots that can be used on the grill without any problem, and I’m happy I was able to share this with you.

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