Pots on Grills: Is It a Good Idea?
If you’re like me and love to grill out, then you’ve probably wondered if there are any kitchen tools that can be used on the grill.
One of the most popular questions is whether or not pots and pans will work on a grill. There are many opinions about this topic, some saying it’s a great idea while others say it’s a horrible idea.
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 in the process!
So the main question today is can you use pots on a grill?
The answer is 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.
Kitchen pots can be great tools for grilling.
Why do pots work on a grill?
Pots can be made from a variety of materials including stainless steel, aluminum, and iron.
All three can withstand the heat of an open flame without becoming too hot to handle. 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 side of the beef if you accidentally leave it on one side 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 grilling.
They can also provide some insulation so that you don’t burn yourself when adding or removing ingredients like oil (or butter).
Why should you use pots on a grill?
Let’s talk about the many possible reasons why someone would prefer to cook their food inside a pot inside a grill rather than directly on the grill.
You want to avoid the charcoal smell in your food
If you’re tired of tasting that charcoal flavor in your food, or you’re cooking for a small group that doesn’t want to smell the smoke of charcoal all evening long. This is one reason why pots can be really useful inside grills instead!
The heat distribution will help cook more evenly and reduce any charred flavor from happening on some pieces (especially those towards the edge).
A pot will block the smoke flavor and provide more protection from the open flame.
You don’t want a flame to erupt
If you just want to play it safe and you’re not sure if this certain type of food will cause a temporary fire surge, using it in a pot may be a good idea.
You want to avoid flare-ups and other grease fires that can happen on a grill when food is cooking directly on the grill without anything in between it! This happens more often with larger cuts of meat or chicken.
Even if you have safety knowledge, there’s always going to be some danger as those flames grow bigger than anticipated.
You want the option of grilling something liquid
If you have a pot of soupy or liquid you’d like to put in the grill, you have to use a pot.
A grill isn’t meant to cook soups and liquid foods because obviously, it will pass right through the ridges.
This is probably one of the best reasons to use a pot if you decide cooking with a grill is what you prefer.
You want to avoid the mess it leaves behind on the grill
Maybe sometimes you’re just tired of scraping the grill off after you’ve used it.
If so, just use a pot! You’re able to make whatever your heart desires without the hassle of cleaning up afterward because pots don’t leave anything behind on grills.
You won’t see any charred meat bound to your grill if you use a pot.
Here are the best cast iron pots that can be used safely on a grill
This is a list of what I found that would work really well for all types of situations and foods for cooking on a grill.
|Check prices on Amazon|
10.5 inch square seasoned
|Check prices on Amazon|
Seasoned lid loop handles
|Check prices on Amazon|
Flat base wok loop handles
|Check prices on Amazon|
Which types of pots should you use for a grill?
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.
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.
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:
- Sol-Gel Ceramic
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Once you are done cooking, turn off the flames, remove the pot using heat-resistant mittens and allow it to cool down.
- 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.
Related further reading: