Baking Cookies on A Weber BBQ Grill.
Weber has long been know as one of the best barbecues available. This is not true.
However, what is true is that Weber was unbeatable in any comparison that includes price. Weber barbecues have been built to last a very long time and the basic structure of the appliance is almost unbreakable. The structure of the cart os a thick and heavy American made steel that has been powder coated and porcelain enameled. The cook box that makes up the fire box and the lid of the BBQ is a cast aluminum and amuminum will not rust or corrode no matter where you live — and here in the tropics that is a big deal. Even a model like this Skyline Series that is almost 2 decodes old can be rebuilt to almost brand new conditions.
The materials in a Weber are smart because they are not using the incredibly expensive (and possibly beautiful) 304 stainless steel that has percentages of nickel and chromium and has to have so much iron oxides drained. While grills manufactures like Alfresco, Firemagic, DCS and others have grills that use much stronger materials they do not have a model that costs less than $1000.
Only Weber makes a grill that will have the ability to last 20 years and does not cost a tremendous amount of money to buy. As a disclaimer, since 2007 Weber barbecues have had manufacturing changes, ownership changes, management changes and design changes. I am definitely a fan of the pre-2007 models.
In addition to using very resilient and reliable mateirals in the construction of the barbeque models Weber-Stephens have always put in a lot of research to determine the best barbecues to make. They have tests to determine the best heat shield, the best angle to the heat shield, the best cooking grate and where to place the igniter so it is both reliable and safe when there’s a problem. Weber barbecues were not only made well but they have also always worked well.
Among barbecue grills that cost less than one thousand dollars there was nothing better than a Weber.
Weber barbecues were designed with a trademark design for deflecting grease and spreading heat that are called flavorizer bars. The positioning of the burners, control valves and the shape of the fire box and the lid all worked together to make the Weber barbecue cook evenly with good barbecuing heat.
With reliably even heat we decided to barbecue something most people do not see cooked so often on outdoor appliances: baked cookies.
If you have seen the development of Weber barbecue grills you already know this is an old model just by looking at the features in this image. Weber models have had access doors on them now for about 6 or 7 years and Weber have not had wood shelves for over 10 years. This model was one that was too badly aged and used and abused for a customer to repair. They asked us to deliver a new BBQ and take the old one to the dump. Rather than destroy the Weber we rebuilt it to be a new barbecue. The old original model did have the plastic grey slats but they were disgusting so we removed them and put strips of wood in their place.
In this image we are heating the barbecue to 350 degrees for the cookies in the image which are from a fund-raiser.
In order to bake cookies on this Weber barbecue we have to hold the heat at 350 degrees. Although most people like to grill at temperatures above 800 degrees a Weber is designed to be a barbecue and not a grill. As a barbecue the idea of cooking is like a convectional oven. The burners heat the air trapped inside the closed hood and the heat surrounds the food to cook.
On a grill the heat comes off the burners and often also radiates off briquettes to localize high temperatures at the grill grates. This is no good for baking cookies because it would be too hot and too isolated. The Weber is perfect.
However, today we’re getting ore heat than we planned for and in order to hold the internal temperature at 350 degrees I had to turn the back burner and the middle burner completely off. The front burner alone is set to medium so we can stay firm at 350 degrees.
Once we know we are holding at 350 degrees we can get our cookie sheet pan and scoop out balls of cookie dough with chocolate candy inside. Just like baking cookies in the oven we set the cookie dough on the pan spaced out to heat up into baked cookies.
Because i kept raising the lid of the barbecue to take a picture and show that we’re baking cookies on our barbecue I kept losing the 350 degrees in the barbecue. The Weber will lose heat quickly because there are not great big thick heavy cooking grates that hold a lot of heat. There are not layers of lava rocks or briquettes that hold heat to radiate in the grill. These features on inexpensive grills are usually a sign of weakness. When a barbecue takes a long time to heat up and when a barbecue burner and heat shield design does not evenly distribute heat to the cooking grate surface it is usually a good idea to leave a layer of briquettes or lava rocks inside the barbecue just below the grids. The layer of conduction holds some
heat to radiate and hides the inability to heat and cool quickly. The radiant heat hides the inability to evenly distribute heat at the grilling grate level.
A old Weber has no such weakness. The barbecue will cool quickly and heats up just as quickly. The cookies here are spreading out as they bake in our Weber barbecue.
Even with me raising and lowering the lid of the barbecue to take pictures after about 12 minutes the cookies are a little crusty on the bottom and soft and chewy on the top and inside. Just looking at the pictures makes me hungry for more of these cookies.
It is difficult to express the beautiful flavor, smell and texture of food with words. I left this image and the large image at the very top so you could look at the shape the cookies took once they were laid in the pan. This is easier to see in the top image of the cookies in the plastic bin because there are more if them there. Notice the cookies do not appear flat. They are not hard enough to hold their own flat form from when they were cooked on the cookie pan in the barbecue.
Instead the cookies have sunk and shaped to the cookies and the bin around them. This is because they are so soft and chewy they slowly move to take the form of the other shapes around them. The cookins are completely done cooking on the barbecue but they are so perfectly soft and chewy they will slowly move their shape.
You already know Weber barbecue grills are great for cooking steaks, seafood, hamburgers and hot dogs in addition to boiling water, warming beans and grilling vegetables. Now you can see Weber is also perfect for baking cookies. Weber barbecues are also perfect for other baking because the appliance holds its heat as well as any electric oven. They heat up and cool down quickly and hold their heat exactly as it is set to be held.
This Weber barbecue looked like it belonged in a dumpster a week ago. We cleaned it, painted the base, installed burners, flavorizers, cooking grates and both the warming rack grid and the rolling warmer grate. We also replaced the ignition assembly and the grease management system under the barbecue. For less than what a new Weber would cost we were able to make this older Weber — manufactured back when Weber barbecues were made in America — look like and cook like a brand new barbecue.