In Episode 003 Taryn talks to Holly Corbett from BBQ Bakers about baking on a barbeque! Holly is an experienced baker who decided to try baking on her grill when she no longer had an oven. She’s been a barbecue baker for several years now and dishes out some tips and tricks for you to try baking on your grill! Listen in as she goes over her recipe successes (and a few failures) and learn to try something new on your barbeque!
Connect with Holly Corbett from BBQ Bakers.
Bio: Holly Corbett is the creator of BBQ Bakers where she shares easy recipes for the beginner baker. On her website you will find many recipes for sweet treats along with some savory ones too. Holly started baking on the BBQ after her oven broke. She and her husband could not agree on a replacement oven so she went without. She has been baking since she was very young and didn’t realize she could turn her passion for baking and love of photography into a career. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her 3 young children and husband.
- Pie Crust Shield (affiliate link)
Taryn Solie: Welcome to the Grill Like A Mother podcast.
Hello, and welcome to another episode of Grill Like A Mother. Today’s episode is such a fun topic and kind of an unusual one. I hope it expands your grilling repertoire, and you’re able to try something new with it. A quick reminder, before we get started, if you’re loving this podcast, please subscribe and leave a rating and review it really helps the podcast be seen by others who are looking for food inspiration.
Now let’s get to the interview.
Today on the podcast, we have Holly Corbett. Holly is a creator of BBQ bakers, where she shares easy Holly Corbett is the creator of BBQ Bakers where she shares easy recipes for the beginner baker. On her website you will find many recipes for sweet treats along with some savory ones too. Holly started baking on the BBQ after her oven broke. She and her husband could not agree on a replacement oven so she went without. She has been baking since she was very young and didn’t realize she could turn her passion for baking and love of photography into a career. She currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her 3 young children and husband.
Holly. Welcome to the podcast.
Holly Corbett: Hi. Thank you.
Taryn Solie: Thank you for being here.
I’m really excited to talk to you about being on a barbecue, because I think this is something that most people don’t even think about. I certainly hadn’t thought about it. So I would love to hear, we just touched on it a little bit, but I’d love to hear a little bit more about the full story of how you started.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. So honestly I was, um, in the process of starting a lifestyle photography business, and it was difficult. Um, and so one day we had one of those barbecues- or one of the microwaves with the ovens under it. And I was taking my coffee out and I spilled my coffee all over our oven. The oven itself was fine, but you know, the console, um, the digital console, it was fried.
So that’s kind of how it all began. Um, my husband was looking to replace it with like the cheapest, uh, oven that you can find, but. I was like, well, let’s get one with the microwave on the top. So then I don’t spill my coffee anymore, but of course he was like, no, and so I’m very stubborn. So I said, well, then I’m just going to go without an oven.
Taryn Solie: I’ll show you.
Holly Corbett: I’ll show you, I’m just going to go without any oven. So the first, the first thing I was like, I’m going to make a banana bread and he wasn’t home. And I generally wouldn’t cook anything or grill on the barbecue at all. And so I turned on the barbecue full blast, like, you know, balls to the walls here. And I, so I like put my banana bread on there.
I was like, okay, well, the recipe says an hour. So I have it on there and I’m like, I go out there and I was like, oh my goodness. It’s really smoking. Like, I don’t think your banana bread is supposed to smoke like that. Anyway, it was like charred, like it was-
Taryn Solie: Oh no!
Holly Corbett: So I was like, huh, well, that did not work. Anyway. I was like, just throw it out.
And my husband’s like taking like baking soda and like vinegar and mixing them together and trying to get this charred banana bread out there anyway. So then he’s like, well, why don’t you try it like this? And any way it took us a couple of tries to figure out like where to put the baked good on the barbecue, as opposed to just turning on all the elements.
You know, throwing your baked good on there and hoping it doesn’t the bottom doesn’t burn. I like burnt the bottom of brownies and like, you know, like it, it’s just slightly different. Cause your oven is so temperature controlled, whereas the barbecue or your grill it’s outside. So you’re affected the elements, the sun and the wind temperatures outside affect affect that.
Right. Now are you doing. Because there’s a lot of different types of grills or barbecues. So did you start out like, is it gas? Is it charcoal? Like where did, what did you start out with?
Yeah, so we have a gas, we have a Napoleon, it’s a gas, barbecue. Um, I have heard people say that, um, the propane or the charcoal barbecues have a slightly different temperature variance, so it’s a little bit harder to control, whereas the gas.
Because it’s gas. It’s just easy just to turn the nobs. Um, but anything, any grill with a lid, um, should be good to you should be good to go. Like.
So then how long, how long ago was that where you started?
Yeah, it was 2019.
Taryn Solie: Oh, wow. So several years ago.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. Yeah. But then we didn’t get a new oven until 2020, how long it took us to, to agree on a new oven.
Taryn Solie: So, okay. So the banana bread, maybe not a success but then where, where did you start finding your rhythm and kind of, how did you develop your grilling and barbecue skills with baking?
Holly Corbett: Yeah. So, well, I continue to, to just throw things on there. Um, so I think what I’m going to, I’m just going to go over some of the tips that I, I learned-
Taryn Solie: Yeah please do!
Holly Corbett: Along the way.
So what I learned was that you want to put your baked goods. I have three burners on mine. What I’ve learned is you have to put your baked goods on the center burner, and you don’t want to have that one on. So like I turn on my two side burners and the center burner is off. That’s where my baked good is going to go.
So indirect heat.
Yes. Indirect heat. And that way nothing you’re the bottom of your baked good is not getting burned because I ended up with burnt brownies, burnt muffins, burnt, you know, whatever I’ve, I’ve ended up after burning everything. So,
Taryn Solie: Learn from your mistakes.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. Um, the other one is I always start ver- my temperatures very low, like the lowest that it can go. Um, because like I said, like the sun you’re outside and the sun is that’s the biggest one is the sun is going to affect the temperature and most people have, uh, a thermometer on there. On their barbecue.
Um, I had to replace mine, but, um, uh, so that you can also take, you know, like one of the grill, like the meat thermometers.
Taryn Solie: Yeah.
Holly Corbett: You can also take one of those. I’ve taken it in the past and just put it. Not right in your barbecue, but like beside your baked goods in the barbecue, just to try and get like a more accurate temperature reading, just because like some, like one time we were getting like really high winds and that was affecting the temperatures.
So yeah. So sometimes like, just trying to like gauge the temperature is just, uh, And also, uh, your, your grill will heat up faster than your oven. So, yeah. So that’s another reason why I started super low. So as you, as you, like, you start seeing the temperature rise, then you can like gauge a little better.
Taryn Solie: Yeah.
Holly Corbett: So. Um, so you want to be checking as opposed to your oven. You want to be checking your baked goods often and because like your oven has a window and you can turn on the light, you can’t really do that with a barbecue or grill. Like you have to be opening it slightly to check it. And sometimes, um, You’ll have to tent it just because the inside doesn’t cook as fast as like, let’s say like you’re making like a crumble, like a blueberry crumble or something, you know, an apple crisp or something like that.
Um, it’s because your temperature is lower. Um, the outside tends to bake a little bit
Taryn Solie: Are you baking it while it’s in the, on the grill, like with aluminum foil? Is that what you mean?
Holly Corbett: Yeah. Yeah. So like, let’s say like it’s been on there for, I don’t know, 10 minutes or something like that. And you’re like, Hmm. It’s not really quite ready, but the, the, uh, the top, or it looks pretty it’s looks like it’s crisping up.
Pretty good. I would tent it just to avoid, just to avoid anything.
Taryn Solie: To keep it cooking evenly. So-
Holly Corbett: That’s right.
Taryn Solie: It’s not- I’m sure we’ve all had things. If you’ve ever baked at all where the middle doesn’t turn out, but the edges are all brown and you’re like, what happened?
Holly Corbett: Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Well,
Taryn Solie: and that’s sounds like a lot. Do you have more tips? I don’t want to cut you off. If you have any other tips here that you’ve learned.
Holly Corbett: Uh, no, uh,
Taryn Solie: It sounds a lot. Like the weather is an out as with any like grilling after cooking, the weather is really going to impact whatever it is that you put on that you’re baking on the barbecue.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So that’s the biggest one is like, Um, it’s like I try and keep my, my girl in the shade.
Um, it’s always possible, but I try, so sometimes I kind of move around our deck, which is a little bit harder when you’re connected to a gas outlet, but I have tried it. Um, the other one to be mindful of is, um, timing. So let’s say for example, your recipe says, oh, it should take 30 minutes. I would plan for 45 to 50 minutes.
Um, it just takes longer. And it’s on indirect heat, right? And then you’re starting low and you’re increasing, or you’re decreasing and it can be a little bit more finicky, um, in that sense. And then especially, cause we only have the three burners. I’m guessing if you have a bigger barbecue, you can fit more on there.
But like I can only fit one cookie sheet at a time, so I can only cook like 10 cookies at a time. So let’s say that’s taking 20 minutes. Let’s say, for example, let’s just use that. So then like a whole cookie recipe is taking me over an hour to bake.
Taryn Solie: Right. Which-
Holly Corbett: by the time I’m done,
Taryn Solie: people who only have one oven, you know, they only be doing that part of the time, you know? I mean, that would be common anyway, so yeah, it’s definitely good to keep in mind. Yeah.
Holly Corbett: Yeah.
Taryn Solie: So what, what do you most commonly bake on your barbecue?
Holly Corbett: Commonly I would bake, um, cookies for the most part. Um, but I have done my kids love like, uh, a crumble, a blueberry crumble muffin. Um, I would suggest though, uh, having a higher temperature for about five minutes to get you’re a muffins to rise and then dropping it. And then it’s so easy to drop your temperature on the barbecue. Just lift your lid. It’s-
Taryn Solie: An automatic temperature drop!
Holly Corbett: Yeah. And the temperature drops. Amazing.
Taryn Solie: Let all the heat out.
Holly Corbett: Just let open up your lid and temperature drops. And then you can adjust it from there, but like for another, you know, 20 minutes or so, uh, to get your, to get your muffins crisp and whatnot. Um, one thing I have found difficult to bake on the barbecue. Is I tried to do like a apple crumble cheesecake bar.
Taryn Solie: Oh, that sounds good.
Holly Corbett: Sounds really good. And now this is probably before I started tenting things halfway through, but, um, the crumble was very crisp, but the cheesecake part was still very crumbly. Like not, it didn’t solidify it as much. That’s why I say to tent things, part ways through, on the barbecue, just because like, I was like, well, this is like, it was good. We still ate it.
But you know, I was like, huh, it’s not really, you know, if you’re putting something on your blog, it wasn’t picture worthy. I mean,
Taryn Solie: Yeah, I gotcha. We’ve had a number of those things happen where it’s like, well, that doesn’t look good, but the taste, it still tastes fine. We’ll still eat it. So. Now we talked about sweet things. What sort of savory things have you baked? Like quiches or, or any galettes, anything along those lines?
Holly Corbett: Uh, well, I’ve done, galettes. Pies are- that’s another sweet thing, but, um,
Taryn Solie: Chicken pot pie, I mean would be a savory, right?
Holly Corbett: Yeah, yeah, exactly. So I just really find that, um, like dough, uh, for your pies, a quiche or, um, or a pot pie. They really crisp up really good. I have one of those. I don’t know if you guys know about them, but they go, like, let’s say your crust is browning around the outside. I have one of those. It’s just like a template that goes on top of your crust and it prevents your, your the edges of your cross from burning or browning to quickly. Yeah.
Taryn Solie: People use, um, tinfoil um, like, aluminum foil, and like scrunch it around the crest of their pie. So it doesn’t burn.
Holly Corbett: Yeah, you can do that too. Yeah. Ours is just like a little metal thing. It’s funny because. Um, I got it from my mom and I probably asked her to buy it. My mom is not a baker. So when I started asking her to bake things, when I was like, I don’t know, I was probably eight years old. She was probably like, why is this kid asking me to bake so much stuff all the time. Like.
Taryn Solie: What kid doesn’t like baked goods, right?
Holly Corbett: Like I w I would be like, I remember I was probably 12 or something. I think I was bored at home. And I was like, mom, I was like, I want to make peanut brittle, not realizing that that’s a pretty complicated recipe, you know?
So I think she changed my mind to probably chocolate chip cookies or something, but.
Taryn Solie: Easier.
Holly Corbett: Yeah.
Taryn Solie: For sure.
You were saying, so that the crust on like, say we’re talking about savory things, baking savory things and the crust crisps up really nicely. So like something like a quiche or a pie would be a good option for well savory or sweet, I guess.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. Yes. Yeah. Either one. I, you know what, a thing people ask me that a lot is what can I put on my barbecue? Right? Because like you have your Pyrex tins your cake tins. You have, you know, can I put those things on the barbecue? Um, I’ve done casseroles on the barbecue, like in my Pyrex dish. Like I have no concerns putting any of my, you know, good glass or, you know, good tins on there.
I mean, obviously clean your grill. Like if you just cooked like a stack of ribs the night before, I probably cleaned my grill, but I mean, that’s pretty common, you know, grilling thing that you need to do.
Taryn Solie: Grill maintenance. You want to make sure to your grill between heavy uses.
Holly Corbett: Yeah, exactly. Right.
Taryn Solie: Have you done, um, pizza on your grill, have you baked pizza?
Holly Corbett: Yes. Yeah. Um, so.
Taryn Solie: Do you use a pizza stone or no.
Holly Corbett: No I, I just use the regular pizza pie tin that I have.
Taryn Solie: Ok.
Holly Corbett: Um, yeah, it’s just like a cookie sheet. That’s what mine looks like. So I, I don’t use one. Um, but I have heard really good things about, about it. So maybe I should get one.
Taryn Solie: Maybe. For sure.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. Yeah.
Taryn Solie: What are your kind of, um, some easy beginner recipes for somebody who is interested in maybe trying out baking on the grill, but is a little apprehensive as well.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. I would start with, um, cookies, like I would say chocolate chip cookies because they’re fairly easy. Um, but whatever your favorite is, I. Like cook, um, baking cookies is, is very simple to do. Um, It could be a little, like I’ve already mentioned a little more time-consuming but, um, I’ve even, I don’t recommend this, but I’ve even started cooking my cookies, like on my cookie sheet and then putting like, once they reached their form for the last couple of minutes. putting them the grill on the barbecue.
Taryn Solie: Oh interesting!
Holly Corbett: Yeah.
Taryn Solie: How do you keep them from pulling apart.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. Well, I just carefully use a spatula. I don’t really recommend it because I did start a couple of fires.
Taryn Solie: So be careful with that.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. So if you do attempt that. I did start some fires.
Taryn Solie: You need to be careful there. Do you find that the, when you do that though, the cookies turn out better, like, are they crisper or like what kind of caught? What, what made you think, like, oh yeah, this would be a good idea?
Holly Corbett: Well at first I was like, oh, I really want to bake my cookies on the grill on the barbecue. But then I realized once, you know, you put them on, on a ball. It doesn’t, it’s not like baking it on a cookie sheet. They don’t, they just seep to the bottom. Like, so that’s why I was like, okay, well, I’m going to start them on the cookie sheet and carefully move them off, um, onto the grill.
Hit and miss.
Taryn Solie: But that’s good. I mean, that’s good to keep in mind because now you just saved somebody from trying to do it and then having a fire on their grill. So hot tip there. Maybe we don’t try that. So that’s. So then what are, um, what is something that is maybe more of like an impressive dish that you’ve baked on your grill? Something that, or something that you’re, you’re excited to try and do.
Holly Corbett: Hm. Try. Oh, I have cooked my kid’s birthday cake on the grill
Taryn Solie: Oh, that’s fun!
Holly Corbett: Yeah. So, I mean, it’s not, it’s just, like cooking a set of brownies, right? Like, I mean you just follow the rules and, and, uh, you just bake your cake normally.
Taryn Solie: Yeah.
Holly Corbett: Yeah.
Taryn Solie: You are you, so you have an oven now.
Holly Corbett: Yes. Yeah, we’re in Canada so, I mean, it’s kind of, I can’t be outside all the time. We have thought about moving the barbecue into the garage, but kind of think that might be a fire hazard.
Taryn Solie: Yeah, that probably would not be the best safety-wise. So, um, how often, like do you, well, I’m assuming winter in Canada is not the best time to be baking on the grill.
Holly Corbett: I’ve done. I’ve done a lot of casseroles this winter, so.
Taryn Solie: Oh have you, so you are still-
Holly Corbett: So I cooked those in the oven, unfortunately, because my-
Taryn Solie: I was like wow, that’s impressive.
Holly Corbett: We were all really hoping for, um, some summertime weather here. I mean just this morning it was snowing. So.
Taryn Solie: Yes, definitely not the best time to be out grilling. When it is, um, when the weather is nicer, how often are you going to the grill versus going to the oven? Like, is it, do you find you use both equally or-
Holly Corbett: No, I st- I’ll stop using my oven. Like once it gets nicer and like buy nicer, I mean, like above zero degrees Celsius, like
Taryn Solie: Maybe a different definition than someone who doesn’t live in Canada. Where you can just throw on a coat and go outside and it’ll be fine.
Holly Corbett: That’s right. Like I just, you know, keep my grilling coat right next to the door and you just pop out.
Taryn Solie: Yes, I’m, I’m in Seattle and I am familiar, like 60 degrees is warm here so that, you know, it’s all it’s all relative. Well, this was great. I do want to ask what is- one last question? What is a recipe like a baking, a barbecue baking recipe, that is either your, well, probably not a current favorite because you just said you’re not, you’re not doing much outside quite yet, but one of your favorite things to bake on a barbecue.
Holly Corbett: Um, brownies
Taryn Solie: Brownies. Okay.
Holly Corbett: Yeah. And right now, uh, anything with homemade whipped cream, um, or homemade whipped topping is a favorite here. Um, the other day I had a can, one of those aerosol cans of whipped cream, and my kids asked me why I’m keeping spray paint in the, uh, in the fridge. So we do a lot of things from scratch here. So I didn’t even think that why my kids would not really understand. What, why do we have spray paint in there. Like.
Taryn Solie: No, no, no. That’s not what that is I’m not keeping that in the fridge. Do you just like basic brownies or do you just do all sorts of different types of brownies?
Holly Corbett: Uh, yeah, we’re pretty plain Jane, so yeah. Nice, uh, nice thick brownie with, uh, we like the chocolate chips in them. So lots of chocolate.
Taryn Solie: Well, great. Well, this was so fun. I’m so glad we got a chance to talk and I hope we’ve given people, um, some, fun things to try out on their barbecue. Holly, I want to give you a chance to let people know where they can connect with you.
Holly Corbett: Uh, yeah. So, uh, everything is under BBQ bakers.com. Um, and on Instagram, same thing, BBQ, bakers dot- or BBQ bakers. Um, uh, and on my website right now, if you look at my pop-up, um, I’m currently asking for some recipe testers, um, it’s not going to be like a newsletter. I’m just simply going to ask people to test recipes, uh, for a baking, um, a cookbook that I have coming out, uh, hopefully in the next year.
Taryn Solie: Which is so exciting. And the cookbook is going to be all about baking on the barbecue, correct?
Holly Corbett: That’s right. It should, uh, I’m going to call it, uh, let’s bake, where is my barbecue. Um.
Taryn Solie: That’s great. So you’re looking for people to test recipes for that cookbook. So anyone, like- if you’ve never done it before, this would be a perfect opportunity to go ahead and give it a try.
Holly Corbett: That’s right. So yeah. So hopefully you can test them on your barbecue, but if not, I mean, in your oven’s fine too. I mean.
Taryn Solie: However it works. And we’ll include a link to your website and to your social media, um, on the show notes page. So people can head there to get in touch with you.
Holly Corbett: Great. Sounds good.
Taryn Solie: I want to thank Holly again for coming onto the podcast. It was such a fun and interesting conversation. I hope you found it fun and interesting too.
Don’t forget to check out the show notes page for links to connect with Holly. And until next time, keep grilling like a mother.