Can You Use Glassware on the Grill?

To give you the long and the short of it, of course you can. It’s your grill! Now, whether you want to is a different story, and this is why.

Published Categorized as Questions
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Cooking in the confines of your kitchen is convenient, ain’t no doubt about it, but nothing can rival the smell and taste of food sizzled over a fire in the backyard.

Most of the time, all you have to do to get cooking is oil the grates, heat the grill, then slap the meat and vegetables on the hot metal. But some foods need to be grilled in bakeware, whether due to tenderness or moisture.

The best bakeware for a grill is a cast iron skillet with thick walls and a heavy bottom or a heavy-duty sheet pan that won’t warp as easily as its thinner counterparts would.

When that isn’t an option, you may wonder: Can you use glassware on the grill?

It isn’t a good idea to put glassware on the grill because the glass can shatter from the high heat and the temperature fluctuations from the opening and closing of the lid.

It is taking a chance that must be upheld with the most caution, and there is a chance the outcome could be a disaster with shattered glass, wasted food, and a mess to clean.

There is a discussion on how to cook with glassware over indirect heat—that is, not directly over the embers or a lit burner—and we will go over the options. The most important thing is to keep grilling safely.

What Happens If You Put Glassware on a Grill?

Fish, casseroles, and desserts are some items that most people do not realize have an excellent smokey flavor when cooked on a grill.

There are several types of casseroles, like potatoes and green beans. Some Southern-style desserts are peach, blueberry, apple cobbler, or pie cooked to perfection on a grill.

Here is the problem, though: What if you only have a glass pan meant for a conventional oven? Can you still use it on the grill?

These are the things you should consider before putting glassware on a grill:

Heat-proof glassware is made only for heating in ovens or stovetops. Certain types of glassware shouldn’t be heated at all, even if for reheating foods or keeping just-cooked foods warm.

Flames from the grill could discolor the glass pan. Once it is discolored, there may or may not be a way to bring it back to pristine condition. If this is the wife’s or mom’s favorite bakeware, tread lightly.

Grills, mainly charcoal, will have a flame under the pan with no protection if the wind blows. Gas is easier to control by turning off the burner underneath (and the fact that many a gas grill has a shield between the flame and the food).

Once the flame hits the pan for an extended time, it could shatter the glass. It is not the grill’s heat; it is the flames and flare-ups that will destroy the glassware.

What to Do If the Glass Shatters on the Grill

Once the open flame hits the glass, it expands until it shatters. The best-case scenario is just a crack in the pan if you can catch it in time. The worst-case scenario is everything shatters, and now you have a mess on your hands. 

Remember not to panic, but you must act as quickly and safely as possible. On a charcoal grill, ready your sand bucket in case of a grease fire. On a gas grill, turn off all the burners immediately and have the fire extinguisher within arm’s reach.

Step 1: Find a Safe Location to Clean off the Grill Grate

It is easy to spot larger pieces of glass than small fragments. You want to remove the grill grate and place it where no one will walk or have contact with hands or feet near a water hose.

Step 2: Use a Sponge to Wipe the Grate Clean

We recommend you use a sponge with a bit of soap and water to clean the grate because it will catch more small fragments that are not visible than any other cloth or towel.

Step 3: Rinse off the Grate

For this step, we recommend using a pressure washer over a regular hose if possible. The pressure washer will do better to take off all glass fragments. If all you have is a hose, make sure there is a nozzle with high pressure. 

Step 4: Dry off the Grill Grate

To keep up with the maintenance on the grill grate, you always want to ensure the grate is entirely dry after cleaning it. Pass a dry sponge over the entire grate to catch any stubborn fragments left behind, then use a towel to dry all the excess water off. 

Step 5: Clean and Dry the Grill

Once the grate is taken care of, put out the charcoal and dispose of it in a safe location where no fires will start. Use a sponge and gloves to clean the grill and dry it off. The issue will be the glass and the food in the pan. Once it is dry, you can try again with something else to cook or call it a day. It’s up to you.

What Kind of Cookware Can You Use on the Grill?

Cast iron, carbon steel, and stainless steel are generally good materials for cookware that can be used on the grill. The cooking vessels should be bare metal and not have a ceramic, nonstick, or vitreous enamel coating. The handles should be all-metal, and not plastic, silicone, or wood.

Still, Want to Use the Glassware?

We only recommend the best advice to keep you safe over sorry. It is still your preference if all you have is glassware to grill your favorite dishes.

On a charcoal grill:

Set up your charcoal grill for indirect heat. Rake the coals over to one side (for direct heat) and leave the other coal-free (for indirect heat). Place the pan on the side with indirect heat, with no coals underneath. Do not leave your charcoal grill unattended.

On a gas grill:

Set up your gas grill for indirect heat. After heating all burners, switch turn down the heat on half of the burners to medium (direct heat) and switch the other half off (indirect heat). Place the pan on the side with indirect heat, that is, with the unlit burners. Do not leave your gas grill unattended.

In Summary

We hope that you have found value in all of this information. If you follow this list for both grills, we ask that you remain careful and keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times.

Never forget safety when grilling, and remember that glassware on a grill is nary 100% safe nor promising.

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