At the apartment building where we live, Anne and I have a number of friends who get together once a month over the summer, throw some meats on the grill and hang out.  I tend to play grillmaster.  Someone brings burgers, someone else brings some dogs.  Joyce brings a tray of ribs which are always excellent.  I spend the time at the grill cooking things (or heating things up).   Salads are brought.  As is beer.  A good time is had by all.  Now I’ll be honest, I enjoy cooking, but making burgers, dogs and the like really isn’t a challenge so sometimes I like to make something that’s different.

This past weekend we had one of our gatherings (now with Social Distancing) and the night before I had a hankering for an apple pie.  I know it’s not apple pie season but I was in a mood.  So I decided I was going to make one on the grill.  I know that might sound odd to some folks, but one thing I learned is that if you cover your grill and control your temperature, your grill becomes an oven.   I know that on my grill. If I keep 2 of the 4 burners on medium and avoid any grease flare ups, once it gets to temperature, my grill maintains 375 degree heat.

I have to be honest, bakers will be offended how I did this, it’s store bought pie crust and canned pie filling.  But that this article is more about thinking of different ways to use your grill, not the actually recipe.  Use your best  pie filling recipe if you like.  Spend hours making your best scratch puff pastry.  

I just decided to be lazier still and do a pan dowdy.  Instead pf a nice uniform crust, pieces of the puff pastry are mixed in.  There’s no reason your can’t cut and a proper crust to the pie, but this is a BBQ, not Thanksgiving dinner.  People are slopping themselves up and eating charred meat with their hands, no need to get fancy.


  • 2 cans Apple Pie Filling.
  • Butter
  • 1 roll refrigerated puff-pastry


Setup the pan dowdy.

  1. Grease the inside of a #10 cast iron skillet with butter (or crisco).
  2. Add the cans of pie filling to the pan
  3. Take the puff pastry and tore it into 1” or so pieces and scattered them over the pie filling.  


  1. Make sure your grill is clean.  Grease flare up can cause the temperature to spike and drop which won’t be good for the baking process.
  2. Setup your gill to cook at 425 degrees.  This is going to take experimentation on your part.  On my grill if I set 2 of the 4 burners to between medium and high I can get the temperature to be a constant 425.  But your grill will probably be different.
  3. Cover the skillet put it on the grill close the top and bake for 40 mins.  
  4. Remove from the grill
  5. Optional - sprinkle some confectioner's sugar.
  6. Share and Enjoy!

Although not the fanciest dessert, I felt like it was enjoyed, here is the after photo.

Apple Pan Dowdy