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Mar 10, 2011

Grilled French Toast

French toast has been something that I've always loved. Its a classic breakfast treat. Normally its done over a stove top as we all remember from our youth. However, let's apply what we do indoors to the grill. This is a fun one! Here goes:

grilled french toast

Prep time: 10 min; Cook time: 15 min; Total time: 25 min.
Yield: 8 slices of French Toast

Challah bread
6 Eggs
1.5 cups Milk
1.5 tsp Vanilla extract
1 T Honey
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Cinnamon

gorgeous Challah Bread

Wow! Take a look at that gorgeous loaf of challah bread.

With thick cut french toast like the kind I prepared the game plan was 2-3 minutes of direct heat and then about 5-10 minutes of indirect heat. Normally french toast of this thickness is pan fried for a couple of minutes and then put in the oven to finish cooking. To apply this principle to the charcoal grill I simply tossed the french toast over direct medium low heat and then moved it to indirect heat to finish baking. Pretty cool! To start I sliced the bread into roughly 3/4 inch slices.

french toast in egg mix

After the bread was sliced I mixed in a large dish the eggs, milk, vanilla, honey, salt, and cinnamon. After the mixture was nice and smooth I added the bread and let it soak for about 5 minutes, turning it once. After the 5 minute soak I let the toast drain on a baking rack so it wouldn't be so messy going on the grill.

french toast over direct heat on a charcoal grill

I tossed the sopping wet french toast right over direct heat. Don't worry - it will stick. Yes you read that correctly, it will stick a bit. There's nothing you can do. To make it pretty just make sure that the toast has a nice char on one side before flipping. That will help the sticking a bit. Its really a guessing game at this point but I'd look to flip it around 2-3 minutes.

french toast over direct heat

After the direct heat grilling I moved the french toast to indirect heat. Let the french toast bake for 5-10 minutes until its finished. Yup it stuck a bit, but that's ok. If you are scared about the sticking keep reading, I'll show you how to do it in a skillet down below.

french toast
Oh yeah!

french toast recipe

Melt some butter on top and drizzle with maple syrup. I was surprised how well this recipe turned out. It had a nice outside and the typical moist flavorful french toast inside. Looking back I wish I would have topped it with powdered sugar.

Now, for those of you who are a bit skeptical on tossing french toast directly over direct heat its now time to break out your cast iron skillet.

french toast recipe

The cast iron skillet charcoal grill combo is just a classic combination. I love using my cast iron on the grill. To start I tossed a couple tablespoons of butter right in the skillet and let it melt. Then I placed the french toast right in the hot butter.

french toast recipe

Now this looks a bit more like normal french toast. I flipped the toast after 2-3 minutes while keeping the skillet over direct coals.

french toast recipe

After the french toast is nicely browned remove it from the skillet and place it over indirect heat just like before. It took about 5 minutes on each side to finish cooking. The grill heat was pretty low at this point (around 300 F) so I knew I wasn't going to overcook it.

french toast recipe

The french toast from the skillet worked really well. However, I am partial towards the direct grate method described above. Call me nuts but I think its just a little more rustic to toss the french toast directly over the coals. Regardless of how you do it this is a pretty great grilled french toast recipe!

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By John Thomas
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