If you want to be able to enjoy grilled food all year long, an indoor grill is essential. No matter the weather or how much space you have in your home, you can grill indoors with excellent results.
A word of caution, though: outdoor grills are NOT for indoor use. Don’t use an outdoor grill anywhere inside your home – not even in your garage, in a shed, or in any other enclosed structure. Using an outdoor grill inside could lead to a fire or carbon monoxide poisoning, so keep those grills for outdoor use only.
Many indoor grills are griddles that have ridges on the griddle plate and are electric. They often come with several temperature settings.
Another option is to use a suitable indoor griddle like this, which is also designed with raised ridges but made to use directly on your stovetop.
Here’s how to make the most of your indoor grill.
- Use a cast-iron grill if possible
The wonderful thing about a cast-iron grill is that it will withstand high heat and hold it for more extended periods than other cooking materials. The built-in ridges on the bottom of the pan will mean you can go for those lovely grill marks on your food.
Cast iron will enable you to sear your meat over high heat, as it won’t cool down when you add the meat. Most cast-iron grills are relatively large, which allows you to grill two steaks at once quickly. If you have a lot of people to feed, you can always use two grill pans together.
- Choose foods that work best on an indoor grill
While you won’t grill an entire rack of ribs or other large cuts of meat, many foods work brilliantly on an indoor grill. Burgers, chicken pieces, bratwurst, and other sausages, veggie kebabs, and other foods will all be delicious grilled indoors.
The basic principle is that any food that can be cooked on the direct heat side of a grill can work on an indoor grill.
- Leave your meat out before grilling
You want your meat or fish to be at room temperature before grilling. This is because to grill food well, you want to cook the food quickly. Putting cold meat on a very hot grill will mean that the middle of the meat will take longer to be cooked, which means the outside could get burned or scorched.
- Trim excess fat
If you have concerns about setting off your smoke detector, trim the fat from your meat before grilling. Fat can create extra smoke, but you won’t get as much smoke if you trim most of it off beforehand.
- Hold the salt
To get the best results from your indoor grilling, don’t salt your foods before cooking (except pork). Salting before cooking removes moisture from food, meaning fewer juices on your plate. Red meats, in particular, become tougher when salted before cooking. Wait till the meat is finished before adding salt and pepper.
- Try a splash of oil
You may wonder why you would add oil to a steak that you’re cooking on a non-stick grill. Indoor grills have those high ridges to catch any excess fat, so why would you add more? Well, some oils improve the flavor of your food.
A splash of olive oil or butter added to your meat while cooking will add delicious complexity to the flavor that you and your guests will appreciate. Most of the excess fat will drain away, leaving behind an enhanced taste without many more calories.
Grilled meats have less fat content than pan or deep-fried foods, so enjoy that extra splash of oil or butter.
- Try smoked seasonings
Smoked seasonings are a great way to add a bit of barbecue-style flavor to an indoor grill. Try some smoked paprika or liquid smoke in your marinades.
Just remember to add the marinade or sauce to your food in the last few minutes so that the sauce doesn’t burn on the grill. You want a light coating of sauce to add flavor right before removing the meat or other food from the heat.
- Grill your desserts
Ever tried grilling your dessert? An indoor grill makes it simple to grill fruits and other desserts.
Grilled peaches, pineapple slices, banana ‘boats’ (stuffed with chocolate chips and marshmallows), and donuts are just some of the foods that are delicious when prepared on a grill. Guests will be impressed with the versatility and tastiness of a fully grilled meal indoors!
Prepare your indoor grill!
Invite your guests and family to enjoy a freshly-baked grill all year round!