Almost anything can be cooked on a grill. It’s a healthful, easy and delicious way to prepare food.
But if you live in an apartment without a backyard or balcony (or in a climate where the weather is cold most of the year), your grilling options are seriously limited.
Sure, you can grill on a cast-iron skillet, a stovetop grill pan or a George-Foreman type of appliance, but most of those just flood your kitchen with smoke and don’t end up tasting quite the same. Grilling season arouses jealousy in anyone living in a condo or apartment. Without outdoor space for a grill, what's a city dweller to do on those perfect warm summer nights that beg for a barbecue?
An Electric Grill will satisfy you.
Indoor Grilling Flavors
The absence of both real smoke flavoring indoors and open charcoal flames for caramelization means that you have to step up the spices, seasoning and marinating game with indoor grilling to compensate.
You can also infuse different smoke flavors by using liquid smoke. If you want to get real smoke flavor, you can even smoke food indoors. There are proven ways to do that as well.
In order to allow more flavor to penetrate your meat during flavoring, you may need to trim off more of the excess fat from the meat. Trimming fat also helps to reduce the amount of smoke that when we cook the indoor grilling.
Explore the different forms of indoor grilling
- Portable stove top grill pan – inexpensive and easy to use, you can grill right on your stove!
- Built-in stovetop kitchen grill – more expensive, but super convenient and ready to use any time you want to cook with fire.
- Indoor Grill – Makes grilled foods in a snap.
- George Foreman grill - You've all probably heard of them, but are they any good? These are basically like other indoor grill and sandwich maker countertop electric grills.
- Hibachi grill – pretend you are a Benihana chef and cook up a delicious stir-fried Asian meal.
- Electric rotisserie ovens – Succulent rotisserie cooked chicken is easy with these countertop rotisserie ovens such as the Ronco Showtime Rotisserie. Unless you’ve got an elaborate rotisserie oven or fire pit rotisserie, this is for you.
- Pan Seared Steak - If you can't get outside to grill or don't want the hassle but still love great steak, don't worry! Pan searing is an outstanding way to cook the perfect steak!
- Fireplace Cooking - You are a stud or studette if you pull off a whole meal in the fireplace! How fun is that? This will make a deep impression on others. This is a lost art but one that is very do-able if you know a few tricks.
Why Use an Electric Grill?
- Electric grill is fast and easy - If you want to make a great grilled meal in no time, an outdoor grill or fire pit is probably not the perfect way to do it. Lighting charcoal or wood and getting nice hot embers for cooking takes a lot of time and space! With an Electric grill, you can get your grill hot and ready to cook in no time.
- Avoid the mess! - The prep and clean-up is much easier use Electric grill than for an outdoor barbeque. No need to shovel ashes, haul charcoal or wood, and no staining your hands with soot and ash. An Electric grill is fast to set up and doesn't require wood or charcoal so there is less mess and less clean up. Just throw your grill in the sink to soak after using it and pretty soon you can just wash it like any other kitchen utensil.
- Easy heat control - With an Electric grill, controlling your cooking heat is as easy as adjusting your burner heat or turning an electric knob. Whereas controlling the heat on a wood burning or charcoal grill can be difficult and slow, indoors you can do it in no time.
- You can stay indoors! - For those of you who don't like the great outdoors, or if the weather is simply not good for outdoor grilling (rain don't work too well with barbeque!), you can still always grill indoors. No bugs and no bad weather.
- Many options - There are at least a few different types of grills you can choose from to grill indoors, and each has their own unique advantages and purposes. For example, there are simple stovetop grill pans which you throw on your burner and start grilling. There are also an assortment of sandwich maker, panini press and other electric grills which are great for making toasty sandwiches as well as killer grilled meats and vegis. Lastly, there are electric countertop rotisserie ovens which make roasting a chicken or lamb kabobs a snap.
- You can make grilled sandwiches! - As mentioned above, some indoor electric grills can double as a sandwich maker. The classic Italian panini sandwich and the French Croque Monsieur both require a two sided sandwich press like these but you can make a huge assortment of toasty sandwiches as well as grilled meats on these handy electric grills.
- The recipes! - Pretty much anything you can make on an outdoor grill or fire pit you can make on an electric grill, with a few exceptions. In fact, you can make sandwiches on an electric press grill which you can't really do on a charcoal grill. You can also make some things that would fall through the grates of an outdoor grill, like finely chopped vegetables. Indoor grilling is definitely versatile.
Effective Ways of Indoor Grilling
Griddling is coined from the use of a griddle. Griddling is also known in some quarters as char grilling. One way to 'griddle' is by using a ridged pan on high heat over a gas or electric burner. The food is cooked by conduction. All griddle foods have to be flipped to cook on the 'flip' side.
- This is a great way of preparing foods fast. Griddling uses less oil than frying. This makes it a healthier way of cooking.
- Electric Griddles and Hibachi Grills are popular appliances for indoor grilling. They both have an electric heating element that conducts and radiates heat for cooking, respectively. They can all be used either on the counter-top or for more action by the dinner table. They both come as one component with.
- Spit Roasting can be effectively done indoors. There are different ways of spit roasting indoors. The appliances that help to fulfill this function come in various shapes and sizes.
- Contact Grilling is the most popular way of indoor grilling. This grill is also known as a dual contact griddler. The most famous contact grill is the George Foreman Grill and the panini maker or panini press. You can get the contact grill in different sizes. This type of grill has.
- The Stove-top Smoker is a fabulous product, a real treat for the avid smoker and a good effort at infusing food with authentic smoke flavor as you grill indoors. Most stove-top smokers, also known as range-top smokers, are simple, portable, and affordable.
Indoor Grilling Tips
1. Go for a grill pan
Choose a cast-iron grill pan rather than a Panini press-style or other indoor grill. "Cast iron holds heat extremely well and the ridges give your food great-looking grill marks.
2. Invest in the essentials
The list of grilling utensils is relatively short—you really only need a few items to grill well. Grill accessories include:
Tongs: to flip steaks, chicken, shellfish, and vegetables
Heavy-duty spatula: to flip burgers and delicate fish fillets
Pastry brushes: to brush oil, glazes, and barbecue sauces
Heavy-duty grill brush: to keep your grill clean
Canola or vegetable oil: These neutral oils are best for grilling since they don't add flavor and have a high smoking point.
Electric Charcoal Starter: to help you strike a light
3. Prepare properly
The first thing to do before you grill indoors is to pre-season your grill pan if it's not already pre-seasoned. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, rub some canola or vegetable oil liberally over the pan using a clean cloth or paper towel, and then place it in the oven for 30 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the pan sit in the oven until completely cool.
Whenever you use your indoor grill, oil only your food, not the grill pan. Simply heat the pan over high heat until it begins to smoke; brush your meats, fish, or vegetables with oil and seasonings and then grill according to the recipe.
4. Create professional grill marks
Those cool, restaurant-style crosshatches on grilled meats and veggies are easy to pull off: Place food on the grill pan at a 45-degree angle to the ridges for about 2 to 3 minutes, then pick up each piece, rotate 90 degrees, and place the same side down on the grill pan so the ridges now run at a 45-degree angle in the opposite direction. Continue grilling for another 2 to 3 minutes. When it's time to turn the food, simply flip it over—there's no need to create the marks on the other side since it will be facedown on the plate.
5. Where there's smoke…
To keep smoke levels down, try not to over-oil or over-sauce your food. "Also be sure you do not press down on foods and squeeze juices out. Not only will that dry out your food, but that can also cause foods to burn and produce more smoke," Flay says.
6. Don't play with your food
One of the biggest mistakes that novice grillers make is trying to turn or flip the food before it's ready, which can cause it to fall apart and cook unevenly. And beware of marinating foods for too long. Marinades typically contain an acidic ingredient (vinegar, wine, or citrus juice), which will begin to break down the flesh and make it tough. Be careful not to marinate leaner cuts of meat (such as boneless, skinless chicken breasts and pork tenderloin) for more than 2 hours, and marinate fish fillets for only 20 minutes.
7. Fake it ‘til you make it
Flay admits that it can be hard to get that sought-after woodsy, smoky flavor from an indoor grill pan. Although the most genuine grilling flavor comes from using hardwood charcoal in an outdoor grill, you can buy or make smoky-flavored barbecue sauces, glazes, or spice rubs to add additional flavors that a grill pan can't add.
8. Pick the right fare to grill indoors
The best foods for inside barbecuing are burgers, hot dogs, boneless chicken breasts, steaks, fish fillets, and shrimp. I'd avoid larger cuts of meats that would need to be covered, like pork shoulders, prime ribs, whole turkeys, or whole chicken. Also avoid very fatty meats such as duck breast that can splatter and cause extra smoke.
9. Take the temperature
The best way to tell when meat is done is to use an inexpensive instant-read thermometer to accurately check the internal temperature. The USDA recommends between 150 degrees from medium-rare steaks and lamb chops to 170 degrees for medium-well chicken and turkey breasts.
10. Give it a rest
It suggests removing meat from the grill pan when it is about 5 degrees below the desired internal temperature, then loosely tenting it with foil and letting it rest for 5 to 15 minutes before slicing. This resting period will increase the temperature by about 5 degrees and allow the juices to redistribute, giving you a juicy and moist piece of meat or fish.
So you live in an apartment with no outdoor space. Rather than lamenting your lot when summer grilling season rolls around, celebrate instead with a few easy and delicious ways to get grilled flavor inside.
Whether you use a grill pan, your oven, or make an indoor smoker, grilling inside captures that great summer taste all year long.