Just because grilling season is over doesn’t mean you can’t grill until the weather gets nice. If you live somewhere with harsh winters, you know how tough it can be to grill in the cold. Even if you do have a nice day, it’s not worth it to take the grill out. You’ll have to put it back the next day anyways. Fortunately, you can always grill inside. I know, it’s not going to be the same. Maybe you’ve tried to before and it just wasn’t what you were expecting. Grilling indoors is going to be different than grilling outdoors but you can absolutely make it work with these tips. Just to be clear though, don’t try using your outdoor grill inside.
If you miss grilling season and want to give grilling indoors a shot, I’ll give you some useful tips you can use to make the most out of it. Indoor grilling should be able to hold you over until grilling season comes back. Hang in there, warm weather is right around the corner.
Choose a Good Grill Pan
Let’s start with what you are going to be grilling on. Sure, you could use a panini style indoor grill, but you won’t get the results you want. The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you get a good cast-iron grill pan. A cast-iron grill pan is the best option for grilling indoors because it is the closest thing to grilling outdoors with a full size grill.
Make sure to season the cast-iron grill pan well. Apply a thin layer of high heat oil and place the pan in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for half an hour. After that, let it sit until it cools down before using it. Seasoning the pan will prevent your food from sticking.
Using a cast-iron grill pan will also allow you to create excellent grill marks on your food. The raised ridges on a cast-iron grill pan are perfect for grill marks. It’ll bring you right back to Summer time barbecues. To create marks, place the food at a 45 degree angle against the ridges. After a couple of minutes rotate the food another 90 degrees. If you want grill marks on both sides, just repeat the process for the other side.
You can find a good cast-iron grill pan at a reasonable price online. One of the best one’s available from Amazon is the Backcountry Cast Iron 12″ Large Square Grill Pan. It comes pre-seasoned and has plenty of grilling space. The deep ridges also allow for excellent grill marks.
Grill Smarter, Not Harder
When you’re grilling indoors, stick to the basics. Since you can’t close the lid of your grill when you are grilling indoors, I would try to avoid larger cuts of meat. You can still grill the basics just as if you were grilling outdoors though. Basic foods like bacon, burgers, hot dogs, steak, and chicken breast are great options for grilling indoors.
You’ll also want be mindful of smoke when grilling indoors. You do not want the smoke detectors to go off in the middle of grilling. One thing you can do to prevent a lot of smoke is stay from grilling fatty foods. Using a lot of oil or sauce can also cause a lot of smoke. Try not to apply too much sauce when grilling, instead apply after while the food is cooling down. Lastly, pushing down on the meat and squeezing out the juices can cause a lot of smoke.
Do not try to guess with the temperature. To make sure you cook that perfect medium-rare steak, purchase a quality meat thermometer. This will allow you to accurate check the temperature of the meat without having to guess. For medium rare steak you want to aim for 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Have the Right Accessories
Having the right accessories will make grilling a whole lot easier. You do not need anything crazy, just the basics. I would make sure to get a good pair of tongs, a stainless steel spatula, and a grill brush. Below are some of my favorite accessories for indoor grilling.
These tongs are basic but get the job done. They are stainless steel and good quality so they’ll last a while. Currently priced at $11.99 (click here to check current price), these tongs are a great value. You are going to use tongs almost every time you grill so it’s worth it to invest in a good pair.
A good stainless steel spatula is an essential accessory for anyone who plans on grilling. Whether you are grilling outdoors or indoors, you will absolutely want a good spatula. Plastic or silicone spatulas can be flimsy and do not hold up as well to the high heat.
This spatula from MANNKITCHEN is currently priced at $24.99 on Amazon (check price here) and is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars. It is a little more pricey than other spatulas, but you are going to get a lot of use from the product at a low price. Much like the tongs, you are going to be using your spatula a lot, so it’s worth it to purchase a good one.
Your grill pan is going to get dirty and sometimes the debris can be tough to brush off. Buying a good grill brush can make that task a lot easier. This grill brush from Grizzly is currently available for $19.99 on Amazon (check price here). It is bristle-free so you won’t get any bristles left behind on the pan. The brush is incredibly easy to use and very effective, this grill brush is worth buying to keep your grill pan clean.
Keep It Clean
If you grill indoors, you are probably going to make a bit of a mess. You will want to do your best to keep everything clean. Be sure to wipe everything down after you are done grilling. I would also scrub the grill pan while it is still warm. It will be much easier to brush off everything that was left behind while the pan is still warm (but not hot!). Turn on the vents above your stove too so your house does not smell like food for the rest of the day. This is especially important if you live in a small place, the smell from grilling indoors can linger for a while. If you’re going to grill indoors it would be smart to crack a window open so the smell can escape.
Hopefully these tips will help you out if you decide to grill indoors. I know it is not going be the same as grilling outside, but you can make the most out of the adjustment! As long as you get a good cast-iron pan you should be able to grill food that is close to what you would be making on your grill outside. Just avoid trying to over complicate things and stick to grilling basic foods indoors. Make sure to get yourself some good grilling accessories too that will make things easier for yourself.
If you found this content helpful, be sure to check out our other articles on grilling!