Tips for Indoor Grilling

For most people, there are certain foods that simply taste better grilled. Unfortunately, unless you live in a tropical area, using your barbecue to grill outdoors is probably out of the question. Although food may not taste the same on an indoor grill, that is your best bet for enjoying your grilled chicken or steak year round. Years ago, indoor grills produced an immense amount of smoke, but luckily that is no longer the case. If you are in the market for a new indoor grill for your kitchen, check out stores like Chefs Catalog and StacksandStacks.

Choosing a Grilling Surface

There are many different types of indoor grills that are available. The most popular are a grill pan, contact grill and grill plate. Using an open grill plate is not recommended because there are gaps in between the burners that can cause the plate to heat unevenly. If you are only going to be grilling indoors once every couple of weeks, a pan should be fine. However, be sure to purchase a pan that has indentations on the bottom of the pan because that allows the ridges that are inside of the pan to get hotter. If you are someone who loves grilled food, a contact grill is probably your best bet. They can be a bit pricey, but you will get your money’s worth out of them in no time.

Preheating the Grill

It is always a good idea that you preheat your grill before cooking on it. If you have a charcoal or propane barbecue, you would probably get the fire going on that before you started cooking on it, right? The same concept applies to indoor grilling. To ensure that your meat does not overcook, it is recommended that you sear the outside of the meat first.

To get a good sear on all sides of your meat, you need an indoor grill that has been preheated. If you are worried that food will stick to your indoor grill, simply spray it with cooking oil before you begin preheating it.

Cooking Times

One of the worst things that you can do is leave your indoor grill unattended. Indoor grills get much hotter than a barbecue would, which means the food will cook much quicker. If you are using a contact grill, you can expect your food to cook 50 percent faster than it would on a barbecue. If you are grilling a chicken breast indoors, estimated cooking times range between 12 and 15 minutes. A hot dog or sausage will take five to seven minutes, while a hamburger should take 14 to 17 minutes. It is also important that you choose the right meat for your recipe when you are indoor grilling. Thin cuts of meat are great for quesadillas and fajitas, while thick cuts of meat are great for heavy meals and for those that still like some pink in their meat.


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Stephen Thiele is a freelance writer for