Whether you lack a yard or simply want to grill during the cold winter months, indoor grilling is a fun cooking alternative that can spice up any meal. Because indoor grilling, as the name implies, takes place inside your home, you will need to get a special grill built for the indoors, rather than simply transporting your outdoor grill inside for cooking. In fact, you should never use an outdoor grill indoors, as outdoor grills emit large amounts of toxic carbon monoxide.
Types of Indoor Grills
As with many kitchen appliances, when it comes to choosing an indoor grill, you have a variety of options from different brands that range widely in cost. However, all indoor grills are basically divided into two different categories:
- foldable contact grills: These types of indoor grills are electric cooking appliances that consist of two grill panels connected by a hinge. After plugging in the unit and placing the food on one grill, you cook the food by folding the grill over the base, thereby encasing the food with grilled heat.Because foldable contact grills heat food simultaneously on both sides, they cook food faster and tend to require less attention for even cooking. The George Foreman Grilling Machine and panini presses are two common examples of foldable contact grills. These types of indoor grills, which start at around $50, are usually more expensive than open indoor grills.
- open grills: Like outdoor grills, open indoor grills have a heat source below a standard grill face that has no cover. While some open grills are electric units that start heating up as soon as you plug them in, others (such as grilling pans) are simpler models consisting of grills attached to pans that you put on the stove to heat up.Because you still have to rotate and flip food to cook it evenly when using an open indoor grill, many charcoal grill enthusiasts prefer this type of indoor grill. In general, open indoor grills, which start as low as $12, tend to be less expensive than their foldable counterparts.
Gas versus Charcoal Grilling
The debate between whether gas or charcoal grilling is better continues to stir up arguments among grilling enthusiasts. Both gas and charcoal grills have their own unique advantages and pitfalls. For example, while gas-grilling fanatics tout that gas grills cook food more evenly and are easier to use than charcoal grills, those who prefer charcoal enjoy the added flavor and the process of cooking with charcoal better.
Also, charcoal grills tend to be less expensive than their gas counterparts. The best option for you will depend on your preferences and your budget.
How to Use an Indoor Grill
Generally, you can cook the same foods on your indoor grill as your outdoor grill. From steaks to fish to vegetables, indoor grills can handle all types of foods. The only difference is that you may not be able to cook as much food at once, given the smaller size of indoor grilling units.
The exact manner in which you use the grill will depend on the type of indoor grill you purchased. For example, while you will simply plug in and adjust the settings for foldable indoor grills, open grills must be placed over a stove ”s heated burner for proper use. Before you start using your indoor grill, be sure to read the instructions and warnings.
Riches, Derrick (n.d.). Indoor Grilling. Retrieved January 17, 2008. from the About.com Web site: http://bbq.about.com/od/grillinghelp/a/aa121397a.htm.