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How to Grill Without a Grill: The Ultimate Guide

June 19, 2020 5 min read

How to Grill Without a Grill: The Ultimate Guide

We all love that smoky, scorched flavor you get from cooking on a grill. But what happens if you don't have one of those hefty, outdoor grills or a backyard to cook in? Well, luckily, we've got a few tips and tricks to help you to replicate that flavor indoors.

We asked our barbecue chefs for their best advice when it comes to indoor grilling. All you need's a griddle pan and your favorite meat and veg for some indoor grilling magic!

What exactly is grilling?

Grilling is usually associated with outdoor, coal-fired, or gas-driven barbecues. You cook your meat and vegetables on a grill plate, which is held over open flames. You can add seasoning and sauces to your food and let it sear quickly, at a high temperature.

You'll be left with those juicy scorch marks and that smoky, grilled barbecue taste that everyone associates with summer. But traditional outdoor grills are not small and you need a large outdoor area, such as a garden or patio, to use them safely, and to not smoke out your house.

Grilling without a grill

If you're not lucky enough to have a huge backyard, then you might need to learn how to grill in house, in your kitchen, while if you live in the city, you'll need to get to grips with grilling in an apartment. But learning to grill without a grill isn't as difficult as it sounds.

There are some great ways to replicate the barbecue tastes and those delicious scorch marks by grilling on a stove and grilling in a pan. You can grill at home in many cast iron kitchen pieces, including skillets, but you'll make your life a whole lot easier if you have a griddle pan!

Can you grill on a stove?

The best way to grill inside is by using a griddle pan on a stovetop. This is the simplest way to get your meats seared, and your vegetables scorched without leaving the kitchen.

Cast iron is perfect for indoor grilling because the oily layer of seasoning you should have ion the bottom of your pan holds so much flavor. Cast iron is heavy, but it really retains heat well. You can heat it to high temperatures, which allows you to fast-cook those burgers or sausages, much like you would on an outdoor grill.

To get those scorch marks though, you'll need a grill pan. A grill pan has raised ridges on the inside to replicate the setup of an outdoor grill. You can heat it up to a high temperature, and oil the inside to help things cook quickly. You can use the raised ridges to scorch your barbecue food by grilling on stove top.

The process of grilling at home on a stove top is quite simple:

  1. Place your grill pan on the kitchen stove top and heat it to a high temperature.
  2. Add in your oil and let it sizzle for a moment.
  3. Place your meats and vegetables on the raised edges of the pan.
  4. Grill for a few minutes, then flip over and repeat on the other side.

How do you grill meat without a grill?

You can recreate a lot of those meaty grill flavors inside too. Sausages are one of the best meats to grill in the kitchen, as they don't often retain too much of the smoky flavor outdoors. Burgers are the same, and these are delicious when cooked on a grill pan in the kitchen.

Other meats, such as chicken, work fantastically well with a delicious marinade, while you could even get creative and try smoking your beef or braising it indoors. There are a few spices and sauces that work particularly well when you're grilling indoors. We love using smoked paprika or a classic barbecue sauce to really bring out the flavors and to give your meat an authentic taste.

Your condiments and extras are just as important too. Don't forget to melt your cheese directly onto the burger, cook up some caramelized onions to top off your meat, and braise your burger buns on the hot pan before serving!

How to grill chicken on stove tops

If you're wondering the best way to grill chicken inside, then don't worry, we've got you covered!

We love to marinate our chicken in a smoky barbecue sauce overnight to really give it that extra kick when you cook it on the stove top. Using sauces, marinades, and spices can really help to bring out the flavors you're missing from the outdoor grill.

You can then grill your marinated chicken at a high temperature on the stovetop, without ever having an actual grill. If you're using chicken legs or wings, simply cook for around 4 minutes on either side. Make sure they are cooked through, of course, before serving.

How do you grill vegetables without a grill?

While meat might be the centerpiece of a summer barbecue party for many Americans, it's still not a barbecue without the vegetables!

Grilled vegetables or vegetable kebabs are a fantastic addition to your barbecue feast, and they are super simple to recreate indoors too. We love using large mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchinis, and onions, but there are so many more vegetables you can get creative with too!

The best way to grill them indoors is again on a grill pan, but you can get away with using a cast iron skillet too. We recommend lathering your vegetables in oil, heating the pan up to a high temperature, and grilling them for a few minutes on either side.

You can also flavor up your vegetables by marinating them overnight in a barbecue sauce or covering them in spices or spicy sauces before you cook them on the grill.

If you're vegetarian or vegan, you can even grill meat-free veggie burgers or sausages in the same way as regular meat patties or meat sausages using a grill pan in your kitchen. There are so many different, meat-free substitutes on the market these days, and they offer an authentic, veggie version of classic barbecue staples!

Is there a great alternative to grilling?

If grilling inside isn't for you, then don't worry because there are some great alternatives. Many cast iron grill pans are reversible, which means you can either grill or griddle with them in your kitchen.

Griddling is a fantastic alternative if you're looking for a change from grilling. Burgers, sausages, steaks, and many other types of meat will cook beautifully on a griddle pan. The principle is exactly the same, use oil and cook rapidly at a high temperature for the best results!

If you only have a griddle and not a grill pan, then with a few sauces and marinades, you can just about replicate that outdoor barbecue flavor inside too (you just can't recreate those classic scorch marks on your sausages!).

You don't need to have a fancy outdoor grill to cook up a storming barbecue feast. All you need is a grill pan and plenty of barbecue food to get started grilling inside your own home! Bookmark this handy guide to indoor grill for your next party!

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