The long, cold months of winter may have you longing for those summer nights when the smell of grilling around the neighborhood filled the air. There's no reason you can't create that in your own home--even on the coldest days! With a few solid tips, you can get great results from your indoor electric grill.
Choose the Right Equipment
Everyone's probably familiar with the countertop grill by the former boxer who shares a first name with his five sons, but there are dozens of models to choose from. When finding one for yourself, make sure to get one that's large enough to cook a full meal at once--while also considering storage space for a large appliance. Look for one with nonstick, removable plates so cleanup is easier. If you choose a closed model, look for one with an adjustable hinge to accommodate foods of different thicknesses.
Make sure you also have tongs and spatulas with silicone coating so you don't scratch a nonstick surface.
Choose the Right Foods
A tasty grilled meal starts with the right cut of meat. Be sure to choose lean, tender cuts that are meant for quick cooking. Try to find cuts that are uniform in size and thickness so they will cook evenly. Good choices include steaks, chicken breast, fish fillets, and chops.
Don't forget about the veggies! Asparagus, mushrooms, sliced potato, and zucchini are all great choices for indoor grilling.
Because you won't be getting that delicious smoky flavor from a charcoal grill, seasoning is key when grilling indoors. Along with a dash of salt, choose spices that will lend a smoky hand like smoked paprika and garlic powder, chipotle, and cumin. Mix seasonings directly into your burgers, or rub onto cuts of meat about 20 minutes before cooking. If you want to save on time, try barbecue sauce as a marinade.
For veggies, a splash of balsamic vinegar will deepen their flavors. While it's not exactly smoky, it's similar enough to give you the aroma you're looking for. You can also toss your veggies with vinegar as they come off the grill for a stronger flavor.
Avoid seasonings, rubs, and sauces that are too oily or fatty as they will cause a lot of smoke during cooking--definitely not what you're looking for indoors!
No matter what you're grilling, make sure to preheat well before you get started. If you're cooking fish or chicken, rub a tiny bit of oil directly on the meat to prevent sticking. Do not oil the grill directly or you might end up in smoke!
If you're a fan of pretty grill marks, arrange your food so it has good contact with the grill lines. Give meat a quarter-turn after a few minutes for a cross-hatch appearance. Place long veggies across the lines and turn frequently during cooking.
If you're using a closed grill, make sure to close the lid gently--do not apply pressure! Pressing down will only cause juices to run out of meats and vegetables leaving them dry and less flavorful.
Don't overcook your veggies. Most are best when they're warmed all the way through, but still have a bit of bite. Check your meats with an instant-read thermometer before removing from the grill to be sure it's cooked all the way through.
Good Food All Year Long
Enjoying delicious food all year long is easy once you know how to make the most of an indoor electric grill. If you ever have trouble with your kitchen appliances, call Mr. Appliance. We'll get you back to cooking in no time!