We all crave a good barbecue every once in a while. Barbecues can be a lot of fun, especially when you choose to take your barbecue activities outside where the sun shines and the games begin. But we have to be honest here. We cannot expect gorgeous, sunny views that are perfect for our barbecue days all the time. There are times that you crave a good grilled meal, but cannot bring yourself to go outside and barbecue because you maybe don’t have a barbecue grille or the weather is just absolutely horrible and forces you to keep yourself confined in the indoors. The best thing about grilling is that even though it is most enjoyable when it is done outside, it doesn’t always have to be done outside. You do not have to keep yourself from enjoying a grilled meal during the winter and pine for the days where summer can return again and you can bring yourself out to grill up your favorite foods. Even if it is absolutely pouring outside or you are in the midst of a heavy snow blizzard, you can still enjoy amazing grilled food that tastes like it came straight from your grill outdoors! Don’t confine yourself! Let those grilling techniques shine even in the dreariest of weathers or other predicaments. Get some hacks and tips to pull together the ultimate grill fest in the comfort of your own kitchen!
The Man Himself Speaks to Impart Some Indoor Grilling Tips
These hacks that I am about to serve to you (pardon the pun) on how to keep the festivities going even when you are indoors, come from the master man himself known as Bobby Flay. These hacks and tips of preserving those delicious barbecue flavors even when you stay in the comfort of your own kitchen are all approved by Bobby Flay himself in his book Bobby Flay’s Barbecue Addiction. I mean since he knows the deal on food and grills, you know these tips will be of serious help to you!
You Indoor Grilling Pan?
No fancy grills bought from the store needed here! You totally do not need to invest in those fancy, techy grill devices that mimic a full-on grill in order to achieve grilling perfection indoors. Instead, Bobby Flay states that all you need is a cast-iron grill pan. Cast iron is infamous for holding heat extremely well and it can still give off those wonderful ridges on your food that everyone loves to see (I mean no lie it makes your food look ten times more delicious).
Make Sure You Have These Essentials Ready to Go
Flay states that when it comes to grilling well in the comfort of your own home, you honestly do not need to go overboard. Only a few essentials are needed to keep your indoor grilling on the same level as the grilling done outside. His must-haves for a perfect indoor barbecue feast include tongs to flip up various meats like steaks, chicken, shellfish, and vegetables, a heavy-duty spatula for the purpose of flipping your burgers or very soft and delicate fish filets, pastry brushes that can brush oil, glazes, or various marinades and barbecue sauces, a heavy duty grill brush for the purpose of keeping your grill clean, as well as canola or vegetable oil (these are oils that are known to be neutral since they do not add any extra flavors or contain a very high smoking point).
Get the Grilling Started
To start up your indoor grill experience, we must start up with some light preparation. It is first incredibly important that you pre-season your cast-iron grill pan very well. This means that you should begin by preheating your oven to up to 375 degrees and then proceed to rub up some canola or vegetable oil liberally over the pan with either a clean cloth or paper towel. Then proceed to place your pan into the oven and leave it in there for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes have passed, turn the heat off, but do not take the pan out. Instead let it cool completely in the oven. It is important to note that after this step has been completed, it is advised that you don’t ever oil up your pan. Instead oil the food only. Heat the pan over high heat and wait until it begins to smoke. Brush all meats and veggies with oil and the desired seasonings and then grill according to whatever recipe you have chosen!
How to Get Those Grill Marks Going
I think that when it comes to a good grilled meal, everyone absolutely loves seeing those infamous grill lines decorating the meat and veggies. It just makes the whole meal look that much more professional and delicious. Don’t worry that by choosing to grill indoors that you would have to skip out on having such grill marks on your food. You can still get professional style grill marks indoors that will be worthy enough of many different social media pictures. The best part is that they are actually a lot easier to pull off then you would think. First begin by placing all food on the grill pan at about a 45 degree-angle to the ridges on the pan. Let them sit there for about 2 to 3 minutes. Then pick up every piece of meat and veggies and rotate them to 90 degrees, placing them the same side down on the grill pan. This allows them to now run at a 45 degree-angle to the ridges but in the opposite direction this time. Allow them to continue grilling for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. When it becomes time to turn the food, flip them over and voila! Instant grill marks ready to go and the best part is you do not need to repeat this on the other side of the veggies or meat because you will simply keep the non-grill mark side face down on the plate!
Smoke Out Your Smoke Concerns
One of the main concerns that is rightfully associated with grilling indoors is the fear of producing so much smoke that you accidentally set your smoke alarm off. The indoors is not like the outdoors where you can produce a lot of smoke and be okay with it. You have to be very wary that when grilling away in your kitchen that you proceed to not do anything that can cause too much smoke to be produced and infiltrate your smoke system or fire alarm. In order to keep your smoke levels down it is recommended that you attempt to not over-oil or over-sauce any of your foods. In addition, avoid the habit of pressing your foods down in order to squeeze out the juices from within. This ends up not only drying your food out immensely, but also causes the foods to burn a lot more quickly and produce a lot more smoke.
Don’t Mess Around
I admit to this bad habit. As a novice griller (or even just cook in general), I have this bad habit of playing around with my food by pressing it down constantly or flipping it over and over again. The habit of flipping your food constantly actually does a lot of harm to your meats. It causes it to fall apart and cook unevenly. So, don’t do this mistake and stick to letting it cook for a while on whatever side the meat is currently on. Normally recipes should specify how long you are going to cook the meat on one side before flipping it over, so follow that and do not attempt to flip before the time is up!
Be Aware of the Marinades You Use
I know that marinades are stressed as so important for a very flavorful piece of meat. This is very much true, yet it is advisable that when marinating your own foods, you don’t go overboard with the length of time that you choose to marinade your meat for. The reason for this is because marinades tend to be very acidic due to the ingredients within them such as wine, citrus juice, and vinegar. If the meat is exposed to such acidic ingredients for a long amount of time than the flesh of the meat typically begins to break down and cause it to be very tough. You should be very wary about marinating leaner cuts of meat (boneless, skinless chicken breast or pork tenderloin) for more than 2 hours. Also, be sure to marinate fish fillets for only 20 minutes!
Where to Get that Woodsy, Smoky Flavor?
Flay admits that it is actually incredibly hard to reach that very familiar woodsy, smoky, and charcoal flavor that comes naturally from grilling outdoors with grills that utilize hardwood charcoal, in this case, it can be the most significant disadvantage to indoor grilling, because a majority of people tend to crave grilled meats because of that specific flavor. Nonetheless, there are ways that you can replicate those flavors to the best of your ability by using a variety of barbecue sauce recipes and glazes to achieve a similar flavor. You can research various ingredients that you can incorporate in a sauce or rub so that you can get a very familiar smoky taste to the one that you experience with outdoor grilling.
Know the Meats that Are Not Manageable Indoors
Another setback to indoor grilling may be the limited ability to cook a variety of meats. You cannot choose any kind of meat that you want and then attempt to cook it in an indoor setting. Somemeats are simply too thick for that or produce too much smoke for you to be able to cook them properly in the kitchen (without setting the fire alarm off quite frequently). With this knowledge and understanding, Bobby Flay recommends that if you are going to indoor grill stick to burgers, steaks, fish fillets, shrimp, hot dogs, and boneless chicken breasts. Avoid any thick meats such as pork shoulders, prime ribs, whole chicken or turkeys. In addition, also avoid any fatty meats as that will contribute greatly to smoke!
Check Your Temperature!
When indoor grilling your meats and veggies, you need to have an understanding of when your meats are ready to go! I would invest in an instant-read thermometer so that you can accurately gage the internal temperature of the meats. The USDA has set guidelines that medium rare steaks and lamb chops should have an internal temperature read at 150 degrees while medium-well chicken breasts and turkey breasts should fall at about 170 degrees.
The Last Important Step that Bobby Flay Mentions!
You need to really rest your meat up before serving. It is advisable that after the meat has been removed from the pan, that you place it in foil and let it rest inside for about 5 to 10 minutes before you allow yourself to slice it up. The resting period is crucial in allowing the temperature to increase by about 5 degrees and allows the juices to redistribute. This allows for a juicy and moist piece of meat or fish.
With these simple steps laid out right in front of you, you are now ready to master and conquer the art of creating a great outdoor grilling taste in the comfort of your own home. Don’t let the bad weather or lack of a backyard stop you from enjoying everything that grilled food can offer you. With some changes made to some of the traditional steps of outdoor grilling, you can easily affect a delicious, grilled meat during the coldest of winter days or even during the hottest summers where you are too lazy to get outside. No matter the deal, indoor grilling is one awesome alternative for you. So, give it a try and see if it lives up to your expectations! You really can’t go wrong with these simple steps and the possibilities of grilled meals that you can try out can keep a dinner menu going for a solid week. So, get in the kitchen and give your indoor grilling skills a test!