Newbie grilling can be a little tricky, especially because you don’t want to burn down your home just to devour your beloved grilled goodies. Then, there is always the spring season that forces you to confine your grilling within your studio apartment or flat.
No worries, though. If you want to enjoy your favorite meal, we’ve listed some of the best tips to simplify your meal preparation and cooking process. Simply take out your indoor grill, collect some fresh ingredients, and start the grilling.
1. Always work with a heavy pan
A pan becomes a very crucial part of the cooking process when grilling indoors. More so, because you have to place it directly on the charcoal or gas grill. Hence, you have to make sure that you use something that’s sturdy and heavy.
We would highly recommend opting for cast-iron since the material retains heat well and gets hot evenly. This can be particularly helpful to give your protein those coveted grill marks we all love too.
2. Season properly, and season some more
Bad-tasting or the lack of flavor is one of the main reasons for food wastage. After all, nobody wants to have something that tastes bland, right?
Your cast-iron pans should always be properly to ensure they impart as much flavor as possible to your food. Wondering how to do it? Start by scrubbing and drying your pan, melt things in it, then heat it, and proceed to cool it.
And that’s it! Your pan is now well-seasoned and ready to create some flavorful dishes.
3. Pan-sear your meat in the oven before grilling
Your main aim when grilling indoors should be to bring out the natural flavors of the ingredients. The best way to do this is to sear the meat in a pan before you add the protein in an oven grill. This will immediately recreate that burst of flavor which is common during outdoor grilling.
Add some oil in a cast-iron pan, along with the seasonings for this. Allow the pan to heat, and then fry the outer layer until the vegetables get lightly charred. This can be an excellent way to add more flavor to your grilled dishes.
4. Don’t try to trap the smoke
Expert grillers love cookout sessions for its exquisite chart and smoky flavor. But this flavor is impossible if you don’t create a little smoke. So if you don’t want to compromise on that smoky flavor, make sure you keep your kitchen windows and switch on all your fans before you turn on the flame.
The other alternative in case your apartment or flat isn’t adequately ventilated is to grill the meat inside the oven to contain some of the smoke.
Place one rack on the oven floor, and the grill pan on the rack. You’ll also have to preheat the oven to 500°F and give both the pan and the oven about 10 minutes to heat fully. You can then proceed to cook the items on the grill pan as you normally would, taking turns to shift its position halfway through cooking.
5. Apply fresh dry rub on the meat
During indoor grilling, it’s better to swap barbecue with a dry rub. Using barbecue will only smoke up your home as most sauces have high sugar content. You can substitute your traditional flavoring with a dry rub that not only tastes similar but even eliminates the hassle connected with barbecue sauces. Plus, you can always add your favorite sauces once your meat chunks are off the grill.
6. Don’t be afraid to get things oily
You should oil both sides of your grill, which includes the dry herbs that are commonly used for marinating meat.
Not using sufficient oil will only burn and make your dish icky. Now, the burnt and icky taste can only be good if you like that sort of taste, but if not, make sure everything is properly oiled.
7. Always preheat your grill
If you’re using an electric grill, make sure you preheat it at a fairly hot temperature. You should never add cold meat on a cold, though. This is also one of the most common mistakes that people who are trying grilling for the first time make.
Preheating the grill will help you cut down cooking time, allowing the meat to retain its moisture levels. This wouldn’t have been possible if your cooking surface heats up slowly along with the meat.
In addition to this, even improper heating of the pan isn’t good, since it can result in the meat to cook unevenly. Hence, make sure your electric grill is ready and seasoned before you place the meat on it.
About the author
Annabelle Carter Short is a NY-based food writer, blogger, and photographer. She loves cooking, sewing, creating recipes, and making healthy food that tastes delicious. She’s a mother of two.