Just because you live in an apartment, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the great taste outdoor grill. Follow our tips and you can bring the backyard cookout indoors, whatever the weather:
1. Get a Good Grill Pan
Go for a heavy cast iron pan. Cast iron retains heat really well and gives your food the grill marks you want.
2. Be Prepared
Make sure to pre-season your grill in advance of your first indoor grill. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, apply a generous layer of canola or vegetable oil to the pan with a paper towel and place the pan in the oven for half an hour. Then turn off the heat and leave the pan in the oven until it is completely cold.
When using the grill, oil the food, NOT the pan. Heat the pan over a high heat until it starts smoking, then grill the pre-oiled food according to the recipe
3. Crosshatch with Ease
Want those restaurant-grade grill marks? It’s easy! Grill the food at a 45-degree angle to the ridges for roughly 4 minutes, then rotate each piece 90 degrees, and grill so the ridges now run at a 45-degree angle in the opposite direction. Cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Cook the other side of the food as normal, as it won’t be visible on the plate.
To reduce smoke levels, go easy on the oil and sauce and don’t press the food down to squeeze out the juices. This just makes the food dry out and more likely to burn.
5. Leave It Alone
Be patient: Flipping the food too early can cause it to cook unevenly or even disintegrate.
6. Fake It
It’s hard to get that smoky flavor from an indoor grill pan, but you can purchase or make smoky-flavored sauces, glazes, and spice rubs to give food added interest.
7. Make the Right Choice
The best foods for grilling indoors are steaks, boneless chicken breasts, burgers, hot dogs, fish fillets, and shrimp. Fatty meats such as duck can lead to messy splashes and lots of smoke. Also avoid large cuts of meats like whole poultry or pork shoulders.
8. Healthy Temperature
A cheap, instant-read thermometer is the best tool for accurately judging whether meat is cooked. The USDA recommends temperatures of 150 degrees for medium-rare steaks and lamb chops up to 170 degrees for medium-well chicken and turkey breasts.
Not for you, but for your meat! Remove meat from the grill pan when it is about 5 degrees below the target internal temperature, then loosely cover with foil and leave for up to 15 minutes before slicing. The temperature will rise about 5 degrees in that time, allowing the juices to redistribute and produce a juicy and delicious piece of meat.