Indoor grilling in a pinch

IMG_7513When we remodeled our kitchen, I got my dream range. Well, almost.

We picked out a six-burner Wolf range with a flat-top griddle, which I thought would come in handy for everything from pancakes to butterflied trout to fried rice.

We then promptly ordered the wrong oven. Maybe we looked at the wrong picture in the catalog or maybe we transposed some numbers on the order form, but we ended up receiving a six-burner range with an indoor grill.

Rather than wait another three months, we went with the grill. At first I used it for the sole purpose of heating a grilled pan we placed on top. But then one day when I didn’t feel like cleaning the two-week-old crud off the fancy grill on our back patio, I decided to give the inside jobber a test drive on some pork chops.

As you can see from the photo, this grill has been in heavy rotation since. I love the way it marks and chars whatever I’m grilling, and the way it puts a serious sear on lean meats (like chicken breasts and grass-fed ground beef for hamburgers), keeping them juicy. It’s my go to for roasting eggplants and peppers. I love cutting thin cross sections of zucchini and yellow squash, marking them briefly on the grill, then dressing them with vinaigrette. Best. Squash. Evah.

It’s a total mess whenever meats use thick marinades, and fatty steaks and sausages flare up so often that I stay away from them when I’m indoor grilling. There’s a plate you lay over the element for indirect heat, but it doesn’t really work.

The food never tastes as good as it does from my outdoor grill, and wood chips are of course a non-starter.

But on rainy nights, lazy nights, weekend nights when I have a package of grass-fed beef and some hamburger buns — I’m all over that grill.

You may now proceed to fling lump charcoal at me as I run for cover.

- by John Kessler  for the Food & More blog

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