Shortly after I moved to New York City, I had to accept that I’d be breaking up with outdoor grilling. I received a ticket for grilling on a fire escape (I didn’t know, I swear!) and learned that it’s almost impossible to own a grill in the city, unless you have ample outdoor space and don’t live in Manhattan. As a result, I’ve taken particular interest in indoor grilling and even filmed an entire episode of Kelsey’s Essentials on the idea. With minimal equipment and some clever ingredients, you can grill dishes indoors that will be easy, quick and mess-free — and will mimic some of those flavors you associate with only the great outdoors.
My 3 Essentials for Indoor Grilling:
Tip: A good vent or fan above your stove will keep your kitchen cool and smoke-free, even when you’re grilling inside. It will also decrease the chances of having to fuss with the smoke alarm.
Tool: Invest in a cast-iron grill pan that can get smokin’ hot. This will give you both the grill marks and the hard-seared flavor you get on an outdoor grill. A reversible grill/griddle is a great piece to have — it can serve two purposes and is easy to store. And the more you use your cast-iron grill pan for indoor grilling, the better it will get, as it improves with every use.
Technique: Focus on working with ingredients that mimic the smoky flavors you achieve while grilling. Incorporating smoked paprika, chipotle powder or bacon can give you some of the authentic flavors you’re after. For a stronger kick, a little natural liquid smoke (used sparingly) can give your food that grill-kissed taste; it is made from burned mesquite and applewood and can usually be found in the grocery store, right next to the barbecue sauces.
To put your indoor grilling skills to use, consider making my Cumin-Scented Oven-Baked Ribs, Charred Corn Salad with Basil Vinaigrette or Tangy Maple Baked Beans with Applewood Smoked Bacon.
Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes posts from Kelsey Nixon every Wednesday, and tune in to new episodes of Kelsey’s Essentials every Wednesday at 8pm ET on Cooking Channel. Find all the recipes from Kelsey’s Essentials here.