5 Ways to Grill in Your Tiny Kitchen

Public park grills are in high demand all summer long, and outdoor space is a rare commodity for city dwellers. Fortunately, with the right preparation, indoor grilling is a real possibility.

Bringing the party indoors is less cumbersome than it sounds and can be a fun challenge for the adventurous types. Below, find tips to throw your first successful indoor BBQ and leave your guests wondering how you made it all happen.

Play it safe

It goes without saying that there are some safety precautions to consider when planning to grill indoors. The first of which is understanding that the tools for an indoor BBQ are completely different than for an outdoor grilling session, where there is often plenty of space and open air. It is never advisable to bring a grill meant for outdoors inside. Grilling indoors means getting creative with none other than the kitchen stove and opening any and all windows head of time to maximize the airflow.

Gather the right tools

The most worthwhile investment is the standard grill pan. Look for one made of cast iron and featuring deep ridges (these will make the grill marks!). A decent one will be priced around $30. A pastry brush will also be needed for the seasoning of all food items before they are placed on the grill pan so that the grill pan itself can remain oil free. Start with the clean grill pan on high heat and wait for it to get really hot.

Prep food intelligently

Take care to make sure all foods to be grilled are fully dried of any exterior moisture, especially vegetables. Everything can then be lightly coated in olive oil and seasoned. Any fresh herbs or seasoning items like garlic or onions should also be coated in olive oil so they are less likely to burn. The smokey flavor typically associated with the outdoor BBQ is near impossible to achieve indoors, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be faked. Many seasonings, sauces or rubs are available in a “smoked” variety, such as applewood smoked sea salt and smoked ground black pepper. Although the flavor will be slightly different, this step will add to that grilled taste. Once everything is seasoned, place it on the grill plan and turn the heat down to medium.

Avoid smoke

Since the seasonings and sauces will provide the smokey flavor, there is no need for actual smoke. Unless an indoor space is extremely well ventilated, it’s important to keep smoke to a minimum. (After all,smoke in a confined indoor space is likely to linger on clothing and furniture fabrics, and can even cause damage.) This can be achieved by using a minimal amount of oil and sauce, and leaving meat to cook without ever pressing down on it, causing it to loose some of its juice. The smoke produced from cooking indoors is not going to mimic the smoky flavor from an outdoor BBQ anyway, so it’s best to take the steps to avoid it. 

Add final touches

For grilled meats, obtaining the grill cross hatches are going to be the finishing touch that sets a meal over the top. This can be done very easily by rotating meats at 45 degrees every few minutes. Aside from this, try not to move or check on the meat too much. Grab a few wooden skewers to stack lightly charred veggies for the perfect shish kebab, and toast the hamburger and hotdog buns to give the meal a more finished look.

With the right planning, a very legit BBQ menu can be created directly at the stove and enjoyed from the comfort of even the smallest apartment.

Amy Hillock is a freelance writer and an executive producer at production company ASSEMBLY9 in New York City. She enjoys leading workplace wellness yoga in offices around Manhattan through YogaWithAim, and spending recklessly on travel plans, green juice and new Nikes. Follow her (mostly) healthy pursuits on Instagram and Twitter.