BBQ all year: how to buy an indoor grill

Hard to let go of barbecue season when winter hits? Now, you don’t have to when an indoor grill lets you enjoy your favourite dishes all year round. Here’s what you need to know when looking to buy an indoor grill.

BBQ all year: how to buy an indoor grill

Types of indoor grills

Indoor grills are available in different styles:

Open grills: These grills are similar to an outdoor grill in that they have a single grilling plate. Food must be flipped over to be cooked on both sides. Open grills let you cook thicker pieces of meat and tend to feature larger grilling surfaces. Open grills are also typically lighter in weight compared to contact grills.

Contact grills: These electric grills feature a hinged top that closes over food. The dual grill plates — one on the top and bottom — cook both sides of your food simultaneously. Contact grills cook quickly and are available in compact sizes for meals for one or two people. The cover also works to eliminate splatter. Panini grills are a type of contact grill.

Grill pans: Also called rangetop grills or stovetop grills, grill pans fit over the burner on your electric or gas stove. They are a great choice for grilling when you have limited countertop space. Grill pans should never be used with glass cooktops.

Electric griddle: A type of open grill, electric griddles feature a smooth grilling plate as opposed to a ridged grilling surface. Griddles are a great choice for cooking bacon, eggs and pancakes. You can also cook meat and vegetables on electric griddles, but the food won’t have those appealing grill lines.

Raclette grill: This table-top electric grill, like a fondue set, is great for entertaining. It has a flat cooking surface and comes with individual raclette pans. It allows guests to gather together and grill their own small dishes.

Indoor electric grill features

  • Grill plates: Cooking surface that may be flat or grooved, made from cast iron or aluminum, and typically features a non-stick coating
  • Temperature control: Adjusts cooking temperature using a dial or digital display
  • Drip pan: Pan that catches grease drippings on an open grill
  • Grease tray: Contact models typically come with a grease tray that collects fat
  • Indicator light: Confirms surface has reached cooking temperature
  • Power switch: Turns the grill on and off

Indoor grill tips

  • Use non-metal utensils that won’t scratch cooking surfaces
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure meat is cooked to the correct temperatures
  • Add water to drip pan before use to reduce smoke

When buying an indoor grill, ensure the cooking surface size complements the number of people you want to feed. Look for higher-wattage models that can achieve hotter temperatures, with adjustable heat settings you can control. For quick and easy clean-up, find grills with removable, dishwasher safe plates.

Whether you’re a BBQ aficionado, love to entertain, or want an easy way to make healthy dishes for your family, indoor grills let you whip up great meals all season long.

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