Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Weapon of Choice: Indoor Grilling

My sister checked in with me the other day and was interested in my opinion of indoor electric grills. I told her I was not a fan of electric grills because they just don't get hot enough for grilling and, because of how they are constructed, they tend not to heat evenly.

450ºF is about the best you are going to get out of an electric grill. To properly sear meat, you should always shoot for north of 550ºF. And that's pretty simple to do if you have the right tools. As in cast iron pans.

If you have a gas stove, I recommend you get a Lodge cast iron grill pan. It costs $45 and at 20 inches by 10.44 inches, it fits perfectly across 2 burners. With two burners firing up the cast iron, you will have no problem getting north of 550º to put a fabulous sear on your steak.

If you have an electric stove top, you'll have to make two purchases...but that can be done for less than $80. Again, the answer is a Lodge cast iron grill pan. But this is a 10.5 inch square pan. Cast iron is legendary for it's ability to retain heat and there is no drop in temperature when you put meat in it. But because your electric stovetop cannot get you north of 550ºF, you'll have to make an additional purchase.

Pictured above is a Nuwave induction cooktop. It creates high heat thanks to it's magnetic heating element. It requires that your cookware be magnetic as well, which fortunately cast iron is. This induction cook plate sells for $69 and is capable of heating the Lodge grill pan up to 575ºF.

If you're like me, there's no way I'm going out on my deck to grill during Minnesota winters. But it's a breeze to grill indoors if you have the right tools. And those tools don't cost much. All the items I have shown here are available at And if you're going to grill indoors, I have two tips that will guarantee you a great grilling session. First, always bring the meat to room temperature before grilling. Second, you want to put a nice coating of oil on the meat...not in the pan.