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March 16, 2022 4 min read


While we all want to whip up beautifully charred steaks on a regular basis, some of us are at a disadvantage because of our small apartments, lack of yard, or lack of cash, leaving us grill-less and hungry.

The good news is that you don't need a grill to barbecue—the appropriate tools and tips can help you make grill-quality burgers, steaks, chicken breasts, and more without ever leaving your kitchen, and they'll taste just as wonderful as food that is cooked on the grill.

No grill? No worries. We got you. You'll be sure to dazzle your guests at your next barbecue with these tips and tricks, and you'll be able to do it all from the comfort of your own home.


No-Grill Grilling Tips


1) Broil Pan


Broiling Pan with fish

Credit: Taste of Home


The broil option on your oven can be used to grill fish, meats, poultry, and vegetables. The broiler cooks food quickly, similar to a grill, resulting in meats and chicken that are crispy on the exterior and tender and juicy on the inside. Invest in a broiler pan if your oven does not come with one. A cast-iron grill pan with ridges is a wonderful choice since it allows excess fat to drop down and into the pan's bottom. Allow the oven door to remain slightly ajar while broiling, and check the food often to ensure it does not burn. Remove the pan from the heat and flip the meal halfway through.


2) Smoky Spices


To imitate a grilled flavor, buy smoky seasoning and use it to season your meat. Toss meats and seafood with smoked salt or smoked paprika, or drizzle veggies with smoked olive oil.

Also available is liquid smoke, which is usually a good choice. Use it sparingly to avoid meals tasting as they came straight from an ashtray. All this will provide a smokiness to the dish.


3) Cast-Iron Skillet/Grill Pan


Cast Iron Skillet with food

Credit: Epicurious


Even though a cast-iron skillet used on the stovetop won't provide the same level of smokiness as a grill, it can produce flavorful results. To sear flawlessly looking grill-marks on your meats and vegetables, use cast-iron grill pans with ridges. Remember to season your cast-iron skillet. The more your cast iron pan is seasoned, the better. Foods that have been cooked in a well-seasoned cast-iron pan have a flavor that is similar to that of an outdoor charcoal grill.


4) Indoor Grill


An electric indoor grill is one of the simplest methods to have a BBQ without a grill. There's no need for a burner, oven, or specific pan. Simply plug the grill in!

There are numerous options available, regardless of your budget. Some are smokeless or feature a closing cover. Others have the look of an open-concept outside barbeque. Some even have removable plates that make cleaning a breeze. Another advantage of indoor grills is that the heat and temperature can be readily adjusted and monitored.


5) Crock-Pot


Crock Pot with stew

Credit: Crock Pot


While your crock-pot will not produce grill marks, it can be used to prepare BBQ-style dishes. With the help of a crock-pot, you can make BBQ pulled chicken or pork, or a slow-cooked brisket. If you don't have a grill and want to host a barbeque, serve this dish with buns and some yummy side dishes. No one will even ask where the grilled food is. After all, who doesn't love some pulled pork and brisket?


6) Bring Out the Barbecue Sauce


Smoky barbecue sauce will give you that smoky flavor that you're looking for. Slather it on ribs, poultry, plant-based proteins, or even burgers and your guests will feel like you've been cooking outside even though you've been inside the entire time.


7) Indoor Smoker


Indoor Smoker with meat grilling

Credit: itrush


Consider creating your own indoor smoker to create dishes right in your kitchen if you're seeking a novel way to grill without a grill. Line the inside of a large aluminum pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fill the inside with a layer of hardwood chips. To allow the smoke to escape, poke small holes in the foil. Cover the wood chips with a second layer of foil. On top of the foil, place a wire rack and place the food of your choice on the rack. Cover the top of the pan with more foil and then, over medium-high heat, place the entire pan on the stove and smoke for a minute or so.


8) It’s Better With Bacon


Bacon helps improve the smokiness of other dishes. It may feel like cheating, and it's not exactly the same as authentic grilled flavor, but bacon does help boost the smokiness of other foods. Sprinkle a little bit in almost anything as long as none of your guests object.


9) Panini Press


Panini Press with paninis

Credit: Food and Wine Magazine


In any summer grilling frenzies where you don't have access to a grill, a panini press or contact grill might be worth busting out. Try it next time you're craving satay or skewers

Even though the ridges aren't as deep as those on grill pans, and the heat isn't as intense and comes from both sides, the panini press can still be used as a substitute. Before adding any food, remember to let it preheat for at least 10 minutes.


10) Culinary Torch


Maybe you have one of these lying around from that time you tried to create creme brulée, or maybe you enjoy creating s'mores at home. In either case, a kitchen torch is easier to regulate than a broiler for blackening food in a concentrated manner, and it may help you achieve the same pockets of charred flavor that you would on the grill, especially when it comes to veggies like peppers and corn.

 No-Grill Grilling Tips




So there you have it. Our tips for grilling when you don't have a grill. While there are a few ways to make it look like you grilled your food, the texture and flavor of grilled food can't always be duplicated without one. Combine a few of our suggestions and let us know what you think!


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