How to Grill in the Oven
Sometimes, you want to grill. But what happens if your Grilla Grill is on its way, or you are spending time at a grill-less Airbnb during vacation? Not to worry because you can do a little grilling in the oven.
Though grilling indoors does not replicate the authentic flavors of outside grilling, it can have some tremendously delicious results. In fact, grilling in the house can be a good alternative if the weather is uncooperative for firing up the smoker outside.
1. Say Hello to Your Broiler
Most ovens have a broiler mode, allowing you to give your meats and veggies a little bit of hot, searing love. The broiler can be used for a variety of purposes, including to finish charring already cooked steaks, chicken breasts and sliced veggies. Broilers rely on the foods being very close to the hot coils or gas flames, so be sure to babysit your broiled goodies. Otherwise, you unintentionally can burn your favorite foods to a crisp.
2. Bring the Smoky Flavor to Your Foods
Although the broiler will give your foods a nice sear, you will not be able to get that charcoal, smoky flavor, right? Well, not exactly. Many seasonings and rubs are created to imitate the smokiness of a grilled recipe. The next time you head to your grocery store, check out the wall of spices and seasonings. Look for items that promise a hint of smoke. Buy one or two and do a few taste tests. The right blend of spices and faux smoke can enhance any grill-style recipe made in your oven.
Oh, and a word to the wise: More is not better when it comes to smoky seasonings. Go lightly or you might rue the day you dumped tons of smoked paprika on your chicken.
3. Bake Close to the Heat
Normally, baking in the oven involves finding the perfect spot away from the heat so foods do not cook too unevenly. However, if you have a very lean piece of meat or want to replicate the fast-and-furious style of grilling that can work with thin burgers and slices of veggies, you should move the oven rack accordingly.
Expect to conduct a few experiments to find out just how close is too close. Every oven has its own temperament and hot spots. The one trick to making this inside grilling technique work is to properly season your ingredients and then check them regularly. As with cooking in your broiler, food placed on baking sheets and then practically broiled near the heat source need TLC.
4. Faux Grill Using the Burners
You say you want some charring on your meat? Grab a heavy pan, coat your steak with a light smattering of olive oil, get the heavy pan nice and hot and sear away! It should only take a few minutes to smell smoke and get your meat crisp. Just be sure to open your windows and use your exhaust vent. Otherwise, your whole house will smell like the inside of a Grilla!
Basically, you have no excuse for not grilling, even when a traditional grill is nowhere in sight. Many grill recipes can be semi-duplicated in the oven with terrific results. When you can grill on an actual grill or smoker, though, make sure you have a Grilla.