How to 'Grill' Without a Grill This Memorial Day

The Cookie Cups

two girls eating grilled cheese - memorial day indoor grilling

Image credit: Monkey Business / Adobe Stock

You don’t need a grill to make delicious “grilled” food for your guests this Memorial Day! Wow your family and friends by creating mouth-watering summertime dishes indoors — perfect for entertaining in an apartment or home without an outdoor grilling space. Here’s how to do it.

Tip #1: Use your oven’s broiler

Did you know you could use your broiler to grill fish, meats, poultry and vegetables? Because of how quickly and efficiently a broiler cooks food, it’s able to make meat crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside — much like a grill would. This is because heat comes from the top of the oven and cooks the food at a higher temperature (500 F - 550 F).

Simply place your oven rack on the highest level, preheat the oven on the boiler setting, spray a pan with cooking oil and layer your food on it, then place it in the oven for perfect grilling! Just be sure to keep the door open a crack to prevent burning and flip the food halfway through.

Try this recipe: Broiled Vegetable Skewers

Tip #2: Get a ridged cast iron skillet

Cast iron skillets are popular cooking tools today — and for good reason. Using a cast iron skillet on your stovetop will ensure your food is cooked to perfection and full of flavor. Use a seasoned skillet for the best results, and be sure to heat the oil in it before adding food. Then, place your marinated meats and veggies on the skillet, and flip the food once halfway through so it’s evenly charred on both sides.

Try this recipe: Perfect Cast Iron Steak

Tip #3: Buy liquid smoke

Many people enjoy grilled food for its smoky flavor. Thankfully, this can be achieved without using a grill.

Liquid smoke, which can be found online or at a specialty culinary store, is made from condensed smoke and is filtered and concentrated, giving it a strong smoky flavor. You can brush it over meat before cooking it, but use it sparingly, as it can be overpowering. 

Try this recipe: Hot Blackberry BBQ Chicken Wings

Tip #4: Grab your crock pot

Many types of meats do well in crock pots — especially if you’re seeking a BBQ flavor. For example, pork shoulders, pulled pork briskets and chicken thighs taste delicious after slow-cooking in a crock pot for hours.

All you have to do is add all your ingredients to the crock pot, including any sauce, seasoning, etc. and cook on low heat overnight or throughout the day, depending on when you’ll be eating/serving it. 

Try this recipe: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Tip #5: Utilize smoky meats and/or ingredients

Sometimes, it’s all about the seasonings and ingredients. Simply choosing a smoky meat or special spices or sauces can give you that naturally-grilled flavor. Whether you sprinkle them directly onto the meat or marinade the meat overnight, you can yield similar results to those you would get from grilling. Create and use your seasonings or marinade, then cook your meat in one of the above ways (e.g. broiling, using a cast iron skillet, throwing it in the crock pot, etc.), and you’ll enjoy a delicious grilled flavor.

Try this recipe: Sweet and Smoky Homemade BBQ Sauce

Hosting a BBQ this Memorial Day weekend? Be sure to pick up some desserts from The Cookie Cups to finish your celebration strong!

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