Beef 101: Grilling indoors – yes you can

You know what they say … April showers bring May flowers! And as we stand on the brink of April 2014 we decided to review our best indoor “grilling” tips. To start, we’ll revisit a question asked by a Facebook fan:

If I’m forced into the kitchen with my steak due to rainy weather, what is the best way to get that fresh-off-the-grill taste? Is a grill pan the best choice?

Ribeye Steak with mushrooms and Sweet Potato Fries

We asked Dr. Phil, our resident meat scientist and expert butcher:

Great question! First and foremost, I reside in the upper Midwest and as a result I never let a little weather (i.e., thunderstorms, blazing humid heat, snowstorms, swarms of locusts, etc.) get in the way of my outdoor grilling. But in case you are forced indoors for some unforeseeable reason, there is still a way to get a great char on your steak. Some might recommend the broiler of your oven as a means, but as I have no idea how to even turn on our oven at home — let alone the broiler (I’m an all-weather grill guy, myself) — I like to recommend the use of a cast iron skillet with a grill grid in it.

There are many types of cast iron pans. I have a Lodge cast iron skillet at home, and it puts those beautiful grill marks on my steak. Just a word of caution: be sure to use the exhaust fan, because there will be a bit of smoke from your steak if your pan is hot enough. (Although who doesn’t mind a house that smells of charred steak!)

Also, be sure to read the care and use recommendations of your cast iron skillets. You don’t want to wreck the seasoned surface of the pan and caution: they’re not ideal on a glass cooktop. One other recommendation is to look into an indoor electric grill such as the Q series grills from Weber®. Happy grilling!

We’re not done with rainy day grilling tips!
On Wednesday we’ll be back with Chef Michael Ollier. He’ll offer cooking instructions, recipes and helpful tips for indoor grilling, pan-frying and broiling. We won’t let April showers stop you from makin’ steak!

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Jennifer Kiko

Jennifer lives on a rural route with her husband, kids, horses, cows and faithful Labs, Cash and Carter. She's an aspiring foodie and enjoys making good food for great friends. She lives next door to a winery, plays the piano, and admits to growing too many tomatoes.