Grilling is one of the most embraced methods of cooking. However, food lovers who don’t own a typical grill tend to cook their favorite recipes on a grill pan and stovetop. Grilled foods are tasty and have a unique flavor.
Can I grill without a grill pan? Or what are the alternatives to a grill pan? There are several other ways of cooking, such as cooking on electric grills and using smoky flavors that act as alternatives for grill pans. This article explores answers to the above two questions. Therefore, if that is your concern, this article is for you.
Alternatives/ Substitutes for a Grill Pan
Here are some of the alternatives you might consider instead of a grill pan and an electric stove. Some are good as a grill pan and even better.
An electric grill is among the best alternative for a grill pan. Why? It has a similar cooking surface to a grill pan, i.e., raised ridges that make char marks on grilled foods. However, unlike a grill pan that requires heating from a stovetop, electric grills have a heating element located below the cooking surface.
The process of cooking on an electric grill is simple yet more effective. All you need to do is to preheat your electric grill and place your foods for cooking. Then monitor how your food cooks and ensure the proper internal temperature. Also, flip your food to cook on both sides. Finally, remove it from the grill. It’s that easy.
Another benefit of electric grills is how easily you can control the temperatures while cooking. Also, it allows you to grill indoors. Electric grills will cook anything that goes on a grill pan.
Another alternative for grill pans is a conventional outdoor grill. It can be a gas or charcoal grill. Usually, most people turn to grill pans and indoor electric grills when they cannot grill outdoors due to reasons such as:
- Lack of adequate space (backyard)
- They reside in apartments
- Strict rules and regulations
Outdoor grills are the best choice when you want to achieve an authentic smoky flavor in grilled foods. However, unlike a grill pan that cooks using indirect heat, these grills use direct heat. Therefore, they require you to be keen on maintaining the right temperatures.
Almost all foods cooked on a grill pan can be cooked on an outdoor grill.
Also, check out another on how you can grill without charcoal
Your oven can do more than you think. A broiler is one part that can take the place of a grill pan while cooking. A grill pan cooks foods over its surface that conducts heat from below. A broiler grills your foods from above. It’s more of an upside-down grill technique.
How do I use a broiler to grill? Place your food on a broiler plate and adjust the rack about 5 to 9 inches away from your oven's heating element. Also, leave the oven door slightly open and flip the food frequently to avoid burning it.
You won’t get black grill marks like those of a grill pan, but your food will be well charred. Also, you don’t get a smoky flavor and hickory salt. However, you can always season your foods using ingredients such as smoky paprika to enhance the flavor.
This particular cooking method is best for medium-sized steaks, vegetables, grilled cheese, sausages, etc.
If you don’t have a grill pan and any other of the above three things, worry no more. An indoor smoker will do an incredible job. However, it doesn’t necessarily grill foods like a typical grill, or outdoor smoker would do.
Indoor smokers are special equipment that heats wood chips and generates smoke. Food is placed on a rack that is placed in the smoker. The foods will gradually absorb the smoky flavor. However, there is a smaller version of an indoor smoker with an outlet (pipe) that directs smoke to a cooking pot or pan with food. It requires you to cover the top of the pan/pot with a lid for some minutes to allow food to absorb the smoke.
Indoor smokers are electric-powered, thus safe to use in your kitchen. It only needs you to ensure your house is well ventilated: open the windows and curtain to avoid smoke accumulating all over.
Above are four alternatives for grilling pans and electric stoves. Indoor electric grills and outdoor grills tend to give incredible results of grilled foods. However, a broiler and indoor smokers also get the job done. Additionally, seasoning your foods with smoky ingredients is a good way of getting smoky flavors in your foods.
Among other methods of grilling foods without a grill or a grill pan include using a culinary torch and a crockpot.