Host a BBQ Party—Indoors!
Everyone loves a great BBQ!
The food, the fun, the atmosphere—it’s a perfect setup for a memorable party. But what if it’s December and you’re grilling indoors?
Whether it’s a family reunion or a tailgate before the big game, grilling is fun, easy and laid-back—outdoors or indoors. But, if you’re grilling and moving the party indoors, a little preparation will go a long way.
Organization is the key to success
As with any meal or party, organizing in advance will help keep things running smoothly. An indoor barbecue, however, may take a little more forethought than a traditional outdoors one. Typically, cooking out in your backyard allows you to spread out while preparing and serving the food:
- You have your counter tops for chopping.
- The table that attaches to your grill for holding foods as they transfer on and off the grill.
- Serving tables for displaying the cooked food.
- And, your stovetop and oven to help keep foods warm if some items are finished before others.
When you move the grilling—and the party—indoors, though, you lose a lot of the prep space you’re accustomed to having. If you have an electric indoor grill, you lose a portion of your counter tops. A grilling pan will free up your surfaces for preparing food, but it will also take up at least one, if not two, of the burners on your stovetop.
So, before you start cooking, be sure you not only have all the ingredients you need, but have also figured out how you are going to flow through the kitchen as you cook.
Know the cooking differences
Since you use different equipment when you grill indoors, it makes sense that there are slightly different things to keep in mind. Unlike when you grill outdoors, you need to be more conscious of the amount of fat or grease in the meats you have chosen to prepare. Burning fat creates a lot of smoke—which you don’t want inside your home. So, choose meats that are less fatty or trim excess fat from the cuts you’ve selected.
Once you’ve prepared your meat, let your electric grill preheat for at least 10 minutes so it will be hot enough to sear the food. Searing is important because it traps the juices on the inside of your meat as it then cooks more slowly. After the grill has been preheated and you’ve tossed the food on it, stay nearby to monitor.
If you need to move on to prepare another component of dinner, recruit a friend or partner to watch over the grill. Since indoor grills can reach extremely high temperatures, the food typically cooks faster inside than it does outside.
Add that coveted smoky flavor
One of the most definitive characteristics of outdoor grilling is the hint of smoke that is found in the flavoring of the food. Obviously, you want to keep the amount of smoke you create to a minimum while grilling indoors, but there are ways to achieve a similar smoky flavor indoors.
- Dark beer. Make a marinade or broth with a good porter or stout for dressing the meat can add a great new range of flavors to the food.
- Liquid smoke. It may surprise you, but this product is an all-natural smoke flavoring. Real hardwood is smoldered and liquid from the process is captured and filtered before being bottled. You’ll get authentic smoky flavor without having to send up a whole cloud of it in your kitchen.
- Molasses. This is used in a lot of barbecue sauces because it has a deep, earthy flavor. Adding some molasses to your meat before grilling it will add a nice hint of smoke, recreating the barbecue flavor you’re trying to achieve indoors.
Set the mood
To keep your indoor barbecue from feeling like a regular dinner, set a fun mood that creates a care-free, outdoor atmosphere. Use your table as a congregating area for food, rather than for a formal sit down dinner. Allow people to move freely throughout the house, socializing as if they were outdoors. Be sure to also put on your favorite barbecue playlist so that the music will help rouse the energy and fun of an outdoor party inside the house. And throw on the Big Game on any available TV.
Enjoy life’s natural pleasures!
4 nectarines cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 lemon cut in half
1 pound red raspberries fresh or frozen
1 gallon peach ice cream
1/8 cup vegetable oil
Preheat grill to high.
Brush the nectarine slices with oil.
Sprinkle the nectarines with sugar and drizzle with lemon juice.
Place on the grill for 2-3 minutes per side.
To make the raspberry sauce add raspberries, juice from half a lemon, and 1/2 cup sugar into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer making sure the sugar is dissolved.
Strain the sauce through a fine mesh sieve.
Serve the grilled nectarines with scoops of ice cream and drizzled the raspberry sauce.
1 pound lean ground beef
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon ground pepper
1/3 cup water
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 cup chili sauce
1 small jar jelly (grape works well, but any flavor will suffice)
Combine jelly and chili sauce in a saucepan and simmer stirring occasionally. Let sauce cool.
Fully cook and drain the ground beef. Set aside.
Add fully cooked ground beef to the mixture and using hands mix until ingredients are combined.
Preheat your grill to a medium-high setting.
Open grilling basket and spray with a non-stick cooking spray. Form meatballs from mixture and load each into a compartment on the basket. Close the basket.
Place basket on grill. Baste meatballs thoroughly with cooked sauce. Close grill top and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, basting as necessary. Open grill top and turn basket. Baste and continue to cook for another 7 to 8 minutes.
Remove basket from grill. Use caution when opening basket lid as surface may be hot. Remove meatballs and serve with toothpicks, over rice or in a submarine roll.
Quick and easy grilled steak flavored with salt and pepper!
Two 8-ounce steaks, such as hangar, rib eye, or culotte
freshly ground black pepper
Pommes frites (French fries) are the perfect accompaniment to this quick and easy grilled steak. (See following recipe.)
Preheat an indoor electric grill on high according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Place the steak on the heated surface and grill about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. Cooking time will also depend on the thickness of the steak.
Transfer the steak to a carving board, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. To serve, cut the steak against the grain into thin slices and arrange on warm plates. Serves 2.
2 (about 1 pound) russet potatoes, peeled
4 quarts peanut oil
Using a French fry cutter, cut the ends off each end of the potato to fit inside the cutter. Pressing down on the handle, push the potatoes through the cutter blade.
Rinse the cut potatoes in a large bowl under cold running water until the water turns clear. Cover with ice water and refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day in advance.
Heat the peanut oil in an electric deep fryer to 325 F according to manufacturer’s instructions. Line a baking sheet with a brown paper grocery bag. Have another brown bag ready for later use.
Pour off the ice water and thoroughly dry the potatoes in a clean kitchen towel. Place the potatoes into the fryer basket and immerse in the hot oil. Fry the potatoes until they are softened throughout and a light golden brown, but not too crispy, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the basket from the oil and let any excess oil drain back into the fryer. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking sheet.
Increase the heat on the electric deep fryer to 375 F.
After temperature is reached, place the potatoes back into the fryer basket and immerse into the heated oil. Discard the first brown bag and replace with the second brown paper bag. Fry potatoes, shaking the fryer basket occasionally, until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the fries from the hot oil to the brown paper bag and let drain. Immediately season the fries to taste with salt. Serves 2.
Coleslaw gains interest with variety of cabbage!
1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
1 seedless cucumber, cut in 1/2-inch dice
2 carrots, julienned
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, sugar, celery seed, and salt. Reserve.
In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cabbages, cucumber, carrots, and red pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat evenly. Serve. Serves 8.
1 handful fresh cilantro
1-2 mild green chiles, to taste
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 skinless boneless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1-1/2 limes
4 fresh cilantro sprigs, to serve
First, make the salsa. Finely dice the tomatoes, removing the cores and the seeds, and finely chop the shallots and cilantro. Cut the chiles lengthways in half and scrape out the seeds; then dice the flesh very finely. Peel and stone the mango and cut the flesh into small dice. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with the lime juice and season with salt and black pepper. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Heat a ridged cast iron grill pan until very hot. Rub the chicken pieces with 2 tablespoons of the oil and season with black pepper. Place the chicken on the pan and chargrill for 10 to 15 minutes or until cooked through, turn only once.
Transfer the chicken to warm plates and season well. Add the remaining oil and the lime juice to the pan and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to mix with any pan juices.
To serve: Pour the juices over the chicken and garnish with cilantro sprigs. Serve immediately with salsa spooned alongside. Makes 6 servings.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Yann Barraud and Wusthof.