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ISO indoor, electric grille that puts out enough heat to actually grill meat

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We have a second home that has no balcony for cooking out and neither the ground floor nor roof are available. When we go it's generally for several weeks at a time and it's in the tropics so we really miss being able to grill. We do have a huge window in our laundry area where we could place an electric grill and any smoke could be pulled right out. The only thing I've seen so far is by All-Clad and cost $300! I just can't seem to get my brain around spending that much. $200, perhaps; $300 just hurts. It has a maximum temp of 480 and other things that appeal, but mostly just the heat. Is anyone aware of any other brand that you like? Only electric will work. No propane or charcoal. Any recs would really be appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. Delonghi makes one: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/419704
    Can't personally vouch for it as I don't own one.

    1. Since you're not getting any benefit of real grilling why not just a stove-top grill pan? Just as good, and better if you have a gas stove.

      5 Replies
      1. re: ferret

        I'm not sure what you mean about not getting the benefit of "real" grilling. Give me a little more info please.

        Thanks, fmed. I also got a free shipping offer today from a couple of online sites. The DeLonghi is looking like the best of the lesser priced ones. More research :)

        1. re: c oliver

          I think what Ferret is saying is that, with any of these products, you aren't going to get the 'real' grilling experience i.e., the intense heat, the char, the smokiness, the flare-ups.

          Maybe once you hit the $300 mark, it's a different ball game, but I've always perceived indoor grilling to be a bit of a castrated experience.

          Even at $300, it still not sounding promising. 480 degrees? Maybe 480 C., but if you're talking F... I don't know. My oven goes to 600, and even if I prop up my meat so that it's literally a hair's width away from the red hot element, the results are still pretty lackluster compared to my grill.

          Using a grill pan won't give you the real estate you're looking for (unless you use two or a long one that fits on both burners), but it will give you the heat intensity you're used to.

          Btw, have you factored in a fan and ductwork into your budget? Just because there's a huge window doesn't mean that the ceiling won't get filthy from the smoke and fumes. I would take whatever you're planning on spending on a grill and beef up the duct work on your range so that it's able to handle whatever smoke you can throw at it. Then I'd crank the heat on the grill pan and pre-heat the living daylights out of it. A cast iron pan preheat to incendiary- that's probably about as close as you can come to outdoor grilling indoors.

          1. re: scott123

            This is FABULOUS information and I thank you for taking the time to write it. MY situation is a tad problematic because the apartment is in Rio! My new stove is 24" wide and none of the burners put out what I consider enough heat for grilling. I don't know if it's what's coming into the building or what's coming out of the burners but it's limited. The big window is REALLY big, like probably 8' wide and 6' high and a grill could sit right in front of it. And the ceiling is probably 10' high. But, yeah, even at 480 (F BTW) we're not exactly burning the place down :) Before spending any money, maybe I'll take my LC grill pan down next time (Feb. 2010) and see what kind of damage I can do. Cutting into the walls for ductwork presents its own problems. We rewired the place when we bought it and you wouldn't believe how well built. Solid block that's plastered over. They used chisels to do it. I really appreciate your getting my brain going in the right direction. Thanks again.

            1. re: c oliver

              You're welcome!

              A 24" wide stove, huh? Is there an 'easybake' sticker on it somewhere? ;)

              Seriously, though, that IS small. Even if you're BTU challenged, though, you should be able to get around that, to an extent, by preheating the living daylights out of your grill pan. Cast iron can store a LOT of heat. If you pre heat the pan enough, you won't be cooking with the heat coming from the burner as much as the heat stored in the pan. Bear in mind, though, that it's a finite amount and once it's gone, you're going to have 'fill' it up again by pre-heating it. That means that you'll have to stick to small amounts of food. Too much food and the temperature of the pan will drop.

              Ideally, it might work out best if you have a burner/pan for each person you're cooking for. I've never tested this, but, in theory, no matter how weak the gas burner, eventually you will be able to pre-heat a cast iron pan until it's red hot. If, say, you have two steaks for two people, then it's one steak per pan. An important aspect in this scenario is that regardless of how weak the burners are, it's important that they put out about the same amount of BTUs. You don't want one pan to be red hot and the other one to be slightly past red hot. As it is, you might want to have the fire company on speed dial :)

              And I guess playing around with your LC might not be a bad idea, but if you really want to go for the glory, I'd probably recommend unseasoned cast iron. That way you can just heat it and heat it (and heat it some more) and not be concerned about damaging the enameled coating.

              And regarding the fire company speed dial, I'm sort of joking, but I'm also sort of not :) I would know where your extinguisher is, make sure it's rated for grease fires, have some baking soda handy, and, if at all possible, have some sort of air tight cover for your pans.

              1. re: scott123

                I agree with everything you have to say! And, believe it or not, a 24" stove is pretty much the standard down there. There are larger sizes but short of a major knockdown (for a parttime home at that), this is what we're going to be using. I do like the idea of the cast iron and have an extra (doesn't everyone?) My husband and I usually share one steak but I see your point about two pans. We grill here in the US, 365 days a year, rain, snow, all the time. So to go long periods of time without it is just dang hard for us :) When redoing the apt. we couldn't install central AC without tearing up the beautiful herringbone-patterned, Brazilian rosewood floors so we went with window units. You would not believe the total astonishment I encountered when I said I was going to have AC in the kitchen. Our builder and his workers laughed and laughed and guests are amazed also. I guess in Brazil, the "little woman" should close herself off in that heat and slave away. Not. Thanks again (and again).