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Old 08-14-2019, 09:50 AM   #1
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Smokeless indoor grill vs. stovetop grill pan

Since we moved, I no longer have access to a place for an outdoor grill. I miss the flavor of grilled meats and veggies. I've been using my cast iron pans to cook on the stove. I don't have a grill pan. I saw the smokeless electric grills and thought that might be my solution but some of the reviews are iffy. Not sure if there is an indoor grill worth buying or if I should invest in a grill pan. Any advice?

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Old 08-14-2019, 11:08 AM   #2
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I think broiling, with the actual fire, is more likely to give you the grilled flavor you're missing. I used to have a Farberware electric indoor grill; it worked fine but it didn't have the smoky flavor you get from grilling. I have a cast iron grill pan and I like the panini we make on it, but, if we can't grill outside, I prefer my cast iron skillet because it gets full coverage of the meat - lots of browning The grill marks look nice, but they don't replicate the flavor of a grill because the areas between the marks don't get kissed with fire.
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Old 08-14-2019, 01:32 PM   #3
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jabbur, I can't tell you anything about those smokeless grills, but I'd be suspicious. However, I can tell you that a good grill pan will give some of that smoky flavor you are looking for. However, there are non-stick grill pans out there, and you do NOT want one of those! You do not want to heat these up super hot, since it is dangerous to use teflon at high temperatures; there may be some of the non-teflon NS pans out there, but CI would be best. The one I have now is enameled CI, but it does the same as the uncoated one I had way back, and doesn't rust. If used all the time, this wouldn't matter, but I don't use it that often.

You would NOT want to use one of these if you don't have a strong, externally vented range hood, as it produces a LOT OF SMOKE! This is what gives the smoky flavor, you are probably looking for. You just have to heat it for several minutes, and keep it on high. The grease drips into the creases, and vaporizes. However, I never use this for cooking steaks or chops - I want the fond from a regular pan, to make a sauce. But I use this for cooking things to use as ingredients, cut up in things like tacos, or soups. And I use it, over lower temps, to grill tomatillos in the off-season, when I get some from the Mexican market. Maybe some veggies could be grilled, brushing with some oil, to give some smoke.

Here's the pan I have - 8" square on the bottom (probably listed as 10"!).
Cuisinart grill pan by pepperhead212, on Flickr
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Old 08-14-2019, 03:49 PM   #4
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You're not going to get a smoke flavor unless you generate smoke. I have a Cuisinart Griddler, and the results pale when compared to a gas grill, let alone a charcoal grill. Is one of those portable Weber Q gas grills an option for you?
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Old 08-14-2019, 05:14 PM   #5
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Oh gosh, it is in my storage unit. I have a grill that you put water in the bottom and it is smokeless. Can't tell you the brand...it is heart friendly. Love it. Wish I had it here for the Elders.
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Old 08-15-2019, 11:32 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I was leaning toward the grill pan to begin with and looks like that will be my best option. I may look into the flat grill/griddle option as well. I have a table top propane grill but right now no place outside to use it. Our back porch is fully enclosed into sunroom and we just have some steps down to the grass. No deck or driveway to put a grill and it is not convenient to get to from the kitchen in the middle of the house. Thanks again for your help!
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:24 PM   #7
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Outdoor grilling is no fun and gets tiring if you have to walk a few yards to and from your kitchen to your grill. Your grill needs to be right there, just a few steps away.
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roadfix View Post
Outdoor grilling is no fun and gets tiring if you have to walk a few yards to and from your kitchen to your grill. Your grill needs to be right there, just a few steps away.

I guess I'm spoiled RF. When I grill, I take everything I might need out there, and the Souschef is on call in the house (by way of phone intercom) for anything else I might need.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jabbur View Post
Thanks for the replies. I was leaning toward the grill pan to begin with and looks like that will be my best option. I may look into the flat grill/griddle option as well. I have a table top propane grill but right now no place outside to use it. Our back porch is fully enclosed into sunroom and we just have some steps down to the grass. No deck or driveway to put a grill and it is not convenient to get to from the kitchen in the middle of the house. Thanks again for your help!

Jabbur, I have the exact red Cuisinart grill pan that Pepperhead pictured.
It's a honey for sure and very easy to clean if you add some hot soapy water to the hot pan when you remove the food. I don't use it often but it sure does a nice job. It's great for grilling fish.
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:04 PM   #10
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I guess I'm spoiled RF. When I grill, I take everything I might need out there, and the Souschef is on call in the house (by way of phone intercom) for anything else I might need.
My main grilling area is located next to the patio about 75 feet away and about a dozen concrete steps down from the kitchen. I also have a Weber charcoal grill sitting just out the side kitchen door. Which grill gets the most use?
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Old 08-15-2019, 01:06 PM   #11
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I bought the Smokeless Grill when I thought my Cast Iron Grill Pan had seen better days; wasted $$ - it just sits there !! Doesn't hold a candle to Granny's equipment.... Sure, the Smoke Alarm in the Hall screams out sometimes, and I DO use the Smokeless for veggies, when there's Meat in the Cast Iron......... but it sits more than it 'gits' .............
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Old 08-15-2019, 02:46 PM   #12
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Guilty. I have three LeCrueset grill pans (blue x 2 and one orange) and two
Lodge. Love them. Oops, one Lodge, gave my cousin one for his cabin.
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Old 08-16-2019, 12:19 PM   #13
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I guess I'm spoiled RF. When I grill, I take everything I might need out there, and the Souschef is on call in the house (by way of phone intercom) for anything else I might need.
I would do that except I have a husband not a souschef!
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Old 08-16-2019, 01:15 PM   #14
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Ive had both. Neither comes anywhere close to actual grill flavor.
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:26 PM   #15
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The best arrangement has my MIL. They have two sided fire place. Facing living room is fire place. Facing kitchen is build in grill awesome setup.
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