Indoor Grill Safety: Can You Grill Inside Your House?
Indoor grilling has become extremely popular recently due to its convenience and relative simplicity.
You don’t have to deal with fuels of flames, unlike with outdoor grilling, and you’re also not limited by the weather or other environmental factors beyond your control.
However, along with indoor grilling’s newfound popularity comes concerns about its safety. Thankfully, there are some simple precautions you can take to ensure that you stay safe when grilling indoors.
Warning: Never Attempt This
First, you should never attempt to use a “regular” grill indoors.
This means anything powered by propane, charcoal, or anything besides electricity. These grills are absolutely not safe for indoor use for a variety of reasons. For one, they all produce flames.
Open flames indoors are a recipe for disaster, and you should never attempt to cook indoors with a flame larger than a typical gas stove would produce.
Not only will this set off your smoke alarm almost immediately, it has the potential to send your whole house up in flames if you’re unlucky. Second, many of these fuel burning grills produce carbon monoxide or other hazardous gases. These are fatal. Always use them outside in a well ventilated open area. Do not cook with outdoor grills indoors.
Ventilation is Key
Second, you’ll need adequate ventilation to grill inside. There are quite a few methods around for indoor grilling.
There are dedicated indoor grill appliances, grill pans, and even oven broiling methods that all produce grill-like results.
Your kitchen likely already has a vent hood, which you’ll definitely want to use. Besides that, it is a good idea to crack a window to allow any extra smoke to escape. This also has the added benefit of allowing heat to diffuse.
Third, keep your grill clean. Whether you’re using a specific indoor grill or simply a grill pan, caked on reside is never good.
Repeated burning of food releases harmful chemicals, not to mention that it tastes terrible! It also produces large quantities of smoke, which can be both dangerous and annoying. Another important thing to remember when cleaning your grill is that many indoor grills have a nonstick cooking surface.
It is very important to not clean this surface with anything abrasive, especially metal. Metal will flake off the nonstick coating and allow it to get into your food. It can also ruin some of the heat safe properties of the appliance.
Something else to look out for with grilling appliances is things dripping down the cord. The cord can sometimes act almost like a wick, allowing fat and other juices to travel down it if you’re not careful about cleaning them up.
This can be absolutely terrible if your cord leads straight into an electrical outlet. A good way to mitigate this risk (besides keeping your workspace clean) is to use a “drip loop”, meaning that the lowest point of the cord is below both the level of the appliance and the level of the outlet itself.
This way, anything that drips down will end on the floor instead of in your wall socket.
Use a Heatproof Surface
Speaking of workspaces, where you put your grill is just as important as how you use it. While most grilling appliances are designed for countertop use and have some type of system in place to contain or diffuse heat, it is always a good idea to place them on a heatproof surface anyways.
You can avoid the risk of accidentally melting your countertop or starting a fire by placing the grill on a section of stone or metal (with another buffer between it and your counter).
Final Tip: Pay Attention
Finally, it is critically important to never leave an indoor grill unattended. Some home cooking convenience appliances are marketed as being “set it and forget it”.
Indoor grills are not one of them. You need to be there in case anything goes awry during the cooking process, as the grill’s high heat and quick cooking time can make short work of most meats and vegetables.
Enjoy Your Grilled Masterpiece
Indoor grilling can be dangerous. Not only that, but make sure to read your product’s manual carefully and follow all posted instructions.