How to Control Indoor Grill Smoke: A Safety Guide
Grilling indoors is a great way to enjoy the fun and flavors of grilling without the hassle of traditional outdoor grills.
There is no fuel to deal with and no fires to light. The convenience of indoor grilling appliances that run strictly on electricity has changed the game in terms of what it is possible to cook.
However, with these new conveniences come a new host of issues. A big issue for indoor grillers is how to control the smoke given off by their grills.
When outdoors, this is no concern at all. When inside, obviously, it becomes a larger issue. We’re going to discuss some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your indoor grilling experience and keep the smoke at bay.
First Things First: Use an Indoor Grill
First, it is important to mention that if you are grilling indoors you absolutely must use a grill designed for this purpose. Do not use an outdoor grill indoors.
Not only will these grills give off massive amounts of smoke that you don’t want inside your home, they also release carbon monoxide and other deadly chemicals that are not safe when not in a well ventilated area (such as outside).
Be absolutely sure you’re using an electric appliance designed for indoor use before you move on.
Cleanliness is Vital
The first step to controlling smoke when indoor grilling is to keep your grill as clean as possible. Caked on food residue not only tastes bad, but it also releases smoke and other substances when repeatedly reheated.
Having a clean grill surface to work on will help cut down on burning and charring and keep your indoor air fresh. Another important tip is that many indoor grills have a nonstick cooking surface.
This is great, because it will help you keep it squeaky clean. However, remember to never clean nonstick with metal. Metal and other abrasives can flake off the nonstick surface and release the particles, along with other chemicals, into your food. A good cleaning option to use is scrubbing sponges.
The next step to controlling indoor grilling smoke is to ensure that you have adequate ventilation in your kitchen. Thankfully, many modern kitchens come equipped with a vent hood that can be put to good use.
I would also recommend opening up a window to help mitigate smoke and heat buildup. A lot of the indoor grills out there also come with lids, which will trap the smoke in the grill and keep it from entering your kitchen prematurely.
Some of the fancier models even come with their own smoke collection system, which is a great feature!
Stopping it at the Source: Batching
When it comes to actually cooking the food, you can control the smoke by controlling what causes the smoke.
The main culprit is fat from meat. Lots of indoor grills have fat runoff trays, which helps get the fat away from the heating element and prevents it from burning.
You can also select leaner cuts of meat to minimize fat runoff. Batch cooking your food is another great way to keep a handle on how much smoke you’re producing.
Smaller batches means better control of the food’s cooking process, and cooking similar sized things together can help avoid overcooking or charring smaller pieces. If you’ve marinated your meat, try to dry it as much as possible prior to grilling in order to minimize liquid that could burn onto the grill.
Final Tip: Smoke Detectors
Since safety should always be a consideration, especially when dealing with grills and smoke, make sure your smoke detectors are in good working order.
While they may be irritating and go off when you don’t necessarily want them to, they do exist for a reason. Staying safe in your home and having a great, enjoyable indoor grilling experience is super easy with just a few simple precautions.
With these tips, you’re ready to enjoy the grilling experience without the annoying (and possibly dangerous) smoke.