How to Grill Indoors: The Complete Guide

We often conflate grilling with being outdoors and cooking on a backyard barbecue grill. Yet, grilling is a cooking technique, like roasting, frying, or sautéing, that can be accomplished anywhere with the right tools.

Indoor grilling allows you to enjoy healthy grilled foods year-round, and it’s a great option for people who live in condos that don’t allow gas grills.

But do you know how to grill indoors? Can it ever have the smokey flavors of real barbecue? And is it even safe?

Here’s a a complete with everything that you need to know about grilling indoors.

Grilling Indoors vs. Barbecue

Before we dive into looking at the hows and why of indoor grilling, it helps to step back and analyze what exactly grilling means to you. There are many different forms of cooking, and grilling is a common one around the world. But people often associate grilling with barbeque, which is actually a sort of (delicious) regional cuisine.

grilled chicken and quinoa
Grilling is an excellent way to cook tasty food without too much oil

According to most definitions, grilling is a specialized type of broiling. I have a French-made oven which calls the broiler a “grill.” This is an important point to make because it means that you can grill food anywhere.

The primary thing that sets grilling apart from other cooking methods is that it means high and dry heat is applied to the food in a way that allows drippings to drain away.

Barbecue, on the other hand, is a complicated word. According to, it can mean the open-air social gathering where food is being cooked, the act of grilling outside, or a specific type of dish served with a vinegar-based sauce.

To me, barbecue (the food, that is) is unique because it includes one ingredient that grilling often does not – smoke.

How Does Indoor Grilling Compare to Outdoor Grilling?

Most of us with gas grills are not, in my opinion, making barbecue. Occasionally, we set up our grills for something low and slow and smokey, but more often than not we crank up the grill and throw on steaks or burgers.

Our well-seasoned outdoor grills may imbue the slightest hint of smokiness into the food, but it’s generally not the prominent flavor note.

Indoor grilling means saying goodbye to real smoke.

We can come up with some ways to add that flavor, but it’s never going to compete with a charcoal-fired barbecue pit. However, it does give you the ability to enjoy grilled foods without using your gas or