Grilling is a form of cooking in which heat is usually direct to the food. You can apply it from below, above, or even from the sideways. Grilling is a fast way of cooking as a variety of food can be cooked at the same time on top of the grill. When grilling, one can use a grill pan though it's usually bigger. A grill pan is similar to a frying pan. The difference is that a grill pan has raised ridges such that food cooked on it often has the grill lines, but a frying pan is flat. The seams on the grill pan also help in that excess fats from meat drip away from it.
What can one use if you don't have a grill?
If you don't have a grill, you can use one of the following ways to grill your food.
Use Of Boilers:
This usually found in an oven and acts as the heating element. It usually heats from above, unlike in a grill where it mostly heats from below. When using a boiler, you turn the food to enable even cooking of food one side at a time.
Both grilling and broiling involve high degrees of direct heat. When using a boiler, you might not get the smoky flavor like that of grilled food, and also the grill lines do not appear.
The boiler usually has ridges where excess fats and oils from food drip down. The broiler pan often comes with the oven should be placed some distance away from the source of heat.
This will depend on how quickly you want your food to cook. When cooking using a boiler, ensure you leave the oven door slightly open to be able to check on the food so that it doesn't burn. The food should be turned half of the cooking time to enable cooking it on both sides properly.
Using a Grill Pan:
A grill pan resembles a frying pan, but the grill pan has some ridges such that food cooked on a grill pan has some lines just like food cooked on the ordinary grill. The seams also help to drip off excess fats from food.
The grill pan is usually a big one to accommodate more food; this may take up some space in your kitchen, but there are smaller sizes that one can use at home and take up less space. The grill pans are usually cheap to acquire.
The use of grill pans is an easy way to cook food, but unlike grilled food, it won't get the smoky flavor. The food will look as if it's grilled due to the grill lines of the pan, and also, as the pan gets hotter, your meat will turn brownish like that one that has been grilled the normal way.
To avoid your food from burning, ensure you reduce heat when the grill pan becomes too hot.
Use Smoky Ingredients:
This is used to add that smoky flavor to food. When using broilers or grill pan, the food doesn't get the smoky flavor of grilled food; thus, these ingredients can be added to get that smoky taste. The smoky components may include smoked salt or olive oil. The smoky ingredients should be avoided to be used in large quantities as it may lead to other tastes like that of ash.
These ingredients are usually added to the food fried on grill pans to give them that smoky taste, which is usually enjoyed by many.
Regardless of whether you have a grill or not, you can still grill certain foods. The following are different foods that are grilled without a grill.
Grilling chicken without a grill
When grilling a chicken without a grill, one needs to have a grill pan. The first step is to season your chicken by coating it with oil to prevent it from sticking on the grill pan. You can also season it with other seasonings like salt and pepper.
Heat the grill pan properly before placing your chicken on it. Cook one side for around 3 minutes before turning it to cook the other side for another 3 minutes. The ridges on the pan give your chicken a beautiful look. The chicken is then placed in an oven to finish cooking it.
How to grill vegetables without a grill?
You can grill vegetables by using the grill pan, and you start the process by heating the grill pan. To check if your grill pan is hot enough pour a little water on it, it should steam up. You can also check if it's heated by using one piece of your vegetables just the same way we use one pancake to check if the pan is hot enough to cook the rest.
If you find the heat of your grill is not enough, you can adjust the temperature higher. That's why it's encouraged to put on medium heat because if it's high, it might burn your food up.
You also need to prepare your spices to mix with the vegetables. When grilling vegetables on a grill pan, ensure that they don't crowd on the pan to prevent being burnt and also provide even cooking of the food. Grill pans usually are of different sizes. A small one is better as it will not take much space in your kitchen.
How to grill steak without a grill?
To grill sticks without a grill, you will need what is called searing. This is a method used when barbecuing, especially meat, whereby its surface is cooked at high temperatures until it forms a brown coating.
This helps to create desirable flavors to the meat. It also improves the appearance, taste, and texture of the meat. This process is done by a frying pan known as skillet that helps searing and Browning of the meat.
After searing, the meat can be cooked for 8-10 minutes in an oven, and the heat should be around 350 degrees.
You first need to prepare your steaks by ensuring that they are at the right temperature. That is, if they were preserved in the fridge, remove them 20 minutes earlier before cooking time.
Take your cast iron skillet and place it on a stove or gas and heat it. If your pan is dry, you will need to add oil on it to season it and avoid your steaks from sticking even burning. Sear for some time on all the sides until they turn to a brownish color. Make sure they don't stick on the pan. After searing your steaks, you can then place them in the already preheated oven and bake it for about 10 minutes.
It is always essential to ensure that they have a medium-sized thickness to ensure that they don't take a lot of time in the oven.
When the time is up, you can remove your steaks from the oven and is ready to be served. Allow it to cool for some time while covered with aluminum foil to allow the meat juices to redistribute.
How to grill fish without a grill?
Unlike steaks, fish is prepared before cooking and left for some time. The fish is cut using a sharp knife in 3-4 places, which will allow it to penetrate the flavors that are used. The cutting is not made up to the end.
It's just an opening to enable flavor penetration and should be made on both sides. Put salt and any other spices needed to add flavor to the fish. It is then put in a bowl and covered with an aluminum foil, after which it is refrigerated over some time.
- When the real cooking time on the fish comes, preheat your oven to 230 degrees, which acts as the grill function. Arrange your baking tray and cover it with aluminum foil so that excess oils drip in it.
- Put your fish on the rack of the oven and then place it on the prepared baking tray and place it in the oven.
- The fish is cooked for 20-30 minutes while checking on it not to burn. Cook it until the skin turns crispy and golden when it's ready to remove it from the oven.
Fish is healthy white meat, which has a lot of minerals and vitamins and also Omega 3 fatty acids.
Some people believe that consuming fish regularly makes someone sharp. That's why they say people who consume them periodically are generally intelligent.
Is the grilling of food dangerous?
The grilling of food is sometimes discouraged as it may lead to some health problems. The grilling of certain foods like meat, pork, and chicken is said to be a source of carcinogen chemicals that can lead to mutations in the body. They can lead to the development of cancer.
These carcinogens are also said to damage DNA and genetic materials. When grilling these proteins, they usually produce two chemicals that are prone to cancerous cells.
Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHS) and HCAs are produced due to cooking meat at very high temperatures. It is said that even frying and boiling can lead to the production of these chemicals. Therefore it is encouraged to use lower temperatures when cooking. The chemical can also be found in cigarettes and can lead to cancer such as that o the stomach, colon, and liver.
PAHS, on the other hand, are produced when juices from the meat drip on the hot surface of the grill producing smoke. That smoke contains the carcinogens which stick to the meat.
However, these chemicals are said not to have many cases of cancer. To ensure that you reduce the chances of cancer of you must take grilled food as it is tastier than those grilled without a grill, certain precautions can be taken.
- Precooking your food before grilling to reduce the time of grilling and also drain some juices from the meat.
- Eating of many fruits and vegetables which usually are a source of cancer-fighting chemicals, ensuring your meat is not too fatty and removing any excess fats from it. Also, wrapping your meat with aluminum foil will reduce the amount of juice that drips on the hot surface leading to smoke.
- Cooking your food with lower or moderate heat and temperatures to reduce the formation of HCAs on food.
- Seasoning your grill regularly to ensure food does not stick on the grill.
- When cooking meat, ensure you cut into smaller pieces to reduce the amount of time of cooking and don't consume those overcooked and burnt parts.
- If meat was refrigerated, ensure you give it enough time to defrost before grilling to reduce the amount of time on the grill.
- Ensure that you don't cook your food on the grill for too long. After it’s cooked, remove it from the grill immediately.
However, these are just precautions to take to prevent you from much harm but do not limit someone from enjoying the tasty aroma of grilled food.
At one point, someone might be worried about how to prepare that delicious grilled meat for family and friends, especially during the festive seasons if you don't have a grill or you even don't have enough space to place a grill in your homestead. You need not worry as you can still have that tasty meat that will be enjoyed. You can do this by;
- Having a cast iron skillet, as stated earlier. If you season your skillet properly, it will still give a great taste to your meat. Another benefit is that once your skillet is hot, it cooks your food evenly.
- Ensure that the quality of meat that you choose will do well on a grill pan. Soft and small-sized meat will do well as it will cook properly and will not take too much of your time.
- By using smoky ingredients, you acquire the smoky taste like that of a grill, which is enjoyed by many. Thus you need not worry if you have these ingredients which are readily available in retail shops.