How To Grill Without a Grill – Easy Way

You can easily grill without using a grill. Don't believe us? Well, we definitely show you how to do so in the article that we are coming forward with today. Grilling can be fun and eating grilled food is even more fun when you think about it. However, the fact is that not everyone can afford a grill. There are also certain reasons why everyone can not afford a grill which is none of our business but that does not mean that they can not have grilled food. Here are simple ways in which you can grill without a grill. 

Oven Broiling

If you have an oven that has a broil function then you can use that oven to grill your meat, fish, and vegetables. The broiler does sound like a stupid way of grilling but it can actually grill the food very well. It can be used in the exact same way as the grill and you will be able to get meat and chicken that is crispy on the outside and nice and juicy in the inside. In an oven the what is coming from the top rather than the bottom. The cooking in an oven is usually done at a high temperature of 500 to 550 degrees Fahrenheit. 

If you do not have a broiler pan with the oven set then you need to buy one. Don't worry, the pan does not cost as much as an entire grill. It is much cheaper and easier to find. We recommend that you go ahead and get a iron pan that has got ridges. This will allow the extra oil and grease to drip down to the bottom of the pan. If you are grilling with the broiler then there are few things that you should take note of. First thing is that you need to put the oven rack at the highest position in the oven. Turn on the grill function and let the over preheat. 

Now you need to prepare the broiler or grill pan that you have bought. You can use cooking spray but we recommend oil so that the good food does not stick to your pan. Place your food in the pan and then place the pan in the preheated oven. You need to keep a little bit of the oven door open so that the temperature inside the oven does not get too hot and you can actually be able to see the food. If it gets too hot then the food might burn. We don't want that to happen now, do we? 

Halfway through the cooking you have to go ahead and flip the food so that it can get cooked properly for both sides. This is very important for vegetables since they get burned very easily. Meat and fish can have a little bit of an advantage over it but you need to be able to have a thorough lookout on the vegetables. They are done much faster and do not need much grilling time. 

Cast Iron Skillet

Cast iron skillets are used on the stovetop and they can be used for grilling too. We will be honest that you won't be getting that smoky flavor that you are probably expecting from the grilled food but you need to understand that it is not a grill. You will get tasty food and the sear marks of a grilled food but you will not be getting the proper smoky flavor. We recommend that you buy a cast iron griddle pan that comes with ridges. The more seasoned your skillet is, the better your food is going to taste. When you are purchasing one then you should go for a seasoned skillet instead of the not seasoned one.

You should be preparing your food in marinates or rubs well before the grilling process because we do not want the taste to be bland. Allowing the meat and fish to soak in the marinate will allow all the flavor to get into the good food and you are going to get an even better taste with them. When you are going to cook, add just a little bit of oil to the pan and then allow the oil to heat up. The temperature should be high and you should only place the food in when the oil is properly heated up.

The cast iron skillet helps in properly distributing the oil and heat through the pan so you do not need to worry about the food being cooked unevenly. You can also enjoy the grilling vegetables on the skillet but they do not take much time and are done pretty easily. We have to warn you that you should not pour a lot of oil hoping for better results because that will only ruin the food. Oil as little as possible can help you with the searing and grill marks.

Crock Pot

The crock pot can help you cook food in the BBQ style flavor. The foods that are perfect for slow cooking like pulled pork and briskets can be cooked very well in a crock pot. You can place the meat in the crock pot and then add all the sauce and spices that you want in the pot. Cook on low heat. The cooking process is slow so it is going to take some time. You can leave the cooking to be done overnight or you can do it throughout the day. Many people do not like to cook overnight when they are sleeping. You do need to keep a watch on the cooking. 

Tip : You should saute sweet onions with a tablespoon of brown sugar. Let that caramelize and turn into pure goodness. Add this to the crock pot before cooking because this is going to provide more of a barbecue flavor to the food. 

Smoke Seasoning

Smoke seasoning are like a cheat code. This is going to add that smoky flavor of the grilled food without even actually doing so. This comes as a big advantage to the people who like the smoky good food but they do not want to invest any time or money in a grill or the grilling process. There are a number of smoke seasoning that you can sprinkle with the food when you are marinating them. Let the food soak in all that good flavor. Some good smoke seasoning are -

  • Hickory smoked sea salt
  • Smoky paprika
  • Chopped chipotle chili peppers
  • Cumin
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Chili powder blended with cocoa powder

You can also form your own mix of the smoke seasoning by mixing these items in different ratio. Add in a bit of olive oil, fresh ground pepper, and a touch of honey or brown sugar. This is going to enhance the flavor even more. You should use this mixture on top of the meat and fish and leave them in the fridge overnight or for more than six hours before cooking it. This will give you great smoky flavor in the food. 

Liquid Smoke

Liquid smoke is a very luxury concept that can give you the smoky flavor without using the grill. These can be found online or at any grilling store. The liquid smoke is made of condensed smoke. The liquid is filtered and it is concentrated in nature so that it can give a high smoky flavor to the food that you are cooking. They are available in a variety of flavors so you can take your pick. These are really great at imparting that smoky flavor to the food so you need to use them carefully. 

You do not want to overpower the food with the smoke so much that you lose the original flavor of the food in the first place. It is very easy to use too. You just need to brush just a tiny bit of the liquid smoke on the steaks, burgers and sausages before and during the cooking process. No they are not toxic and it should be okay to eat the food that is brushed with the liquid smoke. We know that it might sound like a weird concept to a lot of people but it is what it is.

Tip : You can add a little bit of balsamic vinegar to the liquid smoke before you brush it on the food. This will give more of a subtle smoky flavor and not the hard smoky flavor that generally comes from the liquid smoke. 

Indoor Smoker

You can make an indoor smoker to get the smoky food from the grill. This is an excellent option to get the grilled smoky food without actually using the grill. However, we do have to warn you that you need to open all the windows and doors of the house and turn on the fan at full speed to prevent the smoke detectors from going off. Don't worry because of the process. It is very easy and once you get it right, you are set for life. Well that rhymed! Take a large aluminum pan with high sides and then line it with aluminum sheet. 

You can go for any wood chips but we recommend the applewood chips because they are awesome for the barbecue flavor that we are looking for. Place the wood chips in the pan and then place another layer of foil on top of the wood chips. You need to poke some holes on the top layer of the aluminium foil to allow the smoke to get through. Place a wire rack on top of the foil. Then place the entire pan on the stove top. The temperature should be medium heat. 

Now you can see that the smoke will gradually start to come up from the holes when the pan starts to heat up and the wood starts to burn. This is your cue to place the marinated food that you want to cook on top of the rack.This is going to be easy enough. You should also cover the top with a lid or if you don't have a lid then you can also use another layer of aluminum foil. You need to smoke the food for 5 minutes before you remove the food from the smoker and then start the grilling process in the broiler or skillet. You can use whichever method is easier for you. 

Tips : You should always be open to experiments. You can experiment with the different kinds of wood chips and a mixture of them to feel the difference between the wood chips and the taste that you are going to get. Of course, not all of them are going to be perfect or up to your taste but you will find your favorite flavor with the help of experiments only. There is no other way to do this since all of our taste preference differ from each other. Some good options for smoking is cherry, hickory, mesquite, oak, and walnut.

Culinary Torch

Well, many people have kitchen torches that can be used to make creme brulee and the other kind of food. Many of you might not have a kitchen torch but they are very popular and can be put to many uses. You should think about investing in one or you can borrow it from someone to give it a go. We have to give a warning because kitchen torches can be difficult to use for a first time user and if you are not careful then you can start a fire. No one wants to do that so keep a fire extinguisher at hand if you are doing this alone.

The kitchen torch can be used to char bits of the meat and vegetables to give the food a charred flavor and look. The torch is not used for cooking. It is used on cooked food to char some parts of the food. It is a very handy tool that every kitchen enthusiast should have in their kitchen. 

Countertop Grill

This is the last option but we won't say that this is grilling without a grill because it does use a grill. Well, if you are someone who likes to cook a lot of grilled food but you do not have the space to get a big charcoal or gas grill then you can invest in a countertop grill. These are not complete grills but they are somewhat of a grill. They generally run on electricity and they can produce good results. Many people do not like the idea of a countertop grill but we don't see any reason to that. 

There are two types of countertop grills that you are going to find in the market. One of then is the single sides grill that cooks from one side only. You need to flip the food to get both sides of the food cooked. Then there are the double contact grills that cook food from both the sides. These grills are kind of like sandwich makers but they are grills. 

We hope that makes sense. You can cook all kinds of food on it. Your preparation should be no different either. The good food needs to be marinated before you cook it on the grill. The flavor will be good and the texture amazing. They are not half as bad as some people make them to be. 

How To Make Grill Marks Without A Grill?

Many people also like to have the grill marks on the food. It makes the food look more appetizing and it does have a certain charm to it. You can get grill marks without a grill. We have a list of ways in which you can do this. Take a look at this article to know more.

Ridged Pan Method

When you are using a cast iron skillet or a grill pan then we always recommended going for the ridged ones. This is going to help you remove the excess oil from the food and you are also going to get that grill mark that you are looking for. After you are done with the cooking of the food you need to remove it and then keep it warm on a plate. Now we are going to add in the grill marks on the food. Then you need to heat the cast iron pan with ridges on a high heat. Make it as high as you possibly can. Now you can place the good food back in the pan. Remember that this step does not need any oil.

You need to wait for one or two minutes before you can take further action. Now we have to get a little mathematics if we want that beautiful grill mark. Carefully rotate the good food from 10 o’clock angle to a 2 o’clock angle. Now you have to wait for another one or two minutes before the flip. Flip the food and repeat the process. You should be done and the food will have those gorgeous grill marks that can make it seem that they have been actually grilled. This is one of the process that you can use to grill marks without the actual grill. This one is more commonly used than the other which we are going up discuss now. 

Got Skewer Method

You will need a metal skewer with a gas stove or a culinary torch for this method. This can be a bit tricky if you are using the kitchen torch so if you are using it for the first time then make sure that you have someone with you that can help you in case something goes wrong. Culinary torches are not that easy to handle as they make it look on cooking shows. The metal skewer needs to be heated until it is red hot. You can do it on the flame of the gas or you can use the kitchen torch. 

We are sure you understand where this is going. Then you need to press the skewer on top of the meat and fish so that you can get that beautiful grill marks. In this case you have to literally draw the grill marks on the food. It is fun to do but it can be dangerous too. Remember, the skewer is going to be very hot so do not go and burn yourself on it. Make sure that you are wearing proper gloves. Also you might have to heat it up several times during the process to complete the entire batch of food. The skewer should not get cold otherwise it would stick to the good food.

A problem that comes out from this method is that not everyone is able to make equidistant grill marks so it can make the food look a bit different. Hopefully no one is going to notice that and enjoy the beautiful food. That's the last of the processes. Strangely there are no more options to get grill marks without grill. If you do know about some other methods then be sure to let us know! We would love to hear from you.


Thank you so much for going to the lengths of reading till the end of the article. We hope that you have found some useful tips and tricks to make it seem that you are cooking the food on the grill without even doing so. The number of ways in which you can make grilled food without using a grill is awesome. Try the different methods and then enjoy the food with your friends and family. We hope that you are successful in the endeavor. Always try to experiment a bit to fit with your own style. Don't be afraid. Have a good day guys!