Barbecuing indoors An indoor barbecue might seem a little strange at first; after all one of the reasons why we love barbecues so much is because it gives us the opportunity to cook and eat outdoors. However, whether you are planning to eat inside or out, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to do the actual cooking indoors. Good reasons for using a barbecue indoors include:
Limited space – maybe you don’t have a suitable area outdoors to position a barbecue, or perhaps you live in a flat or apartment without a garden. The weather – sometimes when you planned to have a barbecue the weather forecast was promising but then the rain clouds start to form and so it’s probably wise to move indoors. The time of year – you might be craving barbecue food in the depths of winter when it’s not practical to barbecue outdoors. Convenience – an indoor barbecue can be quicker to set up, easier to cook on and more simple to clean than an outdoor barbecue. Safety – if you are worried about the risk of food poisoning when using an outdoor barbecue, then you may feel more confident using an indoor BBQ. They are generally easier to control and give more consistent results than a traditional barbecue where there is always the risk that food appears cooked but is still raw on the inside. Time – an outdoor barbecue can take a long time to prepare and get to the right temperature for cooking. If you are short on time, an indoor barbecue is a great solution. Variety – perhaps you simply want to add a bit of diversity to your family’s mid-week meals without having to go to the effort of setting up an outdoor barbecue.
How to Barbecue indoors Well let’s start with how not to barbecue indoors. The one thing you definitely cannot do is move your outdoor barbecues into the house. Traditional barbecues are designed specifically to be used outdoors and would be very dangerous indoors. This is not just because of the fire risk but also because the fumes produced could be deadly. Basically, your gas barbecues and other types of outdoor equipment are out of the question; unless you want to cause a fire hazard. So, if you want to barbecue indoors you need to buy a grill specifically designed to be used indoors. There are plenty of these on the market and you will find they have various names such as: Smokeless indoor barbecue Health grill Indoor table-top barbecue They come in different shapes and sizes from those designed for cooking for two, up to models that can cook 10 servings at a time. Take a look at different models to see what cooking options are available. For example, some have a grill and a griddle, and some are even suitable for cooking toasted sandwiches and pizzas. If you are looking for a grill that is easy to clean, choose one with removable plates. Research the different options available until you find the one that will suit you the best. Alternatively, if you don’t want to invest in new equipment, you can always use your conventional oven for grilling, providing it has a grill setting. You may find that designated indoor BBQs still create some smoke so make sure you set it up in an area that is well ventilated, or open a window whilst cooking. Whilst in use, keep children and pets away from the indoor barbecue and take the same precautions that you would take when cooking using a conventional oven or outdoor barbecue.
What to cook? Depending on the type of indoor grill that you have, you should be able to cook most of the same things that you would cook on an outdoor barbecue. The instructions supplied with your indoor equipment should tell you what you can cook. Some barbeques will even be supplied with recipe books or recipe suggestions. If you are cooking the food indoors but serving it in the garden, have platters ready to transfer the cooked food outdoors. It might be useful to enlist a volunteer who can take the food outdoors whilst you continue cooking indoors. If you have space outside, you could put all of the no-cook food items such as bread, salads, dressings and condiments outside for your guests to help themselves to. How to recreate the barbeque experience Whether the weather has let you down and you’ve moved indoors or you want to enjoy a little barbecue spirit in the middle of winter, you can recreate many of the features of an outdoor barbecue indoors. Here are some suggestions:
Create a playlist of your favourite summertime music to play in the background. Use paper plates and plastic glasses for a true barbecue experience. Make jugs of summery cocktails to get your guests in the party spirit. Dot buckets of ice around and stick bottles of beer into them to chill. Throw a party with a Caribbean or Australian theme and encourage your guests to come along in their favourite beachwear.
Once you get a taste for indoor barbecues you’ll want to enjoy them again and again. After all, you don’t have to worry about wasps or sunburn and you can still enjoy all of your favourite barbecue foods but with the convenience of cooking indoors.