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Easy & Healthy Ways to Grill Indoors

By , Rheney Williams
How great are summer barbecues? There's just something about gathering together with family and friends to enjoy a fantastic meal and share favorite stories from the past while you build new memories for the future.

But did you realize you don't have to wait until summer to grill? Or go outside at all for that matter? Indeed, congregating with your companions can be a year-round indoor activity as well. And the star of the show: Your range!

Grilling items with your range can be done in at least two specific ways, and rather than your typical heavy hamburgers or sauce-slathered barbecue, there are so many more options at your disposal. This is true not only because you have the luxury of grilling whatever's in season no matter the weather outside (outdoor barbecues aren't overwhelmingly popular in December for a reason!) but also because you have much more control over the temperature of the "fire."

Here are two completely separate grilling options using two different preparations, both of which can be made inside your kitchen using your range. 

How to Grill Fruits & Vegetables Indoors
If you have never experienced the deliciousness of grilled pineapple, I recommend you do so immediately! My husband and I first had this at a Polynesian restaurant on our honeymoon, and it was love at first bite.

Not only is it a fantastically fruity delicacy drizzled with a sweet honey glaze (which tastes like a lighter version of icing) but it's a warm, tender treat all on its own—even without the glaze! Since it's 100% fruit, it's also about as healthy as you can get when it comes to satisfying your sweet tooth.
Check out those grill marks. To attain this look on your own, you can either cut slices of pineapple or cubes that you slide onto a skewer. To tenderize the pineapple, we'll use a grill pan on the cooktop.

If you have a ceramic cooktop, make sure you have a flat-bottomed grill pan that fully covers the burner you are using. Allow the pan to pre-heat and as soon as it's good and hot, spray a quick spritz of cooking spray (to prevent sticking) and place the pineapple onto the grill. I left mine on for about 4 minutes each side.

Two things to note here:
1. Arrange the pineapple on as many of the raised grill sections of the grill pan as possible!
2. Do not move the pineapple after you place it on the pan. This actually applies to anything grilled: If you want defined grill marks, don't "mess" with it until you're ready to flip or rotate.

*Presentation Tip: With flat items like pineapples, you can create beautiful criss-cross grill marks by rotating the piece one-half turn during cooking.

And that leads me to my final point about grilling fruit and vegetables: The goal is to soften and heat them up, not necessarily cook them all the way through, so don't leave them on so long they become mushy. Other great grilled fruits and veggies you can try with this technique include:
How to Grill Meat Indoors
If you want a way to create moist, juicy chicken (just to name one option) on the inside and a nicely charred, grill-marked outside, you can start by placing the seasoned meat on the grill pan on the cooktop and then finish it off in the oven under the broiler.

When you think about it, your oven's broiler is basically an upside down grill! Make sure to use a broiler-safe pan or baking dish when you transfer to the oven, and always be careful and use potholders when removing the pan from the oven and placing it back on the countertop or stovetop. A cast-iron grill pan makes a good choice because it can easily transfer from stovetop to oven to broiler—no extra cookware necessary.

Another alternative to your standard beef steak under the broiler is bison! Not only does a bison filet taste remarkably like a tenderloin filet, but it also beats beef in the nutritional department. Buffalo is lower in fat, calories and cholesterol and is higher in iron and B vitamins. Bison is even higher in protein content than ground turkey!

Back to the chicken! For my complete meal here, I have green beans (steamed in water and seasoned with salt and pepper), brown rice (steamed in a rice cooker with my secret rice ingredient – chicken stock instead of water), and a lovely range-grilled chicken breast, generously flavored with salt and fresh cracked pepper. As a slightly acidic, sweet and tangy fruity complement, delicious pineapple slices and skewers!

*Healthy portion tip: To help maintain a healthy weight and stay on top of consistent portion sizes, I like to use plates with smaller "reservoirs" inside. This way, you can have a heaping plate of food so you don't feel deprived, but it's filled with vegetables, complex grains and a lean protein.

Do you ever grill food indoors using your range?

Rheney Williams writes about her cooking and oven projects for Home Depot. With a passion for baking, Rheney specialized in pastry arts at the Culinary Institute of Charleston, S.C. She recently remodeled the kitchen in her Charleston home, adding new appliances, including a fridge, microwave and electric range. To view Home Depot's appliance page for their wide selection of ranges, including an electric range like Rheney's, click here.

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