Popping a few steaks on the grill and preparing them to juicy perfection might make you feel pretty damn unstoppable. But you know what *can* stop your stint at the barbecue? Rain, cold weather, snow, an empty propane tank…shall we go on? Luckily, you don’t need to wait for a gorgeous summer day to get your barbecue on, thanks to indoor grills. Not only do they make it a breeze to grill everything from chicken to hot dogs to veggie skewers year-round, but they also take up way less space (and cost less) than bulky outdoor grills. They’re especially a game-changer for apartment dwellers who don’t have outdoor space, provided your lease agreement allows them.
Before you start shopping, there are a few things you should know. There are two main types of indoor grills: open and contact. Open grills have an open grilling surface, while contact grills have two cooking surfaces. Most open grills have a lid, while contact grills come with a floating cover. Open grills are the next closest thing to outdoor grills, because they have open grates and the lid helps creates smoke, which leads to more robust flavor and tender, juicy meat. The perk of contact grills is that they cook your food faster, since it cooks it from both sides (you won’t need to flip it constantly, either), plus they can double as a sandwich press. You can also keep the lid of a contact grill open to double your grilling space. Consider these differences and what you’re most likely going to cook on your indoor grill before you shop.