It’s often said that you eat food first with your eyes, and this idea holds in much of the culinary community. Regardless of actual flavor, beautifully presented food is almost invariably better liked and received, and one of the most iconic and classically beautiful ways to present meat is with nice, dark grill marks across the surface of the cut. If you don’t have a traditional grill, fear not, as there are multiple other ways to get grill marks without one.
Ridged Pan Method
Grill marks appear where the cut of meat touches the cooking grate of the grill, therefore to create grill marks without a grate, something similar must be used. One option is a ridged cast iron pan. The ridges on the pan will contact parts of the cut of meat in the same way that the bars on a grill grate do, creating perfectly spaced grill marks.
To use the ridged pan method, sear your cut of meat all the way around. Remove your meat from the pan and keep warm, then heat the ridged cast iron pan on high heat without any oil. When the pan is hot, simply cook each side of your cut of meat for 2-3 minutes or until sear marks appear.
Hot Skewer Method
If you don’t have a ridged cast iron pan, another option is the hot skewer method. All you need for this method is a metal skewer and either a gas stovetop or culinary torch. To create the grill marks on the meat, simply heat the skewer until glowing hot, then touch it to the surface of your meat. Repeat as many times as necessary to evenly space marks across the meat.
Ninja Foodi Grill
While the other two methods involved equipment that you may or may not use regularly, this last method employs an extremely versatile and handy appliance- the Ninja Foodi grill.
The Ninja Foodi grill is a full-featured indoor grill with built-in air frying capabilities. It is available in a variety of capacities to best suit your needs, and can easily add grill marks to any cut of meat without any extra steps. Because the Ninja Foodi grill is a proper grill, it naturally sears grill marks into the meat as it cooks. A full Ninja Food grill review reveals many useful features including a leave-in thermometer probe with automatic grill shutoff and a removable cooking pot for roasts. The Foodi grill can even leave grill marks on frozen cuts of meat, cooking them straight from frozen to perfection.
The Foodi grill is the easiest of these three methods for getting perfect grill marks without a grill. It can make cooking beautiful food easier, and its versatility also helps it to shine through as the ultimate way to grill without a grill.