-Are you really picky about your grilled or barbequed food? You don't require it to have that delicious, smoky taste, or could just care less?
The bottom line is that most people who like to grill or barbeque really should look into indoor grills. They are very much improved from just a few years ago. And most of us would like to get at least some of that grilled flavor without having to go outside.
Sure, none of the indoor grills give food that smokey flavor of an outdoor grill or barbeque pit. But the weather is always nice next to one of these grills, and a grilling enthusiast would rather have the ability to grill every day than have the weather dictate when.
Now, do not buy into all the infomercials that tell you indoor grills are healthier than outdoor grills, or any other kind of grill for that matter. The bottom line is if a meat starts out fatty, it will end up fatty if you don't cook off and/or separate the food from the fat. So, let's put all that hype to bed now.
If you are considering the type of indoor grill that is electric and has a lid that closes over the top and "presses" the meat, you definitely will cook things faster. This is called a "contact" grill. Most have a drip tray that catches fat and can be easily emptied. But really, there are no similarities to that an an outdoor grill. These, in my opinion, are sandwich presses. They can serve a useful purpose, but do not expect grilled, smoky flavor.
The other broad style is the open-faced grill, or one without a lid. These do not cook as quickly, but still produce some of the qualities of outdoor grilled food. Also, you get more of the smell released into the air.
When looking at indoor grills, possibly one of the best alternatives is the simple "griddle" that has the ridges on it and fits across two burners. These are good for giving the nice "grill marks" you want in grilled food, and they help separate the fat from the meat. And they are relatively inexpensive alternatives to the more expensive indoor grills. Get one that has adjustable temperature control. That will give you a little more flexibility in your indoor grilling.
The fact is, you will never get the true smoky flavor indoors, except if you bring an outdoor grill inside. Please do NOT ever take your outdoor grill inside (especially a charcoal grill). It could and just might cause death from the fumes.
One other factor to consider in choosing indoor grills is the size. They come in many sizes, and just like an outdoor grill, the size should be decided by the size of your family or the overall number of people you normally cook for. The smaller it is, the less space it will take up, so consider your kitchen counter space also.
Look into getting an indoor grill if you don't already have one. They really can extend your grilling season, even if you are not "exactly" duplicating that great outdoor flavor you are used to from that outdoor grill.
This is a nice file in pdf form that will show you how to grill a hamburger indoors using a flat grill on your stove. It has some great techniques, as well as some safety information. Download this free pdf HERE.