There are many options for a Kitchen Stovetop Grill, from a portable grill pan, to a George Foreman grill or Panini press sandwich maker, to a Hibachi grill or even an electric rotisserie oven. But one of the most convenient, easy to use and versatile is a built-in stovetop grill for indoor grilling.
A stovetop grill is basically a natural gas grill built right into your kitchen range, between the burners. In the middle is a large rectangular area that opens up and has gas burners similar to an outdoor gas grill. Some can even double as a griddle by swapping the grill grate for a flat griddle pan.
Many brands make grills such as these, most notably Viking, Thermador, and Wolf, amongst others.
What are the advantages of a built-in kitchen stovetop grill?
- Convenient – Because these grills are built right into your stove you can be up and grilling right where you usually do your cooking and food preparation…in your kitchen! You don’t have to worry about the weather. You don’t have to worry about charcoal or propane tanks. Your indoor grill is always ready. Additionally, like an outdoor natural gas grill, your source of fuel is natural gas from your home gas line so you don’t have to worry about filling up propane tanks or about running out of fuel in the middle of cooking.
- Safe and Inexpensive to Use – Natural gas is safer, cleaner, more neutral flavored and less expensive per BTU of heat than propane. No messing with matches, charcoal, lighter fluid or any other outdoor grill mess. You are up and grilling quickly, safely and with inexpensive and clean fuel. With a properly installed and functional smoke hood above your oven, you don’t have to worry about toxic fumes.
- Versatile: Grill or Griddle – Most built-in kitchen grill units can swap out the grill grate for a flat metal griddle pan. Therefore, not only can you grill up anything you would normally cook on other types of grills, but you can also cook griddle prepared foods like pancakes, bacon and eggs quickly and easily.
What are the disadvantages of a built-in kitchen stovetop grill?
- Relatively Expensive Initial Purchase – Generally, these grills, built into a range and oven unit, are expensive compared to standard models and compared to most outdoor grills. However, a nice Viking range/oven is expensive to begin with, the grill itself doesn’t make it that much more so. If cooking is important to you, if you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, then good quality products which are versatile, functional and convenient will pay you back many-fold. You won’t regret spending the extra money if you love to cook!
- Lack of Wood Smoke Flavor – In general, indoor kitchen grill units are not built to accommodate wood chunks for smoking. While natural gas is a great fuel for cooking, it doesn’t add any of the wood smoke flavor which is so sought after with firewood cooking, charcoal cooking or by using smoking wood chunks or chips. You still get those nice grill marks with rich, caramelized flavors on the surface of your food, but you don’t get the smoke flavors that you get with a good outdoor grill.
There you have it. Another excellent option for indoor grilling is a built-in stovetop kitchen grill. Shop around and find one which works best for you in your price range.