Ahh, the Great Indoors. A close, yet more temperate, relative of the Great Outdoors. This brother-from-another-Mother-Nature is typically sought after on freezing, storming, or the sweltering dog days of summer when you can’t stand the heat. And you know what they say: If you can’t stand the heat, get into the air-conditioned kitchen. (Or, something like that). Here at Man Crates, we believe you can have your food inside, and eat it too. Read on for some ways you can still keep it “grill”, while hosting in the mosquito-free indoors this summer.
We might not have any season finale deets for Bob’s Burgers, but we can tell you how to cook a mean summer patty in an unconventional way. Think outside the grill—or rather think of it upside down. Your broiler is basically a grill, with heat coming from above. It’s also a faster, and healthier, way to cook your hamburger. That’s right—who’s your patty?
Use for: Quick-grilling recipes that can cook with intense heat.
PRO-TIP: Line pans with foil to spend more time eating, and less cleaning up after.
Try this recipe from Serious Eats: Juicy Broiled Burgers
IT’LL ALL PAN OUT
Some might argue that a cast-iron skillet is the best way to cook a burger patty, or— anything for that matter. This might sound shallow…its good qualities are fundamentally attributed to its thick physical makeup. What can we say? We like big pans and we cannot lie. Merited separately from its substantial mass—its iron composition, as opposed to copper or aluminum, is not as reactive as other metals. 7th grade chemistry translation: It takes longer to heat up, but also holds heat better and longer. So you can cook your meat more evenly and thoroughly—all the while fortifying it with iron!
Go ahead and toss out those adult gummy bear vitamins we know you have. They’re also made from the same base material that’s used to make engine blocks; so they’re nearly indestructible. Unlike your iPhone that time you drove away from the gas pump with it sitting on the hood of your car. Sorry, too soon?
Use for: Sirloin. A pan will catch and marinate the meat in any liquids that your outdoor grill won’t.
PRO-TIP: Size matters. The heavier, denser your skillet is and the taller the ridges are, the better to sear, my dear .
Try this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen: Ultimate Indoor Burgers
‘TIS THE SEASON
Like Christmas is to Peppermint and egg nog, summer grilling is to seasoned meats. Spice things up in the kitchen by adding some of our favorites that make a mouth-watering feast and great gifts for men—sure to delight even the most discerning palates.
PRO-TIP: If you’re using salt, add after forming the patties. Salt dissolves muscle proteins which draws out water and will make your burger dry. Also, any seasoning added to the outside of the formed patty will make the burger more flavorful than mixing in.
SMOKE & MIRRORS
Like a magician exiting the scene in a cloud of smoke, a little literal smoke & mirrors need to happen to mimic the magically charred, smoldering flavor you’d normally get with your outdoor grill. Crack those kitchen windows wide open and toss some soaked wood chips into the pan as your meat is at the tail end of its grilling.
Cover the pan briefly to let the smoke infuse into the meat. At the end of the day, the smoke is for the food, but the mirror is for your finger-gun-and-wink move after you realize you’ve perfected the juiciest burger for your dinner guests.