Can any portable grills such as solaire or fire be used indoors?

elyashJuly 19, 2012

Are their any portable grills that can be used indoors on a counter top? Specifically, I was looking at solaire and fire magic grills portable grills, but would consider any that could be used indoors. I am looking to mainly grill food that is on a grill for a short time such as hamburgers, chicken cutlets, London Broil and salmon.

We were planning to replace a range with a CC to get the indoor grill, but it became too complicated because of having to cut and move cabinets, MUA and other factors. So, now, I am looking for something high powered that can be used inside. I saw that many of these grills could be used on boats so I was wondering if they could be adapted for inside use. I can set the grill up in one of three places 1) in front of french doors 2)in front of the window 3)on top of a range which I would cover so the ventilation system (300 CFMs) could be utilized. What do you grill mavens think?

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What's wrong with using your new grill outside?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 3:04AM
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My initial thought was to try and to dissuade you.

First, there is the concern about clearances and combustible surfaces. You need to be careful that you don't place it too close to a wall, curtain, or cabinet. If the wind is blowing the wrong way, then you get all of the smoke, etc going into your place.

Second, there is the concern about smoke, oil and other combustion products. If you place it on your range, the ergonomics are wrong, and you might get too close to a cabinet.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 3:52AM
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Your best bet is to follow the manufacturers instructions regard the proper use of their product. If you don't want to follow the instructions, make sure you have a good fire extinguisher nearby and you're homeowners insurance is paid up.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 6:43AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Open flame exterior style grills can not be used indoors without substantial ventilation. Restaurant quality ventilation, as is a very large capture area and very high CFM. 300 CFM wouldn't even contain the warmup smoke, much less when you get a flareup from grease. Try 10x that ventilation amount being where you'd want to start. Yes, MUA. Yes, ERV. Yes, minimum 10K spent just to grill inside.

If you really want to grill indoors, you will do the kitchen remodel it takes to be able to accomplish it. However, exterior grilling will be much easier and more cheaply accomplished.

There are a couple of high end grill manufactures who also design vents so that their grills can be placed on outdoor covered patio areas and not asphyxiate everyone within viewing distance. They do involve very high CFM, but because it is an exterior situation, you're not dealing with MUA or an ERV. Perhaps building an exterior screened patio would let you enjoy grilling there and it would add additional space to your home as well. This is the only situation where you could manage a real grill without a total remodel of the kitchen, but it does involve new construction. More like 20-30K involved here, but at least you'd end up with a screened and covered patio area as a result.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:19AM
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avidchef - where are you located? I also wanted a cooktop with grill, but gave up that idea when faced with the ventilation problem. But we are in the southwest where you can grill outdoors almost year round. So that's our solution. We have two grills, one charcoal and the other gas. DH grills everything outside where I don't have to worry about the mess and smells. Works for me.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 10:28AM
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Avid, the best way to truly bring the outdoors inside is with one of the ranges with the grill or a separate indoor grilling hob, even if it's electric. Either way, it will still require proper ventilation. There's no way around it. That's the nature of grilling.

You could get one of those "smokeless" indoor electric grills. They're meant to be used indoors in relatively confined spaces. You can find these appliances in many Korean homes since "barbecuing" is a very popular cooking technique in that culture. But those are really just sizzle plates so you're really griddling, not grilling. You can even achieve that with a plancha on induction.

I haven't been following your other posts diligently, so I don't know if it's been addressed. But if I were you, I wouldn't be scared off by ventilation/MUA yet. I'd explore the issue in earnest and see what it really "costs." That includes speaking to local resources (inspector, contractor, vendors, etc.) first and balance that with the info you have here.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 11:08AM
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Didn't you just post in another thread that you don't have a range hood? If so, is this a downdraft vent, or none?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 11:10AM
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avidchef, didn't you just buy a charcoal Weber grill for outdoors? Are you thinking of that or exchanging it for solaire?

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:24PM
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I think I just saw somewhere you already bought an induction range. Nevermind. :)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 3:12PM
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Thanks everyone. Let me clarify - I have two ranges in my home - a brand new electrolux induction - which I love. I did not place any ventilation above it because electrolux said it wasn't needed and as far as I can tell its not been necessary. I also have a three year old GE profile which I wanted to replace with a CC because I want an indoor grill. I had one previously on the dacor downdraft which the electrolux replaced. I purchased the weber touch-n-go performer for outdoor use and have been experimenting with charcoal briquettes, wood, and
lump charcoal. I know I cannot bring that grill inside, so I was looking at the solaire and fire magic portables and wondering since they are used on boats if they could also be used indoors in one's home. I live in northern NJ and the grilling is very seasonal. Despite having a deck, I can't grill in the pouring rain or snow. Fitting the CC into my home when the kitchen was completed 30 years ago is a difficult task. It involves cutting and moving cabinets. When the contractor came he said he could not guarantee the cabinets would hold up if I moved them. I had two options for arrangements and one involved cutting a cabinet to fit a hood, but everyone thought it would end up looking odd. So, it was back to the drawing board - and trying to think out of the box. I am upset because I had agonized between a CC and BS for months - finally decided on the CC. Besides the aesthetic appearance and possible breakage is the cost by the time I am finished. Perhaps Hollysprings has the right idea - fix up my deck and try to extend my grilling season. I am also looking into placing a rangetop in a space adjacent to my kitchen, but it is far from the two cooking areas and far from the sinks. It is however directly under the attic and under a normal height ceiling (my kitchen has cathedral ceilings). But my kitchen is already huge and my husband feels extending the kitchen into the playroom area would be a mistake and I know in my heart he is correct. But, I want/need to be able to grill indoors. The George forman and the cuisinart grills just aren't the same.
Any suggestions?????

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 2:35PM
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Perhaps instead of a series of bandaids here that do not address the core problems, a more drastic kitchen remodel is in order. A 30 year old kitchen IS very near it's life's end stylewise, and yours seems to suffer badly from a lack of functionality. If you plan to stay in the home for another 30 years, you WILL end up doing the kitchen. You might as well bite the bullet and address that need now.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2012 at 3:11PM
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Actually my kitchen is extremely well designed and there is nothing in the layout that I would alter. Despite being designed actually 25 years ago, (I said 30 years earlier - but that is how long I have been in my home)there is nothing I would add to it. I was ahead of the curve when I designed my kitchen. I have two ranges (4 ovens, 8 burners), warming drawers, and even a bake center. Yes, my cabinets are old and moving them would be a problem. I simply want an inside grill. I had one previously on my Dacor and am trying to figure out how to achieve that without spending thousands of dollars. I probably will not be in my home another 30 years- most likely 15 years and don't have the $$$ to spend. Replacing my cabinetry alone would be over $75,000 for mid quality cabinetry and its not something I want to do. As I said my kitchen is huge - I have over 80 cabinet doors and drawers. If I had $100,000 sitting around, at this stage in my life I would opt for a trip to a few exotic lands with my husband. However, if you know where I can get good quality recycled cabinetry in the amount I need, I would consider refreshing my kitchen. GreenDesigns, you are right in saying style wise the kitchen is near the end of its life, but it is still a beautiful kitchen and everyone who sees it, still is impressed by it. So, in the end - all I want to do is get a grill.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2012 at 9:15PM
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You have me interested in the same product. I never thought of this. I plan on a CC, but only have room for a 30''. That means no built in grill. But I have a powerful ModernAire hood over the (temporary, I hope) old JennAire range.

Can a portable outdoor style grill be set on top of a range under a 1200 CFM hood? Is it compact enough to be stored on the deck and brought in for use in inclement weather? Hmmmmm. Something else to research.

Avidchef, please do post any information you find.


    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 11:20AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Large and "pretty" and crammed full of stuff doesn't equal well designed. In fact, larger kitchens are more likely to suffer from bad design and to need many more steps to accomplish the same task as in more compact kitchens. Zero ventilation over one range and inadequate ventilation above another without any ability to engineer it properly to serve your wants IS poorly designed.

If you want an indoor grill, then suck it up and spend the money it takes to properly ventilate it or suffer the consequences. Venting a grill IS doable. It just requires an overhead vent and enough CFM. It may not be the "look" you're going for, but you can't have it all. Or don't bother and just grill outside. You will have to compromise on something.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 1:16PM
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My mother recently went through a similar situation. She had a Jenn Aire with the built in electric grill which worked great for ~30 years. It finally couldn't be repaired of fixed any more so, she was in the market for a replacement. Indoor grills are very hard to find today so, your options are pretty limited in a kitchen retrofit if you aren't doing a major remodel. Her only choice was to go back with a similar Jenn Aire.

Your only real option is to do something like a "BIG Green Egg" ceramic grill with lump charcoal on an enclosee patio or similar structure. Big Green Eggs work fine in cold climates if you protect it and yourself from the wind, snow, and rain. An out building would work too but, then you have to cross the open area where your food will get cold, rained on, etc.

Have you considered a low temp smoker in your garage during winter? A Webber Smokey Mountain is something you could use in a clear area in your garage (away from flammables).

I would add a carbon monoxide detector if I used any of these options in an enclosed space.

Here is a link that might be useful: How the BIG GREEN EGG Works

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 1:53PM
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A few years ago I happened to be in 2 different houses that had the separate JennAir grill. Just the grill in their kitchens. I know one did not have a vent.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 3:36PM
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Sophie Wheeler

The electric grills in JennAirs do not really provide a true grilled food experience or true grilled taste to food. They are (barely) better than nothing, similar to a George Foreman type grill, but they don't approach at all what real fire can do. If that real fire taste and real fire grill is the goal, then only real fire will do. That means a pro grade range with indoor approved gas grill with real ventilation or an outdoor charcoal, wood, or gas grill.

While you could install a pro grade range with grill in your home without ventilation, a single use is all it would receive. Once you choked yourself out of the kitchen with the smoke produced, you'd never want to repeat that experience again.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 3:52PM
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Just to clarify: My JennAire doesn't have a grill. Heck, as far as I am concerned it doesn't even have half a broiler. Wimpiest broiler I've ever had.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 8:44PM
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Hollysprings - Ventilation price is not the issue. The issue is the cutting and moving of cabinets. My kitchen is a kosher kitchen which has a lot of complications when doing a layout. My kitchen is spacious to accommodate the need for doubles of everything, yet it is very utilitarian. Its design is superb and meets my needs. I have had professionals chef cook in my kitchen and praise the functionality as well as the beauty of my kitchen. In fact, one asked to come back and use my kitchen again. Ventilation only becomes an issue if I install a grill or a CC or BS. We have finally concluded we cannot install a CC or BS range because cutting and moving cabinets will cause other issues and will not look well. We are contemplating your suggestion of protecting a deck area. Also under consideration is a 30 inch BS char broiler which can be placed where a breakfast bar is currently located. The breakfast bar can be removed and a new counter top and 3 cabinets can be installed. If we do this, we will ventilate with a 900 CFM unit (although only 600 is necessary, I believe).
I understand your feelings about the lack of ventilation with my electrolux - I was concerned. But the engineers at electrolux assured me it was not necessary - and it hasn't been!!! I cook constantly and many people use my kitchen. No one has felt the ventilation to be inadequate - perhaps cathedral ceilings and a ceiling fan help odors to disappear. I have wallpaper in my kitchen and there are no smoke marks or oil splotches on it, nor are there any on my ceilings.
Sidpost - thanks for the interesting suggestion,
Sandra, I called solaire and firemagic. Both did not recommend the usage of their portables indoors. I had thought of putting a grill on a moveable cart and placing the cart right outside my french doors so I could stay inside and grill outside. But they did not think that was a good idea. I try to think outside of the box - but safety is a paramount concern. If you find a way to achieve our aim - let me know.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 12:22AM
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Pro Fire makes an indoor gas grill

    Bookmark   July 24, 2014 at 10:41PM
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Rereading this old thread led to amazement when I read the claim that was made, evidently by an appliance salesman, that the Electrolux induction cooktop wouldn't need a hood. I can barely contain myself. Was this unit to be used only for heating water for tea? Any frying would require ventilation, or else frequent room repainting. One may not see a lot of grease being evaporated when frying at a low sizzle, but it is there, and then it is somewhere else, and preferably the somewhere else is outside.

Thanks for the link, plant1965


    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:59AM
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