Smoke-free grilling at home – simple and tasty recipe ideas

Summer is the perfect time to light up the grill outside, but smoke-free grilling at home can also be very enjoyable. If you’re craving the fresh, summery taste of a grilled burger or chicken breast, you can get it in fall or winter too. Here are some easy and healthy indoor grilling recipes that will take in the amazing taste of grilled dishes, whether you cook them on charcoal or on a platter.

Good reasons for smoke-free grilling

electric grill with steak and vine tomatoes as a variant for smoke-free grilling at home

You can grill indoors if, for example, you invest in a grill pan. However, there are a few reasons why a smoke-free grill is a better option. If you live in a city apartment, you likely don’t own a grill or you live in a place too cold to grill all year round. On an indoor grill you can prepare juicy steaks, a variety of burgers and much more for tasty lunches and dinners. Before you begin, however, there are a few pointers to keep in mind. Heat the electric grill first for minimal sticking. A hot surface means your food may burn. So, to avoid a smoky home, you can make these simple recipes without having to part with the summer feeling.

man grills green asparagus and steaks on a contact grill comfortably indoor grill

As the name suggests, these grills are designed specifically for smoke-free indoor use. However, you may be wondering how this should work. There are two types of indoor grills, each of which allows for smoke-free grilling using slightly different methods. First there is the open grill. The heat source in these devices concentrates the heat primarily on the cooking surface. For this reason, the collecting pan below remains cool and greasy droplets simmer and do not smoke. Second, there is the contact grill, which has a hinged lid. In this case, the heat sources are above and below. However, these grills are angled with a drip pan outside the cooking surface. Because of this, the fat does not simmer or smoke. So you can use the two variants for a smoke-free grilling in your home. Both types of grills work well for such recipes, and you can discover some of them here.

Soba salad with grilled tofu

Soba noodles in salad with grilled tofu as a traditional dish served with chopsticks

If you prefer the vegetarian protein of the tofu, the product is well suited for smoke-free grilling. Simply dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper and add to the salad. For example, you can use a metal mixing bowl that you can turn over. Use this as a lid for your grill if you want it to be even more smoke-free. However, keep in mind that it will then be hot.


  • 350 g tofu
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • 250 g soba noodles
  • 150 g baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup Ponzu sauce (spicy sauce based on citrus fruits)
  • 6 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed


  • First cut the tofu into 1 cm thick slices.
  • Then dry them off with paper towels.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill on medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once.
  • Then cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces.
  • In the meantime, cook the soba noodles.
  • Place baby spinach in a colander in the sink and drain the hot noodles just above the spinach.
  • Rinse with cold water and drain well.
  • Finally, mix the salad with ponzu sauce, radishes and grilled tofu and garnish with peanuts.

Grilled chicken breast fillet with quinoa and rocket

bowl of grilled chicken breast fillet and quinoa with cherry tomatoes and arugula on the side

This delicious and summery dish can be served in a warm bowl for lunch or dinner. The side dish made from olives, tomatoes, rocket and quinoa as well as the spicy crust made from herbs make it a diverse combination that you can enjoy every day.


  • 4 chicken breast fillets (approx. 150 g each)
  • 1/4 teaspoon herbs of Provence
  • 1 cup of red quinoa
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • 4 cups of arugula
  • 2/3 cup pitted green olives, quartered
  • 350 g cherry tomatoes, halved


  • Season the chicken breast with herbs from Provence and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  • Grill on medium heat for 3 minutes per side until the meat is cooked through.
  • Cook the quinoa according to the label’s instructions.
  • Mix the vinegar, olive oil, spring onions, Dijon mustard and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a kitchen mixer.
  • Mix half of the vinaigrette with the cooked quinoa, rocket, cherry tomatoes and pitted green olives.
  • Serve the chicken over the quinoa with the remaining vinaigrette.

Smoke-free grilling of salmon with cucumber and dill sauce

Smokeless grilling recipe for salmon with cucumber dill sauce served in black plate

Our second selection of smoke-free grill recipes is with salmon. If you like this type of fish, you will love this recipe. However, it can also be prepared with other types of meat. The creamy sauce offers the perfect balance for this tangy pleasure. Here’s what you will need for the grilled and blackened salmon.


  • 450 g salmon fillets
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1 – 1/2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • Lemon wedges
  • several sprigs of fresh dill

What you need for the creamy cucumber and dill sauce:

  • 1/2 medium cucumber, seeds removed and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons of dry or fresh dill
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper


  • First spread the melted butter over the salmon fillets and season lightly with lemon pepper and seasoned salt.
  • Then combine the next 10 ingredients (all spices and herbs) in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Then rub the seasoning generously on the skinless side of the salmon and lightly on the bottom where the skin is on.
  • Store in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  • First, while the salmon is cooling, combine the cucumber, sour cream, mayonnaise, dry dill, chopped garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Then chill the creamy cucumber grill sauce in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Then preheat your smokeless grill and spray it with a light layer of olive oil.
  • Then place the salmon skin side down on the grill for about five to eight minutes.
  • Then turn the fillets over and cook them for about the same time until the internal temperature reaches about 63 degrees Celsius.
  • Finally, remove from the grill and serve immediately with the creamy cucumber-dill sauce, dill and a lemon wedge.

Simply grilled teriyaki steak

appetizing looking teriyaki steaks garnished with sesame seeds and spring onions after grilling

The next suggestion for smoke-free grilling is cooked on a regular grill in this example. However, you can grill the meat on an electric device. So enjoy this classic main course all year round regardless of the weather.


  • 450 g meat for beef steak
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds


  • First cut the beef crosswise into three equal portions.
  • Then whisk together the teriyaki, garlic, ginger, spring onions and lime in a large bowl.
  • First, toss the steak in the marinade until it is completely coated.
  • Then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the meat for at least 30 minutes.
  • Once the meat is marinated, preheat your smokeless grill and coat the surface with the extra virgin olive oil.
  • When the grill is hot, remove the steak from the marinade and place on the grill.
  • Next, season everything with salt and pepper and grill for about three minutes per side for undercooked steak, otherwise 6 minutes each.
  • Finally, remove the steak from the grill and place on a cutting board. Then cover it with foil and let it cool for about three to five minutes.
  • Then cut the steak into thin strips, garnish with sesame seeds and serve with any side dish or baguette.

Grilled watermelon with mint and lime juice

Grilled watermelon with mint and lime juice as a starter prepared by smoke-free grilling

The next recipe is something out of the ordinary. You can grill this summer freshness as a starter or even serve as a dessert. Surprise your family and friends with this uniquely prepared watermelon.


  • 1/4 cup honey
  • Juice from 4 to 6 limes
  • 2 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 medium watermelon, cut into pieces 2-3 cm thick
  • 1/2 cup of mint chiffonade (cut into wafer-thin strips)


  • First whisk honey, lime juice, cayenne pepper and salt in a small bowl.
  • Then preheat the grill.
  • Brush each side of the watermelon with the spicy honey and lime mixture.
  • Then place the pieces of watermelon on the grill and grill for about two minutes on each side until grill marks have developed.
  • Finally, remove the fruit pieces from the grill, garnish with the chiffonade and serve.
  • You can combine this treat with a dip made from guacamole (pureed avocado) and jalapeños.

Smoke-free grilling of dessert with peach and Nutella

peach halved and grilled by smokeless grilling with nutella as well as vanilla ice cream and maraschino cherries as dessert

Last but not least, we will introduce you to a grilled dessert that will delight you. This can be a delicious surprise for your guests or family at the end of the evening.


2 peaches

2 teaspoons of honey

4 tablespoons of Nutella

4 scoops of vanilla ice cream

1/4 cup chopped pecans

4 maraschino cherries


  • First, preheat the smokeless grill.
  • Next, cut and core the peaches in half and generously brush each cut side with about 1/2 teaspoon of honey.
  • Then place the peaches on the grill with the cut side down and let them grill for five to eight minutes until the peaches start to grill.
  • Then turn the pieces of fruit over and grill them for another two to three minutes.
  • Remove from the grill plate and let cool for two to three minutes.
  • First, fill the hollow areas with about a tablespoon of Nutella.
  • Finally add a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a pinch of whipped cream, about a tablespoon of pecans and at least one maraschino cherry.
  • You can replace the peaches with nectarines if that’s your preference.
  • In the original recipe, the whipped toppings and maraschino cherries were listed as an optional side dish.

Pros and cons of the smokeless grill

double and smoke-free grilling of steak and prawns with modern equipment

As with any kitchen appliance, a smoke-free grill has positives and negatives. First, you can stay indoors. Rain or shine, hot or cold – a planned barbecue party is always an option when you have a contact grill. Second, temperature control is as easy as turning a rotary knob or adjusting the burner heat. Third, cleaning is easy. For example, you don’t get dirty with soot all the time like when you use the charcoal briquettes. In addition, there is no need to dispose of ashes after cooking. Fourth, you have several options when cooking. For example, the contact grills are ideal for making sandwiches such as the French croque monsieur or the Italian panini. Finally, you can easily turn all of your favorite dishes into smoke-free recipes. For example, almost all of the recipes we have selected are suitable for indoor and outdoor grilling.

flipping burgers on an outdoor grill

One disadvantage that can be mentioned is that you have to forego the authentic smoky taste with smoke-free grilling. Of course, you can always add some liquid smoke, but it’s not the same as getting the taste of real smoke from burning embers. The heat distribution is different when using an electrical source. For example, you get far less radiant heat from a contact grill than from an outdoor grill. The heat from coals or firewood will help cook the food quickly and evenly.

a group of friends laughing and talking while having a barbecue in front of the fire

There are also some restrictions on the size of the grill plate. For example, it is not possible to cook a whole chicken on an electric grill. Likewise, this does not work with ribs due to the lack of ambient heat. After all, cooking over an open fire is also more fun. There is nothing better than chatting with friends over a barbecue.