15 Indoor Grilling Recipes for a Rainy Day

Don't Let the Weather Ruin Your Cookout

Oven barbecued chicken thighs

The Spruce 

It happens to the best of us: You plan a fantastic outdoor barbecue and invite everyone over. The gang gathers, stick their make-ahead salads and sides in the refrigerator, open their beverages, and get ready for the big event. But then the skies open up and you all stare glumly out the window at the downpour. If you have one or a handful of these recipes in your back pocket though, you can save the day by bringing it indoors. These inside barbecue recipes work great for just those situations, or for those of us who don't have a grill. Try them to bring the backyard in, no matter what the forecast.

  • 01 of 15

    Crock Pot Pulled Pork

    3 ingredient crock pot pulled pork recipe

    ​The Spruce Eats / Nita West

    While a long, slow-smoked pork shoulder really has no parallel, this slow cooker version tastes pretty great, too. The thick, fatty cut breaks down just as well in a crock pot as it does in the smoker, but without all of that tending time. Add a few drops of liquid smoke for a more authentic flavor or choose a bottled sauce with a smoky aroma. Serve it right out of the pot with a basket of sliced rolls, some coleslaw, and extra sauce on the side.

  • 02 of 15

    Juicy Baked Burgers

    Juicy baked burgers recipe

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

    You can broil just about any burger or cook it in a skillet or a grill pan on the stove for delicious results. Try this classic burger with your favorite toppings for an indoor grilled feast. If you want a lower-fat burger, this recipe also includes oven options. Make it with ground turkey or chicken or a blend to cut the cholesterol even further.

  • 03 of 15

    Baby Back Ribs With Peach Barbecue Sauce

    Ribs With Peach Barbecue Sauce

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Tender tasty ribs can come out of the oven if you don't have a smoker or the time to make them that way. Top them with this succulent, finger-lickin' good peach barbecue sauce that makes the most of summer produce and no one will miss the smoke. Because baby back ribs are shorter than spare ribs, they come cheaper too. Choose whichever style suits you and your budget best.

  • 04 of 15

    Shredded Beef Barbecue

    Barbecue Beef

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    For an interesting change from pulled pork, grab a pot roast and stick it in the slow cooker. Chuck, rump, or bottom round roasts make the best cuts for long, slow cooking because the connective tissue breaks down over time, making them juicy and delicious. Just add three more ingredients you may already have in your pantry and you likely have this meal on its way. Serve these sandwiches on toasted buns with some of the sauce for dipping.

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  • 05 of 15

    Oven Pulled Pork Barbecue

    Oven Pulled Pork Barbecue

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    This pork shoulder starts off in a hot oven and finishes up long and slow until it comes apart when just barely touched with a fork. Purchased barbecue sauce works just fine, but making your own allows you to adjust the spice level the way you like. Add a little more chili powder if you want more heat, or keep it mild by toning it down. Apple juice lends it a wonderful sweetness that brings out a similar flavor in the meat.

  • 06 of 15

    Baked Beef and Bacon Burgers

    Cheddar and Bacon Stuffed Burgers

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Chopped bacon gives these baked beef burgers a wonderfully smoky flavor as well as lending them a nice, juicy texture. A few simple seasonings, chopped onion, and some Worcestershire sauce level up the flavor. Use ground chuck or meat with an 80 to 85 percent fat ratio for the best texture. Serve with your favorite toppings.

  • 07 of 15

    Juicy Baked Turkey Burgers

    Juicy baked turkey burger with garlic

    ​The Spruce / Katarina Zunic

    Turkey burgers have all of the flavors—but not as much of the fat—of beef burgers. Baking them eliminates any of the greases you may need if you use a grill pan on the stovetop. Turkey breasts and thighs keep these patties juicy while staying lean, while chopped garlic, cilantro, lime juice, and onion give them plenty of Southwest-style punch. A little spicy mayonnaise would taste great on top.

  • 08 of 15

    Slow Cooker Baby Back Ribs

    Slow cooker baby back pork ribs
    Nicole S. Young

    Baby back ribs can still get fork-tender in the slow cooker, even if they won't have quite the same smokiness they get in the steel drum. Try adding a little liquid smoke or choosing a nice, smoky bottled sauce to mimic the effect. Either serve them whole or shred them for sandwiches and serve with a little extra sauce on the side for serving.

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  • 09 of 15

    Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue

    Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue

    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

    Chicken breasts and chicken thighs can make a delicious shredded barbecue that turns into some of the best sandwiches you can serve at your indoor cookout. Set it and forget it in the slow cooker while you prepare the rest of the meal, then serve them straight from the crockpot with a do-it-yourself toppings bar alongside so your guests can customize their sandwiches.

  • 10 of 15

    Oven-Barbecued Chicken Thighs

    Oven barbecued chicken thighs

    The Spruce 

    Yes, you can make barbecued chicken thighs in the oven if you don't have a grill. Grill seasoning gives them that fresh-off-the-coals flavor and homemade barbecue sauce adds a sticky sweetness that completes the whole package. If you run short on time, use bottled barbecue sauce instead. Either skinless or skin-on thighs work fine, but if you use thighs with the skin, let it get nice and brown before removing from the oven.

  • 11 of 15

    Indoor Crispy Grilled Chicken

    Crispy Grilled Chicken Recipe

    dno1967b / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 

    Crispy, crunchy on the outside and tender and juicy on the inside, this breaded, then grilled chicken will satisfy your Southern food cravings. The recipe works well in a dual-sided countertop grill, a stovetop griddle or grill pan, or even in the oven. You can use an outdoor grill too, but the topping may not stick as well.

  • 12 of 15

    George Foreman Grilled Salmon

    Grilled salmon and side salad

    Juanmonino / Getty Images

    You just can't beat classic grilled salmon, but not to worry if you don't have a grill. A George Foreman-style dual-sided grill will give your fish that delicious taste and texture right in your kitchen. A few fresh herbs and a spritz of fresh lemon round out the flavor. Look for salmon that smells a little like the ocean, for the freshest seafood. Fillets work better than steaks in this preparation because they come in the appropriate thickness.

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  • 13 of 15

    Grilled Chicken and Linguini

    Grilled chicken with creamy Cajun sauce and linguine.
    The Spruce

    This entire chicken with cream sauce and linguini combination can come together in the kitchen if you don't have a grill. Cajun seasoning gives a simple cream sauce a little kick and the chicken takes just a few minutes to cook on a grill pan or griddle on the stovetop. Pounding the breasts thin before cooking helps them cook quickly and evenly.

  • 14 of 15

    Indoor Grilled Lemon Chicken

    Lemon and Garlic Chicken


    A dual-sided grill gives this citrus-forward lemon garlic chicken a nice, smoky flavor that just says summer. When using a George Foreman-style grill, cook the chicken all the way through to keep from getting sick; a meat thermometer will give you the most accurate reading. Use boneless, skinless breasts and pound them thin and even for best results.

  • 15 of 15

    Grilled Broccoli in a Pan


    Iain Bagwell / Getty Images

    Grilling broccoli brings out its natural sweetness and chars the florets for a nice, smoky element you just won't find on the blanched version. But if you don't have a grill, you can create the same effect with a stovetop grill pan or skillet. Watch it carefully and turn periodically so it browns evenly but doesn't burn.