For many people, grilling is an activity that's limited to the warmer months, when clear weather makes preparing dinner outside both practical and enjoyable. Once the weather turns, the rain cover comes out and grilling is over. The Element Indoor Smokeless BBQ brings grilling inside, where people can enjoy it year round.
There are existing options for indoor grilling, but they miss the mark miserably in terms of recreating the actual grilling experience. A grill pan sears a nice set of marks, but it's devoid of any smoky flavor - one of the main reasons to grill in the first place. The same can be said about electric grills. Bringing the charcoal or gas grill inside obviously isn't an option because of smoke and gases. Indoor spaces and real-deal grilling just don't mix.
The Element BBQ (grill to those that are particular) attempts to be the straw that mixes authentic grilling with the indoors. It's essentially a pan that heats over a gas or electric stove. Unlike the average grill pan - typically just a pan with bars on it - the Element has integrated lava rocks to provide a more genuine grill experience and taste. The designers say that lava rocks are smokeless and safe to use inside.
Used in some gas grills, lava rocks are known to heat up grease and drippings, providing a more flavorful grilling experience. They also heat up quickly and provide an evenly distributed heat for cooking. They're already used in commercial grills and charbroilers designed for the indoors; the Element just packages them in a versatile tool that can be used with an existing range.
The Element's grill is height-adjustable, and its handle is removable, giving cooks a little extra versatility in preparing meals. It includes an integrated grease pan that can be removed for cleaning.
The Element smokeless BBQ is available for pre-order at Ideacious. With a price tag of US$225, it's not the cheapest way to grill inside, but it should offer an authentic grilling alternative for the months when you just can't bring yourself to fire up the outdoor grill.