What is a Grill Pan? + How to Best Use it!

When it comes to cooking, you know how important it is to have the right kitchen equipment. If you’re looking to make the juiciest, most sumptuous steak you’ve ever had, then a grill pan is your best option!

Grill pans have become an increasingly popular type of cookware that allows you to cook delicious, finger-licking meat and vegetables with the perfect char-grilled lines.

Let’s have a look at what a grill pan is and everything it can do for you.

What is a Grill Pan?

A grill pan is a type of cookware that is very similar to a frying pan but has a unique design that is meant to serve a different purpose. Just like a frying pan, a grill pan comes with raised edges for easier cooking.

However, the most prominent feature of this pan is the grill lines on the cooking surface that are at least 1 to 2 centimeters apart.

Moreover, the grill lines are at least 0.5 centimeters high as they help the juice from the food you’re cooking to trickle down.

A majority of grill pans come with a non-stick surface to ensure that your food cooks correctly without sticking.

What Types Of Food Should You Cook in Grill Pans?

A grill pan is great for foods that you want grill marks on. Therefore, there are endless possibilities for the type of foods you can make.

Considering the ease with which you can cook and the beautiful finished look of the food, these pans are a good enough reason to start cooking!

Here are some foods that will cook beautifully in a grill pan.

Shrimp

Even though shrimps are quite delicate, they can surely handle the high heat.

You should opt for jumbo shrimps to get the best results of the stunning grill marks.

Lamb

A grill pan is ideal if you’re looking to make really succulent and juicy lamb chops with grilled marks.

Vegetables

You can grill a variety of vegetables in a grill pan.

Some of the most commonly grilled vegetables are the ones that go well with steaks such as mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, etc.

Sandwiches

A grill pan can help you make the most delicious sandwiches and burgers with the perfect grilled marks.

From a Panini Margherita to grilled tofu and bacon sandwich, you can experiment with various ingredients.

Advantages of Using a Grill Pan

Many people who have a frying pan don’t consider investing in a grill pan.

However, if you’re one of those people, you should know that a grill pan offers a variety of benefits, the main one being a delicious meal!

Here are some advantages of using a grill pan.

Grill and Chargrilled Marks

There’s no denying that steak with solid grill marks tastes different than a normal one!

A grill pan gives the meat a nice grilled look with dark dents that are crusty and satisfying. So, it’s always better to grill in a grill pan rather than any other type of cookware.

And you also get a smoky flavor that is often associated with outdoor grills.

Saves Time by Grilling More Food at a Time

A grill pan is a rather large and spacious type of pan that comes in either a round or square shape.

Despite the shape you opt for, they are big enough to allow you to cook more food in one go.

So, you can cook any sort of meat along with vegetables at the same time in the same pan without having to wash it over and over again.

Comes with Ridges for Collecting Fats

Grill pans come with ridges that allow the fat and juices from the meat to drop off.

This prevents the food from broiling in its own juices and rather allows you to gather the juice for sauces.

Allows Indoor Cooking

A grill pan works great on all indoor cooking surfaces so you don’t have to step out anymore and use an outdoor grill!

You can cook and enjoy a variety of dishes like chargrilled steaks within the comfort of your indoor kitchen.

A grill pan can be a special blessing to cooking juicy meat indoor during the summer season and getting that grilled flavor.

So if you have a grilling recipe that calls for an outside grill, worry not. You can easily get the same done with a simple cast-iron skillet.

Allows Healthy Cooking

Grill pans are safe to use and allow you to cook a variety of healthy meals by maintaining the full flavor of the food.

All in all, grill pans have many more benefits to offer compared to a regular plan. However, it’s essential for you to learn how to distinguish between different types of pans and their main uses.

What to Look for in a Grill Pan?

Are you looking to invest in this great type of cookware?

While it may seem easy to just buy a grill pan, there are a few things you need to consider first.

The Handle of the Grill Pan

When buying a grill pan, you need to pay attention to its handle. The longer the handle is, the less hot it will be.

However, it’s also important to consider that a long handle adds weight to an already heavy pan. So, you need to make sure that your grill pan also comes with a ‘helper handle.’

This is basically a loop that is located opposite your long handle, which can help you lift a heavy pan easily (suing both hands).

Body and Material of the Pan

There are many options you have when it comes to choosing the material of a grill pan. Cast-iron is the perfect material for a grill pan as it helps retain heat phenomenally.

However, you also have the option to choose anodized aluminum or stainless steel.

Both these materials are considerably light and heat pretty well, but are usually unable to hold hot temperatures for too long. You can choose any material depending on your usage and needs.

Cooking Surface of the Grill Pan

Cast-iron grill pans are either pre-seasoned or coated with enamel.

A seasoned interior of a cast iron grill pan lasts relatively long and can easily be re-seasoned. Moreover, the enamel coating offers a much better release and is also easier to clean.

If you are choosing a stainless steel grill pan, you need to know that they are fairly difficult to clean. This is because the oil scorches and settles between the ridges, making it hard to access.

Another option you have is to opt for aluminum or stainless steel with a nonstick coating. However, this type of grill pan might not give you the perfect caramelized grill marks you’re looking for.

Also read: Why Is Cast Iron Pan Sticky After Seasoning?

The Exterior of the Pan

This factor isn’t something you need to consider essentially. However, it is something that could make your life a little easier.

For instance, most cast-iron grill pans come with an enamel exterior. Not only does this make them super-easy to clean, but it also adds a pop of color to your kitchen.

The Shape of the Pan

The shape of the cast iron grill pan (cast iron skillet) you want depends on your needs. You will find both square and round grill pans.

However, a square grill pan is usually the preferable option due to its big surface area since grilled foods have to be cooked in a single layer.

You can also opt for a round pan if that suits you.

How to Use a Grill Pan

Much like any other pans, grill pans are very simple and easy to use. Since these pans are made with sturdy metals, they can support medium-high heat.

To keep your pan intact, you will have to balance the warmth of the stovetop depending upon whether or not your pan has a non-stick covering.

Keeping this in mind, here are step-by-step instructions to use a grill pan correctly.

Prep the Sustenance

The first thing you need to do is to prep your meat or vegetables.

To ensure that your meat is evenly cooked in the grill pan, you will have to cut the pieces accordingly. This helps guarantee that the thickly-cut pieces aren’t over or undercooked.

Warm the Grill Pan

The next step includes turning the stove on a medium-high warmth and placing the grill pan on the stove.

Make sure to spot your hand over the pan in order to have an idea about how hot it is.

It can take anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes for your pan to warm up, depending on the kind of stove you have.

Oil Your Food

A major mistake that many people make is that they oil the grill pan. This often backfires as it makes your pan smoke at extremely high temperatures.

So, the better option for you is to simply coat your meat/veggies that you want to cook in oil.

Grill Your Meal

Now it’s finally time for you to grill your meal! Firstly, place your food at a 45-degree point.

After a while, you will need to turn the food at a 90-degree edge to get the perfect grill marks.

You can also sprinkle some smoked salt to get a smoky flavor.

Clean the Grill Pan

Even though it might be a hassle, you need to clean your grill pan religiously after every use!

If there is significant burning or charring, soak your pan in warm water for a while. If you don’t maintain your pan by keeping it clean, the stains will only get worse.

Moreover, if you have a cast-iron grill pan, make sure to let it dry completely before storing it. This will help increase the life of your pan by keeping rust at bay.

A cast iron grill pan can make for the perfect addition to your kitchen cookware.

It is truly a great asset especially if you enjoy cooking and love eating!

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