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Must-Have: Grill Pan

Everyday Food, January 2008

Smart By Design
Meant to be used on top of the stove, a grill pan has ridges that are similar to the grates of a grill. These ridges give food enticing grill marks, plus they let fat drain. Cook anything in a grill pan (except large pieces like a leg of lamb!) that you would normally cook on the grill, such as chicken, vegetables, kebabs, and even fruit.

Shopping Secrets
Grill pans are usually made from a nonstick-coated metal or from cast iron, which we prefer. They range in price from $20 to $50. We recommend cast iron -- it conducts heat well and cooks foods evenly. To "grill" for a crowd, choose a pan that fits across two burners. Before using a cast-iron pan, season it according to manufacturers' instructions.

Prepping and Cleaning
Preheat the grill pan over medium heat for about 2 minutes or until very hot. Oil the pan before placing the food on it. After cooking, rinse the pan in warm, soapy water, loosening cooked-on bits with a stiff brush, and then dry thoroughly to prevent rusting.

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Comments (3)

  • Keith Hunt 12 Aug, 2014

    Instead of oiling the pan, ever-so-lightly oil the food you are preparing and then place it on the pre-heated grill pan. Also, turn down the heat a little. If you are using a bridged pan that fits across two burners, two burners are going to heat the whole ensemble up a lot more than a single burner would a single pan. Out of 10 heat settings... the highest I have ever set my bridged grill pan is around 4 or so. Plenty hot! Another example: 2.8 (out of 10) is perfect for making pancakes.

  • julieryan 14 Dec, 2010

    you may want to try a different oil with a higher smoke point. Higher quality olive oil typically has a high enough smoke point to withstand the high heat of a grill pan. I haven't had a problem with Bertolli brand oil smoking.

  • svandervossen 25 May, 2010

    Everytime I use my grill pan I smoke up the kitchen and have to run around and open windows and doors so that the smoke alarms don't go off. It even happened when I cooked some Kabobs for 3 minutes on each side. Help me stop the smoke!