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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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