You’ve seen them in stores and you’ve probably even considered buying one. But do grill pans work? Are they worth the money?
The short answer is yes, grill pans do work. But that’s not to say that they’re perfect. There are a few things you should know before you buy one.
Why You Should Buy A Grill Pan
Okay, let’s start with the good. The advantage of a grill pan is that it can be used to cook food on the stovetop. This can be a great option if you don’t have an outdoor grill or if the weather isn’t ideal for grilling.
Additionally, a grill pan can be used to cook food in a way that mimics the results you would get from cooking on an actual grill. This can be a great option for those who want the flavor and texture of grilled food but don’t have access to an outdoor grill.
Grill Pan Disadvantages
First, grill pans are not going to give you the same exact char marks that you would get from cooking on an actual grill. If that’s what you’re looking for, then you’re better off sticking with the real thing.
Second, because of their design, it can be difficult to evenly distribute heat when cooking with a grill pan. This means that you might end up with some areas of your food that are overcooked while others are undercooked.
Third, grill pans can be difficult to clean. Those little ridges may look nice, but they’re a pain to scrub when they’re covered in food residue. And if you’re not careful, it’s easy to scratch the surface of a grill pan with a metal spatula or brush.
How Do Grill Pans Work?
Grill pans are designed to replicate the cooking experience of an outdoor grill. They have a series of ridges on the surface that allow fat and juices to drip down, creating those coveted char marks.
Some grill pans also come with a lid, which helps to trap heat and moisture inside, resulting in evenly cooked food. Grill pans can be used on gas, electric or induction stoves, making them a versatile option for any kitchen.
How to Use a Grill Pan:
1. Preheat your pan over medium-high heat.
2. Add a high heat oil to prevent your food from sticking.
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3. Place your food on the pan and cook for 3-4 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.
4. Be sure to use tongs or a spatula to flip your food – do not use forks, as they can damage the surface of the pan.
5. When finished cooking, allow your pan to cool completely before cleaning.
What To Cook On A Grill Pan
Grill pans can be used to cook all sorts of food, from chicken and steak to vegetables and fish.
Here are a few more grill pan cooking options:
– Hot dogs
– Chicken breasts
– Pork chops
– Fish filets
Grill Pan Buying Guide
There are a few things to consider when choosing a grill pan.
The most important of these is the material the pan is made of. Cast iron grill pans are the most popular type, and for good reason – they’re durable and heat up evenly.
Aluminum grill pans (particularly hard-anodized) are also a popular choice, as they’re lightweight and heat up quickly. The Calphalon Contempory is a great Hard-Anodized Grill Pan but it’s a little on the pricey side. Stainless steel and ceramic grill pans are another option, although they may not be as durable as other materials.
First, think about what you’ll be using it for. If you’re mainly cooking burgers and hot dogs, then a basic grill pan will do the trick.
But if you want to cook more intricate items like fish or chicken breasts, you might want to invest in a pan with deeper ridges. The ridges on a grill pan help to evenly distribute heat, resulting in perfectly cooked food.
Second, consider your stovetop type. Not all grill pans are compatible with all types of stoves. Almost all types of cookware are compatible with gas and electric stovetops.
However, not all cookware is compatible with induction stoves – be sure to choose a grill pan that works for induction cooking. Luckily, the most popular grill pan option (cast iron) is compatible.
Induction stoves work by creating a magnetic field that directly heats the pot or pan. As a result, grill pans that are made of ferrous metal (e.g. iron, steel, nickel) can be used on an induction stovetop. If you’re not sure if your grill pan is compatible with your induction stove, you can test it by seeing if a magnet sticks to the bottom of the pan.
Related Article: How To Cook Steak On An Induction Cooktop
Finally, consider your budget. Grill pans can range in price from around $20-$70. Choose the one that best fits your needs and your budget.
What’s The Best Grill Pan?
When it comes to the best grill pan brands, there are a few contenders that stand out from the rest. Some of the most popular brands include Lodge, Le Creuset and Calphalon. All of these brands make high-quality grill pans that are durable and retain heat well.
The Lodge Cast Iron grill pan is the best grill pan and is extremely popular with home chefs. It’s budget-friendly and crafted from durable cast iron, which we know heats up evenly. Also, this bad boy can be used on any type of stovetop , so it’ll fit right in with whatever else you have going on in your kitchen
So, now that the answer to do grill pans work has been provided should you buy a grill pan? I’d say yes because they’re a great arsenal to add to your kitchen and can be a great tool for cooking indoors when outdoors isn’t an option.
Before you buy one, consider whether or not the cons listed above are deal breakers for you. If not, then go ahead and add a grill pan to your collection of kitchen gadgets!