Find out what a grill pan is, how to buy a good one, how to use and how to cook your perfect grill pan steak: save time, save oil and enjoy delicious food.
A grill pan is a cross between a grill or a barbeque and a normal pan. Its biggest advantage, compared to a normal frying pan, is that you will use less oil. For those on a low fat diet: grilled dishes will result in much less fat on your plate, because for starters you will put less oil on your meat or veggies, and any access oil (from a fatty steak) will drip into your grill pan.
The best grill pan won’t necessarily have to be the most expensive, but the chance that it will be he cheapest, is unfortunately small.
The most important feature is that the ribs of the pan are high enough, so with a bit of extra fat in the pan, you meat or veggies wont fry touching the oil but still grill on the ribs.
The first and still best grill pans are the cast iron ones (type Le Creuset) because:
- they can heat up to high temperatures: you need it hot!
- they are heavy, so once in place on your stove, they won’t move
- the last a lifetime (not to mention they can be passed on to your next generation…)
- they are oven proved (very practical when the handle can be detached or folded)
- extra taste compared to a non-stick, as the non stick doesn’t produce the typical browning of your meat or fish (Maillard reaction between the sugars and the protein of the meat and fish on a stick surface: once the browning has taken place, the meat or fish won’t stick on your pan anymore)
When you aren’t going to grill a lot, you don’t want to commit your money, or you will be grilling mostly veggies, then non stick pans will do. Just know that they can’t be heated as much as a cast iron grill pan can.
The one in the picture on the right is a Tefal pan bought in Ikea. The nice thing about this grill pan is that the handle can be folded over your pan, so you don’t need to much space to store it.
How to use a grill pan
- season your vegetables (sweet peppers, onion-rings, egg-plant slices, mushrooms), meat, fish or seafood,
- rub some oil on both sides of your veggies, meat, fish or seafood (yummies with squid seasoned with pepper, seasalt and chili flakes): never add oil into your grill pan, because as such it will simply turn into a normal frying pan!
- wait at least until the ribs have burned the typical grill lines in your food (hence it won’t stick on your pan anymore)
- turn over,
- grill further until done.
Grill pan steak
There are 2 ways to get a delicious steak on your plate:
- frying in butter in a pan and
When frying in a pan, you need to make sure your butter doesn’t burn: make sure the steak fits the pan exactly and adjust the temperature when needed (lowering the fire or adding more cold butter, or both).
It becomes much easier when you use a grill pan: since there won’t be access butter in your pan, you can’t burn what isn’t there: easypeasy.
- a piece of steak about 2 1/4 inch (3 cm) thick
- pepper and seasalt
- oil to fry
How to grill a steak:
Never prick your steak (with a fork)!
- Take your steak out of the refrigerator, so it can warm up to room temperature.
- Season both sides with pepper and seasalt.
- Drizzle a few drops of oil on your meat and spread the oil with your fingers over the meat. Repeat on the other side.
- Heat the grill pan.
- Place your stake on the hot grill (at 10 minutes to 10h). You know when your grill is hot enough when you hear it sizzle. If no sizzle, heat your grill even more.
- After 2 minutes, lift the meat, turn it on the same side but in the direction "10minutes passed 10" and put back on the grill pan. This will cause the typical checked pattern you see in the restaurant on their grilled meat.
- After a total of 4 minutes, you turn the meat upside down, again in the direction 10′ to 10h.
- After another 2 minutes you lift the meat, turn the meat to "10 passed 10" and grill for 2 minutes more. You should be able to see the cooked blood running on top of the surface of your steak.
- So after a total of 8 minutes on the grill pan, remove your steak, which will now be between rare and medium rare.