Do you know how to use a grill pan? I bet you’ll like to learn. Imagine being in the great outdoors on a hot summer day, with a beer in hand, and juicy steaks cooking on a grill. Except, you don’t have a grill. And it is raining outside. and you don’t have enough space in the balcony of your tiny little apartment on the seventh floor to contain a grill. But you badly want some grilled food. What is the alternative that you use?
Let’s get deeper. What is a grill pan? A grill pan is a skillet with ridges and grooves across its cooking surface which create grill marks on food, for flavourful char marks which is the signature of food grilled outdoors.
What is a Grill Pan Used For?
A grill pan is used to prepare food that is traditionally prepared outdoors on a grill indoors, on a stove, to get the same signature, smoky char on the food. A grill pan can be used to prepare the same foods that you use an outdoor grill for; steak, fish, hot dogs, burger patties, etc. Virtually any food that can be prepared outside on a grill, can be prepared inside with a grill pan on a stove.
A grill pan gives you almost the same results as an outdoor grill, so you can easily have your outdoor experience indoors. (Be sure to turn off your smoke detector alarm because it will get smoky. And loud).
With a grill pan, it is a huge relief to say that you are in no danger of losing your food, unlike in an outdoor grill where you can lose food to the coal on the other side of the grill through the slats.
This brings us to the big question. How do I use a grill pan?
How to Use A Grill Pan
To prepare grilled food indoors, you need a grill pan. However, using an outdoor grill is vastly different from using a grill pan inside on the stove. For one, there’s the surface area to consider.
A grill pan is not complicated to use. However, some things have to be taken into consideration when you want to use a grill pan. It is not the same as a frying pan, whose cooking surface is flat. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use a grill pan:
- Rinse the pan before use, and dry it properly. Use warm water to rinse the pan before using it, and dry it with a clean piece of cloth. This is to ensure that all dust and debris that the pan may have gathered in storage would be gotten rid of.
- Cut your food into thin slices. When your food is sliced thinly, you will be able to simulate the smoky flavor and char marks of an outdoor grill without burning your food. Cutting your food into thin slices guarantees that it will cook through to the inside.
- Brush oil on the food, not on the pan. This is to prevent the food from burning or sticking to the pan. Putting oil directly on the pan could burn and affect the flavor of your food. Burnt steaks don’t make anybody happy.
- Preheat the pan. Before you begin to cook your food on the grill pan, make sure to preheat it on a medium-high flame. Doing sure makes sure that the entire surface of the pan is heated evenly and helps to prevent burning.
- When the pan has been preheated, place your food in it. Gently lower your food into the pan, and step back to hear that delicious sizzle. Ensure that you leave enough space between each piece of food to avoid overcrowding and burning. For an additional smoky flavor, and grill marks on both sides of the food, use a grill cover.
A grill cover is a specially made lid for the grill pan which also has ridges and grooves. It will press down heavily on the food, and trap all the smoke inside, allowing it to seep back into the food for a smokier essence.
- When your food has cooked on both sides, gently lift it out of the pan. After cooking your food on both sides, and it has cooked through, lift it from the pan using a pair of tongs or a spatula. Careful, to avoid scraping the bottom of the pan.
- After cooking, wash your pan with hot water and soap. When you’re done cooking, gently wash the pan with hot water and dish soap to remove any remaining food particles or crumbs. Afterward, dry it with a towel. Do not leave your grill pan out to air dry. This can cause rusting. Instead, wipe it dry immediately after rinsing, and put it in storage.
Tips to Use a Grill Pan Perfectly
Now that you know how to use a grill pan to prepare grilled food indoors, here are some tips to make your cooking process easier, and to increase the lifespan of your grill pan, so that you can prepare delicious grilled food for longer:
- Rinse your pan with warm water before and after using.
- Season your cast-iron grill pan after usage. To season the grill pan, simply rub vegetable oil on the surface of the pan, and place it in the oven for one hour at 190 degrees Celsius, or 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Seasoning your pan helps it cook more effectively and increases its lifespan.
- Place your food perpendicularly to the ridges on your pan to get well-defined charred grill marks.
- Do not move your food in the pan in the first few minutes of cooking. Doing so will reduce the exactness of the grill marks on the food.
- Store the pan in a cool, dry location to prevent rusting.
I hope this article has taught you all that you need to know about how to use a grill pan for cooking food indoors.