Buying a Cast Iron Grill Pan. Flat Rectangular Two-Burner Type or Skillet with Sides?
I am thinking the flat one that covers two burners (has grill pan on one side, flip side has flat griddle surface) would be most practical as it offers more cooking space but wondered if there's an advantage to having sides, like a typical skillet. The skillet type comes round or square. (is that just for appearance sake? Never used a square pan.)
Can't think of what I'd cook on a grill pan that would require sides but I've never had one so I just don't know.
Would not having a lid be a disadvantage or do you even need one with grill pan cooking? Any ideas?
After reading other posts here I'm looking at the Lodge preseasoned.
Slowly but surely this kitchen is getting outfitted. Next indulgence will be a really good knife. Cannot wait for that.
Thanks very much for your help!
Thanks for your replies. After reading everything I think I'll get the Lodge two-burner type because I need the surface space. I do like the idea of being able to start things on the stove and finish in the oven but I need the larger grill surface. The skillet types I've seen only go to about 11". You've all helped very much me with your responses, I didn't even know what things to consider, really.
Plus, it has a griddle on the flip side so I'll finally get rid of the Circulon griddle I hang onto but don't use. I hate it, the surface has tiny lines grooved into it & it's a bear to clean. So why have I kept it this long?? Good riddance.
Looking forward to my first Lodge pan!
I have an old griswold skillet that I love and am really looking forward to this pan. My new Mexican Everyday cookbook is about to get a workout.
I think you're on the right track with the Lodge. I'm not sure what you need a pan with sides for either! It seems to defeat the purpose and it's certainly harder to get a spatula or tongs in there to turn the item. My only thought is that it would be a little cleaner (less splatter). If you use a lid while cooking you almost instantly have condensation. Condensation = soggy grilling. Lodge is good quality and cheap.
I have the two burner old fashioned cast iron grill flat on one side and grill on the other. It is fantastic and I use it for many different things from meat to grilling vegetables for quiches. It is heavy, but for one thing I know it will last forever. Season it well and you'll have fun with it. I think I didn't pay more than $15 for it. I am sure I use it at least 3 times a week or more. Bacaon comes out really nicely, and I especially love to put grill marks on leeks, asparagus, peppers any veggie and it does give it a really nice flavor.
I have a Le Creuset cast iron 2 burner model (plain, not enameled) that is reversible from grill to griddle. It does get a work out even with just cooking for 2. And if you don't need the other half you just don't turn the heat on under that side. Each side has a small lip/trough around the edge and I have not had a problem with juices.
I use my 16" round cast iron pan several times a week, mainly for browning meats & then finishing in the oven, so the sides are needed to prevent the juices from dripping in the oven. I also use it to deep fry chicken & okra.
The cast iron heats thorougly, so one that covers 2 burners isn't needed, unless you want more surface area for larger quantities.
The sides are very useful for me b/c I use the pan so many ways. It's a huge pan that I cover with a cookie sheet if need be (or foil when slow roasting a pork shoulder in the oven). I prefer having fewer pants that serve many purposes.
That said, I do also have a 2 burner skillet for pancakes & french toast. I haven't had success cooking those in the big ol' cast iron.
Someone gave me a Calphalon grill pan as a wedding present, but I find it difficult to clean. If I want the grill "lines" on my meat, I cook on the real grill. Browning meat in the cast iron produces amazing results & delicious food every time. Plus it's simple to clean.
Happy shopping! And you must get a good chef's knife- it will make cooking so much more fun!