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grill pan vs skillet

i
ijc1017 Apr 25, 2010 12:40 PM

So, what's the difference? I have a Foreman grill and just saw what looks like a great Cuisenart skillet (green) and considered buying it, but how do they really differ? Thanks!

  1. cowboyardee Apr 26, 2010 08:33 AM

    A grill pan has raised ridges in an attempt to mimic grilling - you'll get those grill marks that everyone seems to love, and the food won't sit in its own fat or juices.
    http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Logic-Pre-Seasoned-Square-Grill/dp/B0000CF66W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1272295887&sr=1-1

    A skillet (usually) is flat and is ideal for searing foods, as well as sauteing, pan frying, etc.
    http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-Logic-12-...

    Some pans labeled 'skillets' also have raised ridges and in these cases there is no difference between the two.

    1. BobB Apr 26, 2010 11:52 AM

      As cowboy said, the difference is ridges. And while they may be fine in potato chips (or not - whatever happened to Ruffles?) they're a pain in the a$$ in pans. A good-quality flat-bottomed skillet is a hundred times more useful than a grill pan.

      5 Replies
      1. re: BobB
        cowboyardee Apr 26, 2010 12:00 PM

        "A good-quality flat-bottomed skillet is a hundred times more useful than a grill pan."
        _____________________________
        Agreed, though that's sort of like saying a chefs knife is a hundred times more useful than an oyster knife. A grill pan is useful when you specifically want a grill pan and useless at any other time.

        1. re: cowboyardee
          BobB Apr 26, 2010 12:14 PM

          Well, yes - sort of. But an oyster knife is a necessity for shucking oysters. A grill pan is a necessity for nothing, except maybe putting those marks on food - and if you're going to be pan searing a steak, you'll get a ton more flavor letting the whole surface hit the hot pan, not to mention that nice fond as a base for a sauce (try stirring a sauce in a grill pan).

          Plus they're a pain to clean, unless they're non-stick - in which case they can't be heated high enough to do a decent job of grilling.

          1. re: BobB
            cowboyardee Apr 26, 2010 12:41 PM

            Yes, it is for putting grill marks on food without the use of a grill. And there are times when it is perfectly desirable to do so. Presentation matters. While it would never be my first choice of how to cook a nice rib eye, there is a lot more to stove top searing than just steak. I got one as a present and have used it a mere handful of times. And each of those times, it served its purpose very well. I especially like it as a quick treatment for slices of marinated or glazed vegetables.

            Of course I'd recommend getting a whole lot of things before a grill pan, but I don't agree with you that it's useless.

            1. re: BobB
              Chemicalkinetics Apr 26, 2010 03:52 PM

              BobB,

              I don't have a grill pan because I think a plain pan is much more versatile. That being said, I won't said a grill pan is for nothing. I know some people advocating a grill pan allows the foods to sit above the liquid (juice as well as oil). So you get to cook the foods without frying or boiling them.

          2. re: BobB
            e
            E. Leah Sep 2, 2010 08:25 PM

            Thanks all. You just made up my mind. I came here to find a good grill pan that works on an electric stove and now I think I'll stick with my good old cast iron skillet to make my steaks! I love it!

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