Grill pan...what's best?
I've always done my grilling outdoors on a gas grill, but would now like to buy a grill pan so that I can grill indoors on my gas stove. Most of my cooking is for only two persons, but occasionally I cook for four. Highest priorities are good grill marks on the cooked foods (steak, chicken, veggies, etc.) and easy cleanup. What grill pan do you really like and
Get one that is THICK for lots of thermal mass that will span two burners on your stove. I used the Lodge model with good success.
A normal grill pan will give you the grill marks but, will it give you the space you need to cook everything? On the cheap, a Lodge skillet with the ribs works pretty well and doesn't take up a lot of room.
re: Sid Post
I don't use a grill pan, but I second the two-burner idea. I use a flat-surfaced one when I make a lot of French toast. It's really the only thing I use it for, so I call it my French toast pan. I wonder if you can get a double-burner pan that's grill on one side and flat on the other. That would be useful.
Well, I can tell you what's not the best ..... Nathan's Reversible Grill Griddle. I have one that I got for a good price at Target, but I am far from thrilled by it.
It's basically the same as this:
I do use the griddle side for pancakes and tortilla's, but it can't take the heat required for searing/"grill marking" because it's not cast iron.
Cook's Illustrated review of Grill Pans.
Published January 1, 2006. From Cook's Illustrated.
***** Paraphrased review *****
Cook's Illustrated determined that aluminum grill pans were the pans of choice for indoor grilling because, aluminum grill pans were lighter, more heat conductive and produced
more distinct grill marks than did cast iron grill pans. They also found that stamped, hollow bottomed ridges, produced more distinct grill marks than did solid cast ridges. The reason for this is because the interior of the hollow ridges were directly exposed to the heat source which allowed for better heat transfer.
Graded on grilling performance and cleanup in descending order.
All in the Recommended category scored the same
for performance and cleanup, except for the All Clad which left uneven
grill marks on zucchini. The Simply Calaphon
ranked at the top due to its large cooking area and best price
in the category.
All of the Recommended with Reservations category had faint or
uneven grill marks. In addition, the Scanpan had tall, tight ridges
that made for more difficult cleaning than the others.
Simply Calphalon Nonstick 13-Inch Round Grill Pan, Model Number SH1113P
Pampered Chef Professional Cookware 11-Inch Square Grill Pan, Model Number 2868
Anolon Advanced 12-Inch Covered Deep Round Grill Pan, Model Number 81302
Swiss Diamond 11-Inch Square Grill Pan, Model Number 66281
All-Clad LTD. 11-Inch Square Grille Pan, Model Number 3011
Recommended with Reservations
Berndes 12-Inch Square Grill Pan, Model Number 696167
Look Nonstick Square Grill Pan, 10 1/2 Inches, Model Number C-G27
Scanpan Classic 10 1/2-Inch Nonstick Square Grill Pan, Model Number 27301200
I have a vintage Belgique, flat, round, cast iron grill pan that I resort to when the weather's too nasty for real grilling, or I want a panini-style sandwich (with a foil-wrapped brick). Enameled on the bottom and uncoated cook surface. $5 garage sale find. Actually works really well, and not too bad to clean.
FYI, Lodge makes a rectangular bare cast-iron grill SHEET (as opposed to a pan) that I like to use both indoors and out for kebabs and vegetables, especially asparagus, eggplant and zucchini. But you have to make sure your hob and surrounding area are drip- and flame-safe!