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Nov 2, 2013 05:24 PM

Searing on gas grill with cast iron skillet?

So I'm pretty tired of the smoke that is produced when I sear steaks and pork chops on my cast iron skillet in the apartment. I was wondering if I can sear my steaks in my cast iron skillet but on my grill outside? That would be great as I wouldn't smoke out the house.

If this is a possibility what setting do you use on your gas grill to pre heat the skillet?

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  1. It's absolutely possible -- watch it carefully, as it can get hot enough to carbonize things within seconds.

    4 Replies
    1. re: sunshine842

      Take the grate off and put the skillet directly on the burner/ rocks/whatever. Much more efficient heat-wise. And pay attention.

      1. re: rjbh20

        I'm curious what that is so. If the 'interior' of my grill is, say, 500 degrees then why would I need to place the skillet down on the 'rocks' or whatever.

        1. re: c oliver

          Agreed -- I've somehow managed to get my skillet blazing hot while sitting right there on the rack. Much less opportunity to sear myself if I don't have to screw around with hot pans and hot racks.

          1. re: c oliver

            Because if it sits on hot rocks, the heat transfer is much more efficient than just convection (hot air). Try this -- get your oven up to 400, open the door and put your hand in without touching anything. No too bad, right?

            Now grab the oven rack with your bare hand -- after all, its the same temperature, right? (Note to the literal-minded -- do not try this at home)

      2. Absolutely. I have a large cast iron griddle that I use on my gas grill for all sorts of things, including smash burgers (the best crust!), steaks and bacon. I love that it leaves the mess outside.

        I put the griddle in the grill when I turn it on, so that it heats up slowly with the grill. I turn all my burners on high immediately, and haven't had any issues with warping or cracking. I give it a good 20 mins to half hour to heat up, minimum.

          1. When blackened redfish was the 'hot' item in the 80's, I would heat up the skillet on the stove and with a heavy glove run it outside to the hot grill for the blackening, which makes a near explosion that you don't want to happen in your kitchen, more than a sear.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Veggo

              LOL -- I remember a friend of ours who'd decided to wow us with blackened redfish -- smoke alarms going off, smoke pouring out of the apartment....and the lingering aroma of blackening spice for months -- even on his clothes.

                1. re: Veggo

                  far more than we enjoyed his "aura" for the next few months!

                2. re: sunshine842

                  Oh geez. You could be talking about hubby and me. LOL.

                3. re: Veggo

                  I made this last week -- still a great dish when done right. And not in an apartment.

                  1. re: rjbh20

                    Nice! I'm pleased it has not been forgotten!

                4. Sweet thanks for the replies everyone! So is it best to put the pan on the grill when it's hot or put on the grill before even turning on the gas and let it heat while the grill heats?

                  If anyone can direct me to a very good pork chop recipe done on a cast iron skillet I'd really appreciate it. Haven't found a really good one yet. Want to impress the wife tomorrow :)

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: Kleraudio

                    Pork chops Marsala -- just use your basic veal Marsala recipe and substitute a seared pork rib chop

                    1. re: Kleraudio

                      Let it heat while the grill heats. Cast iron likes to be heated gradually.

                        1. re: c oliver

                          Thermal shock can crack cast iron... most of us know about gradual cooling (hot pan in cold water = cracked pan), but heating is same principle, I believe.

                          1. re: AaronE

                            Yes, but almost always it is easier to cool a cast iron pan instantaneously than instantaneously heat up a cast iron pan. It is much easier to put a red hot cast iron pan in a tube of ice cold water than to put a ice cold cast iron pan in a pool of hot oil.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                              Good explanation, CK. After I use anything CI, I do a little mini-reseason by putting it on the burner and turning to high. Once the drops of water dry up, I add a little oil, wipe with a paper towel and then turn off the heat. Never had a problem with that.