My wife and I got married because we love each other and wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. We also coveted a grill pan. It was the first thing we added to our gift registry, and three years later the reversible grill pan/griddle gets used at least once a week.
This week I’m writing about dishes that celebrate the start of summer, including some of my grilling favorites. I’ve actually been preparing those dishes inside, on my handy grill pan. Is the flavor the same as if I had been cooking on a charcoal grill? No. But my grill pan does leave beautiful grill marks.
Trick No. 1: Buy a cast iron grill. If you’re going to invest (and yes, that is the right word – my grill pan costs more than a Weber grill) in a grill pan, go for cast iron. It holds heat much better than aluminum. You’ll actually be able to cook on the entire surface of the grill, not just the part over the two burners.
If you read some of the online reviews of the grill pan, it sounds like a horrible product. “Everything sticks and it is nearly impossible to clean,” one reviewer writes. That’s because this person isn’t following Trick No. 2: Don’t clean your grill. More specifically, don’t clean your grill with soap and scrub until it’s clean. That just removes the oil and seasoning that builds up to make your grill naturally stick-resistant.
Instead, simply soak the grill in hot water once you’re done cooking (and the grill has cooled down). Using your fingertips, brush away the gunk that has loosened. Let the grill dry and put it away. Sure, it might not be perfectly clean, but it’s not supposed to be!
How do you keep food from sticking? Follow Trick No. 3: Lightly oil the grill each time you use it. Let the grill pan warm slightly, then pour about a tablespoon of oil on the pan. Use a paper towel to spread the oil and soak up any excess. There shouldn’t be any standing oil – this will just smoke and potentially cause flare-ups.
So, is is this heavy (10.6 pounds) and expensive ($170) item a worthwhile kitchen gadget to have? I definitely think it should be on every engaged couple’s gift registry. It’s a luxury, but it also makes grilling a much easier year-round activity.
My wife and I haven’t had any second thoughts about getting married, or getting a grill pan.