or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

grill pan advantages?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

When cooking a steak, is there any difference besides appearance when you use a grill pan on a stovetop vs a cast iron skillet?

post #2 of 11

I wonder if it's worth the investment. Aside from appearance, the food doesn't sit in the oil or sauce so you definitely get a leaner cooked food but taste should be more or less the same if you have a good-quality skillet.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

I like to cook a strip steak on high in a cast iron skillet for about 2 minutes/side, and almost no fat renders into the pan. It tastes wonderful, but I just tried to imagine how a grill pan could make it even better. 

post #4 of 11

An amateur's opinion:

 

A grill pan will heat and cool quicker. A cast iron skillet will take longer to heat, impart latent flavours from previous cooking and, if heated long enough, will build more radiant heat which may cook the steak slightly more evenly as opposed to creating as clean a sear and separation.

 

LP.

post #5 of 11

My only grill pans are cast iron so the speed of heating is moot. Grill pans do generate more smoke flavor, though it's not as good as a true grill. You might like Steve Raichlen's book on indoor grilling. 

 

http://www.amazon.com/Indoor-Grilling-Steven-Raichlen/dp/0761133356/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431377896&sr=8-1&keywords=raichlen+indoor+grilling

 

He'll give you some ideas, tips and recipes for getting more out of your grill pan.   Full disclosure: The book uses lots of different gear such as Foreman style countertop grills, grill pans, fireplace grates and so on. It's not just  grill pans. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #6 of 11

You can duplicate the contact grill effect with a grill pan and a heavy  grill press too. Heat the grill press and the grill pan, put the food in the grill pan, top with the hot grill press. Works pretty well and is easier to store.  You can't do as much as fast either, but for one or two people, it's a useful trick. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #7 of 11

Since I replaced my cast iron skillet with a cast iron grill pan, I don't overcook steak anymore. I get tasty bits of caramelisation with the grill marks but a tender pink interior perhaps because there's not as much heat. The flat surface of a skillet always resulted in either the steak's interior being overcooked or the exterior undercaramelised. I cook beef/lamb steak at full heat, turning once after about 2 minutes.

 

However my Cordon Bleu textbook says grill marks don't give flavour.

post #8 of 11

If you have an adequate grill pan where the ridges are tall and sharp, you can emulate an outdoor grill with the following suggestion:

 

Do not clean the grill pan of the little bits of leftover whatever. Scrape off the big chucks and rinse under very very hot water to remove any excess oils from the previous grilling. Do not use any cleanser of any sort. Just blistering hot water and a throwaway knife or a butter knife to scrape between the ridges. Place on the flame and make everything else turn to carbon. Shake off. This is the only way I have found to get somewhat of an outdoor grill flavor indoors. I also use a lid to finish, and remove and rest like any other grilled protein. 

 

Flat cast Iron creates a different flavor/caramelizing effect because the protein is sitting in either it's own or added fat, whereas the grill pan can funnel away the fat as it cooks - if the ridges are high enough. I've seen some that barely rise above the surface of the pan. 

post #9 of 11

the difference is how much contact the meat makes with the pan.....and what you want the final outcome of the product to be.

 

a simple cast iron pan will produce a caramelized exterior like nothing else. It will also produce a fond which can be used to make a sauce.

 

a grill pan will produce the lovely marks. In my opinion that is the only advantage.

post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Canele View Post
 

the difference is how much contact the meat makes with the pan.....and what you want the final outcome of the product to be.

 

a simple cast iron pan will produce a caramelized exterior like nothing else. It will also produce a fond which can be used to make a sauce.

 

a grill pan will produce the lovely marks. In my opinion that is the only advantage.

I'll quibble a bit with some of this, mostly the marks being the only advantage. A grill pan, properly hot, should work a lot like the Weber Flavorizer bars in their grills. Liquids and fats render on to the hot metal and are changed by the heat and rise as smoke and other flavors back onto the meat. 

 

The nature of cooking flat on the surface means the pan will lose heat into the meat. This is why the second surface is rarely as well seared. The pan is simply not as hot and continues to cool. The grill pan with less contact has less of this effect though it is present to some degree. 

 

The fond and seared surface is a good reason to do steaks that way, but I think the grill pan has some good claims of it's own beyond just marks. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #11 of 11

i like steak very much !!:p  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cooking Equipment Reviews