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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My dad has a cast iron pan that I love to cook steak in, but I've seen cast iron grill pans and I've wondered if there are major benefits the grill pans have over regular pans and not just preferential benefits.  My thought is that since the food will not be sitting entirely in the fat/oil, the food will not be as high in calories and fat as in a regular cast iron pan, and I'm wondering how true that thought is.  As well as if there are any other benefits that could justify buying a cast iron grill pan and not just sticking to the regular cast iron pan.  I know that the grill pan will be more difficult to clean, which is another reason that I'm hesitant to buy one.
 

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You will certainly have less fat in your steaks using a good grill cast iron pan, cause the fat drips to the outer ring.

Flat grills will tend to fry the meat in its own fat (or butter, or other fats). That's good for burgers, not for steaks, tho the opinions are divided.

It may all depend on the quality of your steaks. Here, in Argentina, we have pretty good beef and we do not use flat grills for steaks.
[justify] [/justify]
Conclusion: you need both.
 

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I use one of these on my grill for almost 100% of everything I cook. I love it. Mine is a no-name cast iron jobbie. DO NOT get the "techno-fake metal-razmataz-voodoo" kind. Suck-City. It works because you can get full even heating with NO flare-ups. It gives great marks and color. If you've got any clue at all they are very easy to clean. I let it stay screaming hot for all things stuck to burn up and then hit it with a spray of water. The water steams up and releases all the burnt up parts. I then brush it off with a small wood-handled $1.09 welder's brush. In 5-minutes it's good-to-go.

welder's brush (size of a pregnant toothbrush)

Fake metal. Absolute piece of junk ...
 

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I live in Chicagoland ... I grill outside almost every day. Plus ... I just explained how to easily clean them ... so you've got that going for you ... which is nice.
 

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I have a flat top grill at work divided in two. One half is flat the other with groves.

The grooved flat top part is called a "French" grill.

True that the fat runs off of steaks but it works really well for fish, seafood, and other non-fatty items.

It does gives nice grill marks though.I have never used to cook steak though.
 

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I don't generally take all the carbon off. Leaving some carbon adds to the seasoning, and somewhat of a 'charcoal flavor' you can't otherwise get without an outdoor grill. I use hot water and a dull butter knife to scrape the edges clean, but my grill pan has sharp risers. Not like what you pictured. I prefer the sharp edge as opposed to the rounded kind, which seem to be most all of them these days.

I also use it for burgers, steaks, fish, poultry. I've made sandwiches on it with another cast iron pan on top like a panini press.

Definitely need both kinds, though.
 

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The actual "seasoning" doesn't come off, just the burned up stick-on parts. The browned bits, so-to-speak, that would make up pan sauce.
 

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After many, many, times being used, seasoning is created by what is left behind. In my pan, I never use a brush, and just scrape off the big chunks, and whatever hot water can't remove stays on and gets "seasoned" or heated after being wiped out with a paper towel. 

I also never use the grill pan to make sauce. If I want sauce, I make it in a flat pan. Everybody is different though. 
 

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Maybe you're not catching what I'm saying. The stuff that I clean off is the burnt garbage from whatever was just cooked. This is not something that will bring anything good to the next item cooked. I didn't say I was making any kind of sauce from anything left on the grill pan. I was making a reference to what would be left in a regular pan that you would make sauce of and from.

I know I speak and explain clearly. I don't get it how some people just don't understand simple things.
 
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