A grill pan or griddle is an uncommon cooking pan. You might have seen it on TV on a cooking show when the chef makes some exquisite dish. But these pans are now easily available online.
And if you love grilling but can’t carry your grilling sessions outdoors then it is common to think of a cast iron grill pan for your kitchen.
But do you really need a griddle? Let us throw some light on its pros and cons. But before that, let us tell you some good uses of a cast iron grill pan.
What is a cast iron grill pan used for?
If you love that dark, deep char marks on your steak or meat then it is best you start looking for a good quality cast iron grill pan.
This is because, a cast iron griddle is perfect for grilling steak, burger patties, hotdogs, etc. When it’s snowing or raining outdoors, and you’re in the mood for grilled food then you can always switch to a grill pan.
Raised ridges of the cast iron pan hold heat equally. And this leaves beautiful char marks on the food even if you’re cooking on a stovetop or induction.
Apart from summer classics like burgers, steaks, hotdogs, and pineapple, a cast iron grill is used for cooking shrimp, peaches, asparagus, and potatoes, and making classic American grilled cheese.
Advantages of a Cast Iron Grill Pan:
Now that you know when to use a cast iron grill pan, it’s time to look at some of the pros of having the pan in your kitchen.
- Raised ridges of the pan give beautiful grill marks to the food that looks just like outdoor bbq ones.
- Also, these raised ridges of the grill pan allow proper flow of fat from the meat. Therefore, steak or burger patties won’t be cooking in their own fatty juices.
- You can conveniently grill food indoors with a good cast iron griddle when outdoor bbq is not possible.
- The large surface of the griddle allows you to cook more patties, a large piece of steak, or grill multiple hotdogs at once.
- Cast iron holds heat evenly, therefore, leaving equal char marks on the flat surface of the food.
- Some griddles are also safe to use in your regular oven.
- While the griddle gives char marks to the food, it cannot infuse woody or charcoal flavor.
- The Cast iron grill pan is thick and heavy to lift.
- Cleaning the griddle can be a time-consuming task.
- Cooking or grilling using a cast iron grill pan on high heat might make the meat or vegetable smoke sometimes. This might activate your smoke detectors.
- Cumbersome to store due to its large flat surface.
1. Are grill pans healthy?
The raised ridges of the grill pan allow the free flowing of the fat released from the food. So, basically, you’ll be having less fatty food on your plate using a grill pan. Also, cast iron infuses a trace amount of iron into the food, making it healthier. So yes, cast iron grill pans are completely safe and healthy to use.
2. Do you need to put oil in a grill pan?
Yes, you should put a little oil on the grilling surface before you place steak or vegetables over it. This prevents the sticking of food on the cast iron ridges as well as evenly cooks the portion of the food not touching the grilling surface(1). Simply brush the griddle surface with a thin layer of cooking oil for better grilling overall.
3. Can I use olive oil to season my cast iron griddle?
Olive oil is not a great choice for seasoning cast iron griddle, especially when you’re doing it for the first time. It has a low smoke point which means, olive oil won’t stick longer to the pan surface on high heat. Thus, making it one of the worst oils for seasoning cast iron pan/skillet or griddle.
If weight and cleaning are not big issues, then a cast iron grill pan is definitely worth buying. Somehow, if cleaning is not your strongest suit then you can always learn some quick ways to clean cast iron pans.
It is convenient, easy to use, and has a large flat cooking surface that allows the grilling of a good quantity of vegetables, fruits, and meat.
Also, cast iron is popular for its safe and healthy cooking. So you should surely give a try to cast iron griddle if you love grilling.