How to Use a Grill Pan

A grill pan can provide a great way to emulate the experience of outdoor grilling for the many people who live in apartments and cannot cook outside. A good grill pan will last a lifetime, and can provide you with a lifetime of tasty, healthy food with the signature char flavor you would expect from a grill. They are relatively easy to use and take care of and you can learn how to use a grill pan by following a few simple steps.


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    Choose a grill pan. Grill pans are available in a few different varieties, and you need to pick a grill pan that suits your needs.
    • Grill pans are available in 2 basic sizes. The first is an oblong shape that is designed to fit over 2 burners. These pans are great for entertaining as they can handle a large amount of food, and they often have a flat surface on the reverse side for making pancakes, grilled cheeses and the like. The other size is a smaller pan, with a single handle and a diameter of around 12 inches (30 cm). These are ideal for single-person cooking, and they don't take up much space.
    • Grill pans usually have either a cast iron cooking surface, or a nonstick surface. Cast iron is generally the best choice, because its heavy weight will allow it to emulate the incredibly high temperatures achieved in an outdoor grill. Nonstick surfaces can be easier to clean, however.
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    Remove any protective coating. Cast iron pans often come with a protective coating on them to prevent them from rusting on the store shelf. Remove this coating before use by scrubbing the pan thoroughly with water and a scouring pad.
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    Season your grill pan. In order to prevent rust and to keep food from sticking, cast iron pans need to be seasoned before use. To do this, pour some vegetable oil on a paper towel and then rub the paper towel around the pan, leaving a thin layer of oil covering the entire pan. Place the pan in an oven for an hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 degrees Celsius). The pan will be ready for use after this seasoning.
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    Cook your food using the grill pan. Treat the grill pan similarly to how you would treat an outdoor grill. Brush the griddle lightly with oil before placing the food onto it, and cook using only high heat. Using a grill pan on low or medium heat will cause food to stick. Note that cooking with a grill pan can generate a good bit of smoke, so make sure to turn on your fume hood and open a window.
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    Clean your grill pan very soon after use. If you can't clean it sufficiently with water and a scouring pad, pour some kosher salt onto the pan and scrub it with the scouring pad. This should remove any built-up food. Avoid using soap on a cast iron pan. Doing so will undo any seasoning work that you have invested into it.
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    Season and store the pan. After cleaning the grill pan, dry it thoroughly with a towel; allowing it to air dry will invite rust. Before storing it, rub another light coat of vegetable oil into it with a paper towel. After each use of the pan, rubbing it with vegetable oil will continue to season it, and it will perform better and better with age.


  • If your grill pan rusts, you can scrub the rust away with a steel wool pad.

Things You'll Need

  • Grill pan
  • Water
  • Scouring pad
  • Vegetable oil
  • Paper towel
  • Kosher salt
  • Towel
  • Food

Article Info

Categories: Barbecue Equipment