I live in an apartment and do not own my own grill. When summer comes around and all my food magazines are featuring grilled food, I start to get a little sad that I can’t make them. But this past year Chris bought me this grill pan for my birthday. I like it for many reasons.
There are lots of grill pans out there. While I worked at the Chopping Block they always used these double burner, cast iron monsters.
Did they grill well? Yes, they did! Could you ever get them clean afterwards? No. And they were heavy and crazy hot and I was always terrified of burning myself on one of those things in front of the entire class. Anyway, I knew I wanted a non-stick grill pan so that I could actually clean the thing and use it repeatedly.
2. Dual Use
Another reason I like this is because it’s both a grill pan and a panini press (when you know how to use it). So, I can grill up some venison steaks one night using just the pan, clean it easily, and then use it the next night to make panini! The top press is heavy, made of cast iron I think (but it cleans easily). It took me a couple tries to get it to work correctly and brown both sides of the sandwich evenly. The trick is in heating both the grill and the press at the same time. The grill should heat at a medium to medium low temperature and the top press part should be on another burner with a high flame under it for a while, until it’s nice and hot. Then when you use it to press the sandwich, the press will have enough heat to continue cooking while the bottom part doesn’t burn. It’s actually much easier than I’m making it sound right now.
Are good grill pans and panini presses cheap? No. They aren’t. But I have gone through so much cheap kitchen cookware that I am no longer swayed by the higher price. I’d much rather pay more now and have this grill pan around for many years than to buy something half the price that either breaks in a year, doesn’t heat well or is covered in toxic material.
What can you cook on a grill pan?
Turkey, Gorgonzola, Apple and Caramelized Onion Panini
Pistou, Fontina, Mushroom Panini
Soy Marinated Tilapia
Grilled Zucchini and Sweet Potatoes