Grilling Versus Grill Pans

April 22, 2007  •  Tools

I get asked quite a bit about the new grill pans. You can buy them in both nonstick and regular finishes and these pans are meant to be used stove top, presumably in bad weather or when you run out of gas or charcoal, otherwise why wouldn’t you just use your grill? I’ve tried a couple and here are my observations:

  • Grill pans don’t give you the same smoky, grilled flavor you get on either a charcoal or a gas grill. While some versions advertise that the ridges let drippings fall and send smoke back up to the food, it really doesn’t work that way.
  • I see no use for a traditional finish – I’d rather use my outdoor grill, even in bad weather. But if you don’t have access to an outdoor grill or feel differently than I do about grilling in the rain, then the traditional finish would be the next best choice for grilling hearty meats. Your kitchen will fill with smoke, so use the fan.
  • I love the nonstick grill pan for getting grill marks on fish without having it stick. The fish doesn’t really get that grilled flavor, but it looks great and doesn’t fall apart when turn it over.

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