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I'm thinking of buying a stovetop grill pan similar to this one:

What can something like be used for? I.e, could it be used for grilling a chicken breast or vegetables like egg plant, and/or everything else that can be barbequed?

If so, what would be the method of cooking on this, i.e, would I need to oil the grill? How much would I have to heat it up? Would I marinate my chicken breast or can it be put on without any marination?

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closed as not constructive by Joe, Aaronut Sep 9 '11 at 14:15

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I read your question as "I am thinking about buying a pan, does anybody know how I can use it?" Not to put too fine a point on it, but shouldn't YOU have some idea of what you want to use it for? – Cos Callis Sep 9 '11 at 12:09
@Cos - I think he's asking this as a result to my answer on this question… – rfusca Sep 9 '11 at 13:01
@rfusca, well does put it in a more sensible context... :) – Cos Callis Sep 9 '11 at 13:08
I think it's pretty obvious that a grill pan is used for grilling. If you have something specific to ask about its performance in specific scenarios, please do. – Aaronut Sep 9 '11 at 14:15
Oddly, I don't find this question too general at all. There is a method for using a grill pan - which is part of the question... In regards to that "What can it be used for?" may sound too general - but its not a real grill, so it doesn't sound unreasonable to me to ask if all the usual things can be used with it. I hope he edits and we reopen, I think there's a good, valuable question here. – rfusca Sep 9 '11 at 15:02
up vote 3 down vote accepted

First off, even if you're not a cast iron fan - don't get a non-stick grill pan. They're not meant for high heat. The cast iron version is highly recommended.

The trick to using a grill pan on the stove is to realize how it relates to cooking on a real grill. Treat it as you would if you were grilling over direct coals with the lid open on a grill. If you would finish the meat strictly like that on the grill, then you could finish it fully on the stovetop. Think burgers, sausages, stuff like that.

If you would move it off to indirect heat on the grill to finish, then that's when you need to consider it moving it to the oven. Sear a chicken breast a couple of minutes per side and then put it in the oven to finish.

As far as what food, I can't imagine anything that you would normally cook on the grill that you couldn't fashion to fit on the grill pan. Obviously, food will lose that smokey flavor. Consider smoked paprika or liquid smoke to add a bit of that flavor back in your food.

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You can use it like a george foreman, just on the stove. One thing to note, if you buy a non-stick instead of a castiron you will be sad. Non-stick, when heated to searing range, let's off a posionus gas and ruins the pan. So don't buy non-stick.


Just to add what you can do with such a pan. This makes a close second for putting grill marks on your food, but a substitute for grilling it is not. I would suggest always, if you want a grill like taste, marinade with something that has a bit of liquid smoke in it. For cooking on this, I would get the pan super hot, sear the meat(couple minutes on each side). Turn down the heat, throw in some veggies, and bake in the oven to finish.

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I have this exact pan, and I second the suggestions that you can use it for everything you would use a George Foreman grill for.

Since the non-stick version can't be heated up to the searing range without, at minimum, risking destroying the non-stick coating, I prefer to only cook marinated meats with it. You will get "grill marks" however the end result isn't really any different than regular skillet frying. If you want something closer to grilled, get the cast iron pan.

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