Indoor grilling is very popular with apartment dwellers and when the weather is not good for outdoor grilling. Stove top grilling is a cheaper alternative to an expensive Panini press. The best cookware option for stove top grilling is an enameled cast iron grill pan. As you will read, the benefits do out weight the slightly higher cost than a standard grill pan.
The key characteristic of a grill pan is its ridges across the bottom, distinguishing it from a normal fry pan or skillet. An enameled cast iron grill pan has deep ridges to make sure as much fat as possible is drawn away from the food. Less fat is a great health benefit of grilling. Using this pan in place of an outdoor grill keeps that benefit in an even cleaner way than an outdoor grill because the fat is caught in the bottom of the pan for easy disposal.
Enameled cast iron grill pans are known for extremely even heat distribution compared to aluminum or anodized steel. Even heat yields even cooking and consistent grill marks. The grill marks are more even than an outdoor grill because flare ups don’t happen on a stove top. Flare ups cause darker grill marks only where the flames hit the food. If perfect hatch marks are expected, this pan is the way to go.
Stove top cooking doesn’t always generate a enough heat to reach the middle of some meats, fishes or vegetables. Therefore, placing the pan in the oven may be required to ensure proper cooking to eliminate any bad bacteria transmission. An enameled cast iron grill pan is completely heat resistant and can be placed directly from the stove top to the oven. It can withstand temperatures up to 450 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. So no additional bake ware is needed to finish off the cooking process started on the stove. Sear the food on the stove to get the grill marks, and then pop it in the oven to complete the dish. Remember to use a pot holder when taking it out of the oven!
As you can see, enameled cast iron grill pans have some great benefits to help with the quality and efficiency of cooking food outside of an outdoor grill. Perfect grill marks are produced from deep ridges and the even heat distribution of cast iron. There is less to clean up since you can use the same pan on the stove and in the oven. Oh, and the ridges help drain the fat for healthier cooking. With this many benefits, it’s no surprise an enameled cast iron grill pan costs more than an aluminum or other metal one, but it does cost less than an outdoor grill, making it the ideal balance between the two. There is very little to regret getting one of these in your kitchen now.
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