I have three great fears in life, and one of them is fire. In 43 years, I have never operated a grill. And after The Ex moved out, and I subsequently found squirrels nesting in our grill, it went to the curb and I never replaced it.
Because although I love, love, love the taste of most anything grilled, my fear of fire overrides all else.
Which means I am forever mourning the lack of grilled food from our own backyard and I am mentally adding “must love to grill” to the list of what my soul mate must bring to the table.
And in the meantime? I keep my eyes open for the perfect indoor device that will deliver the grill taste without requiring me to conquer my fear of fire.
Over the years, I have tried a number of grill pans, and there has been a lot of “close, but no cigar.” Some deliver on the grill lines, but are a challenge to clean. Some I can pop in the dishwasher, but just don’t grill properly. Some of the pans are too cheap and the coating flakes. Or some are too expensive, and while they might cure all my grilling needs properly, I just can’t rationalize spending the money.
And I became intrigued.
On sale for $19 (61% off the original price), I decided it was a small enough investment I could give it a whirl.
And then a shipment of ground beef arrived to review right before the grill pan did, and for a brief moment, all the planets aligned.
There was almost zero in the way of directions in the grill pan package, so I didn’t think we were off to a great start. But, if the sum total of the directions is “pour one cup of water in the bottom tray,” how many different ways does that need to be said? Or so said the rational part of my brain. The irrational, fear of fire side of my brain had pretty much shut down and had deemed this a waste of money.
Thank goodness for clear thinking.
The pan is all of two pieces. The bottom ring, where you add the water, and the top portion, where you do the grilling. So, it could not be a simpler design, which is totally my favorite kind. I poured the water in, turned the stove on, and went to work on making my burgers.
The pan heats up fast, which kind of surprised me. I guess I assumed because it was sort of indirect heat (the center of the bottom ring is empty, so there is a lot of space that the heat has to climb before it reaches the actual top of the grill pan), that it would take a bit to get going.
I was wrong. Within minutes, it was ready to go.
I put the burgers on and immediately heard that all-important sizzle of a properly heated pan. The top of the grill pan is a bit domed, as opposed to being flat, and I wondered how evenly the burgers would cook. They ended up cooking quickly (just a few minutes each side) and evenly, so it wasn’t a cause for worry, but with the slope, they slid a bit when I first put them on. I would have much preferred a flat top, but the reason it’s shaped that way is actually to ensure that food cooks evenly.
The pan works on gas, electric, and portable stoves, as well as in ovens, so it doesn’t get more versatile than that. While the burgers were cooking, there was a distinct smell in the air. I’m not sure I would qualify it as being a “grill” smell. Their advertising describes it as more of a “smokey” smell, and I think that’s fairly accurate.
Clean up is a breeze, because the grill pan pieces can go right in the dishwasher.
The best part? The top of the grill pan has slats in it, so the fat drips to the bottom, making for much healthier meals.
Although I had some reservations, I would definitely recommend getting it.
And tomorrow! The turkey leftover recipe I promised. I had my dates wrong.