How to use a griddle pan perfectly every time

Become a master in how to use a griddle pan with Dexam

We all know how fantastic outdoor cooking can be, and nothing quite beats the taste of grilled meat, fish, or vegetables on a BBQ. However, let’s face it, the British weather can be at best unpredictable, at worst pretty much disastrous. So instead of huddling under a raincoat trying desperately to light those charcoals, instead why not invest in a high-quality griddle pan and enjoy the taste of outdoor grilling from the warmth and comfort of your cosy kitchen?

Grill pans are an efficient and versatile bit of kitchen kit. Cooking with one is slightly different from a regular frying pan, particularly if you are trying to mimic that outdoor grilling taste and appearance. However, if you prepare, use, and store yours correctly, there is no reason why you can't produce a fantastic plate of food each and every time!

 

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Here are some useful tips on how to use a griddle pan perfectly in your cooking:

Picking your pan

First thing’s first. Your food can only be as good as the pan you prepare it in, and that’s why it’s essential to select your griddle pan carefully according to your needs. If you want to impress with a dramatic sear mark you need one with deep ridges to help create that classic chargrilled look.

A cast iron pan is usually a smart choice as it retains heat better and will sear the food more efficiently. Cast iron pans also have a nonstick surface which means you don’t need to add oil to your food (unless you want to) resulting in a healthier dish at the end!

For maximum use of the space available, a square-shaped griddle pan is also going to allow you to fit more in.

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Preparing your food

To ensure your food cooks properly, it’s advisable to slice it quite thinly. This will help you achieve the charred look and smokey flavour while also ensuring your food is cooked through. Before you place your meat or vegetables on the plan, it’s a good idea to rinse and dry it to ensure that you’ve removed any dust that might have settled there between uses.

Ideal foods for cooking on a griddle pan include:

  • Steak
  • Chicken
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Thin burgers
  • Vegetable slices including aubergine, courgettes, and peppers

Once sliced you can brush oil onto your food if you want to add flavour (and this will make doubly sure that the food doesn’t stick to your pan). Choosing the right oil can also ensure perfect cooking - some oils have a higher smoking point than others, and these will work better. Try avocado soybean, canola or peanut oils and avoid olive oil, which has a low smoking point and could lead to food burning more easily.

Cooking on the griddle pan

Let your pan heat up a little before you begin cooking by placing it on a medium heat for a few minutes. This will also ensure the entire surface of the pan is equally hot, meaning your food will cook at the same rate. Preheating will also help make sure you get those all-important char marks!

Once the pan is hot, use tongs to place your meat and/or veg onto it lying the slices perpendicular to the ridges. It’s good to leave a decent gap between each piece to stop them from sticking together - around half an inch should do it.

Make sure you aren’t tempted to turn the food too soon - an early flip could mean the sear marks aren’t visible so leave everything as is for at least a minute before checking whether it’s ready to turn over.

You can use tongs to rotate the food and make sure it all cooks evenly. Food tends to cook quickly in a griddle pan, so keeping vigilant to ensure it doesn’t burn is essential. Cooking times will vary depending on what you’ve put in the pan and the thickness of your slices. You can always check the temperature of meat and fish with a thermometer to ensure it’s cooked through. You can continue to flip and rotate your food until it is ready, and this will help you achieve characterful diamond shaped char patterns too!

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Cleaning and Storage

Cleaning your griddle pan correctly after each use will ensure that you keep it hygienic and get the most use out of it. To clean your griddle pan, first, allow it to cool and then use hot water to rinse it - this will help to break down the oil and grease making it easier to clean. You can leave it to soak in hot water before wiping the pan down. Using a cloth or sponge and some washing up liquid, you can then wipe the pan down, ensuring you pay particular attention to the ridges and grooves to make sure no food debris remains. Dry the pan thoroughly and store it in a dry location too - this will prevent it from rusting and keep it in excellent condition until the next time you use it!

At Dexam, we have a fantastic range of griddle pans to choose from. Once you’ve selected yours, why not head over to our recipes section for fantastic cooking inspiration too?