For home chefs, the joy of using a high-quality griddle pan is one of the experiences that make cooking for friends and family such a pleasure. There can be no substitute for that smoky flavor and sear. Those grill marks not only look great, but they also elevate the ingredients above the fat on the bottom of the pan – making the end result even more delicious – and healthy.
Achieving that sear is important – however, those parallel lines are not the be-all and end-all of using this vital piece of cookware – there are griddle pans that are flat – and also provide a great cooking experience. The end result of using a cast iron griddle pan chargrilling will be greeted with great joy by diners no matter the style of the pan.
However – steak is not the only star of the show when it comes to using a griddle pan – there are other options as well – here are 5 foods that will make using that griddle pan an incredibly rewarding experience.
Although, as mentioned steal doesn’t always have the be the star of the show any list of proteins that should be prepared using a griddle pan would not be complete without a mention of steak. Stick to more petite cuts so that you will have room to flip that steak over. The crust and sear make the steak into a thing of beauty when prepared using a griddle pan. Aim for medium-rare unless your guests have specific requirements. Remember, a steak will continue to cook for a while even once removed from the griddle pan.
The flavor that is imparted to burgers patties when using a griddle pan is incredible – and once again that sear and caramelization of the outer parts of the burger are important parts of why burgers prepared in this way are firm favorites with any meat eater. Try to use meat with a fairly high fat content in order to get that great flavor.
Blackened fish prepared on a griddle pan is incredibly flavorful. Add your coating of spice and remember that one of the joys of a griddle pan is the fact that it tends to hold heat remarkably well – there will not be that drop off in heat once the food is added and cooking starts (this can be a problem with pans made from material like stainless steel). That consistent temperature is what makes it possible to get that perfect crust on your fish. Catfish, salmon and tuna are firm favorites when it comes to griddle pan cooking.
For lovers of seafood, there can be few greater joys than being presented with perfectly cooked scallops. If they are not done correctly – and don’t have that crust they are a pale and uninteresting option, but using a griddle pan makes it easy to get that perfect finish to scallops. The key to getting the perfect result is to go easy when it comes to handling scallops in the pan. Allow that crust to develop prior to flipping them over – too much fiddling will break the crust and the result can be dried out scallops – and no one wants that.
Those who are not keen meat eaters will still be delighted with the possibilities offered by a cast iron griddle pan when it comes to the preparation of charred vegetables. In fact that the ability of these sorts of pans to hold heat will make it incredibly easy to provide the perfectly charred vegetable experience. Of course, you can use the cast iron griddle pan on the stovetop to prepare anything from potatoes to carrots and caramelized onions. However, try using that cast iron cookware in the oven. Add onions and garlic cloves and diced potatoes with some fresh rosemary and dribble on a generous amount of olive oil then place in an oven preheated to around 425F. Keep an eye on your dish to make sure that the veggies don’t burn.
Using a griddle pan is an absolute pleasure that should be enjoyed by any home cook. The results are pleasing to the eye and the tastebuds. A cast iron griddle pan is an essential piece of cookware – if you don’t have one it may be time to invest in one that will suit your individual cooking style.