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Grill Pan Mania

Updated on November 3, 2012

Grill Marks

A fun trick to know in the kitchen is how to properly use a grill pan. While a grill pan will never fully replicated the flavor of an charcoal grill it can add some beautiful grill marks. The following tips will help people get great grill marks on their food without going through the hassle of lighting their outdoor grill.

It is important to start with food that will readily take grill marks.Ideally the food will have a large smooth surface.Some great candidates include boneless pork chops, beef steaks and boneless, skinless chicken breasts.While you can use a grill pan for other items such as hamburgers there really isn’t a point to this as the grill marks will be hidden beneath a bun.

If you have used a brine or marinade with your meat make sure it is thoroughly dry before you start to grill. You also will want the meat to rest on a counter and come to room temperature.It is much easier to get good grill marks on a food that is warm and dry meat instead of a cold.

Prepare your grill pan by applying a light coating of oil and allow it to pre-heat over a medium temperature for at least five minutes.Test for proper temperature by adding a drop or two of water to the pan.If the water immediately sizzles and vaporizes your pan is hot enough.If the oil in the pan starts to smoke the pan is too hot.

You want the meat to start searing the moment it touches the pan.By starting with warm meat and a hot pan you allow this to happen.If you start with cold, wet meat in a cold pan you will initially be steaming the meat as the surface moisture is being driven away.Steaming does not result in great grill marks.

Once the meat is in the grill pan it is essential to not touch the meat for at least five minutes.The creation of great grill marks requires the ridges of the pan staying in contact with the food.To get the cross hatch pattern on your food you will need to rotate it 90 degrees after it has seared for five minutes and let it remain stationary for another five minutes.Once you have the desired grill marks you can turn the food over to let it finish cooking.If you are worried about over cooking your meat you can shorten the time that it cooks once it has been flipped.The grill marks will not be as prominent on the bottom of the meat but this is not important as this will be the side on the bottom of the plate.

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