If you’re into the idea of grilling indoors, you’re going to need a good, solid grill pan. These little works of cast iron help make your meals delicious, complete with searing marks, when you’re not able to use an outdoor grill.
There are two basic pans referred to as a grill pan.
Today, we’re focusing on the frying pan variety, and a variety of techniques for cleaning and maintaining the pan.
A cast iron grill pan is used as a sort of substitute for grilling on a traditional charcoal, propane, or electric grill. An alternative may be something like a counter top grill, or a stovetop griddle pan.
A stovetop griddle pan is actually somewhat similar to a grill pan, but usually does not have raised edges, nor is it as deep as a grill pan, though it may be reversible and have a smooth surface on one side and a raised ridge surface on the other. These are often double burner pans, while a standard grill pan is a single burner pan.
For specific recipe ideas, you can search for “best grill pan recipes.”
There are a variety of methods for cleaning a cast iron grill pan. Here are the best ones we’ve found.
If your pan was freshly used, this is your method. For grill pans that have seen too much water and had the seasoning cleaned off, check below for other methods.
Don’t use hot water and soap – just use hot water.
Once your pan has cooled after cooking, you’re going to get some hot water going, and grab a cloth. Rinse the pan completely with the hot water. Then soak a clean cloth in hot water, and use it to wipe down the pan.
Make sure you get the space between the ridges cleaned thoroughly. Try pressing your finger directly into the cloth and running it in between the ridges to remove all debris.
Be sure to rinse the cloth at least a few times along the way.
Air drying a cast iron skillet can cause your pan to rust, so be sure to completely dry the pan with a clean, dry towel.
Seasoning the pan will not only help keep it clean and in top shape for your next use, but can help to prolong the life of the pan.
Use a clean paper towel to apply a very light layer of vegetable oil into the pan.
Put the pan on the middle rack of the oven, and let it bake for about one hour at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to completely cool before putting it away.
Make sure that all cast iron pans are stored in a dry place. If any moisture hits the cast iron, you’ll have to treat it for rust.
A few simple steps can help you redeem rusted cast iron.
This step is for seriously rusted out pans.
If you’ve got a pan that’s got some serious issues, get a bucket out.
Mix together equal parts white vinegar and water in the bucket, and submerge the pan. Make sure the whole pan is under water.
Be sure to soak the pan for a while. You can go as long as eight hours, if you feel like it’s a rough job.
But be sure to check the pan pretty often. Eventually, the vinegar will compromise the cast iron, so don’t just let it soak and disappear for the day. Remove the pan as soon as you see the rust has flaked off.
Now, you’re getting the one and only green light for using soap on cast iron. You removed the seasoning with the vinegar already, and now you’ve got to actually get the pan clean.
Use mild detergent with warm water. Scrub away any remaining rust with a slightly abrasive sponge or scrubber. Steel wool and scrub pads are good options, but avoid harsher scrubbers like copper.
Make sure you dry the pan completely, and use the seasoning process above.
Now that you have some recipe ideas, and the knowledge of how to clean and maintain your cast iron grill pan, you’re ready to make some absolutely delicious and uniquely flavored indoor grilled foods. Enjoy.