Yes, yes, I have something else to give away as a prize! It’s like Christmas, or something, around here! This time, it’s a 12-inch round grill pan from Circulon (this pan was provided to me by CSN Stores). I did a couple test runs for you to see if it a) works as a grill pan and b) worked at all (since it’s non-stick).
I asked Travis what he usually likes to grill outside that we could grill on the pan, to see if it would be a quick-and-easy substitute for those times we don’t want to uncover the bbq grill, turn on the gas, wait for it to heat us, brush down the grates, cook something, clean the grates, cool down the grill, and recover the whole thing. It’s not really a big deal, especially if you have friends over, but if you’re just cooking one steak it seems like a lot more work. He suggested Maui Ribs (marinated sliced short ribs we get from Bisher’s Meat in Poway), but we never got over there. I thought about grilled shrimp (since they wouldn’t get lost if you use a grill pan), but I didn’t feel like eating shrimp. We ended up doing some shopping (more than I anticipated) at Costco and saw they had some nice USDA Prime Beef (in addition to their regular USDA Choice beef) and the ribeye looked especially well-marbled and tasty. I was going to do burgers until we saw the ribeye.
We finally got home and put everything away and I pulled the steak out to come up to room temperature (or at least closer to it). The plan I had in my head was to do a Momofuku-style ribeye, but it kind of didn’t end up that way. David Chang’s ribeye is cooked in a cast iron pan and just seasoned with salt and pepper. There’s also some butter-thyme-garlic basting that goes on. The steak I rubbed with leftover salt/sugar rub from the pork dinner I still haven’t showed you and let that sit while I sliced some mushrooms and put the butter, garlic, and thyme in there.
The tags on the grill pan said it’s oven-safe up to 400 F, which is the same temperature you cook the steak at. Plus, I thought it would be a good way to test the rubberized handle part of the pan at such a high temperature.
I let the pan heat up to sizzling, then seared the steak for 2 minutes on each side. Beef juices and salty/sugary runoff melded in the grooves of the pan.
Then, the steak (grill pan and all) went into the oven for 6 minutes, after which it got dolloped with butter (this is when you would do the butter basting stuff) and back in the oven for another 2 minutes. The steak ended up more medium-well than medium-rare, which I attribute to not having a monstrously think cut of ribeye.
The steak rests for 10 minutes (or 5, or whenever you’re starting and don’t want to wait any more) and then it’s sliced against the grain. Since we were splitting one ribeye (it’s rare for us to each eat such a huge steak), I put all the slices on one plate, added the mushrooms, poured the steak juices back onto the grill pan, swirled it all around and drizzled the plate with the tasty goodness from the pan.
Maybe it’s the method, maybe it was the rub, maybe we just started with a beautiful piece of beef. All I can say is I enjoyed that steak more than any other steak I think we’ve cooked in years. And there’s a second one waiting for us down the road.
Some notes on the grill pan:
- There is a rubberized handle on the end, which means you don’t need to use mitts if you’re just using the pan on the stove.
- If you place the pan in an oven, the handle doesn’t seem to get melty or anything (I’ve only done this once, though). BUT! DO NOT touch the handle with your bare hand. It will be super hot! I’m just saying… in case you set the pan on the stove and forget it was in a blazing oven and reach for it without an oven mitt on.
- I don’t know if there are adverse affects of placing a non-stick pan in a 400 degree oven, but the pan seemed to have survived.
- After searing the steak, there were certainly circular sear marks on the meat, which implies that the grill pan is doing its thing.
- Clean-up was easy-breezy thanks to the non-stickiness.
- I later “grilled” two ears of corn and some buns for a Sloppy Joes lunch and the corn ended up cooked (with some charred bits!) and the buns were toasted.
I’ve never used a grill pan before, so I have nothing to compare the Circulon version to. But, it’s lightweight and easy to clean, and I could see making some paninis or burgers on it for a quick dinner. Actually, I could see using it for any quick grill-type dinner when it’s just the two of us. It’s easy enough, and being in the kitchen means I can prep other things while the pan is in use.
So, as I mentioned earlier, I have another Circulon grill pan to giveaway, courtesy of the nice folks at CSN. CSN manages sites for cookware, children’s furniture, lighting, and other general furniture. I haven’t looked through their other sites, but the cookware one has some good deals.
The contest will be open through the end of Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 11:59 PM. To enter, leave a comment and tell me what you’ll be grilling this summer (either on an outdoor grill or on a shiny new grill pan!)