Question: Who loves the taste of fresh shrimp hot off the grill?
The Problem: Grill grates are too wide and your shrimp ends up falling right through to the coals. Nobody loves that.
So you’re out of luck right? Wrong, a barbecue grill pan lets you get that smoky flavor into anything that might otherwise slip through to its fiery death, from small vegetables to shrimp. Here’s one of my favorites. Check it out at Amazon.
If you enjoy the taste of food on the grill and want to bring that flavor to the foods that are not often associated with outdoor cooking, then a barbecue grill pan is an absolute essential for you.
The greatness of a grill pan for your grill is in the smaller holes that it is filled with. The small slots on the pan keep your food from falling through the grates. At the same time it keeps the flame away from the food.
Outset Non-Stick Griddle
One product I think is useful is the nonstick grill grids I found from Outset. These have a very friendly price tag and are a good quality for the money you’ll spend.
They have circular holes, so the flame is still capable of reaching what you put on there. I wouldn’t recommend using it directly over the fire, specifically for that reason. But if you offset the pan so that it rests next to the heat you will still be able to get that flavor you want from putting your food on the grill.
It has a rather large cooking surface of 7 x 11 inches with an option of 17 x 11 inches (the latter will be a little more expensive). Both should be sufficient for grilling things like potatoes, shrimp or even a quick smoke on pineapples. Believe me you’ve got to try smoked pineapple.
Should you purchase this pan?
The pan from Outset is decent for the price. Although, if you are looking for high-quality material, this is not going to be the pan for you. But if your objective is merely to get a pan for your grill, this should suit you just fine.
Charcoal Companion Ceramic Grill Pan
Another product I have found useful is the Charcoal Companion Ceramic Grilling Pan. I like this pan because it is useful on all types of grills (gas, wood, or charcoal).
Plus the ceramic material is made of conducts heat well and distributes it evenly, without all the weight that typically comes with those qualities. It does not have holes on the bottom of it, but you can still get the flavor you come to expect from barbecued food, provided that you close the lid while cooking. The cooking surface is non-stick and about a 13 x 8-inch cooking surface.
Should you purchase this pan?
I would recommend having a pan this handy for sure. It is perfect for grilling your root vegetables such as sweet potatoes; this is the area that it shines its brightest. Purchasing this one means you will need to get another pan with slots in it (maybe not necessary but I would recommend it) for being able to sear or sauté your dish.
Weber Deluxe Grilling Pan
The grill pan I feel works best for all uses is the Weber Deluxe Grilling Pan. Being a Weber product, it goes without saying it is a quality product. While it is the highest priced product on this list it is still just a grill pan, so don’t expect to be paying too much.
I like the Weber pan mostly because it has small slots all throughout the surface, giving enough open space to allow direct heat without having to worry about the flame flaring up and ruining your food.
This one is perfect for shrimp or cooking Phillies, gives excellent smoke and allows just enough fire through to have beautiful char marks on the food.
Should you purchase this pan?
This is the one I like most. I recommend this product for anybody in the market for a grill pan. It is about as high-quality as you are going to get from a grill pan and it gives you great flavor in basically everything you cook on it.
Orblue BBQ Grill Pan
The grill pan from Orblue is another good quality option. It’s very sturdy and doesn’t warp when lifted even if it’s stacked with food. This is due to its stainless steel construction – a trusty material all around. With heavy-duty raised handles, making transportation a breeze (even with hot pads or oven mitts!). It comes in at 16 by 11 inches, which is plenty of room for a decent amount of food and should fit most typical grill sizes.
In terms of cooking, the pan has small round perforations to allow the smoke, heat, and delicious flavor of the grill to effectively cook any size food without losing any of it. These also help the heat circulate effectively in the grill.
Should You Get This Pan?
This is a good quality grill pan, no doubt. While it doesn’t have quite as many reviews as others on this list, all online users give it a full 5 stars. If you’re looking for a great alternative to any of the options listed above, go with the Orblue.
Nordic Ware 365 Grill Topper Pan
One last grill topper pan I want to share with you comes from Nordic ware. This one is great because its handles are some of the largest out there, great for handling large loads of food. It’s also made of that awesome stainless steel material for great performance and no warping whatsoever. It’s about 15 by 13 inches, which should fit most grills, and it can withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
With that great small perforated design for efficient and effective heat distribution on the grill, this option will thoroughly cook your finely chopped foods in no time. It also comes with a 5 year warranty for the buyer’s piece of mind.
Should You Buy This Grill Pan?
There have been some minor complaints about cleaning this particular grill pan. But, other than that, it’s a solid option. The warranty provides some security, so you should go for it if you feel so inclined.
Don’t forget the vegetables! Here’s the best basket for grilling veggies.
When purchasing a barbecue grill pan it isn’t necessary to spend a ton of money, but don’t expect this to be an investment that lasts several years. I get a new one each year and depending on how often I use it, I may buy a couple of them. Make sure you factor that into the equation when deciding how much you are willing to spend.
As always, to maintain the integrity of the pain and give it more longevity it is important to keep it clean. Try and clean off all the char marks that collect on the bottom of the pan and it should be able to conduct heat evenly for the entire grilling season.
- BBQ Geeks Forum – Grilling Shrimp, Peel On or Off?
- Net Cooking Talk Forum – Another Way to Grill Veggies.
Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: Chris M.