Everything You Need To Know About Using a Grill Pan

Indoor grilling can be easy!

Indoor grilling is one of those things you need to do when the weather isn't cooperating or you are too lazy to bring out the big grill. We understand that grilling is a big deal that will require effort. Most importantly, you may not have the outdoor space to do any type of grilling which is where indoor grills or portable grills come in. 

Indoor grilling should be a joy to do but there are many obstacles that could prevent you from doing it right. It requires a window, ventilation, and even a fan so any smoke and fumes will drift out and not stay in the room.   

You can use an electric grill or one of those portable grills. However, there is an easier way to grill indoors that isn't another appliance: use a grill pan. This is a great innovation in cookware where a frying pan meets a grill. If you picked one of these up during your shopping sprees, here's how you can finally use that unique grill pan indoors.    



Photo by Lazada
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1 Choose a great grill pan.  

Grills pans are really just another kind of frying pan so use the same judgment as you would if you were buying a frying pan plus a few key characteristics you need to find and see on a good grill pan.


The best kind of grill pan is one that will heat up well and has deep grooves to create those signature grill marks. This means you need to take into account the material of the grill pan. Cast iron is the most common material for many grills and grill pans so if you decide on one, learning how to use cast iron is a great way of knowing how to grill on it, too.  

Other grills pans can be made with a nonstick surface or even enamel-coated pans. These are all great choices for a grill pan. Just avoid the grill pans that are made with thin materials as these can dent, warp, and possibly not heat properly. 

If you haven't got one yet, we found this super affordable cast iron grill pan that's under P500 so cost doesn't need to be an issue when it comes to choosing the right pan.


Photo by Patrick Martires

2 Use oil. 

Once you have your grill pan and you're ready to use it, give it a nice brushing of oil. Yes, you need to oil the grill pan. This will not only prevent the food from sticking but it will help cook any part of the food that isn't touching the grill grooves. However, you don't need much. Just a light brush of oil all over the surface should do the trick. 

Photo by Lazada

3 Drain your food well. 

The trick to using your grill pan well is to drain your food well, too. Unlike a traditional grill, there is nowhere for the liquid or excess marinade to go but under our food. You will still be frying your food in its marinade!


To prevent that, drain your grill pan regularly. Spouts on grill pans, particularly on cast iron pans like on this one, are meant to be used to help you discard excess oil, juices, and other liquids from the pan that would otherwise char or burn on its surface. This will prevent you from frying your food instead of grilling it. This will also help you later when its time to clean it out. 

Photo by Riell Santos

4 Use the same techniques as searing.

If you know how to sear your food and meats well, grilling on a grill pan will be easy! You just need to follow the same tips and techniques you normally use when searing on a frying pan. Here's what you need to know: 

  1. 1. Let your pan heat up well. 
  2. 2. Lightly brush the pan with oil. 
  3. 3. Add the meat, patted as dry as possible beforehand, to the pan.
  4. 4. Wait for the meat to develop a crust.
  5. 5. Flip. And wait for that crust to develop again.
  6. 6. Remove from the heat. Repeat. 

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Photo by Zoe del Rosario

4 Clean your pan regularly. 

We know it will be a hassle but you will need to clean your grill pan after every batch of meat you cook. While you don't need to do this when grilling vegetables, it is recommended that you do to prevent the juices from burning and charring on your grill pan. Here's what you can do if you have tough burned-on food on your grill pan: 

  1. 1. While cooking, use a scraper to scrape off as much of the blackened food particles as possible (without scratching the surface) before cooking the next batch of meat. Do this regularly to prevent build-up. 
  2. 2. Once done grilling, discard excess oil then sprinkle with salt to let it absorb the remaining oil. Then use paper towels to wipe the pan, using the salt as a scrub. Use a little soap to remove excess grease.  
  3. 3. If the burned off bits are persistent, you can burn it off by placing it back on the burner or in your oven on High heat. Warning: This may result in smoke.   

As with all cast iron pans, make sure your grill pan is completely dry before storing so it won't develop any rust spots and you'll be ready to use it again when the grilling season starts again.  

Are you excited to start using that grill pan? We hope you are! To get you started, here are some grilled recipes we think you should try: 




Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

Got your own version of the classic dishes? Pa-share naman! Get your recipe published on Yummy.ph by submitting your recipe here!

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