We wish…seriously wish that we could grill outdoors every single day of the year. But alas, that’s a utopia. In real life, bad weather in the form of snow, storms, and rains make it impossible to pull out the barbeque. So, you may have no choice but wait for the summer to grill under the starry sky or explore the option of indoor grilling.
BBQ enthusiasts often ask me ‘can you use a grill pan on an electric stove’ and the answer is Yes. While a grill pan is designed for the gas stove, you may still use it on electric burner, but do not expect it to work flawlessly. There are two main issues you will face when doing this.
The first and primary issue you will come across is getting enough heat to reach the desired temperature in the grill pan. You will need to give it a lot of extra time (about 10 to 15 minutes) to get the pan hot enough to grill your food.
Some people prefer putting the pan in the oven to pre-heat before using the stove. However, this can be tricky. You must be very careful when taking the pan out of the oven and putting it on the stove or else you may burn yourself.
The second main issue is the smoke. If you stay in a condo or apartment, we would not advise you to try this. Grilling indoors can produce a lot of smoke and it may not be allowed in some areas. Even if it is legally permitted, you must ensure there is enough ventilation.
The Best Grill Pan For Electric Stove
The electric stoves may come with a smooth ceramic-glass top or feature a coil-type burner. While you may use any type of pot or pan on a coil-type burner without causing much damage to it, problems may arise when using them on glass top stoves.
As the cast iron pans are on their heavier side with rugged bottoms, they are more likely than other utensils to scratch the surface of the cooktop, if not handled carefully. Even the slightest scratch on the surface may later develop into cracks.
Due to the heavyweight of the cast iron pots and pans, and unprotected handles that can get very hot, there are higher chances of you dropping them on the electric stove. This may result in huge monetary loss, costing you hundreds of dollars to fix the cooking surface
Some of the top-range products in the electric stove may also come with other restrictions. You must take care to not use the double-burner griddles and extra-large grill pans that extend beyond the standard burner size. This may lead to irreversible damage to the halogen burner or ceramic top.
So, while the cast iron grill pots and pans are a no-no, we recommend using nonstick aluminum pans or heavy-gauge hard-anodized pots for the smooth-top ranges. You can find good quality grill pans online that are suitable for use on an electric stove.
Steps To Use A Grill Pan on an Electric Stove
A grill pan often referred to as a griddle pan, is a must-have tool for any indoor grilling. You will find mainly two types of griddles – an electric and another stovetop one. Both of them have similar and no distinct differences.
Even though an electric griddle may appear to be more convenient, there are several benefits attached to using a stovetop. The latter is easier to use with simple techniques that you can follow. The stovetop griddles were created to be used on the gas stove but they can also be safely used on the electric ones.
Here are some of the steps to help you use a grill pan on electric stove.
1. Prepare the grill pan
Keep the grill pan on your stovetop carefully. If you have a smooth and glass top range, make sure you do not slide the pan or set it down too hard, or else you may end up damaging the top. Dispending on the size of the grill pan, you may need two burners to heat the entire surface.
Put the griddle covering the two burners that are located close to each other. As the burners on an electric stove usually have an uneven size, you may want to place the grill pan on a smaller, single burner. Now, set the flame of the burners to reach the desired temperature.
2. Heat the grill pan
Wait until the griddle or grill pan heats up completely before you can use it. If you do not give it enough time, you may end up with a grill surface with sections that are hotter than others. Next, you need to check the pan to ensure that it is hot enough and ready to cook on.
There are several ways in which you can check the pan temperature. If the smoke starts coming off from the grill pan then it is hot enough for cooking. You may sprinkle a few drops of water to test the surface. If the water bubbles or sizzles, then the griddle is ready to use.
However, you must be really careful about adjusting the right temperature because if the pan is too hot, then this may excessive amount of smoke as you put food to cook on it.
3. Get ready to cook
When the griddle is heated well, reduce the heat of the larger burner to low or medium to match it with the heat produced by the second burner. Although not foolproof, you will still manage to have an almost evenly heated surface.
Apply a thin coating of oil on the griddle to prevent food from sticking on the surface. It serves a second purpose too as it helps in leveling out the heat distribution on the pan. While there are several types of fat and oils that you can use, we recommend using vegetable oil or olive oil.
You may also lightly smear some butter on it or spray cooking oil to cover the entire surface. Always make sure that the fat covers the griddle surface completely.
4. Cooking on the grill pan
The final step is of course cooking on the stovetop grill pan following the instructions on the recipe. When cooking multiple batches, make sure you apply some extra oil in between to prevent the food from sticking. If the cooking process produces a lot of smoke then you must lower the heat to low or medium.
Grill Pans Compatibility With Stove And Cooktops
If you are thinking of getting a new grill pan but are worried which one to order then here’s a quick guide that can help you. We have gathered some useful information to guide you on which grill pan is most compatible with the different types of cooktops and stoves.
As mentioned above, make sure you stay away from the cast iron pans because they tend to be quite heavy and solid. Hence, they take more time to heat up and get ready for cooking. The electric stoves usually take a lot of time to heat pans.
Glass top stoves
Again if your electric stove has a glass cooktop then it’s best to stay away from ceramic, glass, or cast iron grill pans as they can easily scratch the surface. Even if you are not careful when using aluminum foils, you may end up scratching the surface.
These cooktops are powered by electricity and they are capable of heating the pots and pans incredibly quicker. We recommend using good quality cast iron grill pans as they do not damage or scratch the induction cooktop surface.
To be on the safer side, we suggest that you use an enamel induction grill pan that coats the cast iron material. This will rule out any risk of damage. It’s always the best bet to find out which type of cooktop or stove your kitchen has before deciding on a grill pan or griddle.
Top Benefits Of Using A Grill Pan On An Electric Stove
If you don’t already have a grill pan or griddle then you may probably wonder whether or not you actually need one. Here are a few reasons why you must consider getting one for your kitchen. Read on to find the benefits:
- If you crave those appetizing sear marks that make the steak taste or good and crusty then a grill pan can be your savior. It can help you achieve a similar effect when grilling indoors.
- With a grill pan, you can cook different types of food such as chicken breasts, vegetables, and kebabs together without inter-mixing the juices. This saves you time and fuel too.
- They give you the freedom to grill your favorite food indoors even when there’s no sunshine outside. So, you get the ticket to impress your friends anytime you want.
- Most of the grill pans available in the market are healthy, PFOA, and PFTE free. They provide full flavor of the meat or veggies you cook.
- The grill pans come with grooves and ridges that help in collecting the fat, juices, and sauces. You may use these collected juices in gravy and steaks.
What’s the difference between a frying pan and a grill pan
The biggest and main difference between the two is the type of surface they feature. You must bear in mind that the frying pans have a flat surface while the grill pans have ridges to collect fat oozing out of the meat as it cooks. Due to its ridges, you can cook different types of food together on a grill pan without worrying about the juices getting mixed up.
Why is grilling on an electric stove a better idea
When outdoor cooking is not a feasible option, you can still enjoy healthier indoor grilling on an electric stove if you have the right grilling pan. Besides the taste and flavor associated with grilled meat, it is also a healthier option than frying. Grilled meat have less fat content that drips off and gives your low calorie and delicious food.
What should I look for in a grill pan
A grill pan suitable for use on an electric stove should be non-stick coating and PFOA free. It should be able to retain heat quickly and retain the heat longer. It should be lightweight with a design that allows easy drainage of juices and fat.
See Also:How Does An Electric Smoker Work