As a steak lover, you have probably tried both but if asked to compare between the two, it can be slightly tricky, isn’t it? Both have their own set of ‘goods’ and ‘bads’ that ultimately boils down to an individual’s personal preference.
So, if someone asks me about pan-fry Vs grill steak, which is better – the answer depends on what type of meat is cooked and the person’s health considerations. Another point of difference is personal taste. Both grilling and frying have their own set of benefits and downsides, so it’s a matter of preferences.
If you are new to preparing steak or an enthusiast looking for an answer to the above question, you will need to closely look at both these styles of cooking draw the differences between them. In this post, we have tried to give you an in-depth understanding and information regarding each cooking style.
Talk about pan fry, and the first thing that comes to the mind is perhaps the excess use of oil and fat that kinda goes against this humble style of cooking meat. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that it results in perfectly done meat that melts inside the mouth and looks gorgeous to behold.
It’s also worth noting that pan-frying and deep-frying are two different things, so they should not be used or referred to interchangeably. Deep frying needs an extremely high temperature wherein the meat is cooked thoroughly but you may not achieve the results you are looking for.
Pan-frying, on the other hand, also cooks the meat to perfection, but you need to be vigilant to ensure that it gets a nice brown char on the exterior. Unlike the crispy top and juicy center, pan-fry will give you a brown exterior with tender meat inside. You will need to slip the meat to get even results on both sides.
Pros of Pan fry method
Pan-frying cooks the meat pretty fast, if the meat is suitable for this type of cooking.
It helps in bringing out the perfect flavor of meat and adding the unique texture to it, which results in a gorgeous outcome
This helps in retaining the juicy interior and leaves the meat crispy on the exterior side.
When fried correctly, the pan-fry method helps in retaining the nutritional value of meat. However, this may vary depending upon the meat you are frying.
Cons of Pan fry method
The pan gets too hot at the center, resulting in the difference in temperatures on the sides and the middle.
It depends on oil or butter for the juiciness or flavor.
Grilling the Steak
This style of cooking is best at retaining the nutritional value and flavors of the meat, but you must ensure that you get good quality meat for grilling to get the best results. Always opt for the top of the range to get premium quality in taste.
The grilling enthusiasts around the world are so passionate about it that they don’t mind spending to get the perfect grilling equipment and tools. Besides the right tools, you also need a lot of patience and a little practice to get it right. Now, let’s check out some of the pros and cons of grilling.
Pros of grilling method
In this cooking method, a little bit of oil goes a long way in giving you the right flavors and retaining the adequate amount of moisture within.
As you don’t have to drench the meat in oil or butter, this controls the cholesterol intake too. While it doesn’t take away all the fat, it reduces them considerably to aid in weight loss.
Grilling steak also adds some distinct flavor that steak lovers enjoy. However, the taste may differ based on the source of heat – gas, wood, or charcoal.
As the grill roasts the meat gently, the nutritional value (thiamine and riboflavin) does not get lost in the process. It enhances flavors and makes the food healthier.
Grilling is perfect for outdoors as well as indoors. So, unlike pan-frying, you can enjoy grilling the steak in your backyard or a picnic spot.
Cons of grilling method
While grilling is preferable, you have to watch out for the risk of charring due to the high heat. This can also be a potential health risk if your food gets too burnt.
It also has the risk of a fire hazard so be careful with the use of glazes and sauces as they can catch fire easily.
Tips for Grilling Steak
Grilling is no doubt a much healthier alternative to pan frying, however, let’s not forget that the health benefits will depend on the type of food choices you make. We suggest that you choose the leanest variety of beef for making steak.
For those who like grilling only for the sake of grilling, we suggest that you got for a cut that’s at least an inch thick. It not only looks impressive but the thickness also allows you to get that gorgeous red center.
After you slice the steak, finish it off with some salt and seasoning. In case you don’t get the time to temper prior to grilling, remember to season it immediately after, preferably 40 minutes of grilling the meat, or else you will not have that perfect char or crust.
Let the charcoal become red hot before you put the steak on the grill. It usually takes only about 20 to 30 minutes to achieve that perfect temperature. This also prevents flare-ups and reduces the smoke.
Always remember to crack your own pepper to allow the spicy granules to add a crunchy flavor to the steak. If you don’t have a pepper mill, put some peppercorns in a bag and crush them.
Apply oil on the meat instead of coating the grilling grates with it. Also, remember to only use light and even coat of vegetable oil.
Keep a digital thermometer handy to check the doneness of the meat. It helps by telling you the precise temperature within the steak. Ideally, it should be 125 degrees, and rarely 130 degrees or even 155 degrees.
Avoid cutting a steak that’s too hot and just come out of the grill. Wrap it in oil and allow it to rest for some time to allow the fibers to relax and let the juice flow to the center.
5 Reasons Why Grilling Your Steak Is Better
Grilling is not only good for your health but also fun t do with family and friends. Compared to pan frying process, it cooks the food faster and takes less time to get the food ready to serve. It also gives you the opportunity to take your kitchen outdoors and enjoy cooking outside. Here are 5 reasons that make grilling a much better option than pan-frying.
Less use of oil
As mentioned above, the grilled method uses less oil than pan fry. Anyone who has tried both styles of cooking will be able to tell the difference by simply looking at the food. As grilled steak retains a lot of moisture within it, you will not want to slather it with butter and condiments.
Lends a unique flavor to your food
Due to its distinctive flavor and unique style of cooking, grilled meat has become a staple food in America. Let’s not forget that its flavor may also vary widely depending on the source of heat used for cooking – electricity, gas, wood, or charcoal. You may try different varieties of wood and charcoal to bring about variations in taste. Using different marinades can also alter the flavor.
Aids in weight loss
If you compare a grilled steak with a pan-fried version, then you can easily see that the former is healthier than the latter as it uses less fat or oil while cooking. Unlike pan fry that consumes additional oil, the grilled steak uses its own fat and juices. Hence, if you enjoy savoring steaks but are on a weight loss regime too then grilling is the way to go.
Preserves the essential nutrition
Grilling helps in preserving the essential nutrients such as thiamine and riboflavin that are commonly found in steak. Adding fresh vegetables to the steak also helps in retaining the minerals and vitamins, making your food more nutritious and healthier for your body.
Lets you enjoy outdoor activities
My favorite point of difference between the two is that while grilling, you also get to enjoy some fresh outside air. It gives you the opportunity to spend time with friends in outdoor living spaces such as a camping spot or backyard. Pan fry on the other hand is done in the kitchen, so the cook misses out on all the fun that they can otherwise be a part of in a barbeque setting.
After analyzing both styles of cooking and comparing them against each other, we would also like to assert that both pan fry and grilling techniques have their own set of loyalists. While some people are stark fans of the pan fry method, others prefer the healthier grilling variety.
Regardless of the method you choose, we suggest that you always keep the essential tips in mind to ensure that you grill or fry in the right method to add the best flavor to your dish. To be on the healthier side, always go for the lean beef, marinade well, let the pan or grilling grate heat up properly, and also add some vegetables to increase the nutrition and add more taste.
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