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363 of 366 found the following review helpful:
Does a good job, things to be aware of ...Aug 12, 2006
By Kevin K. Fosler
I just cooked a thick ribeye steak using this grill. It's the first thing that I have cooked on it. Similar to a cast iron frying pan that I have, this generates a lot of "smoke". I had to take the battery out of my smoke detector, and open windows. I think I cooked it at a slightly higher temperature than I needed to. If smoke is a problem, think twice about buying this.
The result is the best steak I have ever cooked indoors. It beats any electric grill I have ever used, and it beats the George Foreman grill hands down. I would say that the results are almost restaurant quality. I look forward to cooking hamburgers within the next day or so.
I think this would work better with slightly less thick cuts of meat. Even at high heat it took longer than it would have taken on a grill. During the cooking I put a metal lid over the pan to control splattering.
I think it will be a breeze to clean. Oiling it after cleaning, with the ridges, will be a little more work than for smoother surfaces.
Because the ridges are so high, the grill does a great job of cooking away from the fat, and probably (my guess) does even a better job than the George Foreman grill in that regard.
Pans like this pay for themselves. This pan is about the cost of a dinner for two, and it will result in less eating out.
Update: I cleaned the pan after making the steak. It was more difficult to clean than other cast iron pans due to the ridges, however, I think I need to find a different tool to clean it with. Someone recommended a grill pad or brush. Also, I usually put the pan over enough heat to evaporate any water from cleaning, and then apply a thin amount of oil. This was also harder. I think it will get better with practice. In any case, the results were worth it.
I will be trying burgers and pork chops soon, so stay tuned!
Update: I cooked pork chops tonight on this grill, and they are the best pork chops I have ever had in my life. I let the pan heat up, and usually also have the electric burner on high heat when adding the meat. I then turn it down a bit. The cast iron doesn't cool off, and it sears the juices in. I have found that a metal cover over the grill works well to keep in splatters and heat. Another thing that is helpful is a temperature fork, which told me tonight that the chops were at 180 degrees, otherwise I would have overcooked them.
This is by far the best money that I have spent on cooking equipment, and it will definitely save a lot of $$$ because I will treat myself to excellent home-cooked meals more often.
275 of 281 found the following review helpful:
The best burger you'll ever make indoors!Jan 08, 2004
It's cast iron, so you can run this pan as hot as you dare to sear the flavor in. Makes excellent burgers and brats, with nice grill marks but no burned spots, even when well-done. Try that with a George Foreman and your burger will be black outside and dryer than the Mojave Desert inside.
The square pan provides plenty of room to fry up a few burgers and the hot juices in the bottom are made-to-order for sauteeing a few mushrooms, onions, or peppers to go on top. The handle is fatter than older Lodge designs and quite ergonomic as long as you're wearing an oven mitt. Cleans nicely by boiling a little water in the pan and giving it a quick scrub with a stiff round natural-bristle vegetable brush and the hottest water that'll come out of the tap.
I would recommend this pan over the 11.5" one Lodge also offers because the thicker bottom, smaller sides, and deeper walls of the 10.5" pan provide fairly even heat over the entire grill surface. It appears that the 11.5" pan is based on the griddle of the same size, and my 11.5" griddle is hot near the center and cooler near the edges when used on a burner - OK for hash browns, but bad for burgers, grilled cheese, and such.
Excellent product; if you can't grill outside, this pan is the next best thing!
201 of 204 found the following review helpful:
It gets better with every use!May 09, 2009
This was my first time using cast iron cookware, and it was almost the last. After my first attempt, I was very disappointed. The second the food contacted the pre-heated pan it stuck to the it, and I mean really stuck to it. I had to tear the chicken breast from the pan, literally! The clean up was a nightmare. Everything was burnt on. It probably took me close to 20 minutes to clean the pan. I thought about trashing the grill. I thought cast iron cookware was a joke.
Well, a couple of days later I decided to give it another shot. I looked up cast iron cookware on the web and clicked on a random link (unfortunately, I do not remember the link, but it was an old article). The website article explained (if memory serves correctly) that there is a difference between pre-seasoned and seasoned cast iron; it takes many uses to develop a good seasoning of the cast iron utensil; pre-seasoned just means that the first step was already started. It also stated that one should never use any soap or scrub with anything harsh; a plant-fiber brush is recommended because the goal is to get the particles off the pan, not clean off all the used oil left behind. I'm thinking I should have read the directions that came with the pan before I used it instead of assuming it was good to go.
I decided to give it a few more tries. I purchased a cast iron scrub brush to use for cleaning, and spent more time cleaning it before my second use because there was still a lot of burnt on food still stuck to the pan. After a few more uses, I started noticing that food wasn't getting stuck as often, grill marks are looking better and what was burnt on the pan was very easy to clean off with the brush and hot water. About a dozen uses later the pan has developed a smoother, more glossy surface on the cooking surface. Now the food (even fish) just glides off the pan. A quick rinse with hot water and most of the burnt on stuff just flakes off. A quick pass with the brush and the pan is clean and perfectly smooth, in fact, this is the easiest pan to clean in my kitchen. After use (while the pan is till warm but not hot), I just rinse with hot water and a quick pass with the brush, dry it, lightly coat it with oil, and store it for next use.
And the brighter side to this.....it is starting to impart some flavors on the food that makes it taste fantastic! The grill marks are clean and consistent, and it cooks everything evenly.
To the folks who had bad luck with using this for the first time, give it a few more tries before you write this off. It did not work for me at first because I did not read the directions and assumed that using cast iron was no different than using any other type of cookware.
104 of 109 found the following review helpful:
Excellent for indoor grilling!Jan 14, 2004
By Lori Hinkle
This is a great size for 4 burgers or two large steaks. Great for grilling any meat. I had a Calphalon grill pan and the cleanup was horrible, this one is a breeze & it will last forever. I highly recommend it and all Lodge cookware.
112 of 119 found the following review helpful:
goodJul 18, 2005
I really liked that fact that this comes pre-seasoned. It's a nice size for 2-4 people and allows for a much larger cooking surface than my George Forman grill. Which I love, but is way too small for more than one person.
I've used this quite often. However, I thought I'd be more impressed. Food seems to stick and burn, although it's gotten a bit better after more use.
Like outdoor grilling, you have to make sure the pan is hot enough, put the meat in the pan and not move it around or keep flipping. Just wait until the one side is done, then flip. I'm going to try to (re)season it myself and see if that helps.
Adds a nice flavor to the food and leaves grill marks. Whatever you do, don't touch the handle after heating without a hot pad. The entire pan gets extremely hot.
Despite the sticking, it cleans up rather nicely. When there's food stuck to the bottom, I put it back on the stove with a little water, bring it to a boil, throw in a bit of baking soda and let it boil for about 5 minutes. After it cools a bit, scrub it with a sponge and it comes right off and looks new again.
You do have to make sure to dry your cast iron well if it gets wet - or it will rust. If this happens, don't throw it out! Scrub the rust off with a brillo pad or a ball of crumpled aluminum foil, rinse, dry well and reseason it.
If you're trying to decide between the grill or flat pan, I'd choose the flat pan first. I also have the pre-seasoned flat pan and like it more. It's easier to work with and doesn't smoke quite as much. Also a little easier to clean because it doesn't have the grilling surface.
Cast iron is very heavy, but sturdy, conducts great heat & will last a lifetime. Keep a hot pad close by so you won't forget to use it.
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