I'm pretty sure I'm not the only guy who has been caught using the spouses kitchen tools outside on the barbecue or grill. One of the tools I've gotten into the most trouble for using are some of Mrs. Grails pots and pans. I often find myself in trouble because the heat of the grill or smoker ruins whatever pan I've used. So when I received the offer to try out a new Techniques hard anodized aluminum non-stick cookware grill pan made specifically for the barbecue and grill I was skeptical it would actually hold up to regular use. Many backyard cooks use disposable aluminum pans to cook on their smokers. I've used them too but when cooking a roast, brisket or other large cut of meat I don't like the meat sitting in the juices. But if you don't use a pan all the juices (fat) renders out and disappears into the drip pan or on to the charcoal. Without those tasty juices making gravy or some other sauce is impossible to make.
Not only was I skeptical the non-stick coating would hold up to continued use on the grill or smoker I just didn’t see the point of a specialized grill pan for outdoor cooking. However, as soon as I opened the box and saw the design of this grill pan I knew that as long as the non-stick coating held up to the heat I was going to have a problem that solved all the problems I felt cooking on the grill and smoker with a pan caused.
The grooves in this pan will channel drippings away from the meat and save them for gravy while also allowing a good part of the rendered fat to drip away or fall into the charcoal. Take a look at the picture to the left and you’ll see the slots and grooves. I like that this pan was, obviously, designed for the needs of the outdoor cook.
I cooked a three different types of food on both the smoker and the grill to see how it would hold up. Would the non-stick finish come off? Would the pan stain and look bad after a couple of uses.
After a spatchcock chicken on the charcoal grill, some veggies on the gas grill and a beef roast on the smoker the pan looked just like it did when it came out of the box. No stains, no flaking of the finish…nothing wrong at all.
There is, however, one huge problem with this grill pan. By the time I got the pan and ran it through the cooking gauntlet, that is my backyard it had sold out on QVC. Yep, as amazing as this grill pan is you can’t buy it. I’m hoping it will make a comeback next Spring, so keep your eyes peel on QVC and if you see this pan I recommend you buy it. But, in the mean time I do have access to one for the reader who comes up with the best reason for why I should give it to them. Leave a comment below and on Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 after 6:00pm (Pacific) I’ll pick a winner.
Strange Note: One of the entries in the “Use and Care” instructions struck me as a little different. Well, actually it was a lot different. It’s not often you get a warning to not keep pet birds in your kitchen. It seems that when non-stick cookware is overheated (over 500 degrees) it can emit a fume that can be fatal to birds.
Grail Note: I didn’t pay for the grill pan.