Now that summer has finally arrived, the weather is nice enough that cooking often moves outdoors to the barbeque. Whether you cook on gas or charcoal, there is nothing like a nice steak or ribs cooked to perfection on the ‘que. In addition to the usual burgers and meats, I also like to grill vegetables and fish. To do this, you may need a grill pan so your meal doesn’t wind up falling through the grate and getting charred to a crisp.
Inexpensive grill pans can be found at hardware stores, supermarkets, kitchen stores and places that specialize in barbeque equipment. They are typically metal with medium sized holes along the bottom so smaller items can cook efficiently and still get a great smokey flavour (particularly if you’re cooking over charcoal). There are also mesh grill pans available from stores such as Williams Sonoma. They are a bit more expensive but come in a variety of shapes and sizes. I like the mesh ‘skillet’ I got last year because it cleans easily and the handle doesn’t get too hot (although I usually use an oven mitt anyway, just to be safe).
If you don’t have a grill pan and find yourself in a situation where you need one, it’s easy to improvise one for very little cost. Here’s what you’ll need:
- A disposable aluminum foil pan, any size and shape you choose
- A sharp pointed knife or scissors
- Cooking spray or neutral oil
- Pierce the bottom of the foil pan with the tip of your knife. Twist the tip so that it makes a hole about 1/2″ around. Repeat over the bottom of the pan. Carefully fold any sharp jagged edges under.
- Spray pan with cooking spray or rub a small amount of neutral oil on the bottom of the pan. Grill items on the barbeque as desired.
A word of caution: Be careful when removing the foil pan from the hot grill. They are flimsier than metal pans so use oven mitts and transfer the pan immediately to a baking sheet or large plate to carry.
There is a new Kitchen Tip of the Week posted each week. You can also check out the archives for more tips and tricks.