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on May 25, 2002
Wow, I love this pan! I also live in an apartment, so this is a great substitute for outdoor grilling when you want a quick dinner. It's not as good as the outdoor charcoal grill, but this has some advantages. It's super easy. I use this pan several times a week. I pre-heat the pan, brush a little canola oil to the ribs, and while it warms up to the right temperature, I prepare the food. I cut some veggies (can use zucchini, squash, small eggplant, onions, bell pepper, etc), on the bias, so there's more surface area, toss with olive oil, salt & pepper, and grill. You may have to do several rounds of it if you have lots of veggies. After cooking until just tender, toss with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil. DELICIOUS!! Also, we've been grilling some great local wild salmon on this pan. It is unbelievable. It is very quick, so don't overcook. Season with salt and pepper, and anything you like. Just practice a couple times, experiment with the temperature and your technique, and you'll see how easy and tasty it is. If you can get some homegrown or organic produce, it's so much more tasty. Simple grilling complements good ingredients.
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on January 8, 2002
The only reason why this doesn't get the last star, in my book, is because of its somewhat limited usefulness. However, if you live in an apartment or otherwise anywhere where grilling is impossible, this is the next best thing....like all other Le Creuset products this heats evenly and wonderfully and takes abuse. I got mine as part of a 6-piece set (along with a Dutch Oven, Baking Pan, and Casserole) and sorta at first saw this as a "filler" piece. However, to it's credit, this pan can do even easilly-burned items like tofu dogs and fake bacon WONDERFULLY, which shocked me--I was convinced that nothing could give a "grilled" effect to those items. I even got adventerous the first time I used it and grilled some apple rings. I panicked when some sugar seemed to be burnt on for good despite a good soaking, but after the pot had been dried and put away for 48 hours it flaked right off. Forget what you know about nonstick surfaces, btw, and banish those bad memories of cruddy, flaking Teflon from the 70's. Just treat this well (I only use wooden utensils on it) and it will treat you well. Follow the instructions and enjoy! Just be sure to use a potholder and realize that once this thing gets hot it STAYS hot for a LONG time.
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on July 3, 2008
I live in the city, and don't have access to a grill. This pan makes perfect steakhouse grill lines on your pan. Just heat it really, really hot -- to the point of smoking -- on your stove first. Then turn on your broiler to High. Throw on a steak and shove it under the broiler. Two minutes later, rotate the steak 45 degrees. Flip steak and repeat. Professional gourmet steakhouse steak- I swear.

But this pan will get oil splatters on it that will turn black under high heat circumstances. Are you going to spend 3 hours scrubbing every nook and cranny with baking soda and a scotch brite? No! I won't either. So I live with the black oil stains, and take them as badges of honor for all of the previous delicious meals past.

However, I'm slightly OCD - and the black spots do bug me. I recommend this pan highly, just get the black color. You won't see any stains, and you'll just love this thing.

For panini fans: Get the panini press which fits with this perfectly.

The perfect San Francisco panini: Get a French roll, slice down the middle and slather the insides with olive oil. Lay on a few slices of prosciutto, a few roasted red peppers packed in water or oil (from your deli or condiments section of the grocery store), and a few generous slices of mozzarella. Sprinkle sandwich with a little salt. Grill in pan on medium heat until the first side is golden. Flip sandwich. Adjust heat so that when the second side turns golden, the mozzarella is just starting to melt. Bite into heaven.
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on March 21, 2001
I ordered one of these, after seeing someone use a similar grill pan on a cooking show. When I received the product, it was superior in quality. Very heavy and extremely attractive. I couldn't wait to use it. I just wanted to get those little grill marks on my food, because I don't own an outdoor grill and I don't like the idea of dealing with mosquitos while grilling outside. Not only did I get the marks, but I got the burnt grill flavor on my chicken breast, too. The first night that I used it, I was having a dinner party while cooking. It performed stellar on the first use. I used chicken breast strips and noticed that though they seared with that great sound, they were cooking evenly and slowly. The food didn't burn, but I had to cook it a long time to get the chicken thoroughly done. The taste was perfect and not burnt or dry at all. I was so excited that I cooked whole bonely breast two days later and can't wait to grill the shrimp and vegetables this weekend. Beware though, the thickness of the meat will cause a lengthy grilling time. So, the house will be full of smoke (for the inexperienced cook like me), but the meat will not burn or dry out. I also purchased the heart shape pot which was great for display of the casserole but the grill pan has me walking on cloud nine. Matter of fact, I'm eating grilled chicken for lunch right now and it taste great!!
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on May 5, 2001
Does an excellent job of cooking whatever you put in it without drying the food out. Chicken, steaks, fish, shellfish, everything, comes out moist and flavorful. Gives the appealing appearance of grill lines without the drying effect of the outdoor grille. I really enjoy cooking with this grill, and often choose recipes based upon being able to use the grill.
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on July 31, 2014
This is now my go-to pan for cooking chicken, steak or pork. I sometimes use it for burgers, and I've used it for vegetables once or twice. It does a fantastic job, and I have to say in particular that my chicken has never come out better.

What's important to know is that getting good results from this pan requires the right technique: get the pan very hot on high heat without adding anything to it (the old test of dripping water on the pan and watching it "dance" or skitter on the surface to tell if it's hot works well), reduce the heat down to medium-high, then add a small amount of oil brushed on either the pan or the food, and finally add the food to the pan and don't move it until it's time to turn. This will get you very well-defined grill marks, great texture, and food that's cooked through while still being juicy and delicious.

Cleaning is a mild nuisance (getting between all the ridges takes about as much effort as you'd expect) but the coating of the pan is great. It does not damage easily, and it always cleans up nicely.

Compared to using a "real" grill outdoors with charcoal or gas... I still love to barbeque, and it does impart a certain something (especially with good charcoal). However, I barbeque once a month or less, and I use this pan twice a week. I think that speaks for itself.

Great pan, very happy I bought it, gives me the results I want, and looks fantastic.
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on October 28, 2010
I love this little indoor grill! It creates beautiful grill lines on anything from fish to veggies. We often cook sausages, hot dogs and hamburgers in it as well. The only issue we ever have is if we need to cook for more than 4 people.

Anyone familiar with cast iron woks or who might be an avid outdoor griller will tell you that you shouldn't clean your cast iron or grill with soap. In fact, don't sweat it if you can't remove all the little black bits that get seared on to this pan as those are the particles that actually "season" your cookware and will provide a more complex flavor to your food after continued use.

This pan is fabulous for steaks! For a perfect fillet, sear both sides of your steak on this grill then slip the whole thing into a 350 degree oven to finish to your preferences. Immediately after removing them from the oven, transfer the steaks to a covered dish for 5 minutes while you sautee mushrooms in the steak juices that have collected in the grooves. Yum!
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on May 19, 2003
Don't let the high price tag and the cast iron thing scare you away from this great product. It's not your mother's cast iron of stuck-on messes and rust in your food. It's very easy to season, and from there it works great. We've been able to cook everything from salmon, to buffalo, to pineapples with no sticking.
Unlike it's predecessor, the George Foreman grill, it cooks many kind of foods beautifully without drying it out or sticking. The key...temperature control. Since it works with your stove, you can control the amout of heat you need.
Also, having a wee kitchen, it's nice not to have another appliance taking up valuable counter space.
One of the best features is the lifetime warranty. And they mean it too. My friend had a Le Creuset teapot that rusted out and they sent her a replacement for free.
Sure it's pricey, but you get what you pay for with this pan.
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on March 28, 2013
I have used one of these excellent pans for over a decade.

If you are not used to this type of pan, you do need to become accustomed to the cooking technique.

Cast iron has a very low thermal inertia, and once it is heated, it retains that heat for a significant period of time. This is unlike aluminum pans which cool quickly once the application of heat reduces or ceases.

You need to take this into account.

Here are my tips:

1. Pre- heat the pan to a medium heat

2. Apply a small amount of oil- canola or olive oil are suitable in my experience- to the cooking surface

3. Ensure foods you are cooking have a dry surface- blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture- prior to cooking

The pan imparts a delightful chargrilled flavor- with attractive char marks made by the raised ridges. The ridges help to ensure that excess fat and moisture drains from the food as it is cooked- also enhancing the flavor and texture of the food.

I recommend you use utensils which will not scratch the enamel cooking surface- I use Cuisipro non-metallic tongs.
This is great for cooking meat as well as char grilling vegetables.

Cleaning is simple, if you follow the instructions. I suggest you use a plastic dish brush to clean between the ridges, without damaging the enamel.

You can have problems if you overheat the pan- care is needed to ensure medium heat is used.

Highly recommended- I feel sure you will not be disappointed with this grill pan if used correctly.

Also, it is very durable and retains its attractive appearance in the longer term.
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on October 10, 2012
I've had this grill for almost 9 years and it's as good, if not better, than the day I got it. For a while we lived in an apartment that didn't let us grill on our patio so all our steaks, burgers and hotdogs were cooked on this. The first time we cooked hotdogs I was amazed they actually had a bit of a smokey flavor like you would get on the grill. This item isn't the easiest to clean up, but what grill items are, but thanks to Alton Brown it's much easier now. Put some salt down into the pan before you place the meat in the pan and the clean up is pretty easy.
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