I Was a Grill-Pan Skeptic, but the OXO Grill Pan Changed My Mind
I am the type to eschew the latest kitchen gadget trend (especially if said gadget only does one job) in favor of a quality, time-tested tool that I know will serve multiple purposes — both because I live in a small apartment and because I subscribe to the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it life motto. Avocado slicer? Don’t need it — I have a paring knife. Air fryer? All my editors have one, but personally I’d rather not forgo the counter space. Vegetable chopper? I actually enjoy the meditative task of chopping, thank you very much.
So you get the idea … I’m resistant to new and gimmicky products in my ever-so-small kitchen. And because I live in a city apartment, you’re likely not shocked to find out that I don’t have access to a grill. But some foods are simply better with a deep, flavorful char, so I decided to give the OXO Good Grips Nonstick 11” Square Grill Pan a chance in my quest for some proper grill marks. I was so pleasantly surprised by its performance that it has earned a place in my cabinet right next to my trusted cast iron and stainless steel skillets.
What’s Great About OXO’s Grill Pan?
OXO touts the “three-layer, German-engineered nonstick coating” as one of the pan’s main attributes, and I can’t disagree. It’s made with a particularly hardy nonstick coating (which is also hard to come by in the age of ceramic nonstick pans), which I anticipate will hold up to years of use. Because of its hard anodized body, the pan has a nice heft (but it’s not very heavy) and heats pretty rapidly (even on my cursed electric-coil stovetop) while distributing an even heat throughout, so vegetables relegated to the corners of the pan can still pick up a nice sear.
Just like a regular cast iron or stainless steel skillet, you can achieve a lovely sear on meats, vegetables, bread, and more, but unlike a regular skillet, the heat is concentrated on what’s in contact with the raised ridges — imparting those characteristic little lines.
I don’t often cook red meat at home, but when I do, it’s likely a filet mignon and I’m inclined to butter baste it, which can be difficult to do in a grill pan. That said, I’ve found that this was a great way to get quick color and flavor on asparagus (one of my favorite vegetables to cook on a traditional grill) without losing their snappy texture, and I successfully pressed a grilled cheese into a pseudo-panini by applying pressure while crisping.
It’s also fabulous for meal-prepping pounded-thin chicken breasts, as they won’t curl up and lose all their juices (or, worse, remain white and colorless) when flash-grilled in the pan. Other things I’m looking forward to trying out in this pan: a thick tuna steak that would be incomplete without grill marks, farmers market zucchini in the summer, delicate cod or flounder for grilled fish tacos, charred corn on the cob, and caprese sandwiches.
How Do You Maintain the OXO Grill Pan?
Keep in mind that because this pan has a nonstick coating, the heat shouldn’t be cranked up past medium. You’ll also want to avoid using metal utensils with it, and it’ll need hand-washing in order to maintain the coating. These are all things I do anyway with my cookware.