Product review: Emeril cast iron 10" square grill pan

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Greg Who Cooks

Executive Chef
Jan 13, 2011
in my kitchen
I just got one of these last week:


Emeril pre-seasoned cast iron 10" square grill pan, $24.99 at BB&B

Actually I had been impulse buying and due to BB&B's ultra-liberal return policy I didn't really read the package. It looked like a small cast iron skillet so I paid $20 after applying a 20% off coupon and I took it home.

I was a little surprised to see the ribbed bottom when I opened the package. Yeah, I know, that's kind of "duh" for me. All I can say for myself is that all my sharpest knives are in storage until I buy that next house I've been talking about, so maybe my current dull knives have led me into a sort of dull complacency about my current set of second string tools. Anyway, why not try it out?

We've had some weather when I didn't want to cook outside, not because I couldn't have dressed up but just because I was wearing shorts and socks and didn't want to add pants and shoes and be uncomfortable outside (I prefer workout clothes for casual wear) so I cooked a steak inside on the stove. The only problem was the smoke generated set off my smoke detector. Tossing the smoke detector into a dresser drawer fixed that!

The steak came out just fine! In fact my previous backup to outside cooking was a light weight skillet (not appropriate for steaks, my regular cast iron is in storage, that's why I wanted to add a small cast iron as backup). I liked the grill marks (super easy using Emeril's grill pan), the raised grill bottom grooves kept the steak out of the grease. I found it easier to pay attention to the wellness (or rareness) of my steak because being inside was more conducive to frequent checking.

Next chore: hamburgers. The pan did just fine. The grill marks weren't as conspicuous (hamburgers cook quicker) but the grooves kept the grease down. Anyway, you can't see grill marks on a hamburger when it's assembled, no big deal. The hamburgers came out fine. It was easy to cook one side (90 degree rotation half way) then flip it, put a couple pieces of cooked bacon and a slice of Swiss cheese on top, then I lightly covered the pan with a loose sheet of aluminum foil to capture enough heat to melt the cheese. End result: perfect Swiss cheese bacon burgers!

Speaking of bacon, this is a great tool for cooking bacon. There's something about the raised grill bottom that not only keeps the bacon out of its own grease, but seems to discourage the bacon from curling. I found it very easy to flip the bacon a few times adding in some rotations (like you do to create cross hatched grill marks) and bacon comes out perfect! No burned bacon either, it doesn't splatter as much as a flat bottom skillet so you can watch your bacon more closely.

The negative: It's a bitch to clean. It's cast iron, it's pre-seasoned, and I don't want the specter of Emeril to slap my wrist for using soap. AFAIK you use warm water and a plastic scrubber to clean it, period. Using that method it comes out greasy and stays greasy, for me at least. Not as clean as my other "no soap" cast iron cookware. But WTH, next time you use it the grease gets sterilized and ensures no sticking.

The verdict: A keeper. It's just the perfect alternative for cooking your steaks outside. I bet it will do a nice job on vegetables too, and in fact already cooked some slices of fresh pineapple with grill marks to go with another dinner, worked fine. Cleanup was the only negative. Price was very reasonable.

I award this product 5 stars out of 7. Why 7 stars you ask, WTH I don't know, I guess I just wanted to be different. ;)

$20 after applying a 20% off coupon at Bed, Bath & Beyond, subscribe to their email list and they'll send you the coupon, and they'll mail you another 20% off coupon every month. (The first email coupon might take a few days so plan ahead.) Coupons have expiration dates but their unofficial store policy is to totally ignore coupon expiration dates, I just keep a wad of them in my glove compartment so the most I ever pay for anything at BBB is 80% marked price.
I clean my cast iron by leaving it hot and deglazing with hot water for a few seconds, then dump it down the sink, put it back on the heat for about 10 seconds to evaporate any leftover water (or just wipe with a napkin). Then I wipe in the thinnest layer of canola oil I can on the entire cooking surface while still hot, allowing to cool naturally from there. About the easiest cleanup possible. BAM! Done.
I have a grill pan like that Greg, and until I started filling it with hot water as soon as the food was done, I had a heck of a time with it. I squirt some Dawn soap (ducking and running) into it too, since it's my pan and I'll do what I want. By the time dinner is over it's practically cleaned itself.
Thank you, I'll try that. But even if it doesn't work I like the pan. Pretty good price too, I love those BB&B coupons. I have a wad big enough to choke a cow in my glove compartment. I've been a BBB customer for dozens of years and they keep sending them and they keep ignoring the expiration date. Must have something to do with wanting to make a profit off of established customers. What a concept! ;)
Love BBB when using coupons also have many tucked in my car should I just have to do impulse shopping. Have found that many department stores also offer the same or even better specials when, but only when they offer spectacular 'special buys'.

The best deal we've found at BB&B is when they turned a section of one of their stores into a health and beauty aid section. Everything a bathroom or headache could want, all at Walmart prices and when using the coupons and playing the game (ummm, should I combine items to get $5.00 off of $15.00 OR 20% off each item) the savings were incredible.

If my husband (the guy that never uses or even heard of coupons) was impressed, you have to know it is great!
The prices aren't super great at BBB but by the time you get 20% off of every item their prices are really good.

I recently discovered a way to get even more discount at BBB. I use my Discover Card cash back to buy BBB gift cards, you pay $20 cash back for a $25 BBB gift. 20/25 = 80% so you get another 20% off.

So you pick out your purchases, apply the 20% discount cards and then pay with your gift card. So if you buy $100 and apply 20% coupons to everything, that's $80. Then pay using gift cards and that gets another 20% off so your total is $64. That's right you are getting 36% off BBB marked price!!!

Now beat that offer! :D

By the way I still really like my Emeril cast iron pan. It's just perfect for putting a sear on my Sous Vide cooked steaks, and works okay too if you want to cook a quick rib eye on your stove top.
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