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Nothing is better than a traditional all american bbq. The smoke the aroma and the flavor, it brings all our senses together. However, grilling it properly requires a lot of work. One good alternative is to do it indoor with a specialized grill pan. The Best Grill Tray Pan give food a deep defined mark mimicking those of a traditional grill. However, it doesnt have the smokey flavor of a traditional grill. To get that, you need one that is designed for traditional BBQ.
What is a Grill Tray Pan
Grill Tray Pan are like grill pan. The main difference is the shape. Instead of a square, it is rectangular. They are designed to be used indoor to give grill mark. Models with tall grills will give you the best result. Cast Iron models will usually have the best one. Because they are casted, manufacturer can make it as tall as they want. Aluminum or stainless steel pan are usually stamped so their grill mark are small.
Another type of grill pan is the one designed for the BBQ. These trays have perforation so that smoke can permeate throughout the food. The main function for these tray is to store and smoke food. Although you do need to use a bbq.
Finally, we have those wire mesh grill tray. They clamp on food so that you can easily turn them while grilling. Fish is a popular choice for grilling. Plus, it has none of the issue with sticking. In Vietnam, they use these tray to grill lemon grass pork patties.
How to Use a Grill Tray Pan
For the stove top grill pan, the main use of it is to just put grill mark. Truth be told, you cant do any meaningful cooking from it. It doesnt transfer enough heat to cook food all the way. All it does is add grill mark. To finish cooking, you have to pop it in the oven to finish cooking. However, for things like veggies, it works just fine. To use it, preheat and sear on one side. The main goal is to just get a nice grill mark.
The grill tray for perforation are a bit easier to use. Just preheat the bbq and load food on the tray. Pop it in and it should smoke it. Since there are so many perforation, sticking isn’t really much of an issue. Be sure to practice proper grilling technique to cook it through.
Finally the wire type of grilling. These cook food in smaller quantity but you get better control. You set the rack over a open plan and grill as needed. Once one side is done, flip. I would set it in the cooler area in case you need to slowly cook it.
Cleaning is a chore on these grill pan. The models will the tall ridges are possibly the worse. The best method that I found is to shock the hot pan with water. This losen the stuck on bits and lets you use the nylon scrubber to get it out. However, this is not recommended by manufacturer as it will reduce the lifespan of it. I still do it anyways though.
The grill trays with perforation and the wire rack. I like to soak it in water and oil. Most of those uses either aluminum or stainless steel. So rusting is not much of an issue. If its really stuck on, use a nylon scrubber to clean it.
Best Grill Tray Pan List
Below, you will find a list of some of Best Grill Tray Pan on the market. There are quite a few models on the market. Choose one that best suits you.
Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle (Best Overall)
Lodge Grill Tray is one of the best on the market. It has large grill marks and its larger enough to fit two burner. Plus, you can also use it as a griddle by just flipping it. You can also use the griddle section on the BBQ. This makes it incredibly versatile. One thing to note is that cast iron can rust. As long as you keep the seasoning intact, it wont rust. Plus, the nonstick performance will only get better.
Weber Style 6435 Professional-Grade Grill Pan (Best Grill Tray for BBQ)
Weber Grill Tray is best for outdoors for a true smokey flavor. Instead of tiny holes, it has slots. This makes it easier to clean than those will holes. Not only that, the tray is made of stainless steel. This means that it wont rust like cast iron.
AIZOAM Portable Stainless Steel BBQ Barbecue Grilling Basket (Best Basket Model)
This basket is cheap and functional. Since these trays are simple, you wont get much variation between manufacturer. However, this is large and can fit a lot of food. I like how you can easily slather sauce on it. One thing to note, is that the handle is still metal. So it will get hot and you should still use a glove. Otherwise you will burn yourself.
There are quite a few different grill tray on the market. The models with tall grill marks are designed to be used indoor on the stove. However, you can also use it on the grill as a griddle. If you want true smokey flavor, use the grill tray with holes. They let smoke permeate through it and give it a different flavor. Perhaps the easiest to use is the basket type of tray. All you need to do is clamp it and grill it. You can easily slather sauce on top of it as well.
Looking for more grilling accessories, check out our article on the Best Melting and Grilling Dome.