It will never make food smoky flavored like on the charcoal grill. But I've been using my grill pan a lot more recently and I'm actually liking it. For ages I basically only used it for panini. Then I started using it for grilling sous vide chicken. I liked it so much for that application that I actually started cooking the chicken in it when I hadn't cooked it sous vide first, when I need it quick. Then I started grilling veg in it on occasion. While it's still not comparable to charcoal grilling, and I personally will never cook my steaks on it, I do like that pan quite a bit now. So I take back most of the negative things I've said about grill pans.