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Cast Iron Frying Pans

What's wrong with lid-on skillet cooking for meat?

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What's wrong with lid-on skillet cooking for meat?

leca | Sep 13, 2015 10:47 PM

I've always been a grill-master but over the last year I have been experimenting cooking traditional grill items like steaks and burgers in a skillet. It started with Bubba burgers that the directions claim to just throw a frozen one in a pan and flip once half way through. This works, however it obviously produces copious amounts of smoke and I didn't like cooking performance. It takes way too long, 10-15 minutes and I end up with too much char due to leaving a side down that long following the instructions.

At one point I put a loose fitting sauce pan lid (not sealed) over top it to try to cut down on smoke and grease splatter. I was immediately impressed with the results. The burger finished in grill time, even frozen, at about 3+ min per side. I have since done the same with steaks and chicken. I go lidless the first 30-60 secs to get a good char and then put the lid on. With this method I do not need to pop a thick steak in the oven nor need to turn it more than once. It comes out tasting excellent, as good or better than a gas grill, and is about the same time to finish as a very hot Weber gas grill.

I notice many of the chef vids that demonstrate pan cooking thick cuts of meat have an oven step at the end or have something like a "flip it every 30 seconds" method (which takes a long time). Is there some problem I am not seeing using the lid?

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