You can put a stainless steel pan on the grill if you keep a few things in mind. If you have an oven-friendly pan that has no plastic parts, then you can easily put it on a gas grill. Pans that are designed to work at low to moderate heat are not suitable for grills. Particularly, non-stick pans are not recommended at all since their heat sensitive coatings will be damaged by the grill.
Ever since humans have found a way to turn stainless steel into pots and pans, it has earned itself a reputation for being dependable and durable when it comes to cooking. You can use both your stove and grill to prepare amazing, delicious meals.
However, both these cooking devices differ from each other. A cooking stove concentrates heat, while a grill spreads the hit over the surface. Moreover, grilling also uses way higher temperatures than cooking stoves.
Therefore, when it comes to using stovetop pans and pots on a grill, there are some things you need to take care of.
Let’s see what you have to keep in mind when it comes to using stainless steel pans on grills.
Stovetop Cooking and Grilling – What is the Difference between the Two
To understand why you can’t use the same pots and pans for stovetop cooking and grilling, you need to understand why these two methods are different from each other.
The major difference between cooking on a stove and grilling is the method you use. In grilling, you use direct heat to cook the food at very high temperatures. You can place the food inside the grill on an open rack.
When the grill is working, dry heat is applied to the food from above and on the sides. This heat sears the food and you get the distinct, smoky flavor and crust. On the other hand, in stovetop cooking, you don’t expose the food directly to the source of heat.
The food is placed in a pot or pan on the burner. The burner gives concentrated heat to the container and this heat is then distributed over the surface. The food gets cooked from both inside and the outside in a nice, consistent way and the taste remains uniform.
Stainless Steel Pans and Gas Grills
A gas grill is a hybrid between a high-powered wall oven and a gas stove. Most of the gas grills work at 500 to 550°F. Most of the stainless steel pans are safe for use at this range. Therefore, an oven-safe stainless steel pan that doesn’t have any plastic parts is perfect for use on a gas grill.
However, this only applies to stainless steel pans that are uncoated and have a bare, steel cooking surface. Ceramic and non-stick pans should not be used on the grill at all, or the coating will end up being damaged.
What we recommend is that you don’t crank the heat all the way up – simply dial the heat to medium-ish and keep it there. Stainless steel, as a material, doesn’t work well with high heat and can bend out of shape at high temperatures.
Why Can You Not Place Any Pan on The Grill
The major factor that determines whether a pan is suitable to go on a grill is the material that was used to construct it. Grills work at a very high temperature as compared to cooking stoves. If you place a pan that is not designed to bear high temperatures, then it will be damaged when you place it on the grill.
Excessive temperature changes can cause the thin metal surface of the pan to expand and, as a result, lose shape. This change in shape is called warping. Sometimes, warping is reversible. However, if you expose the metal pans to high temperatures, the pans will get distorted permanently.
What Types of Pans Can Go on the Grill
You can’t use any pan on your grill. On the other hand, there are certain kinds of pans that can work fine with grills.
Let’s see what they are.
Pans Safe for Use on a Grill
Apart from stainless steel pans, here are some other pans that are safe for use on a grill.
- Aluminum Pans
Aluminum is a good conductor of heat. Therefore, aluminum pans heat up quickly and you can easily cook food in them. Aluminum withstands high temperatures for a very long time without getting distorted. Therefore, you can easily use aluminum pans on your grill.
- Cast Iron Pans
One of the best options when it comes to cooking on a grill is cast iron pans. They not only hold up great at high temperatures but also distribute heat nicely and evenly. Moreover, since they have a thick surface, they retain heat longer and your food gets cooked quickly and thoroughly.
However, one thing that you need to keep in mind is the material of the handle of the pan. A pan that is designed for stovetop cooking might still be able to withstand the heat coming from a grill. However, the handle on the pan may not.
It might be made of a material that is not resistant to high temperature and you will end up with a burnt, melted handle.
- Baking Pans
Most baking pans are safe for use on a grill as they are designed to withstand high temperatures inside an oven. However, you used to go for only metallic baking pans and not ceramic/glass pans. They can crack or shatter your place directly on the grill.
Types of Pans that are Not Safe for Use on the Grill
Here are the kinds of pans that are not safe for use on a grill as they can’t bear the heat.
- Glass Pans
We would recommend that you don’t use your glass pans on the grill. Even though glass is temperature-resistant, it is not built for use on a grill at high temperatures. Therefore, it will crack or shatter, and will damage your grill and might harm you as well.
- Non-Stick Pans
You cannot use most non-stick pans on a grill. This is because they are not designed to sustain high temperatures. Most of them have a metallic base, along with a non-stick layer on their top. The metallic base can bear heat from the grill, but the inner coating certainly cannot.
Most of the non-stick pans come with a coating of silicone, Teflon, or sol-gel ceramic. All of these substances are not capable of handling high heat and when you apply heat to them, they not only break down but also produce high fumes.
Therefore, it is recommended that you don’t use no-stick pans on a grill. Stainless steel is not a very good conductor of heat. However, when you combine it with metals that are good conductors such as aluminum or copper, then it becomes a whole different ballgame.
These kinds of pans are very suitable for cooking at high temperatures. Therefore, if you have to put a non-stick pan on your grill, check whether it is an aluminium-steel alloy as that will be a safer option.
What are the Benefits of Stainless Steel Pans
Stainless steel pans are one of the most useful cooking utensils that you will find in your kitchen. Here are some reasons why.
- They are very light as compared to cast iron pots and pans.
- Moreover, they are sturdier and long lasting as well. If you take good care of the pan, it lasts over a decade.
- Stainless steel pans are also healthier and eco-friendly as compared to other pans that release harmful chemicals when they are scratched, particularly those with non-stick coatings.
How to Keep Your Stainless Steel Pan Safe
We all work really hard, and you can’t afford to waste your hard-earned money just because you didn’t take proper care of your pots and pans. Here are some protective measures that you can take to ensure that you keep your pans from spotting and warping over time.
- To keep your pan from warping, you need to preheat it along with the grill.
- The worst thing that you can do to your stainless steel pan is put it through a temperature shock. When your pan is hot, you should never place it on a cold surface. Moreover, don’t put the pan under cold, running water.
- Take the food off the pan with a spatula, let it cool, and then wash it.
- When you are stirring the food in your stainless steel pan, use silicone or wooden utensils instead of metal utensils.
How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Pan
Things You Need
- Warm Water
- Dishwashing Soap
- Scrubbing Brush
- Let the pan cool down for 15 minutes after you are done using it.
- Take a bowl full of warm water and add 1 tbsp. dishwashing soap to it.
- Stir it until suds are formed.
- Pour this soapy mixture into the pan.
- Use a scrubbing brush to scrub away the pan.
- Make sure that you scrub gently and don’t scratch the surface of your cooking pan.
- If there are stubborn stains, then use baking soda to clean your pan up.
- Wash with clean water and dry thoroughly to prevent spotting.
FAQs for Can You Put a Stainless Steel Pan on the Grill
Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Stainless Steel Pan on Charcoal Grill
Charcoal grills get really, really hot. At its peak, the burning charcoal exceeds temperatures of 600°F (315°C). This is certainly well over the threshold that most stainless steel pans are designed to withstand.
What kind of handles are safe for use on grills?
Pans that have metal handles are generally safe to be used in the oven while those with wooden, plastic, or silicone handles are not. When you are in doubt, check the usage instructions of your pan before you put it on the grill.