Q: I LOVE COOKING ON MY CAST-IRON GRILL PAN, BUT I’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO GET THOSE PERFECT-LOOKING RESTAURANT-STYLE CRISSCROSS GRILL MARKS. WHAT’S THE SECRET?
A: It’s nice to put a little extra effort into dinner now and then, especially when cooking steaks and other foods that folks tend to order out more often than cooking at home. But the secret to great crosshatched grill marks is that there is no secret! It’s merely a matter of rotating the meat before you turn it from one side to the other.
Place your food (whether meat or veggies, the process is the same) onto the pan at a 45° angle to the grill grates. Leave the food untouched while it browns; when it’s ready to be moved, it will easily lift of the pan.
Rotate your food 45° in the opposite direction so that it’s now at an angle in the opposite direction to the first set of grill marks. Let the food cook undisturbed to develop the second set of grill marks.
Turn your food over and repeat the process on the other side. Don’t poke, prod, or lift your food while the grill marks develop; moving the food too soon can cause it to stick, tear, and not brown well.