[PRESENTED BY NAPOLEON GRILLS]
You can’t go wrong with grilling some burgers and hot dogs during the warmer months, but why do we limit our barbecues to the basics? It’s time to get creative with our food and put a twist on the classic BBQ dinner.
Cooking a la plancha, the Spanish phrase for grilling on an iron plate or griddle, is a growing trend for barbecue enthusiasts. To master this type of cooking, a cast-iron griddle is used over a charcoal grill or gas barbecue, depending on preference, along with essential grilling utensils. Whether you’re cooking beef for tacos, a stir-fry with vegetables, breakfast foods or anything too small to sear on grates, plancha style is transforming the way we cook.
If you’re new to the art of cooking a la plancha, experts from Napoleon Grills have these useful tips to help you master the technique:
· The griddle– The foundation of plancha cooking is of course, a cast iron plate. With a variety of shapes and sizes available, it’s important to find a plate that will accommodate the size of your grill. If you’re looking to sear and grill at the same time, find a griddle that will take up half of your barbecue, and leave the other side open to flip burgers.
· Prep your space – You may be eager to jump right into this new grilling technique, but there are a few steps to take before you start to sear. Make sure the griddle is in place and secured, let it heat over your grill or barbecue for at least 10 minutes and refrain from adding oil directly to your griddle in the middle of cooking.
· The right tools– Ensure you have the proper utensils at hand to help increase grilling precision over your hotplate. A plancha toolset offers an oversized spatula for convenience and a scraper for easy cleanup. It’s always a good idea to have more than the basics and enhance your toolkit with other utensils, including tongs, meat forks and skewers.
· Marinate for flavour– No matter the method of grilling you prefer, nothing enhances the flavour of food more than marinating meat prior to grilling, especially while cooking on a griddle. Let the meat or vegetables marinate in spices for several hours, or use a marinade injector for a last minute flavour boost.
· Cleaning your hotplate– A common mistake made when cleaning cast iron accessories is soaking it in water. This will ruin the seasoning, or protective coating, so it’s best to use a small amount of water, soap and a sponge to remove scorched residue, then pat the griddle dry. To strengthen the coating, add a small amount of oil, heat the pan, then once cooled, clean off any excess residue before storing.
To learn more about Napoleon and explore products for a la plancha cooking, visit https://www.napoleon.com/en/ca/barbecues/products/accessories.