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Plancha Grilling – Very High Temperature Healthy Grilling

plancha grilling,a la plancha, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

What is a  Plancha Grilling?

In simple terms, it is a grill that reaches very high temperatures.

The Plancha grill has its origins in Spain. It is essentially a grill that gets super hot. Most griddles reach about 280 degrees C, but a Plancha grill can reach 350 degrees C with ease. ( Some even higher at 420 degrees C / 788 degrees F) .

The Plancha grill combines high temperatures with searing and a small amount of smoking.

The iconic Spanish dishes Gambas a la Plancha ( Pan Seared Prawns) and Patatas Bravas ( Cubed Spiced Potatoes) use a Plancha grill.

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How does the Plancha grill work?

In Spain, the word Plancha commonly refers to any flat heated surface. However, in the culinary world, the word Plancha has become associated with the very hot specialty grills that reach searing temperatures.

Unlike a griddle pan, the highest heat concentrates at the center of the metal plate. This allows for different foods to move around the plancha without having to adjust the heat source. The majority of Plancha’s are coated with a layer of non-reactive chrome, which minimizes the alteration of flavors and allows for easy cleaning.

plancha grilling,a la plancha, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

Advantages of Plancha Grilling

  • A Plancha grill heats up very quickly. Once turned on, you can start cooking within 5 minutes!
  • As a Plancha reaches temperatures of 270 to 300 degrees C., it allows roasting of food quickly. This seals the outside of the food as soon as possible and maintains the internal juices keeping the flavor.
  • A Plancha is perfect for cooking small or chopped foods that when you usually barbecue ends up in the coals—anything from grilled meat, fish seafood, mushrooms chopped vegetables, and even peas.
  • Some Planchas are stand-alone gas/electric models, and others placed on top of charcoal embers in your kettle barbecue.
  • In particular, the gas models are portable and can be placed in your kitchen or outside in your backyard barbecue area.
  • Cooking on a Plancha requires very little fat as the food cooks in its juices—a very healthy way to cook.

When is a Plancha grill hot enough?

Throw a few water drops on the heated Plancha. The drops should pop on the grill and evaporate quickly.


plancha grilling,a la plancha, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

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What type of food can you cook on a Plancha?

In Spain, a Plancha cooks all kinds of Tapas food. It is perfect for cooking steaks, which require surface searing and sealing but a rare center.

Tuna Steaks cook perfectly on a Plancha.

As it is a flat surface, all types of vegetables, even beans, and peas can get that chargrilled flavor from the Plancha.

Marinated food cooks quickly on the Plancha. The marinade will caramelize on the high heat giving a delicious finish to your meal.

 

Which type of Plancha Grill should I buy?

plancha grilling,a la plancha, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

When choosing a Plancha grill, your cooking preferences should be taken into consideration.

If you cook with high expectant standards, then a gas-powered plancha allows for more precise adjustments. It will also heat up very quickly.

Electric Plancha grills and convenient, but they are slower to heat up. They generally take up less space and are one of the most affordable freestanding types.

Plancha grill pans can be purchased to use on a barbecue. The specialized cooking plates fit on top of the charcoal or wood embers.

plancha grilling,a la plancha, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

There are several plate types to consider when deciding on your Plancha grill.

Hard Chrome Plating:- Top of the line option but can be expensive. Allows for easy cleaning and excellent cooking quality

Stainless Steel:- This can withstand high temperatures and is easy to maintain.Very hygienic but not as great as conducting heat like cast iron or steel types.

Carbon and Enamel Steel:- This is the middle of the range choice and is cost-effective. Maintenance is necessary when the coating wears off. Corrosion can set in, so oiling becomes essential. They heat up very quickly.

Click on the link below to have a look at some of the Plancha Grills that Amazon offer:-

https://www.amazon.com/slp/plancha-grill/tod9ovavj89y7op

Here are two recipes that perfectly utilize a Plancha Grill.

Snap Peas charred on a Plancha with Chili Lime Salt

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As beans and peas very rarely find their way onto a Barbecue, then consider cooking them using a Plancha Grill.

The flat metal plate gives pea pods a hint of char that compliments their natural sweetness.

Ingredients

1 lb fresh English peas, Edamame beans Sugar snap peas or Chickpeas.

1 Tablespoon Extra virgin Olive oil

1 A teaspoon of Chili Lime salt.

 

Method
  • Set up the Plancha for cooking
  • In a bowl, toss the beans or peas with the oil.
  • Place the beans or peas on the Plancha making sure they are arranged in a single layer.
  • Cook until charred on one side maximum 2 mins.
  • Toss the peas and cook for a further 1-3 minutes, Depending on the type and freshness of the peas or beans.
  • Using a spatula, transfer the peas to a serving bowl. Toss in the chili-lime mixture.
  • Serve immediately.

    Chargrilled Snap Peas with Chili Lime Salt

    As beans and peas very rarely find their way onto a Barbecue, then consider cooking them using a Plancha Grill.The flat metal plate gives pea pods a hint of char that compliments their natural sweetness.
    Prep Time5 mins
    Cook Time5 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Servings: 4 people

    Ingredients

    • Ingredients
    • 1 lb fresh English peas Edamame beans Sugar snap pease or Chickpeas.
    • 1 Tablespoon Extra virgin Olive oil
    • 1 A teaspoon of Chili Lime salt.

    Instructions

    • Method
    • Set up the Plancha for cooking
    • In a bowl, toss the beans or peas with the oil.
    • Place the beans or peas on the Plancha making sure they are arranged in a single layer.
    • Cook until charred on one side maximum 2 mins.
    • Toss the peas and cook for a further 1-3 minutes, Depending on the type and freshness of the peas or beans.
    • Using a spatula, transfer the peas to a serving bowl. Toss in the chili-lime mixture.
    • Serve immediately.

 

Atun a la Plancha ( Spanish Plancha Grilled Tuna Steaks )

plancha grilling,a la plancha, Free Cooking and BBQ Magazine

A simple recipe for delicious healthy, simple tuna steaks cooked on a Plancha.

Ingredients
  • (2) Tuna Steaks
  • (1) Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • (1) Clove of Garlic Minced
  • (1/2) Lemon
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Sea Salt
Method
  • Firstly mix using a mortar and pestle two teaspoons of Olive oil minced garlic, Pound until this becomes a paste, Add into the mortar the freshly chopped parsley and Pound with the garlic. Add another two teaspoons of olive oil and some sea salt to taste. Set aside.
  • Heat up you Plancha ready to grill.
  • Mix 1 tbsp of the olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt.
  • Season the tuna with the mixture.
  • Place the seasoned tuna steaks on the plancha.
  • Turn the steaks after 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Complete cooking on the new side for 2- 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the plancha to the serving plate.
  • Add a little of the garlic parsley seasoning mix to the top of each tuna steak.
  • Serve immediately.

    Atun A La Plancha

    Spanish Plancha Grilled Tuna Steaks A simple recipe for delicious healthy, simple tuna steaks cooked on a Plancha.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time6 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Main Course
    Cuisine: Spanish
    Servings: 2 people

    Ingredients

    • Ingredients
    • 2 Tuna Steaks
    • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    • 1 Clove of Garlic Minced
    • 1/2 Lemon
    • Fresh Parsley
    • Sea Salt

    Instructions

    • Method
    • Firstly mix using a mortar and pestle two teaspoons of Olive oil minced garlic, Pound until this becomes a paste, Add into the mortar the freshly chopped parsley and Pound with the garlic. Add another two teaspoons of olive oil and some sea salt to taste. Set aside.
    • Heat up you Plancha ready to grill.
    • Mix 1 tbsp of the olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt.
    • Season the tuna with the mixture.
    • Place the seasoned tuna steaks on the plancha.
    • Turn the steaks after 2 – 3 minutes.
    • Complete cooking on the new side for 2- 3 minutes.
    • Remove from the plancha to the serving plate.
    • Add a little of the garlic parsley seasoning mix to the top of each tuna steak.
    • Serve immediately.

Plancha grilling

If you enjoy healthy cooking, deliciously safely charred food just like they serve with Spanish Tappas, consider investing in a Plancha Grill.

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About the Author:

Hi, I am a writer based outside Cape Town in South Africa. I come from a Barbecue obsessed family. With the great weather we have in Cape Town ( most of the year) we enjoy Cooking Outside in our Backyard as often as possible. South African's love to "Braai" anything! The trick to continuing to enjoy Barbecuing is loving the old favorites but experimenting with new foods and methods often.

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