The Cuisinart cheese melting grill pan was a gadget I knew I had to have the minute I saw it. When we received this product I was first disappointed in its small size but the folding removable handle looked very nice. The only packaging is a cardboard wrapper with no instructions under the cardboard is a very smooth non-stick coated metal tray that is 8 x 3.5 inches and 1 inch deep, the overall length including handle is 14.5 inches.
First I investigate the handle a quick pinch of the wires close to the Cuisinart cheese melting grill pan and the handle pops right off. Exactly what I was hoping for this will be perfect for a gas grill. The handle locks in the down position but can be tilted upwards. A quick washing of the pan and it is ready to go. Now to find some cheese. I settled on Mexican Velveeta which I cut into cubes to speed up the melting process.
On the grill I would be heating up a leftover piece of steak and some nachos for lunch. I placed the tray over direct heat to begin the melting and removed the handle. In a couple of minutes puddles began to form under the cubes so I attempted to place the handle back in but it was to hot, so I just used my tongs to move it off of the direct heat.
After about 5 minutes the cheese was completely melted and bubbling. So I moved the tray again, still off the heat now on the upper rack. A dome of cheese formed on the top so that spot was a little to cool.
Now the fun part: time to pour, we began over the chips (that were also warmed on the grill). The cheese dome popped and a couple globs of cheese fell. Then we moved onto the steak sandwich, with the dome out of the way it poured out beautifully. The cheese was pretty thick and solidified within 5 minutes of being off the heat.
Now that lunch is over time to clean the cheese melting grill pan . There was a lot of cheese stuck to the bottom and some spots were burnt. Most of the mess wiped right out but I had to wipe the corners a couple of times with the tip of my finger to get that gunk out. Overall it cleaned up much easier than I thought it would and it still looks brand new.
The first run with our cheese melting grill pan taught me a few things.
First: to avoid the tough cleanup and cheese dome, stir it. Because it is non stick coated do not use metal to stir. Secondly: While thick gooey cheese is awesome, if you want it thinner add a little milk and stir it in.
My next use for the Cuisinart cheese melt grill pan was to melt butter. In this case we were grilling quesadillas and we were using it to butter the tortillas. In this case we cut about 1/8 of the stick of butter set it in the tray and placed it on the upper rack without the handle. In a few minutes we had melted butter and we were able to leave the tray on the rack right above the quesadilla we were working on so we didn’t loose a drop of butter into the grill while basting. Through out the process there were minimal bubbles and it did not burn it was perfect. Clean up was a breeze this time. This will be perfect for when we are grilling crab legs.
For our 3rd try we used three slices of good old Kraft American slices of cheese. I broke the slices in half and placed them in the bottom of the cheese melting grill pan. I set the pan over medium low heat and within minutes it began to melt. Once it was about a quarter of the way melted I began to stir it every few minutes. At first it was a bit clumpy but was smoothing out with every stir.
After about 6 minutes it was thick and velvety smooth with no visible chunks of cheese floating around. At this point I added about an ounce of milk and began to stir it in. In the first minute or so it looked like I added to much milk. I decided to stick with it and kept it over the heat and kept stirring. After a few more minutes the vast majority of the milk was absorbed with just a little left showing on the edges another minute and that was gone as well.
The cheese seemed to be a little thin so we left it sit off the heat to cool for a minute or so and it thickened right back up. The best part of this process is the pour. Grilling it this way made for a velvety smooth sauce, not to thick not to thin. It poured perfectly smothering the chips in sauce and still thick enough to stick to them. A skin did form on the top but it was very thin. The cheese melting grill pan was left with a layer of cheese (none of witch was burnt) that we scraped out with a rubber spatula onto the chips.
Cleanup was a breeze. After the pan cooled we wiped out the excess cheese with a dry paper towel and tossed it without the handle into the dishwasher. It still looks good as new.
The Cuisinart cheese melt pan is one very cool grilling gadget, one that we will invent new uses and recipes for. It is a grilling tool that will produce very unique and impressive dishes when used correctly while drawing the envy of your friends. The only downside I can see on this product is the lack of instructions but I will write my own for our site. For any grill addict this will be a must have item as soon as they find out it exists.
aka Sultan of Sizzle
I have been blogging about and selling grilling tool for over 12 years. A Certified Food Safety Professional, KCBS member, award winning writer and have over 10 years experience in the food service industry.
“I have experienced some of the best food this country has to offer and nothing is better than the food that comes off my own grill!”
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