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Insider Picks always tries to recommend gadgets that can pull double or triple duty, but that’s especially true with cooking tools.
I was recently sent Mastrad’s O’Plancha to try, and it’s definitely earned its place in my cabinets.
The base of the O’Plancha is a large circular griddle made out of aluminum and stainless steel. It’s 12.6 inches, so you have a lot of surface area for cooking, and space if you’d prefer certain foods didn’t touch. The materials were chosen because of their heat conductivity and even heat distribution, and I noticed both while using it.
But if all the O’Plancha could do was grill food, it wouldn’t be much more than a standard pan. It’s the domed lid, which turns O’Plancha into a mini stovetop oven, that opens the possibilities up. You can use it to make sweet or savory baked goods like a souffle or pizza, and use the lid’s built-in thermometer to make sure you have just enough heat.
The smoking grills – small, elevated grates that Mastrad includes — are perfect for resting meat after it’s been cooked, or finishing it off over cooking veggies that’ll benefit from the flavorful drippings. Though I don’t anticipate smoking anything, the inclusion of these grates was a good move. So were the baster and pot holders that also come in the box.
I’ve cooked two meals using the O’Plancha so far and both have turned out well. The first was a pair of steaks, which I cooked with grill lid down to simultaneously sear and bake them. While they rested I threw on some smashed potatoes and onions (leftovers from the night before) and they crisped and caramelized nicely without burning. I especially appreciated the lack of smoke the O’Plancha produced, since that’s been an issue in my small apartment.
When the meal was ready I was able to use the griddle as a serving tray, which both looked nice and kept the remaining food warm.
The second meal was another reheated dish: pork tenderloin and pasta. Instead of reheating the noodles in the microwave, I lightly oiled the O’Plancha, spread them out, and added some water. I closed the lid and used the water to steam the noodles, while also keeping the pork nice and moist. Being able to combine different cooking techniques quickly is a great feature.
Overall, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve been able to do with the Mastrad’s O’Plancha without too much effort. It’s a great way to cook or reheat food on my stovetop, while doubling as a serving tray. The even heat distribution and large surface area mean I can cook more and do fewer dishes, although it’s big enough that you can’t just stick it anywhere. I may keep mine in the oven, like my pizza stone, and move it when needed.
Still, if you’re an armature chef with limited kitchen space like I am, the O’Plancha can do enough out of the box that it’s worth the investment.
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