How to use a sizzle plate

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Have you ever been to a Mexican restaurant and ordered fajitas? When they were brought to your table, they not only smelled great but made an enticing "sizzling" sound.

That's because the fajitas are being brought to you on a sizzle plate, which is used by chefs to not only serve your food, but also to finish your entrée in the oven or grill. These useful metal (stainless steel, aluminium or cast iron) plates also can be used in the home kitchen.

Finish cooking grilled or pan-seared meats. If you are grilling or pan-searing off several items, such as steaks, sizzle plates can be useful. Set your oven to high temperature, such as 260 degrees Celsius (not broil), and place the necessary amount of sizzle plates in the over to preheat them.

Grill your steaks in two batches. Be sure to mark the outside of the steak, such as with grill marks, while cooking. When the first batch almost is finished cooking, remove them from the grill and place them on the hot sizzle plates. While you are cooking the second batch, the first batch can finish cooking in the oven, allowing you to be able to cook several items at once. When you have finished cooking the second batch, remove the first batch from the oven wearing oven gloves, remove the meat from the sizzle plate (so there is no overcooking) and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Use sizzle plates as a serving dish. You also can use sizzle plates for an impressive presentation at the dinner table. Place the necessary amount of sizzle plates in a 500 degree Fahrenheit oven and heat for 10 minutes. Cook your entrée item, such as beef fajitas, as you normally would, by sautééing. When cooking is complete, remove the sizzle plates from the oven and set into wood underliners. Place the cooked food on the sizzle plates, making sure that some of the cooking juices also make it on the plate (to make that "sizzle" sound). Serve immediately.

Use the sizzle plate to cook the food. Certain cast iron sizzle plates come with a handle similar to a skillet and can be used to cook with tableside. Thinly sliced meats and vegetables, such as those used for Mongolian barbecue, can be quickly cooked by the residual heat of the sizzle plate. Heat the sizzle plate in a 500-degree Fahrenheit oven and heat for 10 minutes. Using an oven glove, place the sizzle plate on a wood underliner and bring to the table with the items to be cooked. Add a tablespoon of cooking oil and sautéé the food until done. Serve immediately.