Specialist of the convivial kitchen, Lagrange could obviously not do without planchas in its catalogue and proposes two of them: the Plancha Grill’ Equilibre andthe Plancha Pro. This is the second one we are testing. Sold around 300 €, it benefits from a power of 2300 W and includes a stainless steel plate to cook and sear meats and vegetables.

<!–[if IE 9]><!–[if IE 9]>Lagrange Plancha Pro

Despite its relatively compact size – it measures 46.8 x 41.1 x 17.9 cm and is in fact the narrowest model in our comparison so far – the Plancha Pro is clearly the one that makes the strongest impression. This is mainly due to its all-metal design. This is found both on the tower and on the cooking surface.

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While most consumer planchas adopt a non-stick coating that is easy to use and maintain, the Plancha Pro relies on a stainless steel plate that is more resistant, but also more difficult to tame.

You can either add oil or play with the Maillard reaction: meat and fish stick to the plate until a coloured crust forms on the outside, the result of the caramelisation of the proteins they contain. The pieces then come off by themselves, but it is important to wait until the end of this reaction otherwise some pieces will be left on the plate. On the other hand, the crust formed in this way allows the juices of the meat and fish to remain inside, making the cooking more tasty and juicy.

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To avoid overcooking, the Maillard reaction obviously also requires perfect temperature control, and we therefore appreciate finding an adjustable thermostat rather than a simple power variator on the Plancha Pro.

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Of course, there is also a small removable tray to collect fat and cooking juices. The plate is sloped and completed with a small gutter to guide the juices to the tray.

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This gutter can also accommodate deposits during cooking, and one appreciates not having to take any precautions partywith stainless steel. The Plancha Pro comes with a stainless steel spatula as well.

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It should also be noted that the height of the feet is adjustable. It is thus possible to adjust or even compensate for the inclination of the plate, which is nevertheless equipped with anti-projection edges on the sides and top. The latter are nevertheless quite low. It may therefore be useful to add extra protection depending on the location chosen. The Plancha Pro can moreover be installed indoors as well as outdoors, since it is IPx4 certified and must therefore be able to withstand the elements.

<!–[if IE 9]><!–[if IE 9]> La plancha est légèrement inclinée.

The plancha is slightly inclined.

The only removable part of the Plancha Pro is its juice tray. It is therefore also the only one to be dishwasher safe. For the rest, it will necessarily get out the sponge. The high resistance of stainless steel also allows you to use the spatula to scrape the cooking plate, and you can use water to deglaze and remove the juices before it cools. Baking soda can also help, but it must be admitted that recovering the entire griddle is a tedious job. For the turn of the Plancha Pro, made of painted metal, the sponge and a little soapy water should be enough in case of drips.

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<!–[if IE 9]><!–[if IE 9]> Lagrange Plancha Pro

Better not think about cleaning while cooking!

The Plancha Pro’s thermostat can be set between 50 and 300°C. At the highest setting, however, the temperature is raised to 350 °C on the surface of the griddle. We use the same setting to time how long it takes to reach our reference temperature of 230°C, and the Plancha Pro, despite its 2,300 W of power, proved to be the slowest model in our comparison. It took 5 min 42 s, compared to less than 3 min for the Severin KG2397. Even the Lagrange Equilibre did much better: 3 min 20 sec.

This slow temperature rise can probably be explained by the thickness of the cooking plate – Lagrange announces 3 mm -, but perhaps also by the poor thermal conductivity of stainless steel. It is still quite fast, and the Plancha Pro rewards the wait with a good distribution of heat. It also manages to stabilize the temperature.Our measurements show that there are differences of about ten degrees at most on the surface of the hob.

Our various measurements show variations of about ten degrees at most on the surface of the griddle, for a target temperature of 230 °C always. Like the other models, the Plancha Pro alternates heating and standby phases to stabilize the temperature, but never lets it drop too much. During our test, we managed to keep it between 200 and 255 °C in the center of the plate.

<!–[if IE 9]><!–[if IE 9]> Courbe de température à 230 °C au centre de la plancha.

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Temperature curve at 230 °C in the center of the griddle.

The Riviera & Bar QPL665 does a little better on this point, but most of the models we have tested so far let the temperature vary by more than 70 °C.

It should be noted that the Plancha Pro forced us to revise our test protocol a bit because of its stainless steel plate. The latter reflects the light more than the non-stick coated plates found at Riviera & Bar, Tefal or Severin, but also on the Equilibre de Lagrange, and has somewhat disturbed the operation of our infrared camera. We therefore had to fall back on a temperature probe that we placed at different locations on the cooking surface to make our measurements.

<!–[if IE 9]><!–[if IE 9]> Courbe de température à 230 °C sur l'une des extrémités de la plancha.

Temperature curve at 230 °C on one end of the plancha.