Grill Pans must be in your long list of must-have cookwares because of its versatility and its different advantages. They just don’t give you the signature grill lines on your patties, but they also lock in the nutrients your food has.
You might be thinking: why buy grill pans when I can just get an ordinary, high-quality pan? I mean, you’re not wrong, but you’re definitely lacking something in your kitchen experience if you don’t get one!
The ridges of the grill pans keep the prepared nourishment isolated from its oil, hence you’re decreasing the general fat substance of your food. So technically, you’re not frying your nourishment directly with the fatty oil, instead you’re using the dry-heat method.
It is quite cumbersome to have your monthly salary be gulped down by a quite expensive grilled dish in a restaurant. Thus, getting a grill pan for yourself will surely leave no regrets—just imagine eating a burger that you’ve cooked for a much more affordable price!
Of course, to achieve the best burger in town, you need to have your hands on at least one of the most trusty and must-have grill pans in the market. You can’t have your burgers cooked in a quite sordid manner, eh?
When looking for a grill pan, you also might encounter griddles in your search. The striking difference between a griddle and grill pan is the surface itself. Grill pans have ridges, while griddles do not.
Knowing the difference between the two, we can say that they’re invented because each has their own merits. But, can you just imagine how great it would be to have both available in one item?
This Lodge LPGI3 Reversible Griddle/Grill Pan might lure your flavor because it can be your griddle and grill pan in one. Though some reviews are saying that this is more of a griddle than a grill pan, either way, it just works perfectly for your griddle and grill pan cooking.
This is made of iron cast which is a highly durable material that can tolerate heavy grilling or any cooking work that requires high heat usage. One downside is the fact that you have to pre-season it before using it.
This Lodge LPGI3, however, is quite different from the other iron casts. This comes pre-seasoned, hence, you don’t exactly have to worry about seasoning it once you’ve purchased it.
Remember that though it is good that it has already been pre-seasoned, you still have to season it in the long run. This is because its pre-seasoning only works short term.
If you’re worried about this not being big enough for your grand grilling parties, then worry not because its dimensions stretch from 20 inches to 10.44 inches. This gives you a pretty good amount of space that would let you simultaneously cook your sustenance and your side dishes.
Though the size could be a bit troubling for some, it’s generally good because it gives you an improved cooking performance. It will over two burners, thus less crowding with your sustenance. Avoid glass top stoves though because this isn’t really the best for that.
Its size and flat design make the product more notable among the rest of the grill pans in the market. This doesn’t only prove its reversibility, but it also shows how versatile this is.
Planning to cook on your stove? Or perhaps an oven? Or maybe on a fire pit in the middle of your camp? This grill pan will perfectly suit your needs.
Since the iron cast is oven and microwave safe, you can use this pan as a small pizza pan for your tiny pizzas. You just only need the smooth surface side!
- Reversible, double purpose
- Good size
If you’re pretty particular with the ridges, this Le Creuset Cast Iron Square Grill prides itself in their high ridges. High ridges quite have a good number of advantages—and one of them is it allows excess fat and grease to drain.
This is easy to handle as well. The loop handle of this pan gives you that extra stability that you need when moving your pan around.
If you’re worried about the wear and tear of this product—don’t! This has a protective satin black finish to prevent the damage and wear of the product, even after many uses. Moreover, its finish develops a natural patina that is good for your searing and frying.
This is made from an enamelled cast iron which makes it durable and only gets better with age. This is not only the best for grilling, but it could also cater to your crisping or frying purposes.
This is also sized in a good amount (26cm), making it perfect for those with average-sized burners. This can also be stored in your fridge, freezer, or barbecue when you want to contain your food.
This is perfect for any countless heat sources like ceramic, electric, gas, and oven. Hence, you don’t have to worry about buying a different pan for your sensitive cooktop!
- Compatible with most heat sources
- Aesthetically pleasing; good design
- Not non-stick
I believe there is no other aesthetically pleasing pan than this TeChef Korean BBQ Grill Pan. This Korean-style grill pan is the perfect pan for your tabletop cooking with a portable burner.
Manufactured from a material of aluminum, with a nonstick finish on the surface, this ensures that you can have your grilling activities be executed perfectly. In addition to this, its unique swirled channel design really makes it stand out from the other existing pans.
This is shaped like a dome with a bottom drain at the side, to automatically drain the fats away without having to lift the whole pan from the surface. The fat draining hole is located on the side, thus, you have to make sure that you’ve got a small bowl to catch the leak.
Its dome shape and the different levels of the surface help the fatty oil to be easily run down from your pan. In this way, you won’t have to worry about constantly manually draining your pan.
This isn’t to be used on a standard cooktop because of its draining hole. Thus, this is only perfect for your tabletop grilling with your portable cooking surface.
You have to understand that this is a Korean BBQ grill pan. This requires a pretty unique way of grilling, nonetheless, this is still a grill pan that can perfectly grill and cook your sustenance.
This is coated with 5 layers of Dupont Teflon nonstick coating. This is also Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) free, which is a dangerous man-made chemical that is used pretty much in nonstick pans.
Being exposed to PFOA can pose risks both to your health and also to the environment. But since this is free from PFOA, this ensures that the coating won’t harm you and won’t lean into your food while cooking at high heat.
Despite having good features, one downside is it is limited to gas stoves only. However, this can be used outdoors in your picnics or camping sites—that’s a good point, isn’t it?
- For indoors and outdoors
- Fat draining system
- Oven (up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit) and dishwasher safe
- Only for gas stoves
This Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II Nonstick Grill Pan is made from anodized aluminum that promises both sturdiness and durability. If you’re looking for a durable, yet less heavy material, then this one right here could be your best pick.
The edges of the pan are commendable because of its good height that will improve your kitchen experience and performance. I honestly hate the feeling of having the oil splatter everywhere, but the high edges of this pan will surely help you with that nuisance.
Since this aluminum was anodized, this assures you that your pan is corrosion-resistant. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about your pan chipping, because anodized aluminum material has that covered. Moreover, it also has a good heat retention.
The handlebar gives you a more comfortable and convenient grip as well because of its rubberized feature. This is also heat resistant, hence you don’t have to worry about burning yourself.
Unlike other grill pans, this is dishwasher-safe. This makes the pan easier to clean and maintain.
- Rubberized handle
- High edges
- May not be big enough for some
If you want innovation on your list, then Calphalon Panini Pan and Press might shock you. You could not just use this as a regular grill pan that helps your grill your meats, but it can also help you with sandwiches because of its press.
This press is handy when it comes to pressing your poultry products like chicken to give you that brick cooking method. Moreover, this also gives you a freedom to cook more recipes because you no longer have to worry about the pressing part.
This is made from a high quality of aluminum material which is also known for its durability. Moreover, aluminum is also known for even heating, hence you don’t have to worry about the hotspots.
This pan is oven-safe and could cater to the oven’s heat up to 450 degrees. So if you’re planning to make cook and bake recipes, this pan has the strong suit for that.
- Has its own press
- Oven-safe (up to 450 degrees)
- May not be wide enough for others
From the get go, you will not sense any complexity and unnecessary details about this Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Pan. This nonstick, rigid pan is good enough as your starter grill pan.
Its ridges may not be better than the raised ridges, but this one is good enough for those who are more inclined in buying shallow ridges. This pan is simple enough, yet can still be used for your heavy-duty cooking.
This is made from aluminum, hence you can expect that this is durable enough and has the ability to resist corrosion. This pan is good enough to have your food come out perfectly with its authentic texture.
This pan evenly heats the pan, hence you don’t have to worry about the uneven cooking of your nutrition. Moreover, this can also be used on various heat sources like gas stoves to induction stoves.
- Can be used on various heat sources
- Some said that the ridges aren’t too raised
Having pans with high sides is always the feature we often overlook when looking for cookware. For me, this is something that we should notice because this helps us with the splattering issue.
The high sides of this Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Pan/Grill can also be useful when you’re making sauce because it can hold quite a good amount of liquid. This is also best when roasting or cooking medium to big foods like whole chicken.
This is made from a high quality aluminum that also has a nonstick surface. This is metal utensil safe and also offers superior food release because of its non stick feature.
For maintenance, you don’t have to worry about hours of rewashing because this is pretty easy to clean and maintain. The handle offers a good grip which gives an easy maneuver when cooking and cleaning.
The sides come with a fat draining system as well in a form of pour spouts. This gives you an easier way to drain the excess fats and liquids without worrying about your food falling out.
This 11-inch hard anodized aluminum grill pan can heat your food evenly, thus, lifting the worries off of your shoulders when it comes to cooking your food properly. This is a good pan for new home chefs too!
The handle of this pan allows you to have a comfortable and stronger grip. It is also heat resistant up to 400 degree Fahrenheit. Because of its nonstick coating, the grill pan will help you cook your food better.
- Size above the standard
- Handle provides good grip and comfortability
- Some find the design pretty complicated, making the corners of the pan hard to clean
How To Search For The Best Grill Pan
When you’re only beginning to cook, it is really difficult to spot the differences between the hundreds of variations of grill pans in the market. This is most especially when you’ve never actually used one.
So, when buying there are just some points to focus on, most especially when you’re buying a grill pan for a lifetime. Perhaps, we all can agree that these cookware do not really come at a low price.
Other than the authenticity sticker or proof, there are other factors that you have to keep a close eye to because they, more often than not, make or break your cooking performance. Remember that no matter how good you are with your recipes, your product can still be greatly affected by your cookware.
Truly, there are so many reasons as to why you would want a good grill pan. To name one reason: you don’t want to wait for the rain to stop to make the best home barbecues.
Another reason might be perhaps, you don’t want to make grilled foods despite not owning a grill? Regardless, you should definitely look out for the factors that would make a grill pan a good one (for you).
In this quite a long list of factors, you might probably notice that I always emphasise the fact that the best one will depend on you and these are just objective factors that could guide you. One of these guides looks at the aspect of the material the pan was made from.
Why look at the material? Don’t they serve the same purpose? You’re correct. But, when looking for a cookware, you just don’t look at the aspect of purpose and effectiveness of delivering it. But, you also look at how it will help you improve your cooking performance.
The material is usually the baseline of the price, longevity, weight, and whatnot of the pan. Like any other cooking pans, there are of course pros and cons to these different grill pan materials.
For starters, if you find yourself having a hard time carrying your pan around the kitchen, then you might want to shift to a lighter material. People with budgets also have a designated pan material for them. In short, the material often concludes your kitchen experience.
Cast Iron is known for being one of the most challenging pans, yet the most durable out there. It is only quite a hassle because you necessarily have to season them to release its natural nonstick feature.
Since cast iron is known for its durability, you can trust this material to have a longer lifespan. If you were to check antique shops, you’re most likely to find a cast iron pan because believe it or not, these pans are still cookeable even after decades.
Many cast iron users also say that this gives off a well-loved flavor that is added to your food. Since this is a natural material, you don’t have to overthink about harmful chemicals leaking into your food.
Since they’re naturally nonstick, its feature is still incomparable from the synthetic nonstick pans. However, you are at least assured that there are it is healthy and safe.
Cast iron comes at different prices. Some brands offer expensive ones, while some are at a pretty affordable price. Regardless, considering its longevity, it’s definitely worth your money.
When talking about cooktops, cast irons are usually compatible with anything. You can use your cast iron grill pans on an open fire pit, induction stoves, and whatnot.
Now to the cooking proper, you can trust your cast iron to retain the heat well. Compared to other materials, cast iron can maintain a fairly consistent temperature even when you put a colder food on the pan.
Though they can really take a while to heat because of its thickness, you can be assured that you don’t have to worry about the temperature changing quickly even after putting them away from the heat. However, despite being good at retaining heat, there are some reviews that complain about hot spots.
Hot spots are often the result of bad maintenance, and the material itself often doesn’t really have anything to do with it. Hence, good maintenance will also dictate how long your pan will last.
Planning to use your grill pan for an oven recipe? Cast irons are definitely to be trusted in this because they are definitely oven-safe. However, baking can be quite a hassle due to its heavyweightedness, considering that you have to constantly lift your pan up to check
Since this is a pretty thick material, they’re not usually a good conductor of heat. So when you’re using a small burner, you can expect that some sides won’t heat well if it’s not directly on the heat.
Cast iron grill pans are poor conductors of heat, hence size really does matter in this aspect. When you have a fairly big pan but a small burner, you can expect uneven heating on the pan.
Another downside of cast iron is their handles could be very hot. You’ll always be needing your handy pot holders and mitts because you don’t want accidents happening in your kitchen.
If you prefer cast iron as the main material of your grill pans, then you might want to look into Lodge LPGI3 Reversible Griddle/Grill Pan or Le Creuset Cast Iron Square Grill.
Cookware that are made from anodized aluminum are known to be robust and durable. They are also responsive to heat changes, they heat quickly, and they can help cook your food fast too.
The non-sticky feature of your pans is a result of the anodization process of the aluminum. This process involves the submerging of the aluminum into the sulfuric acid to make it stronger and more durable.
Usually you cannot use any metal spoons or ladles with your typical cookware because it can create an evident damage. However, it is entirely different for your anodized aluminum
Anodized aluminum pans usually have their surfaces coated with a strong and smooth material, hence any type of spoons or ladles are appropriate to use. Moreover, this surface doesn’t peel over time.
Unlike other materials, anodized aluminum is good with conducting heat. Hence, you don’t have to worry about some parts of your pan not heating up.
Storage won’t be a problem with your anodized aluminum because they’re known for being scratch resistant. Hence, you can actually store them with the other cookware, without having to care about it scratching against the other pans.
Despite having good advantages, there are still cons to be found in this material. To name one: cleaning and maintaining difficulties. If you’re investing on a pretty high quality and expensive anodized aluminum, then you don’t have to worry as much.
Cheaply made anodized aluminum cookware can give you immense challenges when cleaning. Hence, brand is also something to be looked at because there are certainly fake or low quality anodized aluminum cookware in the market.
The protective coating of anodized aluminum usually doesn’t last forever. They have to be replaced at least after five years of usage or when you can obviously see that the nonstick is no longer working.
If you’re looking for cookware that is made from this material, then you might want to check these out: Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II Nonstick Grill Pan or Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Square Griddle Pan/Grill.
Raised vs Shallow Ridges
Grill pans usually come divided into two styles: those with raised and well-defined ridges and those with the shallow ones. Generally, the raised ridges are better because it lifts your food from its fats, than the usual speed bump-like ridges.
When using the shallow ridges with some foods like vegetables, it could turn your final product limp or watery because it is in direct contact with the bottom surface of the pan. Moreover, this isn’t the ideal ridge for cooking your steaks too.
Though there are some cons when using shallow ridged pans, there are still individuals who like these because they can be used both for grilling and simple frying. Truly, this type of pants still has some merit.
If you prefer raised ridges, you can look into ProCook Cast Iron Square Griddle. And if you prefer a ridge that is less raised, you might want to check Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Pan.
The purpose is something to look at when buying your pans because obviously, this is the reason as to why you are compelled to buy your grill pans. If you’re only looking for a pan that you can use for a BBQ party, then you can choose tabletop grill pans.
All-purpose pans mean that you can use them on your stoves (and even on your open fire pits!). These are usually made from a more durable material due to the careful consideration of it being your long-term, all-purpose pan.
If you prefer pans that are only for your BBQ parties or whatnot, you might want to look into TeChef Korean BBQ Grill Pan. But, if you prefer all-purpose pans, then you might want to check out Lodge LPGI3 Reversible Griddle/Grill Pan.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning and maintaining your pans are always the part that I hate the most because some pans are complicated to clean and maintain. Though there are pans that are dishwasher-safe, it is still not recommended to put it in your dishwasher.
The dishwashing process can affect the non stick feature of your pans—either the process or the cleaning chemicals being used. Regardless, you should still look at the manufacturer’s manual to know how to properly clean your pans.
Because of the ridges of the grill pans, it’s pretty difficult to reach for the corners. Moreover, the difficulty in maintaining the non stick feature doesn’t really help you with your worries either.
Truly, it is easier to clean pans that are non-stick because generally there are no leftover foods stuck on the surface. However, there are instances when you just want to give them an aggressive scrubbing because there are hard headed leftovers stuck in the corners.
Aggressive scrubbing is a big no, hence, you have to take another route when it comes to better cleaning them. More often than not, the maintenance and cleaning proper can be found in their instruction manuals.
You might want to check Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Pan if you want a pan that’s easy to maintain and clean.
Additional features are my favorite because they maximize your purchase and usually makes your kitchen life easier. They come in different forms and serve different purposes—and they’re usually exciting to use!
There are grill pans that come with pressing lids. This increases the purpose of your pan because you can definitely use this for other recipes that require a pressing process.
If you like your grill pans to help you with your paninis or your grilled sandwiches, I recommend looking into Calphalon Panini Pan and Press. This comes with a press that can cater to your desired recipes.
Another feature that is surprisingly helpful is the fat draining system. In this way, you don’t have to worry about your food falling off from the pan. You might want to check out Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Pan/Grill or TeChef Korean BBQ Grill Pan for this feature.
Frequently Asked Questions On Grill Pans
It is always important to heat up the pan before cooking. When you preheat your pan over medium-high heat for at least 5 minutes, you’re avoiding the risks of getting hot spots.
Hot spots are a hassle most especially when you’re cooking meat. This is because it can overcook some parts of the meat, while some parts remain uncooked.
To do this, you can do the quick water technique. You can flick a few drops of water on your grill pan and if it quickly dries up, then it’s perfectly ready to use.
Of course! Just pour the eggs slowly. In this way, you’re going to have your eggs concentrated in a small area of your grill pan and it won’t run off to the sides.
Technically, you avoid putting your cookware with non-stick coating in your dishwasher. This is because you don’t want to have your nonstick feature be ruined by the dishwashing process or the soap your dishwasher uses.
Though there are cookware brands that pride themselves in being dishwasher-safe. So, check the manufacturer’s manual all the time before deciding. Remember that the longevity of the product heavily relies on your maintenance too!
As a homechef, you’ll always have to keep in mind that: your kitchen, your rules. Regardless of which grill pan you’ll be purchasing, make sure that it’s always the best one that would really serve you and its purpose.
The first thing that you need is a hassle-free environment when cooking. Cooking itself could already be challenging (but fun), and you don’t want your low-quality pans to add onto that.
Grilling your food is exciting because it just gives this certain taste that frying could never serve. Hence, you better choose the best grilling partner that you could find. To end, I wish you good luck and may you achieve the best satisfying grill marks on your meat!