Top 8 Best Grill Pans in 2019

When we think of grilling, we often turn to thoughts of summertime barbecues and casual backyard meals. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as that wonderful, seared in burst of flavor you get from grilling meats and vegetables. But what do you do when the season ends, the weather turns cold, and mealtime prep moves indoors? You get a grill pan, of course!

Grilling doesn’t have to be an exclusively outdoor activity. Every modern kitchen should have a great grill pan for indoor cooking. If you don’t have one in your arsenal of cookware yet, what are you waiting for? It’s time to choose the perfect one for you and your family.

Best Grill Pans

What to Look for in A Grill Pan

There are many properties to consider when shopping for a grill pan. What makes a great grill pan? Let’s break down the basic qualities we felt were most important and desirable:

1. Construction material is of the highest importance.

You will typically find grill pans made of cast iron as well as hard anodized aluminum, stainless steel and ceramic. While aluminum pans generally have a non-stick coating (thereby making for very easy clean up), they cannot handle as high a temperature as cast iron.

For that reason, cast iron is our overall preference for grill pan material, with hard anodized aluminum as our second preference.

2. One of the things that gives grilled food its delicious, addictively rich taste is the high heat searing or browning.

There’s a scientific term for that called the Maillard Reaction. When your food comes into contact with high heat, a chemical reaction occurs that affects its amino acids and reducing sugars, and greatly intensifies the flavor.

So yes, it’s not magic, it’s science, but it does do simply magical things to your food. Without the Maillard Reaction, you’re not really grilling, and the best material to make that happen is cast iron.

3. So, which material is right for you?

The cast iron options offer superior heating and searing abilities and a better Maillard Reaction than the aluminum choices, in theory giving you the most flavorful results. If you are a “foodie” who values that above all, then cast iron may be right for you.

On the other hand, cast iron is very heavy and doesn’t clean up as easily as the aluminum non-stick options. There is much to be said for being able to pop that grill pan in your dishwasher, something you cannot do with cast iron. Does ease of handling outweigh the benefits of cast iron? That is for you to decide.

How to Choose Best Grill Pans

4. Pan surface is also important.

You want a ridged texture on the bottom of the grill pan to simulate the charred markings you get from your outside grill. Anything else is just a frying pan.

5. Pan size is a consideration as well.

Unless you plan on only ever grilling for one, you want a grill pan size that is spacious enough to hold multiple portions of food at the same time, and without crowding the pan. When grilling, you always want room for your food to “breathe” in the pan, with at least a little space around your items so they are not forced to be touching.

When the pan is overcrowded, you’ll have a hard time browning and searing, and your food can come out looking more steamed than grilled.

6. How many portions do you envision preparing at one time?

If you have a large family or entertain regularly, you may want to go with a large capacity grill pan option. However, if you are cooking for yourself or just a small family, one of the smaller pans might be more appropriate for your needs.

7. Shape can also make a difference.

Which would best accommodate the foods you like to grill? Kebabs, for example, tend to be long and would work best with a rectangular shaped pan. Steaks and burgers? Then a round or square pan would probably be just fine.

8. Pan depth

Pan depth is not as critical as other considerations, however you do want enough depth to prevent splattering and spillage, ideally at least a height of 1.5”, or else you at least want a drip reservoir built into the grill pan to catch oil and juices as they run off.

9. Sturdy handles are a must.

A grill pan, especially cast iron, is very heavy and can be unwieldy to maneuver without a handle that is strong as well as comfortable to grip.

10. Quality craftmanship and value are traits that speak for themselves.

Of course, we want a well-made product with brand provenance, excellent user feedback and good value for the cost.

11. Extra Features

Some grill pans come with presses, cleaning tools and even lids. While we don’t consider these extras a necessity, they can definitely be a welcome perk that adds to the overall value of the pan.

Price is always a consideration as well. Is an expensive grill pan an investment you’d like to make, or would you be more comfortable going with one of the more economically priced options? The value priced options can be very close in features to the more expensive items, often with the differences being barely discernable: a generic brand versus a well-known brand, a little less material thickness and weight, or perhaps the lack of a warranty.

Our Top 8 Best Grill Pans for 2019

Now that you know what to consider before you buy, let’s get down to it. Here are our 8 favorite picks as the very best grill pans to choose from in 2019:

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS

Chasseur Rectangular

  • Dimensions: 15 x 12.8 x 2.5 in
  • Material: Cast Iron
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Lodge Grill Pan

  • Dimensions:
  • Material: Cast Iron, Iron
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Camp Chef Reversible Pre-Seasoned

  • Dimensions: 16 x 24 x 1 in
  • Material: Cast Iron
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Bruntmor Enameled

  • Dimensions: 17.1 x 9.5 x 1.8 in
  • Material: Cast Iron
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Lodge L8GP3

  • Dimensions: 14.6 x 11.3 x 2 in
  • Material: Cast Iron
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Uno Casa Cast Iron Griddle

  • Dimensions: 20 x 10.2 x 1 in
  • Material: Cast Iron
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Rachael Ray Burner Grill

  • Dimensions: 22 x 10 x 1.25 in
  • Material: Aluminum
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Calphalon Contemporary

  • Dimensions: 20 x 11.5 x 1.5 in
  • Material: Aluminum
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1. Chasseur Rectangular – Best Large Size

Chasseur Rectangular

We loved everything about this pan. It had all the features we were looking for along with superior craftmanship and a beautiful, stylish design

Pros

  • Heavy cast iron with a lustrous looking double-enameled exterior
  • A very generous size of 15 x 12.8 x 2.5 inches, large enough to handle big meals
  • Ridged bottom for creating the perfect grill marks
  • Sturdy handles on both sides of the pan for a sure grip
  • Outer walls high enough to prevent splattering
  • Safe for use on the stove top, in your oven, and even on your outdoor grill
  • A 10-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Not dishwasher safe

2. Lodge Grill Pan – Best Mid Size

Lodge Grill Pan

This high quality pan was an easy choice for our list. The size of this pan is great for a smaller family, and its square design balances perfectly over a single stove burner for completely even heating. It’s also has one unique feature that made it especially attractive to us—it comes with a grill press to aid in searing:

Pros

  • Heavy cast iron construction
  • A handy size of 12” square
  • A weighty cast iron grill press comes with this pan and makes for exceptional searing
  • Ridged bottom for creating the perfect grill marks
  • Sturdy handles on both sides of the pan for a sure grip
  • Angled outer walls to prevent splattering
  • Safe for use on the stove top, in your oven, and even on your outdoor grill
  • Comes with a Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Size may not be suitable for large families

3. Camp Chef Reversible Pre-Seasoned – Best Dual Function

Camp Chef Reversible Pre-Seasoned

This versatile, extra-large grill pan is another great option. Perfect for even large families, this pan features a reversible cooking surface—raised ridge marks on the grill pan side, and a smooth griddle surface on the other side. It’s sized to fit over two burners on your stovetop, so you can expect a “cooler” spot at the very center (something that could be desirable if you are grilling multiple items and you want lower heat for some but not everything on the grill). This too, had all the features we were looking for:

Pros

  • Heavy cast iron
  • An expansive size of 16 x 24 inches, large enough for all your grilling needs
  • Double sided with a smooth griddle side as well as a classic textured grill side
  • Ridged bottom for creating the perfect grill marks
  • Safe for use on the stove top, in your oven, and even on your outdoor grill

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy
  • Handles are built into the sides of the pan and could become very hot
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Only includes a 90 Day Warranty

4. Bruntmor Enameled – Best Budget

Bruntmor Enameled

This well-built and spacious pan has many of the qualities we were seeking combined with a very budget friendly price. It’s rectangular shape, cast iron construction and lovely enameled turquoise exterior make this a great addition to any kitchen:

Pros

  • Heavy cast iron with a pretty enameled turquoise exterior
  • A generous size of 9.5 x 13.5 x 1.5 inches, large enough to handle big meals
  • Ridged bottom for creating the perfect grill marks
  • Sturdy arc-shaped ergonomic handles on both sides of the pan for easy handling
  • Outer walls high enough to prevent splattering
  • Safe for use on the stove top and oven up to 500 degrees F

Cons

  • Cannot be used on an outdoor grill or open flame
  • No warranty information provided by the manufacturer
  • Heavy
  • Not dishwasher safe

5. Lodge L8GP3

Lodge L8GP3

If you are looking for a round-shaped grill pan, this one is for you! A perfect size for smaller portions, high quality features and an affordable price that fits virtually any budget makes this a great choice:

Pros

 

  • Heavy cast iron construction
  • A round-shaped 10.25” size
  • Ridged bottom for creating the perfect grill marks
  • Sturdy handles on both sides of the pan for a sure grip
  • High outer walls to prevent splattering
  • Many reviewers mentioned that this shape was ideal for using a standard pan lid

Cons

  • No warranty information provided by the manufacturer
  • Heavy
  • Size may not be suitable for large portions
  • Not dishwasher safe

6. Uno Casa Griddle

Uno Casa Cast Iron Griddle

This large grill pan features a reversible cooking surface—raised ridge marks on the grill pan side, and a smooth griddle surface on the other side. Just a bit smaller than our first dual function choice, this pan also has the features we were looking for as well as a bargain price:

Pros

  • Heavy cast iron
  • A generous size of 10 x 20 inches, large enough for big portions
  • Double sided with a smooth griddle side as well as a classic textured grill side
  • Sturdy handles on two sides
  • Ridged bottom for creating the perfect grill marks
  • Safe for use on the stove top, in your oven, and even on your outdoor grill
  • Comes with a stainless steel chainmail cleaner

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Size is more suited to a single burner and may not fit over two burners on your stove for possible uneven heating
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • No warranty information provided by the manufacturer

7. Rachael Ray Burner Grill – Best Value

Rachael Ray Burner Grill

Sometimes the benefits of going with non-stick anodized aluminum are just too great to ignore. For those of you who just don’t want to lug around the extra weight of cast iron and appreciate the easy clean up that non-stick coating provides, this spacious, high quality pan is for you:

Pros

  • Hard Anodized Aluminum
  • Non-stick coating makes clean up a breeze
  • An expansive size of 18 x 10 inches, large enough for all your grilling needs
  • Double burner rectangular design and a built in pour spout
  • Sturdy handles on both sides
  • Lighter weight than cast iron makes this pan easy to lift and handle
  • Ridged bottom for creating the perfect grill marks
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Safe for use on the stove top and oven safe to 500 degrees F

Cons

  • Non-stick material is not as conducive to searing and very high heat
  • Cannot be used on an outdoor grill
  • No warranty information provided by the manufacturer

8. Calphalon Contemporary – Best Value

Calphalon Contemporary

Here’s another excellent choice for the cook who prefers non-stick anodized aluminum over the heavier weight of cast iron. This well-designed pan brought to you by Calphalon is the perfect size for smaller families, and it might just be the perfect one for you:

Pros

  • Hard Anodized Aluminum
  • Non-stick coating makes clean up a breeze
  • 11” square size is ideal for smaller families
  • Strong and sturdy stainless steel handle
  • Dishwasher Safe
  • Lighter weight than cast iron makes this pan easy to lift and handle
  • Ridged bottom for creating the perfect grill marks
  • Includes a Lifetime Warranty

Cons

  • Non-stick material is not as conducive to searing and very high heat
  • Only oven safe to 450 degrees
  • Cannot be used on an outdoor grill

Enjoy Your “Winter” Grilling Season

No matter which option you ultimately decide on, you are sure to get many delicious meals from your grill pan. Your family and friends will appreciate being able to enjoy grilled foods year-round, and you get the satisfaction of knowing you have a great piece of cookware in your kitchen! Your next step is finding the perfect recipes…

 

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