The 12 Best Grill Pans

Grilled-pork-chops-and-vegetables-on-the-grill-pan

Whether you’re looking to grill some steak or veggies, you have more options at your disposal than a classic outdoor gas griddle or charcoal grill.

If you want to cook indoors, investing in a grill pan will let you sear and char your food while leaving it juicy and tender on the inside, but without all the smoke.

While you might not get a legitimate BBQ experience, and while you won’t benefit from any of the smokiness and woody flavor that seeps into the best barbecue, you’ll get an affordable and easy-care piece of stovetop cookware, and you won’t need to dig too deep for the privilege.

Take a moment to consider the following aspects before grabbing your credit card and picking up the best grill pan for your needs.

  • Materials: Cast iron grill pans allow you to cook at super-high temperatures, and they also retain the heat wonderfully. Heat distribution is also impressive in cast iron cookware. You’ll need to season cast iron pans and devote a little time to maintenance. In return, you can expect decades of use. On the downside, cast iron pans are heavy. Enameled cast iron grill pans give you all the benefits of traditional cast iron pans, but they are easier to maintain and keep clean. Hard anodized aluminum grill pans heat well but without overheating. Easier to clean and maintain than cast iron cookware, the non-stick surfaces of these pans are effective but prone to scratching. Avoid cooking at very high temperatures with aluminum cookware. Ceramic is highly non-stick, but ceramic grill pans tend to overheat, so do not leave them unattended. Stainless steel grill pans perform well across the board, and they are also very easy to care for
  • Shape: You need to cook grilled food in single layers. A stir-fry, by contrast, you can cook in a large mound using a wok. For this reason, many grill pans are square so you get the most possible surface area for grilling. Square pans also promote even and consistent heat from corner to corner
  • Handles: If you have cast iron grill pan, you should use oven mitts to avoid scorching your fingers. Metal or plastic handles will usually remain cool to the touch. With plastic handles, though, you won’t be able to slide the pan from stovetop to oven. If you have an especially heavy pan, a helper handle improves maneuverability
  • Maintenance: While many pans are dishwasher-safe, you’ll get best results if you wash them by hand. Cast iron cookware needs more care, and you should under no circumstances put this kind of cookware into the dishwasher. All that counts is looking for a pan that fits your needs when it comes to care and maintenance
  • Pouring spout: Some grill pans feature pouring spouts on either side. This allows you to discard and grease and juice much more easily, and you’ll also achieve a deep sear when you’re grilling, perfect for New York strip or ribeye steak

Keep these simple pointers in mind and you should have no problem choosing between our top 12 grill pans.

Madibarestaurant.com is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you.

I. The 12 Best Grill Pans

1. Our #1 Pick: Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Grill

Lodge-Pre-Seasoned-Cast-Iron-Reversible-Grill

Features

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight: 13.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 10.5 x 0.81 inches

Lodge is one of the hardest hitters in this vertical, and this 20 x 10.5-inch pan is our overall favorite from today’s showcase of the best grill pans out there.

Made from cast iron, you’ll benefit from highly efficient heat distribution and retention. Cast iron also promotes easy release of food, and it’s built to last, improving with age rather than degrading.

If you’re put off the idea of cast iron cookware because of the need to season it before use, you’ll have no concerns with this Lodge pan. It comes pre-seasoned and ready to slip on the stovetop right out the box.

You can safely use this grill pan on just about any cooking surface, including induction.

The product listing is almost deliberately misleading, showing what seems like two separate pans. This is the same pan photographed from either side, giving you a conventional grill pan on one side and a griddle on the other.

If you frequently cook recipes that require moving from the stovetop to the oven, you’re in safe hands with this cast iron pan.

While almost all user reviews of this combined grill/griddle are positive, we can’t say the same about the customer service department of this brand.

Lodge has been making first-class cookware since 1896, so place your trust in this all-American icon and you won’t regret it.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Great brand image
  • For all cooking surfaces
  • Oven-safe
  • Slack customer service

2. Cuisinel Cast-Iron Grill Pan

Cuisinel-Cast-Iron-Grill-Pan-Square-10.5

Features

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight: 8.49 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 12.52 x 2.87 inches

Cuisinel make some dependable and durable cookware that’s also pretty keenly priced. What do you get for your money here, then?

This is a 10.5-inch cast iron pan, so you’ll get all the benefits this traditional material delivers, notably the most efficient heat retention and heat distribution.

As with all cast iron pans, this is reasonably heavyweight, so make sure you’re comfy with the weight before committing to purchase. If you find lifting heavy objects hard work, you should consider exploring some of the aluminum pans we review below. These are usually much lighter and much more maneuverable.

You get a silicone handle holder bundled, ideal to use in place of oven mitts.

The pan’s interior has a smooth finish, so you’ll enjoy impressive food release as well as remarkable heat distribution. You still get some ridges inside, though, so you won’t need to go without those trademark sear lines on your steaks.

You will need to hand wash your pan after every use to keep it performing at its best for years to come. Avoid putting this pan in the dishwasher, and avoid the temptation to air dry it. Instead, dry it thoroughly over a medium heat on the stove.

If you’re still in any doubt about adding this cast iron pan to your kitchen arsenal, the lifetime guarantee might sway you.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Unbeatable heat retention
  • Care guide and scraper
  • Improves with age
  • Quality control concerns

3. Le Creuset Enameled Skillet

Le-Creuset-Enameled-Cast-Iron-Signature-Square-Skillet-Grill

Features

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Dimensions: 13.9 x 15.1 x 2.6 inches

We appreciate that everyone shops for cookware like grill pans with different needs and different budgets. If you’re looking for a bargain first and foremost, this pan is not for you. If, however, you appreciate quality and you’re hunting for cookware to last a lifetime, Le Creuset is arguably the best upscale brand out there.

Choose from a handful of muted pastel colorways, ideal for coordinating with traditional or modern kitchens.

The square-shaped skillet grill measures 10.25 inches across, so you’ll find you can rack up breakfast for the whole family without needing to cook multiple batches.

Made of enameled cast iron, you get a pan that retains and distributes heat wonderfully, and you won’t find your food smeared all over the inside either.

The deep ridges serve several purposes, beyond allowing you to impart sear marks on your meat and veggies. They also allow you to cook with less fat, and they’ll help the juices of the meat to drain away.

The handle is also made of cast iron, and the helper handle is useful for serving or when you’re moving the pan from stovetop to oven.

Unlike much of the competing cookware in this vertical, the Le Creuset pan is completely dishwasher-friendly. We advise washing all pans by hand, but you can certainly opt for hands-free cleaning with this skillet.

As long as you can stomach the stiff price tag, this is hand-down one of the very best grill pans out there, so what are you waiting for?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Best brand in the business
  • High ridges
  • Spouts on two sides
  • Extremely expensive

4. Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan

Lodge-Cast-Iron-Grill-Pan

Features

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight: 6.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.25 x 10.5 x 2.63 inches

Next up comes another entry from the inimitable Lodge in the form of this 10.5-inch grill pan. How does it stand and fall, then?

Another cast iron pan, this is reasonably lightweight compared to some competing pans, so makes a great choice if you love cast iron but hate using heavy cookware.

You can fry, bake, sear, and sauté all your favorite dishes and snacks in this pan, and it’s also safe to slide into the oven. While Lodge does not disclose the temperature at which this pan is safe inside the oven, we couldn’t find any blowback from consumers about problems in this area, so we feel you’re in safe hands moving from stovetop to oven.

Arriving pre-seasoned from the foundry, you won’t need to mess around before getting down to action with this pan. Hand wash after every use and dry over a medium heat on the stovetop to prolong the lifespan and maximize performance.

Suitable for use on all cooking surfaces, induction included, this is one of the most versatile options on our shortlist today.

The only real complaints we unearthed in a sea of positive user reviews concerns the minimal grilling area. While flagged as a 10.5-inch pan, several users report the actual grilling area to be only 8.5 inches. Make sure this is enough for your purposes before investing in this Lodge pan.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Arrives pre-seasoned
  • Ideal for all surfaces
  • Safe in the oven
  • Actual grilling area only 8.5 inches

5. All-Clad Pan

All-Clad-pan-E7954064-HA1-Hard-Anodized-Nonstick-Dishwaher

Features

  • Material: Hard anodized aluminum
  • Weight: 3.04 pounds
  • Dimensions: 21 x 11 x 3 inches

All-Clad has a deep bench of cookware that’s always worth a look when you’re comparing pots and pans. How does this square grill pan shape up, then?

This is an aluminum pan that weighs a mere 3 pounds, so it makes a smart choice for anyone who struggles with heavier cast iron cookware.

If you cook a lot of dishes that go from stovetop to oven, you can pop this inside at temperatures of up to 500F, giving you complete confidence when you’re cooking.

Made from a rugged hard anodized aluminum, there are 3 layers of non-stick coating inside, ensuring your food ends up on the plate where it belongs rather than splattered all over the interior of the pan.

Not only is this non-stick treatment highly effective, but it’s also free of PFOA and other contaminants that might leak into your food.

We found a few gripes about the handle on this pan, but in most other respects users seem very happy with this aluminum grill pan. On the plus side, the handles are riveted firmly into place, so you shouldn’t suffer from the classic weak point on some cookware.

Overall, you’re getting one of the best grill pans in a crowded market segment, and it’s also just as easy to keep clean as it is to use.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Safe in the oven to 500F
  • Free of PFOA and other toxins
  • Triple layer of non-stick coating
  • Handle could be improved

6. TeChef Korean BBQ Grill Pan

TeChef-Stovetop-Korean-BBQ-Non-Stick-Grill-Pan

Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 12 x 12 x 2 inches

As we reach the midpoint of our grill pan reviews, we have something slightly different with this Korean BBQ grill pan. How does it stack up, then?

One of the main selling points is the 5 layers of Teflon non-stick coating. If you have any concerns about this treatment, there is no PFOA and no other toxins that will leach into your food when you cook with this pan.

As with all Teflon-coated cookware, you get first-class food release with very little debris stuck onto the pan. This helps you to cook more healthily, using much less oil.

If you’re rustling up some pork belly or any other especially fatty meats, you’ll appreciate the fat draining system that prevents your meat from boiling in fatty juices. The channels are laid out in a swirly pattern, all the better for slowly draining the oil. Benefit from the flavor of the juices without the unwanted boiling.

Safe to pop in the dishwasher, you can also slip this pan in the oven at temperatures to 450F.

While most users sing the praises of this grill pan’s performance, we can’t say the same for expected lifespan, with several consumers reporting problems developing after a year or so. Considering the keen price point, we feel both build and longevity are in line with what you should expect. If you’re looking for cookware to pass down to the next generation, you’ll need to spend more.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Coated with 5 layers of Teflon
  • Grease draining system
  • Oven-safe to 450F
  • Lifespan is questionable

7. Weber Professional Grade Grill Pan

Weber-Style-6435-Professional-Grade-Grill-Pan

Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 17.4 x 11.81 x 1.46 inches

Next in line comes a grill pan for use with a selection of Weber grills. Before anything else, you should go here and check for compatibility. You’ll need one of the larger grills from this stable, measuring 22 inches or above.

Assuming the pan is designed for your Weber, how does it perform?

The stainless steel build is super-simple to care for, as well as built to stay the distance.

If you love grilling out in the backyard but find delicate foods like fish fillets or sea food start slipping down between the grates, this dedicated grill pan puts an end to that.

The heat retention and distribution on this pan rival that you would get from cast iron, but with all the advantages of easy-care stainless steel.

As long as you are clear that this isn’t a standalone grill pan, and as long as you have a compatible Weber grill in the house, enjoy enhancing your grilling experience by widening your menu to include more delicate foods.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Compatible with most Weber grills
  • Rugged and built to last
  • Exceptional heat retention
  • Not a standalone grill pan

8. All-Clad Hard Anodized Grill Pan

All-Clad-E7954164-HA1-Hard-Anodized-Nonstick-Dishwaher

Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 13.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 22 x 14 x 4 inches

Next in line is another entry from All-Clad, with this pan from the Free Grande Grill collection.

The oversized pan measures a whopping 20 inches across, so you can pile in enough breakfast food to stuff the whole family without needing to whip up multiple batches.

Despite the oversized dimensions, the aluminum build means you won’t need to suffer with too much weight. That said, this pan tips the scale at over 13 pounds, so it’s certainly no lightweight either.

While you can use this pan safely on electric, gas, and ceramic cooktops, it is not induction-ready, so you’ll need to explore some of the induction-compatible alternatives we offer above and below.

The handles are robustly riveted into place, improving lifespan and reducing the chance of the handle coming off with a pan full of boiling liquid and food.

Triple-layered non-stick coating helps your food to slide easily off onto the plate, with minimal debris left in the pan.

Safe to pop into the oven at up to 500F, you’re getting one of the best grill pans on the market here, and it’s also among the most versatile.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Dishwasher-safe at a pinch
  • Triple-layered non-stick coating
  • Oven safe to 500F
  • Not induction-ready

9. Calphalon Hard Anodized Grill Pan

Calphalon-Contemporary-Hard-Anodized-Aluminum

Features

  • Material: Hard anodized aluminum
  • Weight: 2.75 pounds
  • Dimensions: 20 x 11.5 x 1.5 inches

Calphalon is a brand with a hard-won reputation for producing excellent cookware on a budget. This 11-inch grill pan continues that winning tradition.

Made from hard anodized aluminum, you get a small and superlight pan that’s ideal for anyone with arthritis or joint mobility issues.

Despite the slimline form factor, the pan is surprisingly rugged. Expect a lengthy lifespan if you care for your All-Clad properly. You can put it in the dishwasher, but we would recommend washing your grill pans by hand for best results. It doesn’t take that much effort, and it’s worthwhile if your pan lasts longer.

Brushed stainless steel handles are long enough to keep your hands away from the heat, and they are also designed to stay cool to the touch.

Like all the best grill pans, you can move this All-Clad effortlessly from stovetop to oven.

The pan is heavily ridged so you’ll get wonderful sear marks to finish off your ribeye steak. Beyond this, the non-stick coating means the food finishes up on your plate not all over the grill pan.

If all this wasn’t enough, when you buy this pan you’ll be covered by Calphalon’s lifetime warranty, removing any risk from purchase.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Durable aluminum build
  • Deeply ridged
  • Efficient non-stick surface
  • Base prone to discoloration

10. Anolon Hard Anodized Grill/Griddle Pan

Anolon-84062-Advanced-Hard-Anodized-Nonstick

Features

  • Material: Hard anodized aluminum
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 19 x 10.75 x 3.25 inches

Anolon make some excellent and lightweight cookware like this superb griddle. How does it differentiate itself, then?

Unlike most other pans, both the interior and exterior of this stuff is non-stick. Inside, the dark brown coloring prevents stains from ruining the aesthetics.

This is an 11-inch square pan, perfect for all your breakfast favorites in one pan.

Made from hard anodized aluminum, the pan weighs just 2 pounds, so you’ll have no problem wielding it for extended periods, whether you’re stir-frying dinner or cooking fried breakfast for all the family.

A couple of pouring spouts baked into this pan streamlines serving.

Oven-safe to 400F, you can quickly sear and finish any dishes by safely moving the pan from stovetop to oven.

An efficient non-stick treatment stops your food from sticking to the pan, while also allowing you to cook using less oil for healthier dishes.

A few users complain about the fact this grill pan doesn’t come with a lid included. If you cook lots of dishes that call for slower and covered simmering, you should explore some of the lidded pans we review above and below.

With a generous grilling area, non-stick surface, and lightweight build, this is one of the best affordable grill pans out there, so why not give it a try and let us know how you get on.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Chocolate-brown interior
  • Lightweight and maneuverable
  • Non-stick both inside and outside
  • No lid included

11. Scanpan Professional Grill Pan

Scanpan-Professional-10.25-inch-Square-Grill-Pan

Features

  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 3.5 inches

As we near the end of our quest for the best grill pans, we have another compact and lightweight offering, this time from Scanpan.

Measuring 10.25 inches across, this pan works best for singles, couples, or smaller families. If you frequently cook up large batches of fried food, you’ll likely find the capacity leaves you wanting.

Unlike most of the cast iron or aluminum opposition, this pan is fashioned from stainless steel. You can expect no corrosion and no rusting with a pan built to give you plenty of faithful service. Even better? You won’t need to worry about seasoning or tasky maintenance either. Wash the pan by hand, dry immediately, and you’re good to go.

The handles are also made of stainless steel and should stay pretty cool to the touch.

An efficient non-stick coating promotes outstanding food release and completes a winning package from a brand you can rely on.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Effective non-stick treatment
  • Cook with very little oil
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Some complaints about coating peeling off

12. GreenPan Valencia Grill Pan

GreenPan-Valencia-Pro-Hard-Anodized

Features

  • Material: Hard anodized aluminum
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.01 x 11.34 inches

Last but not least in today’s showcase of the best grill pans comes from GreenPan. This might not be the first brand that springs to mind, but what do you get if you take a chance on an unknown?

This is a lightweight pan made from hard anodized aluminum, making it a smooth fit for anyone who finds cast iron cookware too bulky and unwieldy.

The pan measures 11 inches across, so it’s ideal for a small family. You can use metal utensils without scraping away the non-stick surface of this pan, making it one of the most user-friendly grill pans out there.

This grill pan is also available in griddle form for all your favorite breakfast treats.

Free of all contaminants, you’ll get no lead, no cadmium, no PFOA, and no PPFAs either.

Stainless steel handles won’t get too hot to handle, and the mirror-polished finish looks great on the kitchen counter, too.

We found almost universally positive reviews for the pan, but a number of complaints about poor quality customer service, so buyer beware.

Overall, you’re getting one of the best all-purpose grill pans out there, even if it’s not from the most well-known brand.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Stainless steel handles
  • Induction-ready
  • No toxins or contaminants
  • Customer care is lacking

II. FAQs

1) What are the benefits of using a grill pan?

If you invest in a cast iron grill pan, you’ll find this is unbeatable when it comes to heat retention and heat distribution. The ridges you find in the best grill pans will help the juices from meat and poultry to run down into the wells, draining away instead of boiling the food in its own juices. These ridges also serve to impart visually striking sear marks on your food, giving you a taste of the outdoors even when you’re grilling inside. Some of the more substantial grill pans designed to cover two burners simultaneously offer you a great surface area, ideal for cooking up breakfast for the whole family.

2) What are the drawbacks of using a grill pan?

While you can use a grill pan to remind you of cooking outside, it cannot replicate the experience of using a dedicated gas grill. You won’t be cooking with charcoal or wood, and you won’t end up with that taste sensation. You may find that some meats are awkward to cook in a grill pan, ending up cooked on the outside but still underdone inside. Grill pans are also notorious for creating a great deal of smoke. Balancing the larger grill pans capable of covering two burners is quite tricky, and you may end up with cool spots if you don’t get this right. Overall, the benefits firmly outweigh the drawbacks.

3) Is it necessary to preheat my grill pan?

Preheating your grill pan for 5 minutes can help to minimize cool spots that are the enemy of consistency. Flick some water onto the pan as a test. If this skitters across the pan, evaporating quickly, you’re ready to start grilling like a pro.

4) What is a griddle?

Griddle pans have deep ridges that help to drain away the liquid from meat, preventing the food from boiling. Griddles give you the next best thing to an outdoor gas griddle inside. Griddles come into their own for whipping up a variety of breakfast foods, from bacon and eggs to omelettes and French toast. Many other types of hot sandwiches also respond well to griddling.

5) How does a griddle differ from a skillet?

The main difference between a griddle and a skillet is the shape. Griddles are typically flat, and the sides do not rise. Some come equipped with a lip designed to trap liquids. Skillets, by contrast, are normally rounded with high sides. Fundamentally, these two pans serve the exact same function, with those design difference impact the way you cook with them. The choice is yours.


III. Conclusion

As you can see by now, grill pans might be one of the simplest pieces of kitchen equipment, but they are also among the most useful and versatile.

If you simply whip out your credit card and buy the first grill pan you see, you might strike it lucky. Much more likely, though, is ending up with a pan that doesn’t match closely with your needs. Keep the pointers from our brief buying guide above in mind, though, and you should have no problems choosing the best grill pan the easy way.

Take a moment to bookmark Madiba before you head off today. We have a very busy content calendar for the coming months as we push into fall with the holiday season looming. We’ll see you very soon!

5/5 - (2 votes)

Leave a Comment