Barbecues, burgers, and steaks are food that have been synonymous with lazy afternoons, fun weekends, and pool parties. But there are times that even though we want to get our hands on a juicy burger or a spicy barbecue, we are hindered by bad weather, hard-to-set-up cooking grill, or time constraints. But thanks to the best grill pan, we can whip up our grilled favorites anytime.
With a grill pan, you don’t have to be a pro or an expert with grills. You can start off with ready-to-cook frozen burgers or barbecues from grocery shelves, a gas stove, and you’re good to go. Although it is way easier to do it this way, it doesn’t have that much difference with real grilled treats.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Why Should You Get A Pan Grill?
There is a lot of fun doing barbecue in the old fashioned way with your traditional backyard barbecue grill. But there are also a lot of benefits of having a pan grill in your backyard arsenal. Here are some of the advantages.
You can cook indoors
You can enjoy real barbecue even through storm and snow. Just put the pan grill on your gas range, and you can start grilling away. There is no need to set up your backyard grill just to enjoy a nice juicy steak.
You have a healthier alternative to frying
With a pan grill at your disposal, you can grill food that you usually just fry. You can try to grill hotdogs, bacon, and even cook eggs on it. Experience grilled fish, tuna belly, salmon, and other healthy recipes without having to spend lots of money.
You have ridges for collecting grease and oil
Unlike in some grills where fat goes directly to the charcoal or evaporates, pan grills have ridges that collect fat and grease, primarily to avoid having the food getting submerged in their own grease. But it can also be used for basting or sauces and gravy.
Easy to clean
Compared to actual grills, pan grills are easier to clean since it is compact and lighter. You also don’t have to clean an entire grill set. It is also easy to clean before since it is just stored up in your kitchen, unlike the actual grill that is exposed to various elements while staying outside.
How To Spot The Best Pan Grill?
Before deciding to get a pan grill, make sure it has the following characteristics.
1. Sturdy material
This is the most popular material used in pan grills. If you are into long term relationships with your cookware, then a cast iron pan grill is perfect for you. It tends to last the longest among all the other material. It doesn’t warp or bend easily. It also has a very long heat retention.
The downside of cast iron is that it is very high-maintenance. You need to pre-season it with oil and season it again while warm before storage. A slight neglect would result to rust. It also takes a long time to heat up.
This is a better alternative to cast iron regarding resisting rust. It is also lighter, heats up quickly and causes even heat distribution. But you don’t just get any aluminum. Remember that it should be anodized aluminum. Otherwise, you will end up eating corroded metal once in a while.
This is a good material regarding not being easily bent or warped and has the strongest resistance to rust and stain. It has the least required maintenance to stay useable.
The downside of stainless steel is that it has the least conductivity of the three, has the slowest heat induction, and fastest heat retention. It also doesn’t distribute heat evenly just like aluminum.
2. Safe and comfortable handles
The looped side handles are recommended especially when you intend to transfer the pan grill once in a while. It should have a wide allocated space for the hands to hold on to without getting torched by the hot pan.
The elongated pan handle is good if you are the type that likes to hold on the pan while cooking. It should be long enough to keep the hands from a hot cooking pan.
A versatile grill pan should have at least two griddles or sides, a smooth one and a ridge one. This is so you can use the smooth side to not just grill but also cook eggs, vegetables, and a lot more. The ridged side can be used to have the authentic grill marks our favorite barbecue and steaks.
The pan grill should also be versatile enough to be compatible with most stovetops like gas stoves, electric stoves, outdoor grills, and even induction heat.
4. Easy to clean
The best way to go is to resort to using nonstick grill pans for easy food release. But if you want to be more traditional, there are grill pans that are not non-stick but are easy to clean and manage by just applying non-stick spray before using.
Top Grill Pan Available in The Market Today
Here is my list of the best grill pan available in the market today. To help you make the right decision, I made a detailed description of each.
- #1. Weber Style 6435 Professional-Grade Grill Pan
- #2. Utopia Kitchen Reversible Cast Iron Grill Griddle, 17 x 10 inch
- #3. Lodge L8SGP3 Cast Iron Square Grill Pan, Pre-Seasoned, 10.5-inch
- #4. Lodge LPGI3 Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle, 20-inch x 10.44-inch, Black
- #5. Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 11-Inch Square Grill Pan
#1. Weber Style 6435 Professional-Grade Grill Pan
The main purpose of this grill pan is to allow you to grill small and delicate food types that usually cannot be done on an actual grill. It is compact enough to be placed in stovetops but can also be used as a griddle. The stainless steel construction is very sturdy and will not warp or dent due to extreme heat.
- This grill pan has 1/8-inch slits that allows the juices to flow while keeping the food intact.
- It has wide and sturdy side handles to allow safe and comfortable transport and handling.
- The stainless steel construction is very sturdy and has great heat retention properties.
- You can use it on any stovetop or as a griddle on a grill.
- The pan is not non-stick and needs seasoning to prevent food from sticking and is a challenge to clean.
- The sides are sharp and need a more thorough finish.
#2. Utopia Kitchen Reversible Cast Iron Grill Griddle, 17 x 10 inch
With this much of a cooking space, this grill pan allows you to cook more in a single batch. If you are health conscious, then you will be happy to know that this grill pan is designed to keep the fat away from the food and provide additional iron content. The reversible feature allows you to cook with its smooth side or create those grill marks with its ridge side.
- The cast iron construction is built to last and has very good heat retention properties.
- You can use both sides of the grill, the smooth one and the ridged one, depending on how you like your food to be.
- It is versatile enough to be used on any stovetop, grill, and even campfire.
- A cast iron grill increases iron content in food for up to 20% and aids in preventing iron deficiency.
- The side handles are designed to be safe and allow the hands to move freely without getting burned.
- Food tends to stick to the pan even if seasoned before use. Regular flipping and turning are recommended.
- The pan grill’s designed is too large for a single burner but too small for a dual burner.
#3. Lodge L8SGP3 Cast Iron Square Grill Pan, Pre-Seasoned, 10.5-inch
This grill pan took a more traditional approach with a square shape, and a single long handle instead of the usual side handles. It is pre-seasoned and ready to use right out of the box although spraying it with grease or other non-stick solution is recommended. The ribs on the pan create grill marks on food that makes it look tantalizing and delicious.
- The cast iron construction is durable, tough, and has high heat retention.
- It is already seasoned with vegetable oil for a natural, easy food release that gets better with time.
- It has ribs that create those coveted grill marks on steaks and burgers.
- It is designed to work properly with stovetops, grills, and even oven.
- This pan is even compatible with induction heat stoves.
- It has a rough finish that makes it a challenge to clean and scrub.
- It is heavy, and the single handle makes it harder to carry and move.
#4. Lodge LPGI3 Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle, 20-inch x 10.44-inch, Black
The size of this grill pan makes it comfortable to sit on a dual burner stove or grill it out on an outdoor campfire. The reversible feature gives you a wider variety of food you can cook. You can use the smooth side for cooking eggs, bacon, and grilled cheese, while the ridged side is where you cook the steaks and burger that like to put grill marks on. Fat and grease collate on one side of the pan while generously-sized side handles keep you safe from burns and injuries.
- The cast iron construction is made for long-term use. It is durable and has a high heat retention.
- It is already pre-seasoned with vegetable oil that makes it naturally non-stick that gets better as time goes by.
- You can use both sides for cooking. The smooth side for eggs and sandwiches and the ridged side for the grill marks on burgers and steak.
- It has a slightly sloped design that allows grease and oil flow to a gutter.
- The side handles are designed to give ample space for a firm grip without the risk of getting burned.
- You have to monitor the grease on the gutter since it tends to overflow.
- Since it is cast-iron, it is a bit heavy for its size.
#5. Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 11-Inch Square Grill Pan
This grill pan is contemporary indeed, breaking away from the traditional designs of the pan grill. Instead of cast-iron or stainless steel, this pan used anodized aluminum for its construction. It also deviated from the standard seasoning procedure by infusing the pan with non-stick coating. It is also oven safe for added versatility.
- The shift to aluminum provides a lighter, quicker heating, and even heating without compromising on the heat retention and durability.
- It has a non-stick coating that eliminates the use of lard, oil, or any other seasoning substance for a healthier grilling.
- The handle is not just ergonomically designed but is also stay-cool to ensure a safe and steady grip even while cooking.
- The pan is oven safe for up to 450°, widening the range of online recipes you can cook with this pan.
- It has a lifetime warranty for a risk-free purchase.
- The pan has a tendency to warp if misused or abused.
- Not to be used with metal utensils, otherwise, the non-stick coating might peel off.
The best grill pan for me is the Calphalon Contemporary Nonstick 11-Inch Square Grill Pan. I am blown away by its boldness to get out of the traditional grill pan design and yet maintain the functionality and even make it better. I also love the fact that it is made by Calphalon, one of the leaders in cookware today.