The 5 Best Grill Pans For Your Kitchen

The 5 Best Grill Pans For Your Kitchen

Did you want to get a perfect steakhouse chargrill on your sumptuous steak, fresh fish or green veggies? Have you ever wanted to BBQ outside but it was raining? Did you want to create a sauce so full of flavor that your guests will wonder where you bought it from?

If so, you’ll want to keep reading this guide!

What Is A Grill Pan?

A grill pan is sometimes referred to as a griddle pan. Both are the same and sometimes you will also see the name “broiler pan” come up throughout the US and Canada. With respect to all 3 in this article they refer to the same grill pan.

Basically, a grill pan is a pan that has raised edges with grill lines spaced around 1 to 2 centimeters apart. The grill lines are raised usually 0.5 centimeters high which allow for the juices from the food you’re cooking to drip down.

Most of the common grill pans these days come with a non-stick surface. However, there are some grill pans that are made of other materials as well. We will detail these in the sections further below.

Le Creuset Red Grill Pan

Benefits Of Using A Grill Pan

Le Creuset Grill Pan
Pan Grill Scallop
Grilled Pork Grill Pan

If you don’t already own a grill pan you might ask yourself — why should I consider buying one?

In all honesty there are many reasons to own one, but we have listed out a few main reasons you should consider:

  • Grill and chargrilled marks – Needless to say, a steak does taste different when it has nice solid grill marks. The meats look grilled and the little black dents are satisfyingly crusty. These types of chargrilled marks you can only get on an outdoor grill or at the restaurants. Why wouldn’t you want these grill marks when you cook indoor?
  • Saving time by grilling more food in one go – Typically the grill pans are larger pans that come either in a round shape or a square cushion shape. Both of these options allow for cooking different chicken breasts, beef, kabobs, or vegetables in one go without having the sauces and juices intermix. This saves you time for cooking as you won’t need to cook then wash the pan, then cook and wash again.
  • Ridges for collecting fats – The grill pan has ridges that allow for fats and juices to drop off. This prevents the juices food from broiling in its own juices and makes for an easy way to collect the juice for sauces. The sauces can be used for steak, fish and gravey.
  • Cooking indoors – Since there is a grill pan that works on all kinds of indoor cooking surfaces, there is no need to go outside. You can cook and enjoy your steaks indoor even without the sunshine! Impress your friends and feel proud of your cooking creations!
  • Healthy – Almost all of the pans we have reviewed and saw on the market are healthy. In addition, they are PFOA and PFTE free while giving you the full flavor of the food you cook.

Overall, there are a lot of benefits to be had by using a grill pan over a regular pan. However, it’s important to know what type of pan you should be using for which type food.

How To Use A Grill Pan

Grill pans are extremely easy to use. Just like ordinary stone frying pans, they are made with durable metals and can sustain medium-high heat.

However, depending on whether your grill pan has a non-stick coating, you may want to max out your heat at medium heat. This will prevent any coatings from burning and ruin your grill pan.

To use a grill pan, follow these simple steps:

  1. Prep the food – To ensure the cooking is even, make sure you pound or cut the pieces of food you’re grilling into half inch thickness so they lie flat. This is to ensure that the thicker cuts are not overcooked and that the center has a desired level of doneness.
  2. Heating – Turn the stove onto medium-high heat and place the grill pan on the stove. Place your hand above the grill pan directly to feel the heat and determine how hot it is. The heating process could take as little as 5 minutes or as long as 20 minutes depending on the type of stove you have. More details about stovetops below.
  3. Oiling – Do not coat the grill pan with oil as that will cause the pan to smoke at high temperatures. Instead you can just spray the oil onto vegetables. For fish, meats, chicken or pork, you won’t need to oil them as their natural oils will come out during cooking.
  4. Grill the food – To get amazing grill lines, you can place the food directly on the grill at a 45 degree angle. You will want to turn the food at a 90 degree angle at half the time to get the nice square grill marks. Flip over the food and repeat.

And there you have it — the quick and easy way to cook with your grill pan!

The Different Types Of Stove And Cooktops For Grill Pans

There are lot of grill pans available on the market but which one is right for your stove? We have gathered all the information for you to make your buying decision easier than ever. The three types of stove and cooktops we look at are:

  1. Induction cooktops – There are a growing number of induction cooktops in the market because of their increased speed to heat pots and pans. We have listed out the best induction cookware sets on the market today. We highly recommend cast iron grill pans for induction cooktops. However, normal cast iron scratches the surface of the induction cooktop. In order to prevent this from happening, we recommend buying an enamel induction grill pan. Enameled cast iron is a layer that coats the cast iron to prevent it from scratching.
    Induction Cookware Cooking Diagram
  1. Electric stoves – On an electric stove we recommend that you stay away from cast iron pans. The reason is because cast iron is a very solid and heavy that it will take a long time for it to heat up. Generally electric stoves heat less quickly.
    Electric Stove Top
  1. Glass top stoves – Since glass top stoves are prone to scratches, it’s best to avoid grill pans made from glass, ceramic or cast iron which can scratch the surface. Even aluminum foil can mar the glass top.Glass Top Stove Grill Pan

It’s best to find out which stove and cooktop your kitchen has before deciding on a grill pan. Keep in mind that it’s cheaper to buy a new pan than replace your cooktop!

What Types Of Food Do Grill Pans Love?

While the possibilities are endless for grill pan foods, we felt we should highlight a few foods that are a perfect marriage with the grill pan.

Even if you don’t cook these foods regularly, it’s a good enough reason to start cooking them more frequently because how beautiful the finished look is and how easy it is. Below are some foods that you might not of thought of that work well with a grill pan.

Grill Pan Veggies

  • Shrimp – Shrimps are a delicate type of food but can definitely handle the heat. To get best results, use jumbo shrimp. Together with the grill marks, they look absolutely mean. Try making a chipotle-rubbed shrimp taco salad.
  • Lamb – Lamb is one of those dishes that pan grills make a mark on. Try making peach spiced lamb chops or grilling your favorite rack of lamb.
  • Vegetables – Try grilling some jalapenos to make a goat cheese-stuffed jalapenos with Ranchero Sauce. Or better yet, try your hands on grilled mushrooms, asparagus and carrots. Also, you can try thick sliced vegetables such as eggplant and zucchini.
  • Sandwhiches – A grill pan is a great addition for making sandwiches including a panini magherita, tangy turkey burgers, grilled tofu, and bacon and avocado sandwiches.

We thought that they would add flavor and variety into your everyday meals. Take a look at these recipes for inspiration and fun with your grill pan.

Below are additional great foods and cooking ideas that can be made with a grill pan. We hope you love cooking with the grill pan as much as we do.

Grill Pan Ideas – Do You Like Pan Grilled Chicken?

Chicken and grill pans definitely go hand in hand. Grilled chicken ideas include:

  • Grilled chicken with mustard-tarragon sauce
  • Grilled chicken breasts with plum salsa
  • Chicken souvlaki with tzatziki sauce
  • Pineapple chicken satay
  • Jamaican-spiced chicken thighs and chicken fajitas.

We absolutely love grilled chicken. Check out this step by step guide on how to grill chicken.

Grill Pan Ideas – How About Some Pan Grilled Salmon?

A grill pan definitely adds a rustic look to fish. They make wonderful lines and bring out the fresh flavor of fish. Grilling fish is great on a grill pan and there are lots of recipes for fish grilling. Delicious recipes include:

  • Grilled ahi-tuna salad
  • Catfish sandwiches with creole mayonnaise
  • Pan-grilled salmon with red pepper salsa
  • Pan-grilled snapper with orzo pasta salad
  • Grilled grouper with browned butter-orange couscous

Grill Pan Ideas – Do You Like Pan Grilled Steak?

Grilling steak is probably one of the most distinct hallmarks it makes on steak. The lines that grill pans make on beef and steaks are astounding. As discussed above, the chargrilled lines will definitely not disappoint you. Give the following recipes a try:

  • Butcher’s cut sliders
  • Beef tenderloin steaks with sautéed mushrooms
  • Hoisin grilled sirloin
  • Beef lettace wraps
  • Cilantro flank steak.

Grill Pan Ideas – Grill Pan Pork Chop Heaven

Pork is one of our favorite dishes to use with a grill pan. The lines look amazing and there are lots of recipes to choose from including Greek-style pork chops and barbecued pork chops.

To get the amazing lines on pork chop, make sure you let the pork chop grill on one side for 2-3 minutes, then turn 90 degrees and let it grill for another 2-3 minutes.

Grill Pan Reviews – The Best 5 Grill Pans For Your Kitchen

Before we rated each grill pan, we wanted you to know how we compared the pans listed below. We thoroughly tested each grill pan against the following criteria:

  • Non-stickability – It will come as no surprise that some griddle pans have better non-stick coatings than others. We tested the stickiness of the griddle pan by cooking some cheddar cheese which latches onto some of the pans.
  • Heat conduction – We tested how fast a griddle pan will heat up.
  • Heat retention – We tested how long the pan would stay hot when it was off the stove. This ranged from 5 minutes to even 15 minutes on some pans.
  • Grade of ridges and grill lines – This is what you purchased the grill pan for and to our surprise there were lots of different qualities of ridges and grill lines. We found that high and sharply defined lines got better grill lines than dull and rounded ridges.
  • Drainage – We looked for moats and drains on the side to capture the juices from cooking.
  • Weight – We looked at a variety of different grill pan weights. Some were a lot heavier than others but we generally found that heat conduction and retention correlated to the weight of the pan.

The Best Grill Pan For Induction Cooktops

Lodge ECSGP45 Enameled Cast Iron Square Grill Pan

Our Ranking: 5th Place

Made in: China

Warranty: Limited lifetime warranty

Compatability:

Electric1 Freezer Gas Induction Oven

Our Review: 

For induction cooktops we really liked the Lodge Color ECSGP43 Enameled Cast Iron Square Grill Pan. This pan comes in a very unique red color that is very eye pleasing. Best of all it is enameled cast iron so it won’t scratch your induction cooktop surface.

What we like about it…

  • Non-stickability – We used this pan extensively and we found that overall food does not stick to the pan. Sometimes there would be food stuck in between the ridges but we found that sprinkling a little bit of salt between the ridges helps a lot. Remember that cast iron is not truly “non-stick” and does require some seasoning to assist with it.
  • Heat conduction – Overall we found that the heat conducted really well around the pan. On medium heat, the pan heated up in under 5 minutes. No issues noted here. Overall the pan is a really good heat conductor.
  • Heat retention – Heat retention was above average on this front. This is because the pan is made of cast iron and generally cast iron has extremely high heat capacity.
  • Drainage – The ridges are high but does not provide much of a moat around the pan for the juices to drain into. We felt that there could be more of a separation from the ridges to the side of the pan to provide that extra level of drainage.

What we like dislike about it…

  • Weight – This pan weighs approximately 8 pounds. Although we know cast iron is quite heavy in general, we felt that this was a bit heavy for us to cook with on our induction cooktop.

Overall, we liked this pan because of the esthetic red color and also the fact that it felt solid in our hands. We know a lot of our readers love induction cooktops and we would highly recommend this enamel cast iron pan to avoid scratching your cooking surface. This pan is a steal if you can purchase it for under $50 USD.

The Best Electric Stovetop Grill Pan

All-Clad 3011 Hard Anodized Dishwasher Safe Square Grille Cookware, 11-inch, Black

Our Ranking: 4th Place

Made in: China

Warranty: Lifetime

Compatability:


Our Review: 

Cook like a professional on your electric stove with this grill pan by All-Clad. This grill pan sports a stainless steel interior for great heat conduction and a hard-anodized aluminum exterior for extra protection.

What we like about it…

  • Non-stickability – We love the non-stick on this grill pan. It allows you to sear the chicken breasts that are super tender and juicy which slide off the pan without a problem. Be careful not to turn the heat up too high as that will damage the non-stick coating.
  • Heat Conduction – We turned our electric stove onto medium heat and placed the pan on top. It took 7 minutes to fully heat up. We believe this was a result of the electric stove as generally they take longer to heat up. However, we were impressed with how well our steak cooked on medium heat.
  • Drainage – There was a moat around the edge of the pan which helped capture the juices and fats from the cooking.
  • Weight – The weight of the pan is only 4 pounds which is great for cooking without muscles.

What we dislike about it…

  • Heat Retention – The heat was well retained on this grill pan while cooking but cooled off quickly after we finished cooking. To be exact, it only took 8 minutes off the stove before we noticed the pan was substantially cooler.
  • Grade of ridges and grill lines – We really didn’t like the round ridges on this grill pan. Because the edges were rounded it does not provide the sharp chargrill marks as other pans do.

Overall, we thought this pan was worked amazingly on our electric stove. We know these types of stoves don’t offer the highest amount of heat, but this grill pan performed well.

Highly recommend to purchase this pan as the square shape allows you to cook more food on there in one go. This pan is a great addition to any kitchen but sometimes it isn’t readily available.

Most of the time it sells for $70 but sometimes there is a sale and you can snag is for cheaper.

Grill Pan Review #3 – The Best Glass Stovetop Grill Pan

OXO Good Grips 11 inch Square Grill Pan

Our Ranking: 3rd Place

Warranty: Lifetime Warranty

Compatability:

GasOvenFreezerElectric1

Our Review:

We highly recommend the OXO Good Grips 11 inch Square Grill Pan for your glass top stove. As you are aware, glass top stoves are prone to scratches. The OXO grill pan won’t scratch your glass top and we tested it extensively to ensure that it wouldn’t.

The main reason that this pan won’t scratch is that this pan sports a 3-laywer non-stick coating that covers the entire grill pan. At the bottom, this coating acts slides the pan and avois scratches.

What we like about it…

  • Non-stickability – We love the non-stick on this grill pan because it’s PFOA free non-stick and it doesn’t scratch our glass top surface. Be careful not to turn the heat up too high as that will damage the non-stick coating.
  • Heat Conduction – We turned our electric stove onto medium heat and placed the pan on top. It took 8 minutes to fully heat up. In addition, we were impressed with how well our fish cooked on medium heat.
  • Drainage – There was a moat around the edge of the pan which helped capture the juices and fats from the cooking.
  • Heat Retention – The heat was well retained on this grill pan while cooking. After cooking, it took 10 minutes off the stove before we noticed the pan was substantially cooler.
  • Weight – The OXO grill pan is extremely light and only weighs 3 pounds. One of the lightest grill pans on the market!

What we dislike about it…

  • Grade of ridges and grill lines – The ridges are a bit curved and are a bit shallow. We thought that the pan ridges could have a bit more sharpness.

Overall, we highly recommend this pan because of the triple non-stick layer coating. We were able to cook with this grill pan extensively without scratching the surface of our glass cooktop.

This is definitely a rare find as most of the cast iron and stainless steel grill pans damaged our glass cooktop. If you’re looking for a great grill pan that will do the job on your glass stovetop, this is the one to buy! 

Grill Pan Review #2 – The Best Grill Pan Budget Buy

Lodge L8SGP3 Pre-seasoned Cast-iron Square Grill Pan, 10.50-inch

Our Ranking: 2nd Place

Made in: China

Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty

Compatability: 

Oven Induction Gas Freezer Electric1 Broiler

Review: 

We purchased this pan thinking that it was a subpar pan because of the price. However, we were surprised that it worked very well on our induction cooktop.

What we like about it…

  • Non-stickability We used this pan extensively and we found that overall food does not stick to the pan. Sometimes there would be food stuck in between the ridges but we found that sprinkling a little bit of salt between the ridges helps a lot. Remember that cast iron is not truly “non-stick” and does require some seasoning to assist with it.
  • Heat conduction – Overall we found that the heat conducted really well around the pan. On medium heat, the pan heated up in under 5 minutes. No issues noted here. Overall the pan is a really good heat conductor.
  • Heat retention – Heat retention was above average on this front. This is because the pan is made of cast iron and generally cast iron has extremely high heat capacity.

What we dislike about it…

  • Grade of ridges and grill lines – We really didn’t like the round ridges on this grill pan. Because the edges were rounded it does not provide the sharp chargrill marks as other pans do.
  • Drainage – The moat around the pan is really shallow and does not provide much in way of drainage.
  • Weight – The grill pan weighs 8.7 pounds and is considered to be quite heavy but about average for a cast iron grill pan.

In conclusion, we absolutely love this pan and we think it’s an excellent product selling at the right price. If you’re lucky you’ll be able to buy this pan for under $20 USD.

Grill Pan Review #1 – Best Grill Pan Investment And Overall Performance

Le Creuset L2021-265 Cast Iron Grill Pan

Our Rainking: 1st Place

Made in: France

Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty

Caompabitility:

Oven Induction Gas Freezer Electric1 Broiler

Review:

We really had to think long and hard before we decided on the best grill pan based on performance and investment. To say the least, there were many grill pans we tried but one truly stuck out at us as the best grill pan. It was definitely a close one.

Our favorite grill pan (if we were only to buy one in our life) is the Le Creuset L2021-264 Enameled Cast-iron Skillet Grill Pan.

This pan not only looks great and comes in different colors but it is also extremely versatile. We love the spouts for pouring out the fats, oven and boiler safe function, and crisp ridges with a liberal moat that holds the juices.

What we like about it…

  • Non-stickability – While this pan is not a traditional non-stick pan we found that some of the food sticks a little bit if oil is not used. All that is needed is just a simple rub of oil onto the surface and the pan becomes non-stick. For a cast-iron this grill pan has a great non-stick surface.
  • Heat conduction – Overall we found that the heat conducted really well around the pan. On medium heat, the pan heated up in under 5 minutes. No issues noted here. Overall the grill pan heats evenly and wonderfully takes the abuse.
  • Heat retention – Heat retention was excellent on this front. This is because the pan is made of cast iron and generally cast iron has extremely high heat capacity.
  • Drainage – The ridges are high and provides a small moat for the juices to drain into. We loved the drainage spouts on the side where we could pour out the fats and juices without much effort.
  • Weight – This pan weighs approximately 8 pounds. Although we know cast iron is quite heavy in general, we felt that this was a bit heavy for us to cook with on our induction cooktop.

What we dislike about it…

  • None! – Maybe except for the palm green color one we bought for testing. However, Le Creuset has made the grill pans available in all colors. Also, the price is more expensive than the rest of our recommendations, but, this is an investment of your money and like we said, this would be the only grill pan we’d buy for the rest of our lives!

Overall, we loved testing this pan and it has a lot of features that other grill pans don’t have such as the color selection, spouts for easy fat disposal, and the grill marks were just great.

Invest in your future and get the best grill pan money can buy today!

The Bottom Line

While there isn’t a pan that is perfectly made (yet!), we have identified the grill pans that we think are of the best value and give you the best looking and tasting meats, fish and veggies.

We hope you liked this extensive guide and our reviews. If you liked it, please share on Facebook or other social sharing sites!

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Le Creuset L2021-265 Cast Iron Grill Pan
Author Rating
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