Since I am a mother of 2 younglings, I always strive to feed the best quality food and products to my family. In my opinion, it is equally important to use both high-quality foods AND cookware.
All of my family and friends love grill pans, as they are a suitable replacement for large garden grills that can smoke your food or make grilling hard and boring.
What is essential for me as a food blogger is to make healthy and tasty food for my readers. What I find valuable with grill pans is that you don’t need to use almost any oil or fats during the preparation of your favorite meal.
If you found this interesting and have the same struggles as I do, I am on a mission to find the best grill pan on the market, so hop on and enjoy the ride!
What is a grill pan, and how do I use it properly?
A grill pan (in some places, also known as a griddle pan or broiler pan) is a frying pan with lots of parallel ridges used for cooking food with radiant heat, typically on a stovetop.
Why so many people turn to grill pans is because they have no outdoor space. Essentially what you get with a grill pan is a more healthy version of frying food, but what you need to know is that you can’t get the original taste of smoked or fire-charred bits that an outdoor grill give you.
There are quite a few pros and cons to using a grill pan, and most of the drawbacks go to the inability to replicate the smokey taste of an outdoor grill. If that is what you expect from your grill pan, I’m afraid I have to burst your bubble – it’s impossible to do that.
However, there are so many great things about grill pans that can quickly change your mind, and you will soon realize the many advantages of using it in your home.
For example, if I am looking for healthier options, I will make some burgers and put them on the grill pan. The ridges allow the fat from the burgers to flow off the meat, just like it would with an outdoor grill. This is great for children, for those who try to live and eat healthy, as well as people on strict dietary regimes.
Of course, this is one of many things that make me want to use my grill pan often, so stick around for more insight into the world of grill pans.
What to look for in the best grill pan?
There is so much you can do with a grill pan: cook meat, fish, vegetables, make toast sandwiches, hot dogs, and even make a traditional breakfast with bacon, eggs, and pancakes.
For all of these options, you will need an adequate grill pan to fulfill all your needs. Therefore, let’s hop into the things you need to know when shopping for a grill pan.
The material is usually one of the most important things when it comes to cookware. There are lots of options out there, so you need to know the difference in order to buy the best grill pan eventually. The most common materials used are cast iron, stainless steel, and aluminum.
Cast iron is probably the best option for grill pans. It is incredibly durable and long-lasting, quite heavy, and can stand the oppressive heat.
Stainless steel is definitely not as durable, is more demanding for maintenance and is not that versatile when it comes to cooking.
Aluminum is an excellent material for spreading heat but is not necessarily that great for grilling.
Of course, there is more to it than just these raw facts – many pans come in combinations of materials, and have some additional features that give them the advantage.
Size is equally crucial for both those who live alone and those who have large families to cook for. I personally like big pans because I need all the space I can get – I prepare a lot of food. Barbara, for example, always complains about how her pans are never big enough but she has to feed three grown men, so I understand her struggle. If you are a loner, you don’t need a large pan because it will distribute heat slower.
The shape of your grill pan isn’t that crucial, but it can make a difference when you decide which one to buy. The typical shape for grill pans is square, and they are usually larger and can fit more food inside. However, there are round, circular pans that maybe fit your stove better, or aren’t bulky like some square ones. It typically comes to personal preferences.
Let’s face it – all of us are sometimes lazy. After a long day of work and cooking, I certainly don’t want to bother with hand washing my dishes. That’s why I always look for dishwasher-safe kitchenware and cookware.
Another critical thing to mention is a non-stick coating that I expect every high-quality product to have, especially the ones like grill pans that are used for cooking food at high temperatures. Grilling can get sticky, and it is essential to have a non-stick coating on your cooking surface, especially if your grill pan isn’t dishwasher safe. That would be a pain to clean!
The best grill pans are those that can be used in an oven, on an induction cooker, or can even be used for broiling. Some grill pans are only for stovetop usage, and that is fine if that is what you need. However, keep in mind that there is much more you can do with your grill pan, and you can explore your options if you buy a versatile pan.
I know a lot of people who use their grill pans for liquids as well, such as gravy. You merely need to find the best grill pan for your needs, and then you can go on and experiment all you want!
Most Recommended grill pans in 2020 – Detailed Reviews
Cuisinart is well-known for its cookware, so I, naturally, expected a lot from this grill pan. I must say that I was underwhelmed with the material – I’m not saying it’s terrible, I just expected more from Cuisinart.
This grill pan is made of hard anodized aluminum which provides a durable exterior but isn’t necessarily the best choice for a grill pan. The interior is titanium reinforced with a non-stick cooking surface for easy food release and clean-up, which we know is essential.
It becomes even more critical when you realize that this grill pan can absolutely not go in the dishwasher. I know many people who tried to put it inside anyways, and it completely ruined their dishwasher, so be very careful.
I also need to mention that this material isn’t suitable for anything other than a regular stovetop usage, so the versatility of this pan isn’t satisfying.
One of the good things about this pan is its size. At 12 inches, this grill pan is suitable for everyone’s needs, and you can realistically speaking, prepare a considerable amount of food in it.
This pan is round-shaped, which can be a good and a bad thing (I talked about it previously), but it has a cool grip handle, so you don’t feel the heat or burn yourself during maneuvering.
As I had personal experience with this grill pan, I feel I have to tell you guys not to always go for the popular and familiar brand. Even though the Cuisinart pan performed well while I used it, it stopped being functional quickly: like the non-stick layer somehow wore out, and the pan was easily scratched. I don’t know if I just got unlucky, but keep in mind that I was disappointed with this one’s performance.
- Non-stick surface
- Cool grip handle
- Not versatile
- Not dishwasher safe
You guys know how much I praised cast iron. A material that was used by our grandmothers, but until this day rarely any material can match its durability and versatility. It is unparalleled in heat retention and heating evenly and is brutally tough for decades of cooking, cast iron is your choice to go if you’re looking for a high-quality product with great longevity.
This grill pan by Lodge company doesn’t have a non-stick finish, but it is pre-seasoned in a sense that it behaves like a non-stick finish. If you just got confused, let me clear it up. This grill pan is seasoned for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use – so, the more you use it, the more non-stick it gets.
What I love about this grill pan is that it can be used on any heat source (except microwave): in the oven, on the stove, on a grill, over the campfire…you name it! That’s why cast iron is the master of versatility.
The sad thing is that it can’t go into the dishwasher, so you would need to wash it by hand. However, all the residue comes off quite easily.
The size of the Lodge grill pan is what I found problematic, at least for my needs. It “only” 10.5 inches, which is more than enough for one or two people, but for a family, I find it insufficient. The shape is square which does help with the size, as you have a bit more space if your grill pan is square-shaped.
All in all, I think this grill pan is a great choice and offers excellent value for the price.
- Can’t go in the dishwasher
You also know that I am not the biggest fan, but this grill pan is heavy gauge, durable and dishwasher safe, so that kind of brought me back to this one. I mentioned many times how valuable (and rare) it is to have a dishwasher-safe grill pan, so I value this a lot.
The interior is what really blows my mind – three layers of non-stick coating, where two coats provide durability, and the third one offers easy release performance. I like this VERY much.
The size and shape of this grill pan are satisfying. 11-inch square pan is a genuinely good choice for everyone’s needs, although for my personal needs it could be a couple of inches bigger. Nevertheless, the difference isn’t that significant with a slightly bigger grill pan.
This is another grill pan that has brushed, extended stainless steel handles that are designed to stay cool on the stovetop. It’s also important to mention that it’s oven safe, so you can easily prepare a gourmet dish in this grill pan.
I saved the best for last: Calphalon offers a full lifetime warranty for this grill pan! This is something I always consider, especially if other characteristics are satisfying and I think the product is worth buying, which, in this case, I do.
- Dishwasher safe
- High quality
- Three layers of non-stick coating
- Oven safe
- Cool handles
TeChef’s products are made in Korea, and they vouch for their quality. This grill pan is made of heavy gauge aluminum and Teflon topcoats which aren’t typically used for grill pans. However, this isn’t your regular grill pan. This one is a replica of the Korean barbecue grill, and it serves its purpose amazingly.
The Teflon interior is coated five times! This ensures easy cleanup, non-stick performance, and the unique swirled channel design helps oils drain slowly to give food more flavor, and indeed is an innovation in grill pans.
The pan has a grease draining hole, which enables you to have a low-fat meal with more taste. On the other hand, you need to put some bowl or tray underside to hold dripping oil, which can be unpractical and there is no option to choose whether you want to drain the fat or not.
I love the size of this pan – 12 inches work amazingly for my family and me. What I dislike about it is that there is no handle, which is even more difficult because this grill pan is round-shaped.
You can place this Korean BBQ plate on a stovetop or a portable burner, but it can’t go into the oven or any other heat source. For all these reasons I have mixed feelings about its practicality and versatility.
Another important thing is that this pan isn’t dishwasher safe. However it is probably the most non-stick grill pan I have ever used, and you shouldn’t have any worries or troubles with cleaning up.
- Non-stick coated five times
- Grease draining technology
- Not dishwasher safe
- No handles
The fancy French name of the manufacturing company sounds promising, and believe me – they were up to the task. The Le Creuset pan is made of even-heating enameled cast iron, which you know is my favorite material for grill pans.
The pan also comes with a cast iron handle and an opposite side helper handle for easy maneuvering and transport when carrying a full pan.
Spouts on two sides of the grill pan allow drip-free pours. The interior is coated with a protective satin black finish. Over time, the interior develops a patina which is ideal for frying and searing. As most cast iron grill pans, this one is also dishwasher safe, which I absolutely love.
Another thing worth mentioning is the exterior. This is one of the rare grill pans that are colorful- there is an option of several colors to choose from, and it can bring a pop of color to your kitchen.
This is a square, 10 1/4 inch grill pan, which I, unfortunately, find small for my needs, as I typically cook for four people. If you’re looking for smaller dimensions, I would highly recommend this grill pan.
The thing I like most about this grill pan is its versatility. It can be used on every heat source you can think of. The downside is that it’s not non-stick, but you can put it in your dishwasher and don’t even have to think about cleaning it.
Further Reading: Best Gas Cooktops in 2020
- Extremely versatile
- Can be used in a dishwasher
- Great stability with two handles
- Not non-stick
And the best grill pan is…
The choice was incredibly difficult, and all of these grill pans have their upsides and downsides.
My personal experience and the experience of my close friends is what helped me make a decision. I can now certainly say that the best grill pan you can find now, is the Calphalon Grill Pan.
I talked so much about how cast iron is fantastic, and probably the best option for a grill pan, but the Calphalon pan is the best example of how some additional features can make a grill pan incredibly high-quality.
Besides all amazing features this grill pan has, it also comes with a lifetime warranty which was the last nail in the coffin.
I hope I was helpful and that you made a decision according to your needs, now that you know everything there is about the best grill pans on the market. I hope you enjoy cooking and shopping for your favorite cookware! 🙂
Last update on 2020-10-21 at 04:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API