There’s nothing to make your mouth water quite like the sizzle and aroma of steak or another delicious meal on your kitchen grill pan. But how good a job is your current grill pan doing? Does it heat your food evenly? Is it easy to prepare delicious meals and clean up afterward? Or does food stick to your pan, requiring you to put in a lot of elbow grease to get it off?
The right high-quality grill pan will make it easier both to prepare your food and to clean up after you enjoy your meal. In this guide, you’ll discover some of the top grill pans on the market right now. If you want to learn more about grill pans before you check out the product overviews, you can scroll past them to the buying considerations.
1. Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware Square Grill Pan
For an 11-inch non-stick grill pan which is high in quality and perfect for heavy use, take a look at the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Grill Pan. This product was designed to be healthy, safe, and stand the test of time.
- The heavy gauge aluminium used to make this pan has been anodized. It is triple-coated to create a non-stick surface which can stand up to a lot of use without peeling or flaking. According to Calphalon, their coating contains no PFOE.
- The ridges are deep, giving you just the seared texture and flavor you want.
- The handles are made out of stainless steel, and do not get too hot while you are cooking.
- This product is super easy to clean. The non-stick coating prevents food from caking on, making it easy to hand-wash the grill pan if necessary (do not do this when the pan is still super hot). But you also can safely put it in your dishwasher.
- An excellent value. This is not a very expensive grill pan. It should last you a good while without flaking, but if you do need to get a new one later down the line, it should be affordable to replace.
- Don’t attempt to broil in this pan. If you turn up the heat too high, the pan will warp and become unusable. That being said, you can still use the pan in your oven.
2. Rachael Ray Cucina Hard-Anodized Nonstick 11-Inch Deep Square Grill Pan
If you like the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Grill Pan discussed above, you probably will also find the Rachael Ray Cucina Hard-Anodized Nonstick 11-Inch Deep Square Grill Pan appealing. This pan was designed to be especially deep, which offers a couple of benefits.
- The handle has a non-metallic grip so that you do not need to worry about burning your hand when it is time to take your food off the stovetop.
- The extra depth of this pan may be ideal for certain recipes. It also can assist with cleaning up by reducing the amount of food that escapes the pan during cooking to get on your stovetop in the first place.
- You can not only use this grill pan on your stovetop, but also inside your oven (so long as it is not an induction oven). The maximum safe temperature is 400°F.
- The anodized aluminium with PFOA-free non-stick coating is easy to wash and should last you a long time with proper care. If you need to use your dishwasher, you can. But usually, a sponge should be sufficient.
- With a limited lifetime warranty, you can rest assured that the manufacturer is confident backing this product.
- A larger, more substantial handle might be preferable for such a sizable grill pan.
3. Calphalon Grill Pan Signature Hard Anodized Nonstick, 12 Inch Round Pan
Another product from Calphalon to consider is the Calphalon Grill Pan Signature Hard Anodized Nonstick, 12 Inch Round Pan. This is similar to the square pan shared previously, but it has a round shape which may be a better fit for some recipes and stovetops.
- As with the previous two products shared, this one is made out of hard-anodized aluminium with a PFOA-free non-stick surface. So long as you do not overheat the surface and you clean it carefully, it should hold a great even with frequent use. The manufacturer even states that using metal utensils while cooking should not damage the surface.
- The handle is made of brushed stainless steel and should not heat up too much while you are cooking.
- This grill pan is safe to use in your oven in temperatures up to 500°F. This is a higher temperature than some other products can handle.
- There is a full lifetime warranty backing the Calphalon Grill Pan Signature Hard Anodized Nonstick, 12 Inch Round Pan.
- There is a design flaw which can cause somewhat uneven cooking. The presence of a logo on the bottom of the pan in the center pushes the cooking surface up slightly above. You should be able to compensate for this while you are cooking, but only so long as you are aware that it is there.
4. Grill Pan Stove Top Grill Induction Griddle by S. KITCHN
If you are in search of a grill pan which has a long, narrow shape rather than one which is square or round shaped, think about the Grill Pan Stove Top Grill Induction Griddle by S. KITCHN. Instead of one long handle protruding, this one has a loop handle on either end so that you can lift and carry it with both hands. It measures 13” x 10.6”.
- Aside from possible issues with induction stovetops (see below), the Grill Pan Stove Top Grill Induction Griddle by S. KITCHN appears to work on most cooktops without any issues. You can also use it in your oven up to 450°F.
- There are two layers of nonstick coating to give you a durable, easy-to-clean surface. The hard-anodized, die-cast aluminum is also sturdy enough to withstand frequent use.
- Because this grill pan is dishwasher-safe, cleaning it can be effortless when you do not want to put in the elbow grease. But you should discover that washing the pan by hand is generally not difficult.
- The two-handle design means that you do not need to be concerned about flimsy handles attached to heavy grill pans. These handles are as sturdy as the pan itself, and may also be more ergonomic for some users.
- Your purchase is backed by a two year warranty from the manufacturer.
- The pan doesn’t always seem to work well on induction stovetops, even though the manufacturer says that it does.
5. Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan
Moving onto cast-iron options, we have the Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan. This grill pan is affordably priced and has a squarish shape. The Lodge name is a trusted one; the family-owned company has been operating since 1896.
- The grill pan comes pre-seasoned so that it is ready to use right away. Lodge seasons its pans with 100% vegetable oil, so you can rest assured that there are no artificial chemicals on your product.
- The pan has a high-quality, nonstick surface which evenly heats your food.
- It is not too difficult to clean cast-iron once you get used to it. The most important thing to be aware of is that you cannot leave water sitting on your grill pan.
- Because this product is made out of cast-iron, it will provide you with superior longevity compared to be anodized aluminum models included in this list. Considering the low price and the long lifespan you can expect, the Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan is an excellent value.
- You probably noticed that 11 inches is a popular size for grill pan. This grill pan is just a little bit smaller than that. While this may be fine for some buyers, others might prefer the more common 11 inch size.
6. Lodge LPGI3 Pro-Grid Cast Iron Reversible 20″ x 10″ Grill/Griddle Pan
Another cast-iron option from the Lodge brand which is worth considering is the Lodge LPGI3 Pro-Grid Cast Iron Reversible 20″ x 10″ Grill/Griddle Pan. You can flip over the grill and use it as a griddle with a flat surface, providing it with two-in-one functionality.
- Your grill arrives pre-seasoned with 100% vegetable oil. You can get right to cooking without taking the time to season the grill yourself if you want. No chemicals are present.
- The seasoning on the cast-iron gives you a non-stick surface which evenly heats your food.
- A cast-iron grill pan like this one will last for decades if you take care of it right.
- While this product is more expensive than the Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan, you are getting two products in one. So, if you have need for both a grill pan and a griddle, you are getting an excellent deal when you order the Lodge LPGI3 Pro-Grid Cast Iron Reversible 20″ x 10″ Grill/Griddle Pan.
- This is a rectangular product which includes grip handles at both ends for comfortable, ergonomic carrying.
- Occasionally, these products seem to ship out with a flaw which causes them to crack after a few uses. Thankfully, there is a lifetime warranty that you can call on if you receive one of these defective items.
Considerations When Buying a Grill Pan
How much food do you need to be able to cook in your grill pan? Grill pans come in different shapes and sizes, so pick one which will be the right fit for your kitchen.
2. Cooks Food Evenly
The best grill pan will do well evenly distributing heat. This will allow you to cook your food rapidly and consistently. Non-stick pans tend to heat up more quickly than cast iron pans, but if you pre-heat cast iron, your food will cook fast, and you should get more even results.
3. Easy to Clean
While cast iron is an ideal option if you are most concerned with even heat distribution, it is a little more difficult to clean than a non-stick surface. If fast clean-up is your priority, consider non-stick. You can even find grill pans which are safe to put in your dishwasher.
4. Safe and Healthy
Some non-stick products are made using chemicals that you might want to avoid. If you overheat Teflon, for instance, the fumes can make you feel sick. A more significant concern may be Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), sometimes referred to as C8.
When Teflon is manufactured, this chemical is present during the process. Researchers think that PFOA might increase the risk for certain cancers. There should not be any PFOA in your Teflon cookware. Look for products which are “PFOA-free.”
If you have owned non-stick cookware in the past, you are probably aware that the coating can start peeling off eventually. This can render your cookware unusable after a few years.
To avoid this, you have two options. One is to shop for a non-stick grill pan which has a reputation for longevity. Such a product should be manufactured out of a sturdy material like anodized aluminum and ideally should include multiple non-stick coatings.
Another option is to opt for a cast iron grill pan instead. Once seasoned, cast iron’s surface becomes naturally non-stick, but there is no manufactured coating to peel off over time. In fact, cast iron cookware can remain in excellent condition for decades.