Is round grill pans better than square ones? What size do you need? And will a cast-iron one work, or do you need and made of non-stick aluminum?
If you’re looking for the best grill pan, you have questions. We assembled a team of our most seasoned pros to guide you through your decision. Here you’ll learn all about grill pans, and you’ll see the 10 best reviewed.
So let’s get cooking. Read on and get ready to make your choice.
But you don’t want to pay a fortune. This pan is big enough to cook an entree for an entire family, but it carries a price that’s similar to round pans. We love it when we can find that kind of value for our readers. Take a good look at this one if you want to go straight.
Now learn more about our top three picks and seven others that made the cut. One of these is sure to be your choice, regardless of what you are looking for.
Top Grill Pans:
1. Lodge Cast Iron Grill PanView at Amazon
Overall, this is the best cast iron grill pan. It is solid iron and has a simple grate pattern that makes it easy to clean. It comes pre-seasoned, which is great because that first seasoning is the most crucial.
You must know that since the tops are flared outward, the actual cooking surface is two inches smaller than the advertised 10-½ ’. But that flare makes it easier to use a spatula and toss food. Also great for steaks.
Some people were upset that the actual cooking area is two inches smaller than they thought. It’s advertised as 10-½”, but that measures the top. It’s flared outward to make flipping food easier, so the actual cooking surface is 8-½’.
People like that it comes pre-seasoned. They also comment about how even salmon doesn’t stick while cooking. Many hang this pan in their kitchen where everyone can see it. It’s that good-looking.
- The actual cooking area is 8-½”, which is enough for four average hamburgers
- Solid cast iron is durable and has good heat dispersion
- Can be used on induction cooktops
- The black color blends well with all kitchen decor
- Oven-safe for added versatility
- Pre-seasoned to save time
- Hole in the handle for hanging
- Lighter than similarly sized iron pans
- Flared top for easy flipping
- Not truly a 10-½” pan
2. TeChef Stovetop Korean BBQ Grill PanView at Amazon
This is an authentic Korean grill pan with a unique swirl-patterned fat drain design. The secret is in the speed at which the fat is drained away.
It’s slow enough to allow most of the flavor in the fat to infuse into the food. The bad thing is it needs to be used with a drip pan underneath to catch that oil.
Many people say that this is the best Korean grill pan they’ve ever had. Most of the hype is due to the grease-channeling design. Long-time users of this pan say that it remains non-stick for years. Everyone likes that kind of durability.
- 12” diameter is great for sauteing for the whole family
- Five layers of Teflon give a long-lasting non-stick performance
- Oven-safe up to 450 degrees
- Dishwasher-safe for effortless cleaning
- The unique grease-draining design retains flavor while still reducing fat
- Durable non-stick Teflon coating
- Large enough for big meals
- Drains grease and fat
- Needs to be used with a drip pan on kitchen stoves
3. Cook’s Standard Hard-Anodized Square Grill PanView at Amazon
The thing that sets this square grill pan apart from others that are made of non-stick aluminum is its weight. It’s heavier because of the thickness of the aluminum core, and therefore it’s more durable.
Another thing that adds to the durability is the color. Black hides stains. That’s good because all pans eventually stain if they’re used often.
People like the color. Black pans won’t show the inevitable stains and heat marks that will accumulate on any pan that is used often. These grill pans stay good-looking enough to display for years.
Cooks often comment on the heft of the pan as well. Most aluminum pans are light, but this one is pretty heavy because of the metal’s thickness.
- 11” square cook surface is good for cooking meals of all sizes
- Heavy-gauge anodized aluminum offers better heat dispersion and more durability than most other aluminum grill pans
- The black color will look good through years of use
- Oven-safe for that extra versatility that cooks love
- Heavy-duty construction
- No need for seasoning
- Color hides stains
- Easy clean up in the dishwasher or by handwashing
- Not for induction cooktops
- Some fans of aluminum cookware don’t like the extra weight of the thick aluminum core
- The handle is riveted, which makes it less durable than one-piece cast iron pans
4. Lodge L8GP3 Cast Iron Grill PanView at Amazon
This probably isn’t ideal for cooking large amounts of fatty meat, because the ribs aren’t high enough to allow a lot of grease to accumulate at the bottom of the pan.
But when you consider the awesome durability and heat dispersion properties, it becomes clear that this is the best pan to grill chicken. You should season it better though. It’s pre-seasoned, but not completely.
People who cook a lot of meat at a time say they wish there was more room for grease accumulation. But everyone likes how durable it is, although it would be great if the factory seasoning process was better. Overall, everyone has been pretty happy with their purchase.
- 10-¼” size is small enough to be stored easily, yet big enough to cook entrees
- Cast iron construction is durable and has all the great heat dispersion properties of real iron pans
- Oven-safe for baking and broiling
- Factory seasoning gives the pan a handsome black color
- Built-in hanging hole for multiple storage options
- Easy to pour the grease off
- There should be a higher grease capacity
- Not perfectly seasoned at the factory
5. Rachel Ray’s Bright Hard Anodized Square Griddle PanView at Amazon
This indoor grill pan is different from typical cast iron grill pans. It’s made of anodized aluminum, which offers better heat dissipation. But it isn’t one piece. That means that it can’t be as durable as solid cast iron pans.
Rivets hold the handle to the pan, which will eventually cause problems. But it’s still tough, and it should last for many years. Just keep in mind that you have to use non-metallic utensils to avoid scratching the non-stick coating.
People like that they don’t have to season this pan. That seems to be the main benefit that people talk about. The thing they don’t like is that they can’t use their metal cookware on the non-stick cooking surface.
- 11” size is large enough for serious cooking
- Anodized construction eliminates hot spots
- A non-stick cooking surface eliminates the need for seasoning
- Oven-safe up to 400 degrees for all types of kitchen cooking
- Get ready for a fast, easily clean with this dishwasher-safe grill pan from Rachael Ray
- Lifetime limited warranty
- No need to season
- Not one-piece construction, which is a durability con compared to one-piece cast iron pans
- It’s necessary to use non-metal utensils
6. Le Creuset LS2022-2616 Cast Iron Signature Square Skillet GrillView at Amazon
This one is perhaps the best-looking grill pan on our list. The enamel offers a beautiful, shiny color to your kitchen if you choose to hang it out in the open.
As far as practicality goes, it is as good as any other high-quality kitchen grill pan. There is, however, one caveat. That gorgeous enamel is an insulator. It won’t work well in induction cooktops.
The number one compliment and the number one complaint are actually the same: the enamel. It makes the pan look great, but it makes it unreliable on induction cooktops. Other than that, most people are very pleased with this solid, awesome pan.
- 11” size is good for multi-purpose kitchen use
- Solid cast iron construction is tough and durable
- Enamel offers rust protection for the exterior and makes it unique and good-looking
- Safe at up to 450 degrees in the oven for true stovetop-to-oven use
- Colorful, long-lasting exterior enamel that resists chipping and cracking
- Dishwasher Safe
- Made to match with other Caribbean Le Creuset cookware
- Not best for induction cooktops
7. Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Grill PanView at Amazon
This non-stick grill pan will stay non-stick for years, thanks to the three layers of patented coating. That’s a big plus, but you still shouldn’t use metal utensils.
Any kind of metal will scratch the coating and affect the durability of the pan. Another good thing is that you will never have to season it.
People who’ve owned one of these grill pans for a while remark about how long the non-stick coating lasts. They release food easily for years. That makes it a great value, which is another thing that people comment about. There is a very high long-term customer satisfaction trend here.
- 11” square cooking surface is big enough to cook a family-sized entree all at once
- Anodized aluminum construction has excellent heat dispersion properties and no hot spots
- Three layers of non-stick material make it more durable than most other non-stick grill pans
- Oven-safe for extra versatility
- Dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup
- Long stainless steel handles stay cool during stovetop cooking
- Long-lasting non-stick coating
- The handle stays cool on the stovetop
- Great value
- Not one piece
8. Zyliss Cookware Non-Stick Grill PanView at Amazon
This aluminum grill pan has a non-stick ceramic coating inside and a thin stainless steel coating on the bottom. The ceramic coating is meant to offer non-stick cooking, even with metal utensils.
But there have been reports of metal scratching the ceramic, so you’ll want to be careful. Also, the stainless coating is too thin to work with all induction cooktops, so it may not be best for that kind of range.
Induction cooktop users give mixed reviews of this pan. Some say it works great, but others say it doesn’t work at all. That may have to do with the thin stainless coating.
It might just not be thick enough to work on all induction surfaces. Aside from that, there really aren’t any legitimate complaints. Most users of this pan are still happy with it after years of use.
- 10” pan with an 8-½” actual cooking surface is compact enough for easy storage while still being big enough to cook entire entrees
- The aluminum core makes it light and offers great heat dispersion
- The thin stainless steel coating on the bottom makes it good for induction cooktops
- Ceramic non-stick coating is more durable than Teflon
- Induction, Gas, Electric Stove Top, and Oven safe up to 356°F
- Long-lasting non-stick coating
- Great heat dispersion with no hot spots
- Very good value among aluminum grill pans
- It May not work an all induction cooktops
- It May be scratched by metal utensils
9. Tramontina 80131-059DS Enameled Cast Iron Grill Pan With PressView at Amazon
This cast iron square grill pan is well-made. It’s coated with enamel on the outside for beauty, and it’s coated on the inside with porcelain for a lifetime of non-stick cooking.
Strangely enough, it works on induction cooktops. That’s strange. Most enamel grill pans cannot be used on induction ranges, but this one gets rave reviews for induction cooktop owners.
Most people love the enamel. It just looks great. And the porcelain coating inside is pretty rare among cast iron grill pans. It lasts longer than Teflon, and it looks better too. All in all, those who use this pan often really love it.
- 11” size is fully functional in any kitchen
- Solid cast iron is durable
- The enamel makes it handsome and prevents rust on the outside
- Oven-safe up to 450 degrees for worry-free baking and broiling
- Porcelain coating on the cooking surface offers long-lasting stick-free cooking
- Very handsome
- Comes with press
- It’s rather expensive when compared to other cast iron grill pans
10. Vremi Cast Iron Square Grill PanView at Amazon
With its nice flat bottom, this is the best grill pan for gas cooktops. It has really good heat dispersion, so it is very efficient. You can use it in the oven for roasting meat as well as searing and pan-frying on the cooktop. Campers love it too.
Due to its good price and value, this is the first cast iron grill pan for a lot of people. Everyone seems pleased with their purchase, although there is a learning curve when it comes to re-seasoning. There are very few instances of buyer’s remorse. Most who’ve bought this one would do it again.
- 11” is good for all-around cooking purposes
- Solid cast iron is durable and has great heat dispersion
- Oven-safe up to 480 degrees for roasting
- Includes red silicone handle cover to protect hands from burns
- Pre-seasoned so you can cook in it right away
- Great value
- Nice size
- Comes with a silicone handle cover
- It seems this particular pan has to be re-seasoned more often than others
Factors To Consider
Being informed is the key to making the best decision. Check out these factors to consider and find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about grill pans here.
What size do you need? Larger pans obviously can cook more food at once. But you have to look at your storage space. You don’t want a pan that won’t fit in your cabinet. Keep in mind that the average burger is about 4” in diameter.
Also, think about steaks. If you cook steaks often, it’s best to get something in the 11” range.
But if you have a small family, a pan with a diameter of 9” should suffice. In general, you want to think about size in terms of how much food you cook at once.
The shape is important as well. Square pans offer more cooking space than similarly-sized round pans.
Many people like square pans because they can put vegetables and potatoes in them along with a roast or other large pieces of meat. Then it can go right in the oven.
But many people who cook primarily on a range with their grill pans prefer round ones because it allows more room for other pans on their stovetop.
Also, think about what you want your grill pan to be made of.
Solid cast iron should last a lifetime, as long as you take care of it. And food usually won’t stick if you take care when seasoning. You can also use metal utensils.
Aluminum pans have better heat dispersion, so there are no hot spots.
But they won’t work on induction ranges. And they must have a coating to keep food from sticking, so you have to use non-metallic utensils.
Once you have decided on the size, shape, and construction material you want, you are ready to go shopping.
How to Clean Cast Iron Grill Pan
A cast iron grill pan is among the tools every homeowner should have in their kitchen. Whether it’s a recent acquisition or something the family has passed down for generations, you will need to know how to clean a cast-iron grill pan once its service is over.
If properly cared for, the cast iron grill pan is capable of outliving even the most durable stainless or non-stick steel pans you may own. When done cooking with the cast iron grill pan, make sure to care for it using the tips recommended below to guarantee its longevity.
Below is a look at the recommended ways you can use when cleaning cast iron. Once the cast iron pan is clean, read on to learn how you can preserve its integrity by re-seasoning and getting rid of excess water.
Though simple, boiling water is recommended for occasions when there are big food particles in your pan. It also works when you are short on cleaning supplies. Only use this method with grill pans having tall sides to ensure the pans will get to keep the water in.
Use this method:
- Place the grill pan on top of the stove and add 2-3 inches of water
- Allow the water to boil for a few minutes. This is meant to allow the food particles to start floating toward the surface.
- Get a spatula and use it to scrape off any food still stuck on the pan’s ridges
- Leave the pan to cool down for a few minutes before dumping the residue and the water down the drain
- Using hot water, carefully rinse out your pan
- Take a dry paper towel and use it to wipe away any food particles remaining in the pan.
Salt & Water
Did you know chefs prefer using salt as opposed to detergent when cleaning cast iron grill pans? Kosher salt has a coarseness which makes it an abrasive cleaning solution you can use when trying to eliminate food particles stuck on the grill.
Salt and water are the recommended method for cleaning cast iron and for maintaining its seasoned surface.
You need to:
- Allow the pan a few minutes to cool down, but don’t let it cool down completely
- Grab some kosher salt and pour a generous amount to cover its surface
- Take a small amount of hot water and slowly pour it onto the surface. The salt should start forming a paste.
- Using a sponge, slowly use this salt paste to clean around your pan. Make sure to also clean around its sides and between the ridges.
- Take some hot water and use it to rinse the pan.
- If necessary, repeat this procedure.
Best Way to Clean Cast Iron Skillet
A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet offers the best surface for preparing your meals as it’s able to heat food more evenly, regardless of whether using an oven or a stove. This aside, a cast iron skillet isn’t easy to maintain as it’s advised against trying to wash it clean.
So, how do you go about the process of removing leftover food, grease, and gunk from the cast iron skillet without damaging it?
Using Soap and Water
Yes, you read that right!
As the cast iron skillet has been passed down for many generations, chances are that you have also been cautioned against using soap.
But what you may not know is that using soap and water is an effective method to clean brand-new cast iron and remove rust.
Using soap and water when cleaning the cast iron skillet is a method that can easily get rid of the seasoning built up over many uses. As such, this method should only be used when it’s necessary.
- Measure a small amount of detergent or non-abrasive soap and place it in the middle of your skillet.
- Using a sponge, scrubber, or steel wool, gently scrub down the skillet’s surface using a small amount of hot water and soap.
- Use hot water to rinse the skillet
- Take a non-abrasive pad or sponge and use it to scrub one more time around the skillet using some soap.
- Place some hot water in the skillet to get rid of any remaining soap residue
How to Season a Cast Iron Pan
How long the cast iron grill pan or skillet will last in any kitchen is determined by what its owner does after the cleaning exercise.
When proper care is accorded to the grill pan in between its uses, it can last for generations to come.
Having used any of the cleaning methods described above, you will need to eliminate any water remaining on it in readiness for the re-seasoning process.
Before seasoning cast iron, remember it is highly susceptible to rust.
This calls for you to dry it completely before storing it. When done cleaning, place it in an oven or on top of your stove and dry it at a temperature of between 450°F to 500°F.
confirm all the water has evaporated and then use a paper towel to rub a neutral oil around the pan.
Ensure the paper towel gets its handle, bottom, sides, and surface. When done with the rubbing, use another paper towel to get rid of any excess oil. Leave it on the stovetop until it has started smoking.
For homeowners using an oven, you should leave it inside the oven for at least one hour. Give it ample time to cool down before removing it.
Tips for Taking Care of Your Cast Iron Grill Pan
As a proud grill pan owner, the method you choose to use when cleaning the grill will probably be determined by your preferred cleaning techniques. But no matter which method you settle for, you still want to ensure the pan gets to last for a few more years.
You can extend its lifespan by implementing the following tips:
- When using an oven to re-season the grill pan, make sure to place it in an upside-down manner. Also, ensure to spread a foil beneath the skillet. This will allow any remaining excess oil to slowly drip off.
- During the process of re-seasoning, you will need to leave the oven to become as hot as possible. By doing this, you are making sure the oil will get to surpass its smoking point. It will then start to break down allowing it to begin bonding with your cast iron leaving.
- Don’t allow the pan to come into contact with any cold water. You can prevent warping by using hot water to clean it, or by first allowing it to cool down to your touch.
If the cast iron has a lid, take care not to store it with its lid. Doing so is likely to trap moisture in the space between the pan and the lid which will result in rusting.
Each person will have a preferred technique for use in cleaning the cast iron pan. The method chosen may be based on efficiency, access to supplies, or ease of cleaning.
Regardless of the method you choose, it’s important to remain diligent and consistent with the after-cooking care processes. Grill pans get better with time, more so when care is taken to properly preserve them.
Best Grill Pans FAQs
How Do I Season A Cast Iron Pan?Many people are intimidated by seasoning, but it’s really simple. Preheat your oven to about 400 degrees. Using your fingers, spread a light coating of vegetable oil on all the iron surfaces of the pan. Then place the pan in the oven for an hour. Turn the oven off and allow it to cool. Season your pan as soon as you get it and whenever you notice food starting to stick.
Do Grill Pans Work On Induction Cooktops?For a pan to work on an induction cooktop, its bottom has to be some kind of ferrous material, like iron or steel. It doesn’t really matter what the rest of the pan is made of, as long as the part that sits on the range is ferrous. That means aluminum pans can work if they have a stainless bottom. But watch out for enamel. Enamel is not conductive, so even a solid cast iron pan with an enameled bottom may not work on an induction cooktop.
Are Grill Pans Oven-Safe?Most of them are. The maximum safe temperature is determined by what the pan is made of and how the metal was processed. Always look at the specs to see if the pan is oven-safe and what the max temp is.
How Do I Clean A Grill Pan?The best way to clean any grill pan is by handwashing. And that’s the only way to clean a cast-iron pan that’s been seasoned. If you run a seasoned pan through your dishwasher, you may end up washing the oil out of the microscopic crevices of the pan. That will make re-seasoning necessary. Dishwashers are, however, gentle enough to clean pans with a non-stick coating, like Teflon, ceramic, or porcelain.
Time To Make The Choice
Well, there you have it. Now you know how to choose the best grill pan for your particular needs. The Lodge Cast Iron 10-½” grill pan is probably your choice if you just need an all-around good pan at a great price.
The Vremi pan is probably in your sights if you want the extra cooking area that a square pan offers. And that cool TeChef one will likely be in your kitchen soon if you prefer a Korean grill pan.
Or maybe you went with one of our other top picks. Whatever the case, go ahead and get it today. Every day you wait is another day you miss out on that awesome flavor that only a grill pan can infuse into your cuisine.