The Best Grill Pans, According to Our Test Kitchen
Grilling is an easy and delicious way to impart flavor and texture into any dish. However, if you don't have the space for an outdoor grill (or you just don't want to fire it up), you can still achieve similar results with a grill pan. To help you find the perfect pan to fit your needs, check out our picks for the best grill pans.
Things to Consider When Buying a Grill Pan
Grill Pan Material
There are two main types of material for grill pans: cast iron and nonstick. Depending on your needs, both materials are great options. A cast-iron grill pan is often heavier than a nonstick pan and requires more attention during cleaning and maintaining. Most grill pans are oven-safe, but the maximum temperature allowed can vary, so that's something to be mindful of when buying a pan. Another thing to consider is if the grill pan is compatible with metal utensils, which can sometimes scrape the surface of the pan and damage the coating.
Grill Pan Shape
In addition to the material of the pan, you'll also want to consider the shape. Most grill pans are square or circular, and the shape will impact the amount of room for food in the pan. You'll also want to make sure the shape is compatible with your stove's burners and confirm that they can evenly heat the surface of the pan.
Best Grill Pans
This is our list of the best grill pans to make it easier for you to pick one. We tested each pan by grilling boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Read on for details on what makes these grill pans the best, as well as the pans that deserve an honorable mention.
Best Cast-Iron Grill Pan
Le Creuset Signature Square Skillet Grill
Le Creuset is known for their gorgeous cast-iron products, and their enameled grill pan is no exception (read why their cast-iron skillet just took the top spot in our guide). Compared to the other cast-iron grill pans, the Le Creuset version produced the chicken with the best coloring and grill marks. Aside from the nice results, the Le Creuset has other features that make it stand out as the best cast-iron grill pan, including two pour spouts and two wide and long handles that make moving the heavy pan easy. Plus, the oven-safe grill pan can be cleaned in the dishwasher (although we recommend hand-washing cast iron). With all of these helpful features, the only question you'll struggle with when buying this grill pan is, "What color do I choose?"
Buy it: Le Creuset, $195
Best Nonstick Grill Pan (Tie)
Cuisinart GreenGourmet 11-inch Nonstick Hard Anodized Grill Pan
The Cuisinart grill pan ties for the best nonstick grill pan for a few reasons. First, the chicken had the nicest browning compared to the other nonstick pans. Second, the pan is safe to use with metal utensils. Plus, the handle stays cool when cooking on the stovetop, which is a huge positive of nonstick grill pans overall (cast-iron grill pans cannot be touched when cooking). Finally, the Cuisinart grill pan is also oven-safe up to 500℉, so you can easily sear something in the pan before finishing it in the oven. Although you need to hand-wash this pan, it's a minor concession for all of the other amazing features.
Buy it: Target, $50
Calphalon Premier Nonstick 11-inch Grill Pan
Similar to the Cuisinart, the Calphalon grill pan is a solid performer in every category (plus it's slightly more affordable). While the chicken in the Cuisinart had the nicest browning, the Calphalon produced the best grill marks thanks to the ridges in the pan. This grill pan is also safe to use with metal utensils and the handle stays cool on the stovetop. The two major differences between the pans lie in temperature and cleaning. The Calphalon grill pan is only oven-safe up to 450℉, but it is dishwasher-safe. Depending on your priorities, either nonstick grill pan is a great choice.
Buy it: Williams Sonoma, $43
Best Budget-Friendly Grill Pan, Cast Iron
Lodge 10.5-inch Cast-Iron Square Grill Pan
If you're looking for an affordable and functional pan, Lodge is a great choice (read why we love their 2-in-1 grill and griddle). This cast-iron grill pan arrives preseasoned, so you don't have to worry about building up a layer of seasoning before cooking. Thanks to the wide ridges in the pan, the chicken had clear and even grill marks across its entire surface. While the oven-safe grill pan needs to be hand-washed, Lodge has a handy grill scraper that makes it easy to clean and maneuver around the lines of the pan.
Buy the pan: Target, $25
Buy the pan scrapers: Amazon, $5 for a pack of two
You might also consider:
Cuisinel Cast-Iron Grill Pan
Similar to the Lodge pan, the Cuisinel grill pan is a budget-friendly option that any home cook would be happy with. The preseasoned grill pan has deep sides and two handy pour spouts. In addition to those useful features, the 10.5-inch grill pan also comes with a silicone pan holder, which makes it safe to touch the handle while cooking on the stovetop (although we found the holder heated up quickly, so we would still recommend using an oven mitt). The grill pan also comes with a pan scraper to make cleaning easier. With the Cuisinel grill pan, you'll have everything you need for cooking and cleaning.
Buy it: Amazon, $29
Best Budget-Friendly Grill Pan, Nonstick
Anolon Advanced Hard Anodized Nonstick Square Grill with Pour Spout
If you prefer a nonstick grill pan, the Anolon version has everything you need at a budget-friendly price. With two handy pour spouts, the 11-inch grill pan is light and easy to use. The chicken had clearly defined grill marks and was golden brown across the entire surface. The grill pan is oven-safe up to 400°F, can be used with metal utensils and features a comfortable handle that won't heat up on the stovetop. Although it needs to be hand-washed, any residual oil is easily scrubbed and removed from the nonstick surface.
Buy it: Anolon, $50
You might also consider:
OXO Nonstick 11-Inch Grill Pan
The OXO grill pan is another solid option. Although the 11-inch pan doesn't feature the pour spouts of the Anolon, the grill pan produced similar results in the coloring and marking of the chicken. With the OXO grill pan, the triple-layer nonstick coating prevented the chicken from sticking and made it easy to clean when washed by hand. And like all other OXO products, the handle is designed for maximum comfort (read about why we love their ergonomic can opener).
Buy it: OXO, $50
Best Deep Grill Pan
Smithey Ironware Co No. 12 Grill Pan
The Smithey cast-iron grill pan is perfect for any grilling, searing or cooking you want to do. With a depth of 2.25 inches, there's plenty of room in the pan. If this is your first piece of cast-iron cookware, don't worry because the pan arrives preseasoned and includes helpful instructions that detail three different methods for maintaining the seasoning once you start cooking. And speaking of cooking, the chicken had even grill marks and a golden brown exterior. The grill pan would look stunning on any table and you can even have it engraved for a personal touch (read more about why we love this pan).
Buy it: Smithey Ironware Co, $220
You might also consider:
Staub Cast-Iron Grill Pan
The Staub grill pan is a great, slightly more affordable option than the Smithey. This cast-iron grill pan is 10 inches wide and 1.85 inches deep. Available in five different colors, the Staub pan produced chicken that was juicy and golden brown, although the grill marks were not very well defined. The best part about the Staub pan, though, is its versatility. You can use the grill pan on the stovetop or in the oven up to 500°F, and it's dishwasher-safe. With so many options for use, you'll easily make the most of everything this pan has to offer.
Buy it: Zwilling, $175