Best Cast Iron Grill Pans – 2020 Buyer’s Guide

Despite great advances in cooking industries and various new inventions of cooking vessels, cast iron grill pan always stay on the top of every chef’s list. And they are a big hit for decades surely for their unbeatable reasons. These pans retain high temperature across the surface and can sustain through traditions if handled with care.

This article will not only help you choose the best grill pan for you but will also help you learn a trick or two for their maintenance. 

Comparison Chart of the Best Cast Iron Grill Pans

PRODUCTDETAILS
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Backcountry Cast Iron 12"

  • Made of company’s finest virgin ore
  • Comes pre-seasoned with the company's blend of food-grade oil
  • Grills surface is ribbed
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Cast Iron Square Grill Pan

  • Grill pan comes pre-seasoned from the factory
  • The surface of the pan is ribbed
  • Comes with a silicone handle grip
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9-1/4-Inch Square Grill Pan

  • Best for the money
  • Interior and exterior of the pan are porcelain enameled
  • Available in three different colors
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Lodge L8GP3 Cast Iron Grill Pan

  • The round grilling pan is 10.25 inches thick
  • Has a black patina of vegetable oil
  • Deep-ridges on the surface of the pan
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Perks of Getting a New Cast Iron Grill Pan

Many benefits come with buying a cast iron grill pan. Some of them include:

Healthier Option

While many pans are coated with various chemicals to make them non-stick which are harmful when they vaporize, cast iron pans are pre-seasoned with safe oils. Also, the added benefit of iron nutrients gets absorbed in your food, helping you overcome any deficiencies 

Lodge L8GP3 Cast Iron Grill Pan

Indoor Cooking

A cast iron grill pan yields the same results as an outdoor grill would. It lets you cook delicious meals in the comfort of home. Most pans come with ridges that add perfect brown grill marks on your food.

Time-Efficient

These pans usually have a relatively larger surface area, which allows you to cook one big meal at a time. You can grill your steak on one side and cook your vegetables on the other side, and when both are done, you can make a sauce of the remaining juices and grease.

What Should I Look For When Buying a Cast Iron Grill Pan?

Before you go ahead and pick the first cast iron grill pan you come across, make sure to look for the following:

Constructional Material

The material used in manufacturing the pan greatly affects its longevity and performance. Materials like top-quality iron-ores give the pan a solid structure as well as excellent heat retention.

Ridges

You need little or no oil when grilling your food. Deep ridges keep the excess oils at the bottom while creating beautiful sear marks on the food.

Size

It is very important to select the right size for your pan. You need a pan of size-range of 10 inches or more if you mostly cook for a large number of people. Also, a square pan of the same size as a round pan will give you more cooking area.

Handle

Most grill pans are made of cast iron, which is quite heavy; hence it is very important to have sturdy handles for safely moving the pans around. The handles should be firmly fixed and made of good quality. They should also be long and wide, and an additional handle or a knob would make the situation ideal.

Extra Features

Some pans come with additional features that help buyers make the final decision. Pans can come with features like dishwasher safe or oven safe, while some come with a separate glass lid, protective mitten for handles, or scraper for cleaning up. 

Willy's Top Picks - Best Cast Iron Grill Pans

Review of the Best Cast Iron Grill Pans

Here, we have compiled an entire overview of the top-notch cast-iron grill pans available in the market, so you do not have to research from scratch.

Pros

  • Comes with a nylon-based protective mitt
  • Can be used on all kinds of cooking surfaces
  • It has two handles which make it easy to carry
  • The surface of the pan is composed of iron micro-globules
  • It has the finest heat retention which ensures even heat distribution

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Handles heat up easily
  • Cleaning-up is time-consuming

​What Recent Buyers Report

The buyers are very content with their purchase. They say that the pan gets very hot very quickly, which helps them give their steaks the perfect sear, and the ridges on the pan give the steak the perfect grill marks. The pan is quite sturdy and roomy, which saves a lot of time since they can cook more in a short time.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This grill pan is 12 inches wide and square-shaped, which gives ample space to cook big pieces of meat at a time. The surface of the pan comes pre-seasoned with the company's topnotch oil mix, which gives it the non-stick feature. The surface is composed of iron micro globules, which ensures the seasoning on the pan sticks easily and quickly.

Who Will Use This Most

People who like cooking outdoors would surely prefer this pan since it works on all kinds of cooking surfaces, including grills and fire-pits. Those who are health conscious would also enjoy this pan a great deal because the ridges on it and the nonstick surface allow you to use less oil.

Bottom Line

We highly recommend this grill pan since it feels solid, heats up very quickly, and ensures even heat retention throughout. It offers all the basic features of a grill pan at a reasonable price. Cleaning up and maintenance does take a little effort and time, but with all the other qualities, it is worth it.

Pros

  • Safe to use on all kinds of cooking surfaces
  • Premium-quality cast iron promotes longevity
  • The smooth finish ensures even heat distribution
  • Provided with a tempered glass lid to avoid splashes
  • Comes with a free pan scraper which aids in cleaning

Cons

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Slightly rough at edges and surface
  • If not maintained well, the surface can get rusty

What Recent Buyers Report

The buyers are very pleased with their purchase. The pan heats up quite quickly without any hotspots. Many buyers especially chose this pan for its glass lid, which fits well and avoids any splashes while cooking. The surface comes pebbled, which does not hinder the cooking process, but it gets smooth with every wash.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This grilling pan by Cuisinel is made of heavy-duty cast iron, which ensures service for many years. The surface has ridges and drainage depressions, which get rid of unwanted oils and gives the meat perfect grill marks. Additionally, the pan comes with a tempered glass lid, which fits perfectly, can be used inside on oven, and allows the cook to monitor his food.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are new to cooking with grill pans will prefer this one. It comes with a lid that protects the cook from any spills or splatters the hot oils and gravy may cause while cooking. Also, people who love to cook various ways would like this pan since they can sear, sauté, fry, grill, and even cook sauces with this pan.

Bottom Line

This pan offers more features and supplementary accessories than other pans of the same price range. The silicone sleeve ensures a safe grip while handling the pan, and the scraper ensures quick and easy clean-up afterward. In all, it ensures your safety and comfort while offering you superior quality cast iron grill pan.

Best for the Money:
9-1/4-Inch Square Grill Pan

Pros

  • Available at affordable price
  • Ridges on surfaces make perfect grill marks
  • Offers easy clean-up since it’s dishwasher safe
  • Porcelain-coated interior does not absorb odors
  • Solid cast iron construction ensures heat retention
  • Comes with a long and wide handle and an oven-safe knob for easy grip

Cons

  • Does not come with a lid
  • Paint chips off very easily
  • Can get rusty if not taken care of

What Recent Buyers Report

People find this grill pan very convenient for their everyday use as well as occasional fancy dinners. It is quite user-friendly with its long wide handle and oven-proof knob, which makes it easy to carry. They report that the pan gets hot very quickly, retains heat for longer, and gives them the perfect grill marks. Lastly, they greatly appreciate that it is oven and dishwasher friendly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Cuisinart holds a well-known reputation for manufacturing good quality enamel coated cooking vessels. The porcelain coating of this grill pan makes the surface almost non-stick and also does not absorb any odor. Inside is a heavy-duty cast iron body that retains heat and gives it a solid structure. Also, the pan comes with three versatile colors and can be used as a serving after cooking the food.

Who Will Use This Most

This grill pan is every home cook's dream. It allows you to experiment with various cooking methods, including grilling, braising, grilling, frying, etc. People who love to cookout will also appreciate it since it works with all cooking surfaces. It’s ideal for those who do not prefer hand washing cooking utensils since it can be easily washed in a dishwasher.

Bottom Line

If you want to enliven your old-school iron grill pan without having to compromise on quality, then this product is the way to go. This pan comes with three versatile colors that compliment your modern kitchen, and the porcelain-coated iron cast iron helps you sear your meat to perfection. No other grill pan on the market offers all of it at such a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Surface comes very well-seasoned with vegetable oil
  • Superior quality cast-iron creates excellent heat retention
  • Ridges keep food away from the grease that stays at the bottom
  • Handle is made of same heavy-duty material with a hanging notch
  • Unwanted grease can be disposed from either of two pouring lips

Cons

  • Not dishwash safe
  • Slightly on the heavier side
  • Requires high maintenance cleaning

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyers claim that this pan gives results equivalent to the outdoor grills. They prefer the simplicity and affordability it offers over other fancy ones available. The buyers find the size of the pan to be perfect since they can use any lid of 10.25 to cover it, including its very own iron lid. In all, they are quite content with this affordable product, which gives them tasty and healthy meals.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This grill pan from the lodge is made of top-notch cast iron, which makes it almost indestructible and maintains heat retention all through the pan, from the bottom to the sidewalls. It has a black patina that comes pre-seasoned at the factory and goes through several processes to lock it in. Also, it has a sturdy, long handle for easy grip and two lips on the brim to pour out excess grease.

Who Will Use This Most

People who are conscious of their diets and weight watchers will greatly appreciate this pan. The deep ridges create the perfect sear marks and keep the excess grease at the bottom. Also, the surface isn't coated with any other chemicals which ensure the absorption of iron nutrients into your food, making your meals healthiest possible.

Bottom Line

The price of this rugged pan is as cheap as it gets without compromising on quality. This will yield you many healthy meals and last you for generations. Overall, it is a great cast iron pan you can opt for grilling.

Pros

  • Pan works on many cooking surfaces
  • Has two large loop handles to carry it with ease
  • Surface has ridges which help get the perfect grill marks
  • Heavy-duty iron body ensures excellent heat conduction
  • Comes with grease drain spout to get rid of excess oils and moisture

Cons

  • Handles get very hot to touch,
  • If not taken proper care, the pan can rust easily
  • Clean-up process takes time since it cannot be soaked

​What Recent Buyers Report

Firstly buyers greatly appreciate the comprehensive guide for maintenance that comes along with the pan. They say that the instructions are easy to follow and have helped them sustain the pan. The pan gets hot very quickly and conducts even heat throughout the surface, which helps them cook quicker.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This pan comes with more features than others available on the market at such an affordable price. It provides ample space for cooking. The heavy-duty iron body conducts the heat quite well without any hot spots. The ridges keep excess grease away from the food, which can later easily be disposed of through the grease drain spout.

Who Will Use This Most

Beginners looking for an affordable grill pan to start with their cooking adventures will highly cherish this product. Also, people with bigger families' will find cooking in this pan to be quite a time-saving task. The ridges on the pan keep excess grease stay below the cooking food, and the drainage spout helps get rid of it. People conscious of how much grease their food has would quite appreciate this feature too.

Bottom Line

This is a good heavy-duty grilling pan that gets better with time. It is usable in all kitchens for all types of cooking techniques. It ticks all the qualities of grill pans and surpasses some high-end cast iron pan available.

What Do I Need To Know Before Buying?

Despite knowing all the features of a good grill pan and reading reviews of the best ones on the internet, you can still end up with a cast iron grill pan you do not like. To avoid that from happening, you first need to know what features you would prefer when buying one for yourself. Here are some questions you need to ask yourself before buying your new pan:

Does the Size Matter?

The size of the pan is usually determined by the number of people you are cooking for. These pans usually come in sizes bigger than normal, but you need to be sure of the size. A size too big may be inconvenient for some people and can cause storage problems.

How Much Would You Like to Spend?

Attaining the luxury of perfect grill marks on your average steaks is not very difficult since companies we have mentioned earlier came up with the best quality pans at reasonable prices, but there are many high-end brands that cost a lot. You need to plan out what features you need in your grill pan and then wisely invest in the ideal product. 

Is the Warranty Important?

Yes, indeed, the warranty is quite important. Firstly, it indicates that the product is quite stable and is constructed with solid materials; hence the company guarantees the purchaser. Secondly, it is very important for one's peace of mind, proving that if the product breaks or tears, you are covered for a refund or replacement.

Conclusion

Cast-iron pans sear your steaks to perfection and imitate an outdoor experience in the comfort of your home. A well-performing cast iron pan, if maintained well, can last you for eternity. We have picked out the best grill pans at the most affordable price ranges to make your grilling experience better than before.

People Also Ask

Even with all the information present on the internet, some people still have some questions unanswered. To help them, we have answered some questions to make it easier for the readers to comprehend.

How Do You Use a Cast Iron Grill Pan?

A cast iron grill pan gives the best results if used the right way. Firstly, preheat your pan on medium-high heat, this can take 5-20 minutes depending on your stovetop. Then cut your food in relatively thin pieces, coat your food or then pan lightly with oil. Place the food on the pan and lightly cover it. This will add grill marks on your food. Rotate your food if needed, and keep a check on the temperature. The food will not take long to cook and will cook perfectly on all sides.

How Often Do You Season Cast Iron Pans?

Seasoning your pan is crucial for maintaining the quality. If you notice your pans are not shiny upon cleaning, or the food sticks when cooking even with plentiful oil and the pan has lost its shine with dull spots, then is the time to re-season your pans. Re-seasoning with one or two layers of flax oil and baking is more than enough.