Why buy a grill press?
Have you ever been grilling (or frying in a pan) burgers, but you have to keep flattening them with a utensil, so they stay flat instead of rounded? A burger with a flat surface is much easier to pile on toppings, right? Or have you ever tried to cook a panini without a panini press? It can be tricky, and you could lose some valuable ingredients if you try a makeshift method. A grill press not only provides a small amount of weight to compress your food, but it also helps create an even sear on both sides of your meat and shortens your cooking time.
What should you consider when purchasing a grill press?
- Weight: Most grill presses weigh 1.5 to 2.5 pounds. You want a weight that will flatten what you’re cooking but not squash it. A grill press for thick cuts of meat needs to be heavier; more delicate foods require less weight. Presses that are less than a pound may not give you the desired results.
- Size and Shape: Whatever is not under the grill press will not be seared, so make sure you choose a press with a size and shape that will completely cover what you’re cooking.
- Material: You want a grill press made from a material that will heat evenly. Cast iron grill presses have the weight and the conduction, but they need extra care to prevent rusting. Stainless steel will not heat as much as cast iron, but they’re easier to care for.
- Handle: A grill press should have a solid, sturdy handle at a height that leaves enough room for you to grab it safely. If it’s made of a material that will heat up, don’t forget your oven mitt or a thick towel.
Are there any pro tips for using the grill press like a grill master?
If you’re starting with a grill press, there are a few tips for getting the best results. Preheat your grill press on your grill, in your skillet, or on your griddle to sear both sides simultaneously. Remember that the grill press will shorten your cooking time. The grill press doesn’t have to be on your food the entire time you cook. Once you have the sear you want, you can take it off. Don’t crowd food under your grill press. If you do, you may end up steaming it. If you keep these basic rules in mind, using a grill press is a very simple way to achieve an excellent taste and appealing presentation.
Cuisinart CGPR-221 Cast Iron Grill Press
A trusted cookware brand and a straightforward design are everything you need in a grill press without any frill.
Pros: Constructed of solid cast iron, this grill press weighs 2.8 pounds to press your meat, burger, or panini effectively. A wooden handle allows for a comfortable grip and you to touch the press’s handle without an oven mitt. Grill markings add the quintessential look to your meal, perfect for social media sharing.
Cons: Before use, season the grill press for the best results. It is larger than most skillets indoors, meaning it can be difficult or impossible to use on most skillets effectively.
Bottom Line: Once you know if this press will fit, you can enjoy its cooking benefits indoors or outdoors. Whether using a pan on the stovetop or the grill, the wooden handle remains warm and comfortable to hold.
Bellemain Cast Iron Grill Press
Make bacon like never before with this bacon grill press.
Pros: This solid cast iron press weighs three pounds and is specifically designed to make bacon even better. Never again will you have to burn pieces of your bacon to cook the whole slice evenly. This press can help your bacon get an even cook, so it’s perfectly crunchy in every bite. The wooden handle creates a comfortable and heat-resistant grip, so you don’t have to keep an oven mitt handy, while classic grill marks add an extra-delicious aesthetic and flavor. The 8.75-inch diameter fits within most pans for even cooking indoors or outside on the grill.
Cons: Before use, season the grill press for the best results.
Bottom Line: A bacon press is a simple solution to cook your bacon evenly, and this one is a great pick to do the job. This may be your new go-to for cooking breakfast at three pounds and a diameter that fits most skillets.
Lodge L8RFIP Eight-Inch Seasoned Cast Iron Grill Press
This versatile press comes already seasoned and ready to take any grilled meal to the next level.
Pros: Made of 100% cast iron, this flat round grill press is already seasoned, meaning you have one less thing to do before you can start enjoying a toasty grilled cheese, perfectly crisp bacon, or any other delicious meal. It weighs just under 3.5 pounds so this heavier press will be effective even with larger pieces of meat.
Cons: The handle is cast iron, without any covering, so you will have to use a hot pad or mitt. The underside is flat, which doesn’t affect performance, but if you’re looking for grill marks, this one doesn’t have them.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a versatile press perfect for proteins or pressed sandwiches, this is a solid cast iron choice. When you unbox this flat grill press, it’s already seasoned and ready to be put to use.
HULISEN Stainless-Steel Burger Press
Create a thin crispy burger without having to get a mess on your hands.
Pros: If you enjoy making burger patties at home, this burger press can be an excellent grilling accessory. Instead of having to form an even patty with your finger ideally, place your ball of meat on the grill or pan and smash with this stainless steel press. It will create an even burger that will taste delicious. The press is 6.2 inches to create the perfect burger, depending on your bun size. It’s made of stainless steel and has a nonstick surface for easy grilling and easier clean-up. It is also dishwasher-safe.
Cons: This press is less than one pound, meaning it won’t work well as a grill press for other meats like bacon.
Bottom Line: While it doesn’t make a good grill press for steaks or other meats since it is lightweight, as a burger press, the pressure comes from you to control what size and thickness you desire for your burger. It will help you create a burger that cooks evenly and has a nice sear.
Charcoal Companion CC5159 Cast Iron Grill Marks Press
Add beautiful grill marks to your meat no matter where you cook it with this grill press.
Pros: This grill press weighs just under three pounds to add the right amount of weight to your grilling meats. While creating a good sear and even cook, this grill press has a diamond pattern to give you the sought-after markings of a perfectly grilled entree. When you preheat this solid cast iron press, you’ll also be able to shorten the cooking time.
Cons: The diamond shapes need extra attention for cleaning out food and seasoning. The press handle gets hot, so you’ll have to have a mitt ready to use.
Bottom Line: Achieve the perfectly grilled protein with beautiful grill marks with this cast iron grill press. Enjoy your cookout bounty quicker, too, thanks to the shortened cooking time when you use a preheated press.
These grill presses can help you cook a more delicious meal on the grill or in a pan. An even cook with a good sear will keep your meat juicy and even shorten the cooking time. Consider these options, and you might look for a reason to use your new grill press for every meal.