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. 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 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 between 1.5 and 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 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 tips on how to use 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, skillet, or 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 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 fits, 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.
Bellemain Cast-Iron Grill Press
Make bacon extra crispy and evenly cooked like never before with this bacon grill press.
Pros: This solid cast-iron press weighs 3 pounds and is 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: This grill press doesn’t come pre-seasoned, but you’ll see the best results if it’s seasoned before you use it for the first time. So you’ll have to season it yourself if you want the tastiest possible bacon or burger.
Bottom Line: A bacon press is a simple solution to cook your bacon evenly, and this one is a great choice. This may be your new go-to for cooking breakfast at three pounds and a diameter that fits most skillets.
Lodge L8RFIP 8-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. And it’s available in multiple styles, including a flatter and square-shaped model.
Cons: The handle is cast iron, without any covering, so you must 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: This is a solid cast-iron choice if you’re looking for a versatile press perfect for proteins or pressed sandwiches. When you unbox this flat grill press, it’s already seasoned and ready to use.
Victoria Rectangular Cast-Iron Meat Press with Flaxseed Oil
You won't have to worry about seasoning this cast-iron grill press since it comes well-seasoned with flaxseed oil.
Pros: Flaxseed oil is arguably the best option for seasoning a grill press due to its high smoke point and subtle taste, and this rectangular, cast-iron grill press comes pre-seasoned with it, so you don’t have to go to the hassle of seasoning it yourself. It’s heavy-duty and feels great in your hands, providing excellent pressure to keep bacon or grilled cheese flat while cooking. The wooden handle is sturdy and comfortable to hold, and the cast-iron weight presses the food evenly, ensuring even cooking. It’s equally great for the kitchen or barbecuing and is easy to clean to boot, making it a practical addition to your cooking tools.
Cons: Be careful when washing this grill press, as the cast iron can develop rust-like residue if not washed and dried properly. You’ll also want to be careful when using it, as the handle can get hot on thinner foods like bacon. Also, the sides aren’t insulated, so it’s easy to burn yourself accidentally.
Bottom Line: This rectangular cast-iron grill press is essential for anyone who enjoys grilling or cooking. Whether you’re making burgers, bacon, grilled cheese, or steaks, this press will always give you perfectly cooked food.
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 under three pounds to add the right 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.
Bottom Line: This cast-iron grill press achieves perfectly grilled protein with beautiful grill marks. 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.