The 5 Best Grill Pans For Outdoor Grill of 2024 , And Cookware

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Grill pans allow you to achieve delicious char and grill marks on meats, vegetables, and other foods—no outdoor grill required. With the right grill pan, you can enjoy the fun and flavors of grilling year-round, right from your stovetop.

We tested some of the top-rated grill pans over 40+ hours of cooking to determine the best ones for performance, ease of use, durability, and value. After grilling everything from steaks to salmon to veggies, we found the Lodge Cast Iron Square Grill Pan to be the best grill pans for outdoor grill overall for its superior heat retention, timeless cast iron construction, and affordable price.

Why Use a Grill Pan?

Best Grill Pans For Outdoor Grill

Grill pans provide a convenient way to get grill-like results indoors. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Indoor grilling anytime: Use a grill pan year-round regardless of weather. No need to fire up the outdoor grill.
  • Delicious grill marks and char: Get those appetizing sear marks and smoky flavors on meats, veggies, fruits, and more.
  • Cook smaller, delicate foods: Excellent for cooking items that would fall through outdoor grill grates like sliced veggies, kebabs, shrimp, fish fillets.
  • More control over cooking: Grill pans allow you to control timing and temperatures for perfectly done food.
  • Less mess: Contains mess inside the pan instead of on your outdoor grill or surfaces.
  • Increased flavor: The ridges sear in savory grill flavors you can’t get from a flat pan.

So whether you live in an apartment, want to grill day or night, or need to cook more delicate foods, a grill pan opens up opportunities for indoor grilling. You can also check out “best frying pans for electric stove” and “best frying pans for gas stove” too if you’re interested in.

How We Tested

Best Grill Pans For Outdoor Grill

We tested over 15 of the most popular grill pans to determine the very best ones for performance, durability, ease of use, and value.

The pans we tested included:

  • Cast iron: Both uncoated and enameled cast iron in square and round pans.
  • Other materials: Carbon steel, hard anodized aluminum.
  • Sizes: Standard 10-12 inch pans to match most stove burners.
  • Shapes: Mostly square with a few round pans.

We grilled a variety of foods over 40+ hours of testing:

  • Proteins: Beef steaks, burgers, chicken breasts, fish fillets
  • Veggies: Zucchini, squash, eggplant, asparagus
  • Fruits: Pineapple, peaches
  • Cheese sandwiches
  • Kebabs

We evaluated criteria like:

  • Heating consistency: How evenly does the pan distribute heat? No cold or hot spots.
  • Performance: How well does it sear, caramelize, grill mark, and cook food?
  • Ease of handling: Weight, balance, grip, and maneuverability.
  • Durability: Build quality, heat resistance.
  • Cleanup: How easy is it to clean after cooking?
  • Value: Quality and performance compared to the price.

After extensive testing, we narrowed down the top options to recommend in this grill pan review.

The 5 Best Grill Pans For Outdoor Grill

Best Grill Pans For Outdoor Grill

Based on performance, features, ease of use, durability, and value, these are the best grill pans for indoor grilling:

1. Lodge Cast Iron Square Grill Pan – Best Overall

Key Features:

  • Cast iron construction
  • 10.5 x 10.5 inch square pan
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Ribbed bottom with 0.25 inch raised ridges
  • Loop handle

This Lodge cast iron grill pan excelled at creating delicious sear marks and caramelization on everything we cooked. The thick, pre-seasoned cast iron heats evenly and retains heat very well to deliver that classic char and smoky flavor.

The pan is affordably priced and should last decades with proper care. Cast iron only gets better with age! We love the grill pan’s simple yet functional design with its ridged cooking surface and loop handle.


  • Excellent heat retention and distribution
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Durable cast iron build
  • Good value for performance


  • Heavy for some users
  • Needs seasoning maintenance
Check Price Here

As the top performer in our testing, this Lodge cast iron grill pan earns our recommendation as the best grill pan overall. The superior cooking experience and reasonable price make this a grill pan you’ll reach for again and again.

2. Le Creuset Signature Square Skillet Grill – Runner-Up

Key Features:

  • Enameled cast iron
  • 9.5 x 9.5 inch square pan
  • Black enamel interior, colored exterior
  • Ridged cooking surface
  • helper handle

This enamel coated cast iron grill pan from premium brand Le Creuset performed nearly as well as our top pick. It heats evenly and maintains temperature to deliver beautiful grill marks and caramelization.

The ridged cooking surface provides an ideal grilling surface while the protective enamel interior resists staining and dulling. It’s easy to clean by hand or dishwasher.


  • Superior heat retention
  • Easy to clean
  • Attractive design and colors
  • Helper handle for control


  • Very heavy
  • Expensive
Check Price Here

While pricier than our top Lodge pick, this Le Creuset pan is a worthy runner-up option that will last a lifetime if properly cared for. The premium design and performance make this a special grill pan.

3. Victoria Cast Iron Grill Pan – Best for Handles

Key Features:

  • Cast iron
  • 10 inch round pan
  • Ridged cooking surface
  • Dual handle design

This round cast iron grill pan from Victoria stood out for its dual handle design. The helper handle provides extra control and stability when moving the pan.

While lighter weight than some pans, it still seared well. The raised ridges delivered nice grill marks. Overall an affordable and functional grill pan.


  • Lightweight for a cast iron pan
  • Two handles for control
  • Heats quickly
  • Good value


  • Less durable than heavier cast iron
  • Smaller cooking surface
Check Price Here

For its innovative dual handle design and budget-friendly price, this Victoria grill pan earns a spot as one of the best grill pans for indoor cooking.

4. Lodge Reversible Grill/Griddle – Best 2-in-1

Key Features:

  • Cast iron
  • Reversible grill and flat griddle surfaces
  • 10.5 x 20 inch rectangular pan
  • Pre-seasoned
  • Handle with hole for hanging

This 2-in-1 grill and griddle pan from Lodge allows you to grill on one side and griddle or pan fry on the other.

The cast iron construction ensures even, high heat cooking. We found both sides of the pan to heat evenly and hold temperature very well.


  • Versatile 2-in-1 design
  • Large cooking surface
  • Excellent heat retention
  • Pre-seasoned


  • Heavy and bulky
  • Only one grill side
Check Price Here

For its versatility and quality construction, this reversible grill and griddle pan is one of the best grill pans for those wanting flexibility in their indoor cooking.

5. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Grill Pan – Best Budget

Key Features:

  • Enameled cast iron
  • 9.5 inch square pan
  • Ridged cooking surface
  • Helper handle

This affordably priced enameled cast iron grill pan from Cuisinart impressed us with its performance for the price.

It heats evenly and maintains temperature well, allowing meats and veggies to sear nicely. The cooking ridges leave appetizing grill marks.


  • Budget-friendly price
  • Even heating
  • Easy to clean
  • Helper handle for control


  • Prone to chipping over time
  • Enamel can discolor
Check Price Here

While not as durable as the premium picks, this Cuisinart grill pan proves you don’t have to spend a lot to start enjoying indoor grilling. The price coupled with

Key Considerations for Choosing a Grill Pan

Best Grill Pans For Outdoor Grill

Here are some important factors to consider when shopping for the best grill pan for your needs:


We highly recommend cast iron or carbon steel grill pans. Cast iron provides excellent heat retention and distribution for superior searing. Carbon steel is lighter but still durable and conducts heat well. Avoid aluminum or stainless steel pans which won’t get hot enough for proper grilling.

Size & Shape

The grill pan should fit comfortably over the burner on your stovetop. Standard sizes are 10-12 inches across. Square and round shapes work equally well – choose based on your preferences. Square casts iron pans are more common.

Ridge Height

Higher ridges—at least .25 inches tall—are best for creating prominent grill marks on meats and veggies. Deeper ridges also prevent small foods from sitting in grease at pan’s bottom.

Weight & Handles

Heavier cast iron pans retain heat best, but can be heavy to maneuver. Helper handles provide extra control. Lighter non-cast iron pans typically won’t retain heat as well.


Bare cast iron needs periodic re-seasoning. An enamel coating makes cast iron pans nonstick and easy to clean but the enamel can chip over time.

How to Use a Grill Pan

Best Grill Pans For Outdoor Grill

Follow these tips to use your grill pan safely and effectively:

  • Season – Season cast iron grill pans by rubbing with oil and heating in a 450°F oven to seal. This prevents rusting and sticking. Re-season periodically.
  • Preheat – Preheat your grill pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes before adding oil or food. This allows the pan to fully heat.
  • Oil – Use a heat-safe oil like avocado, grapeseed, or peanut oil to lightly coat the pan’s ridges before adding food. Re-coat between batches.
  • Cook times – Cook foods at least 2-3 minutes per side to get grill marks. Flip only once mid-way. Meat and veggies usually take 6-12 minutes total depending on thickness and doneness.
  • Lid off – Leave the lid off to get the char and caramelization you want from grill cooking. Close temporarily to melt cheese or finish cooking thicker foods if needed.
  • Test doneness – Use a meat thermometer or toothpick test for doneness. Cut to check internals are cooked through.
  • Let rest – Once grilled food is done, transfer it to a plate and let rest 5 minutes before serving.
  • Clean – For cast iron, scrape debris from the pan using a metal spatula while the pan is still warm. Rinse, dry immediately, then rub with a thin oil coating.

Following these tips will help you safely grill a variety of delicious foods using your grill pan!

Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of food can you cook in a grill pan?

You can cook almost anything in a grill pan that you would grill outdoors, including meats, seafood, vegetables, fruits, sandwiches, and more. Grill pans are great for foods that would fall through outdoor grill grates like chopped veggies, sliced fruits, or fish fillets.

What is the best fat or oil to use for grill pans?

Opt for a high smoke point oil like avocado, grapeseed, peanut, or refined coconut oil. Olive oil can also work. Butter and low smoke point oils may burn. Lightly brush oil on the grill ridges.

Is it safe to use grill pans on a glass stovetop?

Yes, grill pans are safe for glass/ceramic cooktops if you follow some precautions. Avoid sliding the pan which can scratch the glass. Only use on medium heat or below. Make sure pan bottom and cooktop are clean before heating.

Should grill pans be washed by hand or dishwasher?

For cast iron, wash by hand. Dishwasher detergent can ruin seasoning. Rinse under hot water, dry immediately, then rub with oil. Enameled cast iron can be washed in the dishwasher but may discolor over time.

How do you store grill pans?

Store cast iron pans in a dry place. Avoid hanging as moisture can rust rings. For enameled cast iron, avoid chipping the enamel—store with padding underneath.

The Takeaway

A quality grill pan opens up grilling possibilities indoors, delivering delicious char and grill marks without an outdoor grill. The deeply ridged cooking surface sears flavor right into meats, veggies and more.

We recommend the Lodge Cast Iron Square Grill Pan as the best overall for its superior heat retention, timeless cast iron build, and budget-friendly price. For a premium option, choose the Le Creuset Signature Grill Pan.

Follow our tips on how to season, preheat, cook, and care for cast iron grill pans. With the right pan, you can enjoy grilled food all year round!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Leave a Comment