Grilling on the stove or grill is a bit more complicated than it seems. The thing is, you need some quality pans or accessories to really grill just right.
We love cast iron because it always delivers fantastic results. Most cast iron pans are universal enough that you can use them on the stove, in the oven, or even on the grill.
In this article, we’ll be focusing on cast iron grill pans. These pans allow you to work with a grill-like surface even when you’re cooking on the stove.
What is the best cast iron grill pan? The very best option is really going to depend on your preferences to some extent. Generally, you’ll want to look for a durable build and something that will also be easy to use and clean. You may also want to consider purchasing a pre-seasoned pan for your convenience.
In this guide, we will share with you the 7 best cast iron grill pans. We’ve sorted through all of the options to find not only a variety of choices but also the best options out there.
We’ll provide you with complete reviews of our top picks as well as some helpful information for choosing the right pan to suit your needs.
How to Choose a Cast Iron Grill Pan
As we dive into your options here in a moment, there are some things that you just might want to keep in mind as you browse.
While your choices should certainly reflect your preferences, there are also things that you may simply want to be aware of before you buy.
Take a look through this quick buying guide just to make sure you are fully informed.
1. Overall Quality
There is a lot that goes into the quality of a cast iron pan of any kind. Ultimately, you want to know that it is solid and durable and not just going to fall apart.
Generally, cast iron is pretty indestructible, but not all pans are made equal. You could end up with a pan with cheap plastic handles that melt, loose rivets, cracked or blemished iron, etc.
Check out all of the different features individually to determine if the pan is well-made and whether it’s designed for the cooking purposes you intend to use it for.
Most cast iron cooking subjects your pan to intense heat and sometimes even open flame. Keeping this in mind, the design and material of the handles make a big difference.
You don’t want a handle that will melt or transfer heat to your hands. If you are planning to use your pan in the oven, you want it to be able to handle the heat (no pun intended).
You need a handle that you can grab easily to control or move your pan without hurting yourself. You may want to consider a long handle if you plan to use your pan on the grill or with flame of any kind.
Ultimately, you want something easy to lift and maneuver. It should be well-balanced with the pan as well, since cast iron is very heavy, which brings us to our next point.
The weight of the pan really does matter. A lot of people prefer lightweight pans, but when it comes to cast iron, the more weight the better.
Lightweight pans that are cast iron are typically not as great quality as the heavier weight cast iron pans.
Heavier cast iron pans typically offer better heat retentions as well as more even cooking. When compared to lightweight cast iron, cooking can be uneven and you are even more likely to burn food while cooking.
However, if you have trouble lifting heavier objects, a lighter-weight cast iron pan, or even a different material, may work for you. You’ll just have to keep a closer eye on your food to avoid under-cooking or burning it.
One thing that you should keep in mind is that many of these cast iron grill pans will come labeled as pre-seasoned.
While they most likely are pre-seasoned, be aware that it’s a light pre-seasoning that serves as more of a primer for your routine seasoning. This doesn’t make it any less useful, however, as it makes the initial seasoning process just a bit easier
Always make sure you season your cast iron pans, even if they are labeled as pre-seasoned. You will appreciate taking this step when it’s time to clean up.
The 7 Best Cast Iron Grill Pans Reviewed
Understanding qualities that should stand out to you is just half the battle. Now that you know what to look for in a cast iron grill pan, it’s time to take a look at the best options out there.
We searched through the choices and narrowed them down to the ones that we felt are truly the best out there.
|Backcountry Cast Iron Grill Pan
|3 sizes, cast iron handle, handle cover
|Cuisinel Cast Iron Grill Pan
|Lid, grease spouts, scraper, handle cover
|Legend Cast Iron Grill Pan
|Stovetop grill plate, dual-sided
|Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan
|Silicone handle cover, extra grip
|PR PeakRous Cast Iron Gril Pan
|Two handles, silicone grips, pour spouts
|Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Grill Pan
|Enamel finish, includes press
|ChefVentions Cast Iron Grill
|Enamel non-stick coating, two handles
Below, you will find our reviews for the top picks for the 7 best cast iron grill pans on the market. We hope you find something you’ll love here!
1. Back Country Cast Iron Grill Pan
This first option is our top pick overall. It’s sturdy and reliable.
We took a look at the medium 10″ pan, but the brand also has 8″ and a 12″ sizes available for you to choose from depending on how many hungry mouths you’re planning to feed.
The quality is consistent across the board for these pans and they come highly recommended for quality and durability.
These do come pre-seasoned and ready to use, but it won’t hurt to go ahead and season them yourself as well.
This pan has deep ribs on the surface and it’s designed with pour spouts on each side so you can easily drain grease if you need to.
The handle is about 5″ long and this pan also comes with a handle cover you can use to protect from the heat of the handle as well.
- Available in 3 different sizes
- Works with any cooking surface
- Comes with a handle cover for your comfort
- For a completely non-stick finish, you will probably want to season this yourself, even though it comes as pre-seasoned.
2. Cuisinel Cast Iron Grill Pan
This next option is unique in that it comes with a lid.
We like this simple addition to an already fantastic pan because it gives you some alternative options for use.
In addition, this cast iron grill pan also comes with a rubber handle cover as well as a scraper that makes cleaning between the ridges much easier.
The cast iron grill pan from Cuisinel can be used on pretty much any cooking surface. The heat distribution is even and reliable with this heavy, high-quality pan.
This pan does not come pre-seasoned, so make sure you season it before use. It is easy to clean, especially with the added pan scraper.
This pan is also covered by a lifetime warranty, so if anything goes wrong (which we seriously doubt), you’ll be completely covered!
- Covered by a lifetime warranty
- Includes a lid
- Side ridges for pouring or draining grease
- Comes with a scraper and a handle cover
- Even though it might say pre-seasoned, you will need to season the pan routinely.
- The grill pan is almost extra-heavy, which is a problem for people who can’t handle heavy items.
3. Legend Cast Iron Grill Pan
If you like the idea of a cast iron grill pan but you really want something larger, check out this 20-inch griddle grill pan from Legend.
This is a popular cast iron brand and a highly-rated choice as well. If you use it on the stovetop, it does take up 2 burners because of the length.
It’s a 2-in-1 option, so one side is griddle smooth and the other side is ridge lined like a grill pan should be.
These pans are designed to last a lifetime and the brand has a reputation for just that. This is solid cast iron and a pretty large piece, so it’s pretty heavy-duty.
It has solid handles on eacch end and the heat distribution is even as well. This does come pre-seasoned like a few others on this list, but it is still recommended that you season for use as well.
We like the versatility of having a double-sided pan. This is also a longer and larger pan for those who like cooking up a smorgasbord of food for friends and family.
It’s lined with a grease reservoir around the perimeter as well, so you can cook away without making a mess on your stove. You can use it on any cooking surface but it may not be ideal for induction because of the rimmed edges.
- Reputation for lifetime durability
- Heavy-duty cast iron
- Has integrated handles on each end
- Dual-sided griddle grill pan
- Lightly pre-seasoned
- Grease reservoir
- Large surface area
- Dual-sided means both sides will need to be seasoned before use.
4. Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan
Lodge is yet another well-known brand in the world of cast iron delights, and with good reason.
Their pans are known for lasting durability and quality. This 10.5-inch cast iron grill pan is heavy-duty in every sense of the word. It is well-made with a curved handle and a hand grip on the opposite side.
This also does come with a rubber handle cover that can help with heat and comfort of use. These pans offer incredible heat retention cook evenly. They come pre-seasoned and ready to use, but it is only lightly pre-seasoned.
You can use Lodge pans on anywhere from a cook fire to a stove or oven as needed. They can be used on a variety of cooking surfaces and they are easy to work with and clean.
- Even heat retention and distribution
- Comes with a silicone handle grip
- Includes a comfortable handle and a small handhold on the far side
- Simple and yet durable and effective
- Again, pre-seasoning does not mean you don’t have to keep seasoning your pan routinely.
- There is no silicone cover for the extra handhold.
5. PR PeakRous Cast Iron Grill Pan
This next pan is a bit unique. It’s a 10-inch pan with grill ridges, but rather than a long handle, it has two side handles.
The handles are cast iron but they are silicone covered so they won’t be hot to the touch.
We love that this is designed for easy handling, particularly for grill or oven usage. The sides opposite of the handles also have small spouts for draining and pouring as needed.
The pan is heavy-duty, which means heat retention is good and cooking is even. It is safe for any cooking surface up to 600°F.
This company covers their pans with a lifetime service coverage. If you have any issues, they strive to help you out and value customer satisfaction.
It is lightly pre-seasoned but will need to be fully seasoned. It’s easy to clean if you care for it properly.
- Unique double-handled design
- Silicone grips
- Pour spouts for easy draining needs
- Handles heat up to 600°F
- Lifetime service plan
- The rubber handles are meant to stay on but they don’t always fit perfectly and stay in place.
6. Tramontina Enameled Cast Iron Grill Pan
Here is another unique option that also gives you some added versatility.
This grill pan is 11″, so it has just a little bit more room to work on than the standard square grill pans.
This one also comes with a really useful press that will allow you to achieve a perfectly even sear on your food.
Another fun detail about this grill pan is that it is enameled so you can get it in blue or red. They also have a grill pan without a press if that is your preference.
The handle is longer than traditional handles so it gives you some added leverage.
This pan also has a small handle on the opposite side, which is a nice addition. It has pour ridges on each side of the pan as well. This is not as heavy as some other options but still heavy enough to be great quality.
- Enameled finish for a pop of color
- Comes with a press
- Covered by a lifetime warranty
- Solid, quality materials
- Easy to clean and work with
- Not pre-seasoned
- The enamel might discolor on the bottom of the pan
7. ChefVentions Cast Iron Grill Pan
This last option is a classic winner that is highly-rated.
This pan is made with heavy-duty cast iron materials. It distributes heat evenly and consistently.
This pan is enameled with white and grey coatings, which gives it a unique and modern appearance. The other great thing about enameled cast iron is that it is non-stick and doesn’t require seasoning!
This cast iron grill pan has two side handles rather than your long handle as well, making it a great option for stove and grill usage.
This pan is also compatible with their casserole dish, which you can fit to it as a top to turn it into a brasier-like dish.
- Enamel coating for unique color and finish
- Two side handles
- Heavy cast iron materials
- Doesn’t require seasoning
- Enamel can sometimes chip away over time.
How Do You Take Care of a Cast Iron Pan?
Cast iron will last you your entire lifetime if you take care of it properly. Bur what does “taking care” of cast iron really mean?
Put simply, cast iron needs to be routinely seasoned after cooking, cleaned with non-abrasive materials, and never allowed to soak in water for long periods of time.
Additionally, you should always allow your cast iron pan time to cool down to room temperature before you wash it.
For a more in-depth explanation of how to take care of your cast iron, check out this fantastic video from the Emmymade channel on YouTube.