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We Examined 11 Grill Presses—5 Smashed the Competitors

Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

A superb grill press could make attaining even browning a simple job. Additionally known as steak weights, bacon presses, or meat presses, grill presses are steel weights which might be used to press meals towards a cooking floor, maximizing the floor space in direct contact with the warmth and therefore boosting browning. And, when pre-heated, they will pace up the cooking course of. Grill presses can be utilized on an out of doors grill or indoors on a griddle or skillet, smashing or urgent burgers, steaks, fish, scorching sandwiches, and even greens.

To seek out the cream of the crop, we examined 11 grill presses priced from $19 to $69, to see which of them delivered even browning, weighed down meals with out crushing or sticking to it, and had been simple to scrub. 

The Winners, at a Look

This rectangular, medium-weight press had sufficient floor space to press each meals we examined effectively. Its contoured silicone deal with sleeve is warmth resistant and makes holding the recent press really feel safe and protected. The flat, chrome steel press floor heated up shortly and had no ridges for meals to stick to. It was additionally simple to scrub and may go proper into the dishwasher.

This chrome steel press from Made In is sort of however not fairly a sq., making it excellent for urgent sandwiches and burger patties. It preheated shortly and had a flat floor that delivered even browning with out sticking. The leather-based deal with cowl is heat-resistant, trendy, and could be eliminated, making this press dishwasher-safe.

Although barely heavier than our essential choose, this rectangular press carried out effectively in testing, cooking bacon evenly and pressing sandwiches with out flattening them utterly. Its broadly spaced ridges had been simpler to scrub than the slender ones we examined, and its picket deal with was tall sufficient to maintain our fingers from the recent cooking floor.

Should you’re on the lookout for a spherical mannequin, this forged iron press from Bellemain is extensive sufficient to cowl a number of slices of bacon and heavy sufficient (at three kilos) to overwhelm a steak. Its ridged floor makes it barely more durable to scrub however it could press “grill” marks into your meals, if that’s your factor.

Should you’re cooking for a crowd or have to overwhelm a very massive reduce of meat, this forged iron press from Blackstone has received you (and that further meals) coated. Its tall, barely textured heat-resistant deal with felt safe to carry, making utilizing this bigger press simply as simple to make use of as a smaller mannequin.

The Checks

a hand pressing down on a grilled cheese with a grill press
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez
  • Bacon Check: We examined every press by cooking 4 slices of bacon to see if they may ship crisp, evenly cooked rashers and preserve the ends from curling up.
  • Smash Burger Check: We used the grill presses to smash burgers, urgent down on 2-ounce patties on a scorching cast iron skillet to see in the event that they helped get a pleasant crust.
  • Grilled Cheese Check (Winners-Solely): We selected 5 winners from the primary two exams and used them to make grilled cheese sandwiches to see in the event that they resulted in a faster cooking time and/or a good golden brown crust.

What We Realized

Materials and Texture Made a Distinction

our five winning grill presses on a marble countertop
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

The presses we examined had been made from both forged iron or chrome steel, and every materials had its benefits. Chrome steel presses performed warmth very effectively and heated up shortly, however they didn’t retain that warmth for fairly so long as forged iron. Forged iron was a superb materials for grill presses for 2 essential causes: weight and warmth retention. Whereas forged iron fashions took longer to warmth up than chrome steel fashions, additionally they held that warmth for longer, serving to to realize browning. The feel of the press floor can be value contemplating. Normally, we discovered a press floor with a smoother texture, just like the chrome steel Winco, to be simpler to prepare dinner with. Chrome steel’s easy floor didn’t persist with meals throughout testing or afterward throughout cleanup. Whereas we did take a look at some forged iron fashions with easy press surfaces (like this model from Lodge) they aren’t dishwasher protected, and the fashions we examined had screw holes for his or her handles on the floor of the press, which caught grease and bits of meals. Fashions with rougher surfaces or dimpling (just like the Pit Boss and Victoria) tended to stick to meals, resulting in the necessity to scrape meals off of the press whereas cooking and a more durable time cleansing up.

Ridges Had Execs and Cons

About half the presses we examined had ridges. When sufficiently pre-heated, ridges yielded the a lot sought-after “grill” marks. The flip facet is that additionally they offered a spot for meals to get caught to the press. This was particularly obvious through the smash burger exams; each press with ridges we examined had no less than a number of the patty caught between them after smashing. That mentioned, if smash burgers aren’t your factor, and also you’re okay with a little bit further cleansing, ridges don’t must be a deal breaker. Search for a mannequin with more room between the raised ridges (just like the Cuisinart CGPR-221 Cast Iron Grill Press), which makes cleanup a little bit simpler.

Larger Wasn’t At all times Higher

Presses with extra floor space (like Blackstone and Pit Boss) can cowl extra meals (massive steaks, a number of burgers, and so on.), however also can entice the moisture being pressed out of the meals because it cooks. This creates steam, which inhibits browning. Weight is one other necessary issue when selecting the best press to your wants. If a press is simply too mild, it gained’t enhance the meals’s contact with the cooktop, which is the entire level of utilizing a grill press within the first place. If it’s too heavy, nevertheless, it may be tough to maneuver and may crush extra delicate meals, like salmon. Forged iron is heavier than chrome steel, which could be a assist or a hindrance relying on what you’re cooking. We discovered that heavier forged iron fashions flattened grilled cheese sandwiches an excessive amount of, whereas the lightest chrome steel mannequin we examined (the J.B. Prince 8 oz Chef’s Press) wasn’t hefty sufficient. We additionally found two to three-pound presses, just like the chrome steel Winco and the forged iron Cuisinart, hit the candy spot for attaining the specified flattening and browning whereas nonetheless feeling simple and protected to make use of.

Handles Made a Large Distinction

hand using grill press to flatten bacon in a skillet
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

A superb deal with made the distinction between a superb press and a nasty press. A deal with that’s molded along with your hand and fingers might sound like a small factor, however if you’re holding a ripping scorching piece of steel (after which pushing down on it) feeling safe in your hand is necessary. The very last thing you need is a scorching or slippery deal with making your cooking harder or resulting in burns. We most well-liked handles (like these on the Made In and Blackstone) that had been tall sufficient (no less than two inches excessive) to maintain our palms sufficiently removed from the cooking floor; shorter handles (just like the J.B. Prince) had been tough to grip, and our palms heated up extra. We additionally most well-liked handles made from wooden, silicone, or heat-resistant supplies to steel ones that heated up together with the press, like on the Lodge. A couple of fashions we examined (just like the Norpro) had lacquered picket handles that appeared good however had been slippery to carry.   

Measurement Was Extra Vital Than Form

Made In and Cuisinart Grill presses on a marble surface
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

Most grill presses are available in two shapes: rectangular or spherical, although we did take a look at one press (Made In) that was virtually sq.. In the end, we discovered the general floor space to be extra necessary than the form. The J.B. Prince was too small to cowl something we tried to prepare dinner with it, whereas the Pit Boss was so massive that we wanted two palms to make use of it. Our total winner from Winco was rectangular and measured seven-and-a-half inches by 4 inches, which was a superb floor space (30 sq. inches) to cowl most, if not your entire floor, of the meals we examined. As talked about above, an excessive amount of floor space can result in moisture changing into trapped beneath the press and creating steam, which isn’t nice for browning. All however two of the fashions (from Pit Boss and Blackstone) we examined match right into a 12-inch skillet, making them versatile sufficient for many dwelling kitchens. We’ve picks which might be each spherical and rectangular, so select the mannequin that works greatest for the meals you’re planning to press. Rectangular presses with easy surfaces (just like the Winco and Made In) are versatile sufficient to cowl bacon and press smash burgers with out sticking, whereas a spherical press just like the one from Bellemain has sufficient floor space to cowl a sandwich or a steak.

The Standards: What to Look For in a Grill Press

the winco press on a marble surface with the words: a seriously good grill press; tall handle, presses food evenly, large surface area
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez / Grace Kelly

An important grill press ought to press meals evenly and ship uniform browning. It ought to weigh sufficient to press meals flat towards the cooking floor, however not a lot that it crushes no matter you’re cooking or is unwieldy to make use of. It ought to have a tall deal with that retains your fingers away from the recent cooking floor—ideally, one made from a heat-resistant materials designed to remain as cool as attainable. A superb press ought to have sufficient floor space to cowl most of what you’re cooking, however not a lot that it traps moisture and inhibits the flexibility to observe meals because it cooks. Lastly, the very best press needs to be simple to make use of and clear, with out plenty of meals sticking to it through the cooking course of or requiring heavy scrubbing or scraping afterward.

The Finest Grill Presses

What we favored: This press was among the many greatest performing in all three of our exams. At two kilos, it was heavy sufficient to flatten bacon, smash burger patties, and encourage browning, however nonetheless mild sufficient in order to not crush meals. It’s made from chrome steel with a deal with encased in a molded silicone sleeve that protected our palms from warmth. It was additionally nice to grip, making dealing with the recent press really feel safe. It was the best mannequin to scrub because it had a easy floor with out ridges. It may possibly even go within the dishwasher.

What we didn’t like: At 4 inches extensive, this press is a little bit slender; 4 slices of bacon didn’t fairly match beneath it, and the perimeters of burger patties and grilled cheese sandwiches peeked out from the perimeters.

Worth at time of publish: $30.

Key Specs 

  • Dimensions: 7.5 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 2 lbs
  • Supplies: Chrome steel, silicone 
  • Cleansing Directions: Dishwasher-safe
winco grill press on marble surface
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

What we favored: This chrome steel press carried out very effectively in testing. Its extensive floor space and virtually sq. form coated burger patties and grilled cheese sandwiches utterly. It was additionally extensive sufficient to prepare dinner 4 slices of bacon (although did require transferring the press up and down the size of the strips throughout cooking to maintain them weighed down). 

What we didn’t like: Although Made In recommends eradicating the leather-based deal with cowl throughout cooking, we discovered it fairly helpful in retaining our palms protected when dealing with the recent press. They do notice that the warmth can injury the leather-based, however we predict this press is greatest used with the leather-based cowl—if not, it’s only a scorching steel deal with. The quilt stayed comparatively cool throughout testing, even after preheating the press, however can’t itself be washed, which may very well be a difficulty over time, particularly in case you press something that spatters. Whereas the press itself is simple to scrub, it did have some discoloration after the smash burger take a look at. And almost two kilos is simply on the sting of being too mild. Plus, at $69, it’s the costliest press in our lineup.

Worth at time of publish: $69.

Key Specs 

  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 1.8 lbs
  • Supplies: Chrome steel, leather-based
  • Cleansing Directions: Dishwasher-safe
the made in grill press on a marble surface
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

What we favored: This mannequin from Cuisinart had sufficient floor space to cowl virtually your entire size of the bacon slices, and it coated burger patties and a grilled cheese sandwich utterly. It weighs 2.8 kilos, which is heavier than our chrome steel picks however nonetheless felt good to make use of and flattened meals with out crushing it. The press’s floor has the widest separation between ridges of any of the samples we examined, making it simpler to scrub than different ridged fashions.

What we didn’t like: Smash burger patties clung to the area between the ridges, and we had to make use of a spatula to scrape the patty from the press. The deal with just isn’t contoured, which made it really feel much less safe than the deal with of our total winner.

Worth at time of publish: $20.

Key Specs 

  • Dimensions: 8.75 x 4.33 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs
  • Supplies: Forged iron, wooden
  • Cleansing Directions: Hand-wash and dry
cuisinart grill press on marble surface
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

What we favored: The extensive, spherical form and enormous floor space (about 60 sq. inches) of this press provided nice protection in all three of our exams. Bacon cooked up evenly, no burger edges poked out from beneath, and the grilled cheese got here out evenly browned. The press had a superb heft, and the tall deal with stored fingers sufficiently removed from the recent cooktop. 

What we didn’t like: The slender area between ridges allowed meals to cling to the press and, within the case of smash burgers, get caught. The highest of the press has some small particulars in its design that entice grease and gunk, including to problem when cleansing.

Worth at time of publish: $22.

Key Specs 

  • Dimensions: 8.5-inch diameter
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Supplies: Forged iron, wooden
  • Cleansing Directions: Hand-wash and dry
round grill press with wooden handle on marble surface
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

What we favored: This lengthy, extensive press provided nice protection for every thing we examined. 4 slices of bacon match comfortably beneath it, leading to evenly crisped, flat bacon, and it simply coated two burger patties and grilled cheese sandwiches directly. The warmth-resistant, textured deal with stayed cool and didn’t get slippery even when grease splattered up onto it. 

What we didn’t like: This press is simply too massive to suit right into a 12-inch skillet, which means you may solely apply it to a flat-top griddle or a grill. Its heavier weight smashed grilled cheeses virtually an excessive amount of and would seemingly crush extra delicate proteins like fish. The ridged press floor allowed burger patties to stay to the press and made it more durable to scrub.

Worth at time of publish: $32. 

Key Specs

  • Dimensions: 10 x 5.5 inches
  • Weight: 4.3 lbs
  • Supplies: Forged iron, heat-resistant plastic
  • Cleansing Directions: Hand-wash and dry
blackstone grill press on a marble surface
Severe Eats / Amanda Suarez

The Competitors

  • Lodge LGP3 Rectangular Cast Iron Grill Press, Pre-Seasoned, 6.75-inch x 4.5-inch: Whereas this press carried out effectively in testing, its barely smaller floor space put it behind different presses. The deal with additionally heated up sooner than others, and the screw holes on the press floor caught meals and grease, making it more durable to scrub.
  • Pit Boss Cast-Iron Grill and Griddle Press with Soft-Touch Handle: This was the most important press we examined and, at 5.25 kilos, the heaviest by a large margin. It was too large to slot in a 12-inch skillet, and we wanted two palms to make use of it throughout testing. It was so massive that it was tough to observe the cooking of meals beneath it. Except you desire a press just for an out of doors grill or stovetop griddle and plan on utilizing it to press primarily massive, thick cuts of meat, this mannequin is simply too large to be versatile.
  • Norpro 8.75-Inch Cast Iron Bacon Press with Wood Handle: This press is similar to our winner for greatest spherical press, however with ever so barely deeper ridges, which led to burger patties sticking to it, making it more durable to scrub. The sleek deal with additionally received noticeably slippery when grease splattered onto it.
  • Lodge LGPR3 Cast Iron Round Grill Press, Pre-Seasoned, 7.5-inch: Whereas we favored the scale and weight of this press, the steel deal with received hotter sooner than different fashions, and the screw holes on the press floor acted as nooks that caught meals and grease and had been onerous to scrub out effectively.
  • J.B. Prince 8 oz Chef’s Press: This mannequin is designed to be modular, nesting collectively to create extra weight. Whereas we do like it, in comparison with the opposite presses, although, it was lighter and the extensive floor gaps made it harder to smash burgers.
  • Victoria Rectangular Cast-Iron Meat Press with a Wooden Handle: Whereas this press boasted certainly one of our favourite handles, its dimpled urgent floor clung to meals and was tough to scrub.

FAQs

Can you employ a grill press on a grill?

You positive can! You possibly can press steaks, hen items, and even thick burgers on a grill. Thinner burgers could be extra delicate and would possibly profit from a steady, easy floor like a griddle being positioned between the burger and the grill grates, guaranteeing no meat makes its method by way of as soon as weighed down by a press. Urgent meat whereas it cooks squeezes out liquified fat and juices. Should you’re cooking over an open flame, be conscious of flare-ups from dripping grease. You should definitely use a folded kitchen towel, pot holder, or heat-resistant glove when dealing with the recent press, because the intense warmth from a grill can warmth up press handles even sooner than a stovetop.

What can you employ a grill press for?

Grill presses are helpful any time you’re on the lookout for uniform browning on one thing like steak, hen items, fish, or greens. They’re additionally helpful to press meals flat like bacon, scorching sandwiches, or smashed burgers.

How do you clear a grill press?

It is dependent upon what it’s made from. Firstly, all the time verify the producer’s directions for beneficial cleansing instructions. In case your grill press is made from chrome steel, you may both wash it by hand or pop it within the dishwasher. If it’s made from forged iron, you’ll want to scrub and dry it by hand, and sure re-season it once in a while. At all times enable your press to chill utterly earlier than washing it, but it surely’s in all probability greatest to scrub it earlier than any leftover meals has an opportunity to dry and get actually caught.

Can you employ cooking spray on a grill press?

Aerosol cooking sprays are extra than simply oil in a sprig can, they comprise emulsifiers that assist enhance their efficiency. One quite common emulsifying ingredient is lecithin, which helps the spray persist with cookware. The draw back of lecithin is that it could construct up over time, leaving a sticky movie on cookware after repeated makes use of. Whereas this isn’t a giant drawback for presses made from chrome steel, which could be scrubbed and/or go into the dishwasher, forged iron has extra light cleansing wants, making the residue left by cooking spray more durable to take away. Should you’re trying to improve the nonstick properties of your press, you would possibly go for a manual refillable mister, which you’ll fill with the oil of your alternative that gained’t depart a buildup of residue behind.

Why We are the Specialists

  • Andrea Rivera Wawrzyn is a contract meals author and recipe developer and was previously an affiliate editor at America’s Check Kitchen.
  • She has developed recipes for a number of New York Instances bestselling cookbooks, together with an IACP award winner.
  • For this assessment, we examined 11 grill presses through the use of them to press bacon, smash burgers, and grilled cheese sandwiches. We additionally examined how simple they had been to maneuver and clear, and if their handles stored our palms from getting scorching.

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