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If you have a glass or ceramic cooktop, finding the right grill pan that offers performance and is safe to use on those types of ranges can sometimes be a challenge.
If you are just learning how to use a grill pan on your stove top, this article contains all the information you need for success.
In this article we have reviewed several of the best and highest performing grill pans currently on the market that are compatible with glass and ceramic cooktops.
We’ve highlighted some of the high points (and downsides) associated with each pan.
We have also put together a Grill Pan Buying Guide, in which we will discuss some of the most important features and characteristics of these pans; aspects you should definitely look for when it comes time to shop.
Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Grill Pan
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Made from heavy gauge aluminum, the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Grill Pan offers very even heating and its hard-anodized coating ensures durability and a non-stick cooking experience.
The long stainless steel handles not only resist rust and corrosion, they are manufactured specifically to resist heat, making them always cool to the touch for a safe cooking environment.
With the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Grill Pan you get deep ridges and that authentic “cooked-on-a-grill” appearance.
The ridges help to ensure even cooking while locking in the juices, and both the pan and lid are oven safe.
Completely dishwasher safe, cleanup has never been easier with these pans. Plus the limited lifetime warranty makes for a worry-free purchasing experience.
- Non-stick – With three non-stick layers, the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Grill Pan is both durable and high-performing.
- Cool Handle – The stainless steel handle on this grill pan always stays cool to the touch.
- Dishwasher safe – This is the only grill pan on our list that is dishwasher safe.
- Storage problems – With its extra long handle, storing the Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Grill Pan can pose a problem.
Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan
Made from one of the most renowned names in indoor grillware, the Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan gives you all the benefits of cast iron without any of the downsides.
The elevated ridges on the pan make for great flavor without all the fat, as the drippings conveniently drop below the cooking surface.
The grill, which is made in the USA, comes pre-seasoned with 100 percent vegetable oil; and its cast iron makeup makes it one of the most durable products of its kind on the market today.
Users can enjoy a variety of cooking styles on the Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan, from searing to braising, to sautéing to baking, to braising and frying. The pan is oven safe and cleans up with just a swipe of a rag. Its heat retention is unmatched, and you can even use the pan right over hot coal or wood fires.
- Pre-seasoned – Unlike other types of cast iron cookware, the Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan comes pre-seasoned with 100 percent vegetable oil.
- Low fat cooking – The deep ridges on this grill pan make for low fat cooking regarding of the cooking style.
- Heavy – Like most cast iron cookware, the Lodge 10.5 Inch Square Cast Iron Grill Pan is much heavier than some of the aluminum grill pans.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Square Skillet Grill
Made from the same material as the Lodge pan, the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Square Skillet Grill offers the best in surface area, much more than the round grill pans of a similar size.
The familiar ridges on this pan leave truly impressive grill marks in all your food while allowing for less fat in the meat. Its cast iron handle and opposite helper handle not only resist heat but they make transport from oven to countertop a snap.
With its durable black enamel finish, you will never have to worry about seasoning the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Square Skillet Grill.
You won’t mind cleaning the pan because it’s easy. All you’ll need is a sponge, warm water and a little bit of mild detergent. The enamel coating also resists chipping, helps foods not to stick and provides even heating and great heat distribution and retention.
Fairly new in the world of cast iron, the enamel finish on the Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Square Skillet Grill is very robust and high-performing, making it ideal for the modern cooking requirements of the household chef.
In addition to all of the above features, Le Creuset has created some pretty sexy colors like Flame, Caribbean, Marseille, Cerise, and of course blue, black and white.
- Enamel Coating – Not only does the enamel coating on the Le Creuset Skillet Grill eliminate the need for seasoning, it also adds to the pan’s performance.
- Square-shaped – The square shape of this grill pan offers 20 percent more surface area on which to cook.
- Lower ridges – The Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron 10-1/4-Inch Square Skillet Grill has lower ridges than the other two grill pans we reviewed.
Grill Pan Buying Guide
If you have decided to purchase a high-quality grill pan for your glass or ceramic cooktop, there are several features you will need to consider. Not all grill pans are alike, and some, of course, will offer you more bang for your buying buck.
To help you make the most informed purchasing decision possible, below we have discussed some of these features and characteristics.
- The size, shape and weight of your new grill pan
- The material from which the pan is made
- The handles used to lift the pan from the heat source and
- The warranty offered by the manufacturer.
The Size of the Grill Pan
Just from the above reviews, you already know that grill pans for glass and ceramic cooktops come in a variety of sizes. Most of these pans are meant to rest upon a single burner on your stove. However, there are larger models that can cover 2 to four burners, although these are used almost exclusively on gas cooktops.
For the most part, the grill pans for glass and ceramic cooktops will range in size from 9 inches to 12 inches, with sizes 10-12 inches being the most popular.
The size you choose to purchase is really a matter of preference, but keep in mind that the larger grill pans can really come in handy when you have to cook for more people than you anticipated.
The Shape of the Grill Pan
Most of the cookware you find today is round or cylindrical in shape. Naturally, the reason for this is because almost all cooktops have round burners.
Thus, a round pan will be sure to adequately cover the burner without leaving any cold spots on the pan.
However, when it comes to actual “grill pans,” we are going to recommend that you go with a square or rectangular pan. There are a couple reasons why we are making this recommendation.
First, square grill pans just do a better job at cooking the types of food you would normally use one for. Cooking bacon in a round pan, for example, can be a real pain in the neck. There are always some pieces that just won’t fit correctly, forcing you to lay them up the sides of the pan.
Not so with a square grill pan. Because of their shape, these pans allow you to easily lay out all your foods. Additionally because they are shallow, nothing will have to go up the sides where it will take longer to cook.
The other reason to go with a square or rectangular grill pan is more surface area. For instance, a round 10-inch grill pan will only give you a total surface area of 78.5 square inches.
A square grill pan, on the other hand, one that also measures 10 inches across, will give you a surface area of 100 inches—or 21.5 inches more.
The weight of the grill pan you choose is another major consideration.
Of course you want a pan that is sturdy enough for all your cooking needs, but if you cannot lift it easily, odds are you will not be too keen on using it that often. This means the heavy weight will essentially render it obsolete in no time.
Grill pans can be made from a variety of materials, and even though the cast iron models tend to be heavier than those made of stainless steel, copper and ceramic materials, they also last much longer. In fact they could potentially last you a lifetime if you care for them correctly.
So instead of buying a lighter material pan just to save on weight, we recommend you elect to go with a smaller, high-quality cast iron grill, one with solid handles (including helper handles) that make lifting it easier.
Speaking of handles, these are features that can truly make or break a good grill pan for ceramic and glass cooktops.
Given that the foods you cook using a grill pan typically have to prepared via very hot temperatures, you will need a good handle.
Your grill pan handle should ensure that a.) you are able to lift the pan up without damaging the food or burning your hand, and b.) you do not drop the pan and break it.
Simply put, without the correct type of handle or handles on your grill pan, the pan itself is essentially worthless.
First, you need a handle that is sturdy and secure. Many manufacturers make grill pans out of one solid piece of metal, often cast iron, which includes the handle.
Then, the handle is covered by another piece of material that is more heat resistant. Other grill pans have the handle attached afterwards.
Although not as safe, it still might be sufficient assuming that the handle is firmly secured using high-strength rivets or fasteners.
The handle’s distance from the pan itself is also quite important.
Naturally, handles that are further away from the pan itself will not get as hot as those that are nearer to the pan. However, when the handle is too far away from the weight of the pan, lifting it becomes much harder.
Too much distance can place a lot more pressure on the handle, which can cause it to weaken and eventually break.
To make sure that does not happen to you, many manufacturers add “helping handles.” Helping handles are short handles that are located right around the rim of the pan, making it safer to remove the pan from the heat source.
Our recommendation, if you can find it, is to choose a grill pan whose handle is made from the same metal cast as the grill pan. A pan with a protective coating of some sort to keep it cooler to the touch.
You should also select a grill pan with at least one if not two helping handles. This will give you the best of both worlds and protect you (and your pan) when working in the kitchen around hot temperatures. When in doubt, be sure to have quality mitts handy.
Finally, the warranty on your brand new grill pan is a very important consideration. These pans can be a bit pricey at times, especially those made from the more durable types of materials.
We recommend you search around and find a pan with a warranty that covers the pan for 10 years or more.
Believe it or not, there are some grill pan manufacturers that offer a lifetime warranty on their grill pans, assuming they are cared for properly.
Grill pans with a longer warranty tend to be much sturdier and more reliable than those with shorter warranties.
A longer warranty also demonstrates the confidence a given manufacturer has in its products.
Now you can make an informed decision on your next grill pan purchase with the consideration of functionality, safety, durability and even aesthetics. Bon appetit!