For a quick, tasty meal that doesn't require firing up an outdoor grill, you need the kitchen equipment up to the task. The good news: Grilling indoors is totally possible with the right grill pan, which has raised ridges to mimic the sear and resulting char of a traditional grill. The best grill pans are made of cast iron for superior heat retention, but if you're not into the maintenance that comes with seasoning cast iron, a nonstick option will get the job done. The size of your pan is also important: Make sure the pan will be able to cook up the quantity of food you're aiming for, whether that's a fajita for one or enough burgers to feed a group.
Size & Shape
Grill pans are typically about 10 to 12 inches wide. Square pans have a greater surface area than round pans, and most grill pans are square so it’s easier to sear and flip foods; however, you may prefer a round pan that’s easier for tossing food. Rectangular grill pans can take up the space of two burners for quickly cooking a larger batch of food.
Cast iron grill pans are durable and cook evenly with excellent heat retention. With the raised ridge design of a grill pan and proper seasoning, cast iron also develops non-stick qualities. Plus, if you like to use your grill pan on a stovetop as well as on an outdoor grill, an oven-safe cast iron grill pan can withstand those higher temperatures. Just keep in mind this material is heavy to maneuver, takes some time to heat up, needs to be washed by hand, and requires the ongoing maintenance of seasoning. If that's a dealbreaker, a non-stick grill pan, usually made of coated aluminum, is more lightweight and conveniently dishwasher safe. Non-stick grill pans tend to have stay-cool handles, but you’ll need to use silicone spatulas that won’t ruin the pan’s coating.
With all this in mind, below are the best grill pans for indoor grilling, including a few highly rated picks with thousands of reviews on Amazon, plus one that will also make outdoor grilling way easier.
1. The Overall Best Grill Pan, All Things Considered
The best grill pan is made of solid cast iron, and it's affordable and highly rated with over 7,000 reviews. This square pan has rounded corners for easier cleaning, and it's 10.5 inches wide with deep ridges for grill marks. A long handle (with a hole for hanging) and helper handle allow for a secure hold, but keep in mind you'll need to use a towel or pot holder when hot. You can use this pan indoors or outdoors as it's oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit — and a big plus is that it already comes seasoned, which saves you time and allows you to use it right away.
A helpful review: “This is something I wish I had bought YEARS ago. I was already familiar with cast iron cooking and cleaning ( this isn’t something to put in the dishwasher ) and I recently decided to make the change and try it indoors. I basically use the same cooking method indoors as I do out using my barbecue. I am able to perfectly grill meat, shrimp, hot dogs ( basically anything as outdoors ) and the flavor and texture is excellent and comparable to grilling outdoors [...] I definitely recommend this pan if you are considering grilling indoors [...]"
2. An Enameled Cast Iron Pan That Doesn't Require Seasoning
Staub's round grill pan is made of enameled cast iron, which is pricier upfront but ultimately offers the best of both worlds: the durability of cast iron with the dishwasher-safe convenience of non-stick. The enameled coating, which is a matte black in this pan, also creates a non-reactive, non-porous surface for cooking and doesn't require seasoning. This pan is 10 inches wide with deep ridges and two-round handles on the sides (that don't appear to stay cool, however, so get a pot holder ready). The exterior of the pan is a dark gray, and this pan is oven safe up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
A helpful review: "I didn't want the maintenance of the average cast iron pan and I also wanted something that was super heavy. The Staub pan is a great compromise for cooking [for] one to three people — it's the right size, not terribly heavy, and has two loop handles, which makes it very easy to maneuver. In addition it is porcelain coated so it is maintenance free. Does the job well and easily."
3. A More Affordable Non-Stick Grill Pan
The best non-stick grill pan looks a lot like my first pick, but with a few key differences: The square pan is made of heavy-gauge aluminum with a triple-layered non-stick coating and a brushed stainless steel stay-cool handle. There's no helper handle on this one, but it's also not as heavy as cast iron. This pan is dishwasher-safe and has rounded corners on the ridged, 11-inch pan for easier cleaning, too. Designed for indoor use only, this grill pan is oven safe up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
A helpful review: “I love this grill pan. Nothing sticks to it! And the food comes out with wonderful grill marks. It's so easy to clean, too. Everything wipes right off; cooked on cheese, bits of meat, everything. I won't cook burgers indoors on any other pan. They come out so juicy and tasty and they are so easy to cook on this pan. Oh! And fish cooks great! We cook salmon and it comes out with a delicious crust on the outside and juicy and tender on the inside. I've used it dozens of times and it's still cooking and cleaning perfectly and looks just like new […] It's perfect, perfect, perfect.”
4. A Korean BBQ Grill Pan With A Near-Perfect Rating
The best Korean BBQ grill pan is made specifically for this style of cooking meat. A swirl design in the round, non-stick Teflon-coated aluminum pan drains oil/fat from meat slowly for a tastier result. This pick comes with a portable burner for cooking at the table, which is traditional for Korean barbecue, but you can also buy just the grill pan itself, which does not appear to be oven-safe but can be used on a gas stovetop or another portable burner. Reviewers commented they love how quickly and evenly this pan heats and how easily it cleans up. There are two short handles on the 12-inch pan's sides, though it's unclear if they stay cool.
A helpful review: “Wow, just simply wow. The surface and pattern of this thing lets the runoff from my cooking drain very easily. The surface heats up very evenly and does an amazing job cooking. The non-stick surface has made cleanup the easiest of almost all of my cookware. The weight of the grill and design makes it very easy to move around and use for my cooking. And the knoteched feet on the bottom makes it sit on my burner very nicely. This really is one of the best products I've bought in a while.”
5. A Versatile Grill Griddle
The best reversible grill/griddle has a much wider surface at 16.75 inches, making it great for cooking larger batches of food over two burners. With deep ridges on one side and a flat griddle side on the other, this rectangular cast iron pan is super versatile for grilling, flipping weekend pancakes, and more. It's highly rated with over 3,000 reviews, and shoppers commented they love its size, quality, and usability. One thing to note is the two handles are built into the corners, so they're not as easy to grab onto as other grill pans and they do heat up with the rest of the pan, so oven gloves are a must.
A helpful review: “I love my Lodge Double Play! Since I live in a NYC apartment, I was looking for a grill surface to be able to cook fish and steaks indoors. I also purchased this because it was reversible, but I never anticipated how often I would use the grill/griddle. Just as the product description says, you can use it to cook everything from eggs and french toast to grilled vegetables and fish. It's a regular on my stove top and could easily be an every day cooking surface. I love it!”
Nice To Have: A Press For Any Grill Pan
None of the grill pans that come with included presses I found were as good as this versatile cast iron grill press that can be used with any grill pan. A grill press is handy for cooking bacon, making pressed sandwiches or smashed burgers, and ensuring a deep, even sear on steaks or other foods. This pick is rectangular with a flat bottom and at 6.75 by 4.5 inches can fit more comfortably in a wider range of pans than similar, wider presses. With a 4.7-rating and over 2,000 reviews, feel free to use this press on the stovetop, in the oven, or even with an outdoor grill or campfire. The spiral grip handle stays cool when used on a stovetop.
A helpful review: “I love to grill and thought that a spatula was all needed to cook on one. Then I remembered the grill in my old building when I was growing up. The guys who cooked there always used a grill press much like this one. I now know why. Hamburgers, Steaks, Fish and Hot Dogs all come out better and cook more evenly with this. No more meat that balloons in the middle or fish that cooks unevenly. I don't know how I did without it.”
Also Great: A Grill Pan With Holes For Outdoor Cooking
A grill pan with holes, also known as a grill grid, isn't intended for indoor grilling but may interest you if you are someone who enjoys grilled food. Instead of using skewers or losing delicate food in between grates, use this square pan over a grill to cook vegetables or seafood. The 12-inch carbon steel pan has two steel handles that tilt upward, making them easier to grab over a high-heat grill, and the grid design in the pan allows for easier grilling and searing of smaller foods over an outdoor grill or campfire.
A helpful review: “Wow, this is a great Grill pan! We have used it for burgers, fish, filets, veggies, Italian sausage and peppers and it is virtually non stick. We oil it before we place it on the grill to heat up and we oil it before we put it away, top and bottom. We have many Lodge cast iron products already and decided to try this grill pan after being sorely disappointed by the mega bucks All Clad stainless steel grill pan, which will never be clean again, not to mention unwarped once you use it. Returned it, bought this one and haven't looked back. Highly recommend!”