The grill press is a controversial item in the barbecue world. Some say that they squeeze the juices out of your meat, causing dry and dull barbecued food. Others say that they are essential barbecue item because they lower cooking time for your food. They are also known to create extra caramelization, adding depth of flavor to your barbecue. Personally, we like these flat, cast iron weights. They cook your food faster and create evenly distributed heat. This means every part of your food is equally caramelized and browned, which is especially helpful for foods like bacon.
Since most people don’t know much about them, we decided to test the top four models to see how they stack up. We rated them based on Design & Quality, Size, Handle, and Cleanup. Once we had all the scores, we formulated an Overall Score. This Overall Score determined which one was our number one recommended model.
As it turns out, one model won all fives (the top available score from 1 to 5), making it our Pitmaster’s Choice in the Grill Press Category. Check out the table below to get an overview of the scores of each model. You can scroll down to see our reviews of each model, as well as a link to purchase the grill press directly.
Overall Grill Press Review Scores
Design & Quality
Weber Grill Press
A cast iron grill press is not something every barbecue fan has, or even needs, but they are useful, and make you look like a professional chef. They also enable you to expand the range of foods you can make on a grill, adding such thing as panini sandwiches.
When it comes to cleaning up, there’s very little to clean with this model of iron grill press, and a good scrub with soapy water is all you’ll need. This is a good thing, because being cast iron it can’t go in the dishwasher.
Steven Raichlen Panini Press For Grill
As with many cast iron products, you’ll need to give this grill press a good wash with soapy water before use to remove the chemicals used in it’s manufacture. It’s a good idea to season it as well, by applying a generous coating of your favorite oil. This should stop any metallic residue getting on to the food. It’s interesting to note there’s no mention of this particular step on the packaging.
And when it comes to cleaning up this panini grill press, neither cast iron nor wood are dishwasher friendly, positively averse, in fact. So make sure you dry the item thoroughly after use, and keep re-seasoning every so often. Far from being the ‘best of barbecue’ this is poorly designed and made.
Cuisinart Cast Iron Grill Press
A cast iron press is used to hold food flat to the grill surface when cooking foods that might curl or are irregular. The press increases the heat and keeps the food in contact with the cooking surface. If you’re making paninis, this iron grilling press will leave pleasing sear lines in the bread as it has ridges along the bottom. You’ll need to get the press hot first, of course.
In addition, the wooden handle of this Cuisinart cast-iron barbecue press is screwed in place, and not very well in this instance. What it comes down to why would you buy a grill press with a wooden handle when you can buy one that’s solid cast iron.
NorPro Round Grill Press
Firstly, I have to congratulate the manufacturers of this round grill press for including full instructions on seasoning and cleaning the product. This is an essential step, but one sadly left undocumented by other companies. They even stress cast iron must never be soaked in water, which is good advice for any cast iron item.
Overall, I would describe this round grill press as average, it’s ok, but mysteriously round.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Grill Press?
A grill press is a flat weight that is used to cook food evenly on a grill, skillet, or a griddle. They are usually made from cast iron because it is heavy and durable. They can also be made from heat resistant materials, like ceramic or aluminum.
What is a Smashed Burger?
A smashed burger is a burger patty that has been cooked using a grill press. The grill press weighs down the burger, creating a nice crust that is seared until it is well browned. It is best to use thin burger patties when making a smashed burger.
Does a Grill Press Need to be Seasoned Before Use?
Most grill presses are made from enameled cast iron. These types of cast iron don’t need to be seasoned before use. To make your grill press last as long as possible, we recommend that you do not wash them in the dishwasher. It is also best to dry them after each use. They can be seasoned by coating them in oil after each use.
How Much Does a Grill Press Weigh?
Most grill presses weigh about 4 pounds, which is enough weight to keep your item pressed flat against the cooking surface.
Is a Grill Press Dishwasher Safe?
Grill presses are easy to clean with warm, soapy water. We do not recommend that you clean the grill press in the dishwasher. The chemicals and high temperatures can damage cast iron surfaces.