Indoors, outdoors, it doesn’t matter—we all want a better sear on our meat no matter where we’re cooking, or what we’re cooking on. Using the best grill press is a great way to achieve better sears and faster cooking for some of our favorite foods.
But they’re not all created equal. You have to pay attention to what wood the handles are made of, how durable the material is, and whether or not it flakes over a long period of use.
There’s a lot to consider when looking for the best cast iron grill press, which is why we’ve done the guesswork for you, brought the cream of the crop to this list, and divulged every pro, con, and key feature that each of these star-studded grill presses have to offer.
Our Top Picks
Best Grill Press: Reviews & Buying Guide
Are you ready for a full breakdown on the best grill presses from some of the most iconic brands out there? Let’s take a look.
1. Cuisinart CGPR-22 Cast Iron Wood Handle Grill Press
Cuisinart makes tons of fantastic kitchen tools and gadgets, and they stole the top spot for best cast iron grill press with simplicity. This grill press features a durable wooden handle, hefty three-pound weight, and plenty of durability to withstand constant washes without causing corrosion.
While the heavier weight is better suited for outdoor grilling and cooking, it’s completely viable to use indoors on the stovetop as well. There’s nine inches of total length here, so you can sear steak, chicken, pork chops, or make a roasted vegetable stir fry on a griddle top. Looking for something to slice those veggies? Check out our best vegetable shredder guide.
Heating up the entire grill press doesn’t take much time at all. Your grill press should be washed by hand and set out to air dry to maintain it for years to come. On top of its durability, Cuisinart also includes a one-year limited warranty to fully protect you.
- Easy to clean directly after using
- Provides excellent sear marks to your food
- Heats up quickly to help you cook food faster
- Wooden handle doesn’t withstand washing well, hand-wash only
- Grill mark inlays can be difficult to clean if not done immediately
- Weighs just under three pounds in total
- Includes a one-year limited warranty
- Wooden handle
2. Nexgrill Cast Iron Grill Press
This castiron grill press from Nexgrill is basically the perfect grilling companion. It sits at just 2.6 lbs, which is plenty of weight to press down on steaks, burgers, and chops. The grill plate on the bottom takes some time to heat up, and when it’s done, you get fast-acting sear marks on the top of your food.
It’s not just about the grill marks, though: Nexgrill does an excellent job of making this easy to clean, even when you leave it sitting around the grill and don’t immediately take it inside to clean it. The grill mark inlays are wide enough that you don’t find a ton of food debris left behind.
Your handle is so dark it almost looks like the cast iron that the press is made out of, but in fact, it’s a comfortable and tactile wooden handle. While this grill press is hand wash only (as most are), the wooden handle holds up to a lot more stress than we originally thought.
- Extremely easy to clean
- Thinner base plate allows for faster heating
- Compact for easy storage underneath your grill
- Does not include a warranty at all, only a 180-day return window
- Comes pre-seasoned and needs to be cleaned off (very well) before use
- Total of 8.75” in length (great for steaks)
- Weighs a total of 2.6 pounds
- Comfortable handle grip
3. Bellemain Cast Iron Heavy-Duty Grill Press
The ultimate cast iron burger press is here, and it’s designed to actually help hold in moisture while reducing fat. This heavy 8.75” round grill plate has an even weight distribution across the entire surface, so you can just set it down on your food and forget about it. You don’t have to constantly readjust or apply additional pressure.
If you’re also tired of your bacon shriveling up and not looking like those restaurant-quality strips you’re used to, this press will help you out. The grooves on the bottom are designed to hold onto bacon and keep it stretched while it cooks. Cooking up some eggs with that bacon? Check out the best frying pan for eggs.
Bellemain includes a three-year warranty, although it’s unlikely that you’d need to call it in. Bellemain uses heavy-duty cast iron to give excellent weight and an excellent seat when you heat up your iron before applying it to food on the grill.
- Designed for more succulent burgers by locking in that moisture
- Specifically prevents bacon from shriveling up on the grill or stove
- Some of the best cost-to-coverage ratio of any grill press on this list
- Circular design may not fit on top of larger steaks
- Grill crevices can be difficult to properly clean out
- Includes an extensive three-year warranty
- Designed to work with bacon and looser meats on the grill
- Cool-touch handle protects your hand
4. Blackstone Cast Iron Griddle Press
Blackstone’s cast iron press is a force to be reckoned with on the grill. Not only do you get a wide area of coverage so you can lay this down on a ton of food, but you’ll be able to heat this up fairly evenly. The excellent length allows you to prevent bacon and chicken from thinning out and curling up on you.
Out of every grill press on this list, Blackstone easily has the best handle. Not only does it feel like it’s perfectly in place, but the micro bumps all along the handle make it easy to hold without losing your grip. Picking this up and flipping from one piece of food to the next is extremely simple.
While there is no warranty, Blackstone has been making these presses for years now with little to no issues. Their customer service team is dedicated and responsive, so you’re getting a top-quality product from a company that actually cares about you. Overall, this is one of the best griddle presses you’re going to find on the market.
- One of the most tactile grips of any grill press we’ve seen
- Attractive pricing for the immense value you get
- Heats evenly in little to no time at all
- Grill mark patterns are wide
- Colors on handle fade from sunlight exposure (outdoor use issue)
- Large area of coverage covers a lot of food
- Aesthetic black iron look
- Raised edges help with rapid heating
5. Pro Grade Cast Iron Grill Weight
While this cast iron meat press is pricier than the others on this list, that’s because you get two of them in this package, giving you up to 18.50” of total length on the grill. When you’re searing vegetables and smaller meats (chicken, bacon), this comes in handy to keep them all cooking evenly and at the same time.
With even heating and a comfortable wooden handle, you can use this on flat top stoves, griddles, and on the grill to give you an edge over your presentation skills. From the glorious cross-grid sear marks that this provides, your steaks and chops will look like they just came out of a restaurant commercial.
The manufacturer, Avant Grub, is so confident that you’re going to love this that you get a lifetime warranty (not something we commonly see on grill presses). While it does have a few caveats that we’ve listed below, this is one of the best grill presses that you’re ever going to use.
- Includes two in one package for up to 18.50” of coverage (length)
- Heats up extremely well to provide even searing
- Includes a lifetime warranty with no restrictions
- Wooden handles need to be sealed right out of the package
- Handle may need to be tightened regularly
- Total of 2.82 lbs per grill press
- Narrow grill marks for more coloration
- Doesn’t come pre-seasoned
6. Victoria Cast Iron Panini, Burger, and Grill Press
Did you know that most of the oiling and pre-seasoning on grill presses is non-kosher? Victoria uses flaxseed oil to treat their grill presses ahead of time, so that you don’t run into this problem. The irony of the whole thing is that they could have used the same oil to treat the wooden handle, but it comes unfinished.
This 8.3” long grill press comes with a very similar size compared to the other ones on this list, but it comes down to weight. While this is a good grill press no matter what, it’s just under 1.4 lbs, so it doesn’t have the weight to force down thicker meats on its own without you pressing down on it.
A bit lighter, but certainly not dead in the water. Victoria added a very unique grill mark pattern here which actually helps lock-in moisture in your meat. You won’t get traditional sear marks, but this grips on to your food like nothing else and keeps it succulent until the end.
- 100% kosher (seasoned with non-GMO flaxseed oil)
- Fantastic press pattern keeps moisture locked inside
- Heats evenly across the entire surface
- A little lighter than most grill presses
- Wooden handle isn’t treated (which could have ironically been done with the flaxseed oil)
- Total 8.3” of length
- PFOA-free and PTFE-free
- Made in Colombia
Best Cast Iron Press Buying Guide and FAQ
How to Use a Grill Press
It’s not just as simple as pressing down on your food and calling it a day. The whole reason that we use a grill press is to cook food faster and lock in moisture.
Place your grill press in your pan on your grill for about ten minutes after your surface of choice has been brought up to temp. You want to give enough time for this to come up to a good temperature before using it.
While your handle will still be mostly cool to the touch, you can use a cloth or oven mitt to pick it up. Retrieve the piping-hot press, place your food on your cooking surface, and then place the press on top. The heat from the metal will begin to cook the food and provide a sear based on the markings on the heating plate
Gently press down on your food. Keep the weight of the press and the thickness of your food in mind. You can use this in multiple ways, such as searing a roast before it goes in the oven, or keeping bacon from curling by leaving the press on top of it during cooking.
How to Use a Grill Press for Hamburgers
Ideally, you will have a circular grill press for burgers. Heat the grill press by leaving it on your cooking surface of choice for about ten minutes. Account for the thickness of the metal when doing this.
Once you place your burger down, use the press to gently apply pressure until the burger condenses slightly. Try to look at it from a side profile: you’ll see the burger expand outward and condense down. You want to do this until the burger is about half the size that it was when you put it down on your cooking surface.
Between the heat from the press and your cooking surface, this will cook extremely fast. For fresh meat burgers, keep your eye on how fast it’s cooking if you desire that bit of pink in the middle.
For frozen burgers, wait until they’ve had a minute to cook on your cooking surface. Flip them, and then place the press down on the browned side. When you place it directly on frozen meat, it can stick to your grill press and ruin the burger.
How to Clean Your Grill Press
A cast iron steak press can be cleaned in two ways.
1. Use a soft bristle brush once the grill press has cooled. Soak it in a warm soapy solution, and gently go with the grain of the grill marks, cleaning out debris and char from in between these markings. Repeat this until the press is clean, rinse it under warm water, and leave it out to air dry.
2. Completely soak a cloth in warm water until it’s drenched. Roll it into a ball, and press it against your hot grill press. The water will begin to evaporate, so you’ll want to work quickly. Wipe up and down the grill press cleaning the grooves as you go. When you’re completely done, the cloth will need to be cleaned, and a quick water rinse on your grill press should finish it off.
How do You Grill With a Grill Press?
You start by preheating the grill press. As we’ve mentioned before, just leave it on your preheated grill or cooking surface of choice for about ten minutes until it heats up.
Place your food on the grill, and immediately place the grill press on top. You don’t have to press down; just leave it there, and then close your grill.
Normally, we’d be pressing down on our food, but if you leave it there and close the top, the smoke and heat buildup will cook the sides of your food (steak, burgers) while the direct heat cooks the bottom and top of your food.
If you press down on your food, it could cause grease to drip out and create flare-ups for gas and charcoal grills. This is going to give an uneven level of cooking to the bottom of your food, which can be completely avoided.
Plus, this helps lock in the moisture for burgers, steaks, and chops. It doesn’t extract the moisture out like a George Foreman grill, so long as you’re careful about how you do it.
Does a Grill Press Dry Out Food?
If you’re careful, it actually locks in moisture. It’s like having a stove on both sides of your food cooking it simultaneously. Rapidly cooking the surface of both sides of your steak doesn’t mean it will dry out; you simply have to account for the faster cooking time.
The number one reason that people assume grill presses dry out food is because most people don’t know how to use them. Treat it like a handheld stove with the same cooking potential as your actual stovetop or grill, and account for shorter cooking times.
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Your New Grill Tool
Now you know what it takes to make a perfect panini, a stellar seared steak, and a fantastic fillet that’s grilled to perfection—it’s all about the press that you use. You can cook your food faster, and if you’re careful, you can keep it nice and moist
The best of the best are sorted out in front of you, all you have to do is determine which one matches your budget and your needs, and go for it. You’re not going to find any grill press that’s better than what we’ve shown you today.