Updated November 9th, 2018 – Everybody loves having a freshly cooked burger, or maybe a nicely seared steak. But sometimes it is just too much work to fire up the grill for a simple meal for one or two people. Not to mention the weather doesn’t always cooperate when you want to grill.
In a hurry? Check out one of our favorite pans here!
Luckily, in these moments you can use a grilling pan on your stovetop. You get pretty similar results, you’ll almost think you got the grill going.
Alright so what exactly is a grill pan?
A grill pan (or griddle pan) is a pan with raised griddles that are meant to give your food the char marks that only come from a grill. The raised edges also allow juices from your meat to drip to the bottom so that your food doesn’t cook in its fat and become too greasy.
In short, a grill top is just an excellent tool for those moments when it isn’t feasible to light an entire grill.
Today I want to talk about grill pans for ceramic stovetops. Ceramic tops can be somewhat difficult to work with when trying to grill food, especially with how easily they can get scratched. Most grill pans are going to be made of cast iron.
To help decide what product you should purchase, I put together a review of the three most effective grill pans I have found for your ceramic cook-top.
Utopia Kitchen Cast Iron
The first product I looked at was the Utopia Kitchen Cast Iron Grill Pan. I like this pan mainly because of the price tag. This is likely the most reasonably priced product for what we are trying to accomplish.
The Utopia grill pan comes with 10.5 inches of cooking space. Perfect for are cooking for two. Plus the cast iron gives your food an excellent taste, especially after it has a few uses under its belt.
What I like most about this product is the ability of the pan to go from stove-top straight to the oven. Be sure to use gloves when bringing it back out of the oven. Obviously.
Is this the pan for you?
The Utopia Kitchen Cast Iron Grill Pan is a good product that can be used from time to time, though I’m not sure I would recommend it for daily use. That is unless you don’t mind having to purchase another one in a few months.
While it is a product worth looking at if you are on a budget, I wouldn’t go for this one if you want something that’ll last several years.
Calphalon 11” Grill Pan
The second product to cover is one that has gotten a lot of praise from those who have had the pleasure of using it. The Calphalon Contemporary Non-Stick 11 inch Grill Pan is by far one of my favorite products in this category.
I love that it has a generous amount of cooking space on it, and the stainless steel handle makes it look extraordinary.
As with most cast iron grill pans, it is also safe to put in the oven. It can take temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit without losing its integrity.
Also, a very nice quality of this one is the fact that it is dishwasher safe. I don’t clean my cast iron products in the dishwasher. It takes away from the season it develops through repeated use. But if you would rather let your dishwasher do the work, this is the product you want.
Is this the pan for you?
Overall this is an excellent quality pan, perfect for cooking in high heat. It distributes the heat perfectly, giving a great cook and looks great in the kitchen.
This may not be the product for you if you are looking for something on the lower end of grill pan prices. But if you want a quality pan that will be available for consistent use for an extended amount of time, this is a pan that I think you will enjoy.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet
Alright, it’s time for the product I think is the most exciting of the group. Admittedly, I am somewhat of a “grill nerd” so I am more willing to drop a decent chunk of change for very high-quality equipment, and this one fits the bill.
The Le Creuset Cast Iron Grill Pan is a professional quality skillet, with a 10 and a quarter inch cooking surface. Le Creuset guarantees their products for life, so the money you spend here is good for as many years as you will be cooking. Just make sure you take proper care of it.
Again, this skillet can go from stove top to oven without having to worry about warping the iron. The main difference here is that it can withstand more heat than any other skillet I have come across.
Le Creuset has long perfected the art of “cast iron skillet making.” They are easily the crème de la crème when it comes to great cookware.
Is this the pan for you?
At the risk of sounding a little bit biased, ABSOLUTELY!
But do keep in mind, this is a top of the line grill pan so that you will be paying a premium price for it. If it is within your budget, I would recommend springing for this one. Hey, you might even find it on sale.
This grill pan will cook your food as though you were outside on the grill. And with a little preventative maintenance on it, it will be a staple in your kitchen for generations.
We’ve gone through three grill pans that I feel comfortable recommending to you. It doesn’t matter what level you are as a chef. From beginner to professional, there is a product in this list for you.
That said, there is one more thing I need to mention. Ceramic cooktops can be very sensitive. The heat from cast iron can cause a lot of smoke, making ugly black marks on the burner. So make sure you keep handy a good glass stovetop cleaner and a scraper to keep your cook-top clean.