If you have a liking for crispy fillets, seared steaks, and well-done browned grilled sandwiches, then you should really consider getting a grill press. A grill press is a flat weight made of cast iron or other heavy materials such as aluminum and glass.
Grill presses are also commonly referred to as bacon presses or steak weights. This device is used to keep food flat on the grill as it cooks and distributes the heat evenly. Presses are mostly used on outdoor grills; however, they can also be used indoors with a skillet or stovetop.
Presses are simple, ingenious ways to effectively and evenly grill food on both sides. They apply adequate pressure and weight to your food, ensuring that they get proper contact with the cooking surface. This cooks the food better and removes any unwanted fats, resulting in healthier and more scrumptious meals.
Most brands also include raised strips on the pressing surface to create beautiful grill marks on your food.
How to choose the best Grill Press
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When planning on purchasing a grill press, there are a few things you should consider, these include:
An efficient grill press should weigh at least a pound. Anything lighter will not provide satisfactory results. Top-of-the-line presses weigh anything between 2 pounds and 3 pounds.
The recommended material for grill presses is cast iron. This is because it is able to retain heat and sear the top of your steak deeper than most other materials. Alternatively, you can opt for a stainless steel press, which requires little to no maintenance and is way easier to clean than cast iron.
Ease of Cleaning
A good grill press should be relatively easy to wash. A straightforward and simple press is recommended as it does not collect grime or dirt on the edges.
When it comes to handles, it should be a material that doesn’t absorb heat. Otherwise, your barbeque can quickly turn into a medical emergency. Wood and silicone are the most preferred materials for handles. They are comfortable and provide a firm grip.
How to use a Grill Press
A drill press is an excellent addition to your kitchen. If used correctly, you can easily take your meals way better. If you enjoy uniformly grilled sandwiches, crispy fish fillets, or deeply seared steaks, a grill press will make days brighter.
Before you embark on purchasing and using this handy tool, there are a couple of things you should take note of;
Avoid putting too much food at a go
Ensure your food is well and evenly cooked. It is quite recommendable to cook one piece of your meal (chicken, sandwich, steak) at a time. However, if you are steaming your food, you can put as much as you like underneath your press.
You don’t have to keep the press on top of your food the whole time
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Once you achieve that proper sear, it is advisable to remove your press. This significantly minimizes the likelihood of squashing or crushing the food when cooking.
Food will cook faster
Presses are designed to speed up the cooking process to some extent since they press the food closer to the source of heat. When you press the food against the food, excess moisture is pushed out (not enough to alter the flavor and texture of the final product)
Ensure the food completely fits under the press
Anything that is not underneath the cooking surface will not get weighed down, which means it won’t get that beautiful brown crusting.
Preheat the press for a uniform and faster browning
Preheating your press directly over the heat source will ensure that your food sears evenly on both sides. Ensure your cooking surface and the grill press are heated to the same level to avoid overcooking on one side.
The Cuisinart Cast Iron Grill Press is designed to make grilling more comfortable, faster, and, most importantly, healthier. The press removes unwanted excess fat from your food, providing more nutritious grilled foods.
Cuisinart press significantly reduces your cooking time and leaves beautiful grill marks that make your food even more attractive. The press features a comfortable wood handle and weighs about 3 pounds.
When the grill press has absorbed ample heat, the ridged surface leaves perfectly laid out diagonal char marks. To use the press, ensure it is heated to the same temperature as the pan or grill, then place it directly on top of your food. The press’s surface is large enough to accommodate two burgers at a time.
The cast-iron build ensures that heat radiates evenly, allowing the food to cook to perfection. As the fat is cooked out while searing meat, it develops interesting, complex flavors that take every meal to another level.
This heat press is super durable and relatively easy to clean, however considering that it is made of cast iron, it is quite important to dry it immediately after washing to avoid rusting or messing up the food’s flavor.
The Jim Beam JB0177 is another excellent addition to this list. The stylish and thoughtfully designed cast iron grill press is a suitable product that meets the highest standards of functionality and quality. The grill press works effectively on any grilling surface and works great for seafood, pork, chicken, burgers, veggies, and steak.
The press features a spiral stainless steel handle, which provides an excellent grip when moving the press around. It is also pre-seasoned with high-quality vegetable oil, making it ready for immediate use. Like most other presses available in the market, the Jim Beam delivers evenly cooked food and speeds up the entire cooking process.
The press is not only comfortable and straightforward to use but also relatively easy to clean. The best way to clean the grill press is by hand, and make sure you dry it immediately after to avoid rust on the cast iron. It weighs 2.64 pounds.
Lodge is yet another reputed brand when it comes to grill presses. Their Pre-Seasoned Grill Press is made of a top-grade cast iron base and a stay-cool spiral handle, making it both durable and practical. The grill press is designed to press out any excess grease from your burgers or steaks.
When preheated to the same temp as the grill or pan, the press reduces the cooking time significantly due to its heat retention capability. The press comes pre-seasoned with oil, giving it an easy-release finish that improves as it ages. The Lodge grill press works great on the stove, in the oven, over the campfire, or on the grill.
To clean the press, hand wash it and dry it immediately afterward to avoid rust. Don’t forget to administer a light coating of cooking oil to keep your press ready for your next weekend barbecue.
This beautiful burger press is designed to lock in the flavors and create a caramelized crust with ease. The press is crafted from high-quality, durable cast iron with the required weight to make perfect 6-inch flat patties that solidly hold together during cooking. The Cuisinart CISB-111 features a 1-centimeter raised edge that locks in the fats, retaining the burger’s juices and flavors.
The press is quite practical and efficient, especially when making large quantities of burgers for several people. It keeps the patties uniform in shape, allowing them to cook evenly and faster.
It is recommended that you use 80% ground beef with at least 20% fat content for the best results. This will give you crispy edges and a perfect juicy center. All you need to do to make amazing burgers is roll ground beef into quarter-pound round balls and place them on your oiled griddle or skillet.
Use your Cuisinart burger press to press the patty down until you touch the cooking surface. The edge lip of the press retains all the flavorful juices inside your patty. The patty will get a nicely done caramelized layer on the bottom.
The Bellemain Grill Press has a classy construction made of heavy-duty cast iron, making it almost indestructible. The press weighs 3 pounds, and enough weight to cook your steak or sandwich will sear evenly, eliminating overcooked or raw sections.
The press can be seasoned with cooking oil to provide a non-stick surface, ensuring your food remains intact while removing the press. It also features an easily changeable stay-cool wooden handle, which allows you to press and lift the grill press without any fear and the need for cooking gloves.
On top of everything, the Bellemain comes with a 3-year full warranty, giving you peace of mind as you enjoy your next meal.
The Tezzorio Cast Iron Steak boasts a reliable, durable build that is practical and aesthetically pleasing. The Tezzorio grill press helps you speed up the cooking process of bacon, burgers, steaks, and a wide range of other meats. The Cast Iron Steak press is ideal for gas burners, electric burners, induction burners, grills, and campfires.
The Tezzorio is designed as a commercial press. Hence you get a set of two presses to get more done at the same time. It can also make a great addition to kitchenware, especially if you host many people every once in a while.
The more massive grill press measures 8 1/4”, while the smaller one measures 4 1/4”. Both feature wooden handles, allowing you to move them even when hot, easily. However, it is essential to understand that the wooden handles are not dishwasher safe, and exposure to hot water can cause warping or splintering.
For longevity, it is advisable to hand wash the press and dry it entirely immediately after. You can also use a wood conditioner on the handle from time to time, as this will retain the wooden handle’s texture and prolong its life.
The press also has a textured underside that leaves beautiful grill marks on your meat, giving it a rather pleasing pattern.
Based in Medellín, Colombia, Victoria was founded in the 1930s. Over the years, the company has established itself as one of the most revered cast iron grill press makers in the industry.
The Victoria Cast Iron Grill Press reduces your cooking time by about half depending on your cuts’ thickness. The press is absolutely fantastic for beef, burgers, poultry, grilled sandwiches, panini, flatbread, and more.
The press comes with an easily removable cool-touch wood handle that can easily be replaced by simply unscrewing the attaching screws. The drill press also comes with a textured bottom that minimizes sliding, keeping the press in place at all times while even leaving attractive grill marks on your steak. The Victoria press weighs 2.15 pounds, enough weight to uniformly cook everything up.
It transfers and retains heat evenly and can be used to squeeze out unwanted fat from meat and flatten your streaks of bacon. The press is pre-seasoned with non-GMO Flaxseed oil (natural vegetable oil) to allow easy release of your food when picking the press up.
The HIC Rectangular Grill Press is another wonderful grill press that simply cannot be excluded from this list. The Rectangular Grill Press is made from high-quality cast iron. It is built with durability and convenience in mind. The 6.75” x 4” cooking surface is designed to distribute heat, allowing your steak to cook properly. When preheated, the HIC Rectangular significantly reduces your cooking time, so you can have more time to enjoy your food.
The press is ideal for bacon, poultry, seafood, burgers, soft taco shells, sandwiches, and more. It flattens bacon to prevent shrinking and curling. This allows the bacon to cook faster and evenly with a crispier surface while reducing splatter. The stay-cool wooden handle makes it easy to move the press around no matter how hot it is.
It is advisable to pre-season the press with a coat of vegetable oil for the best cooking experience every time you use it. After use, make sure you clean it in warm water, rinse it and dry it thoroughly before keeping it away.
The Norpro 8.75 Cast Iron Press measures 8.75” x 8.75” x 3.25”, which provides more than enough cooking surface. This allows you to conveniently cook multiple bacon strips at a go while maintaining its shape and ensuring its evenly cooked. The press is made with heavy-duty cast iron, which makes the kitchen device almost indestructible. It is also fitted with a wooden handle that remains cool no matter how hot the cooking surface is.
The package features straightforward instructions on how to season the grill before use, clean it, and store it properly. This easy-to-clean device only requires hand washing and proper rinsing, after which you should thoroughly dry it with a paper towel.
If you are into aesthetics just as much as you’re into food, then the Outset Grill Press was designed for you. The beautiful press is made with top-grade cast iron for enhanced durability while ensuring the heat is evenly distributed worldwide.
The grill is also fitted with a rosewood wooden stay-cool handle for added convenience. The handle is easily replaceable, thanks to the two screw attachments. The press works well with different types of meat, including poultry, beef, mutton, and pork.
The cooking surfaces measure 8” in diameter, which means you can grill multiple food items simultaneously. It is ideal for outdoor and indoor use, which means it works efficiently on a grill, stovetop, or even campfire.
The outset press ensures they remain flat on the cooking surface for bacon, allowing them to cook evenly with a nice crispy exterior. If you don’t like fatty meat, that is another good reason to get the outset press. It presses out all excess unwanted fat while ensuring the meat cooks properly on both sides.
All in all, a grill press is worth having in your kitchen. It might be what you just need to take your grilling to the next level, leaving all your friends and family anticipating an invitation to your next weekend’s barbecue. Most of the brands offer warranties, but the chance is you will never need to use them because the grill presses on this list are practically indestructible.
The presses on our list are some of the best available in the market today. However, choosing the best grill press boils down to your specific needs and personal preferences. Enjoy your new grilling experience.
James is the owner of North. After working at Nick’s on Broadway, James moved to Red Fez and put his knowledge to the test with hot dog R&D. He assisted in the launch of Momofuku Ko in NYC In 2008. And a year later, James was part of Christina Tosi’s team for Momofuku Milk Bar as their bread baker.