There’s nothing like a good grill press to flatten and squeeze the grease out of burgers on the grill and keep bacon, steaks and chops from curling up on the edges. This small handy tool is better than a spatula, since it is heavier and can do more than just flatten your bacon.
Sometimes referred to as a steak weight or bacon press, a grill press can also speed up the cooking process of whatever you are making on the grill or in a fry pan. Many grill presses are made of cast iron, although you can find some made from stainless steel.
Some of the cast iron models have raised strips on the bottom. When pre-heated correctly, the press can add char marks to your steaks, chops, burgers or even a grilled cheese.
Like most cast iron items, a grill press made of this material is durable, but needs to be seasoned often to remain non-stick and free from rust.
We feature six grill presses you can purchase online. Read on to find the one that best suits your needs.
If you love bacon, and love it flat and crispy, then you may want to consider this rectangular cast-iron grill press from Lodge. Measuring 6.75 inches by 4.5 inches, the flat, black press weighs three pounds and has a stay-cool black spiral handle and a unique hammered finish.
This grill press is the ideal size to use in the oven, on the stovetop, or pressing out the grease from burgers on the grill or even on a pan over a campfire. And if you heat it up first, the grill press will accelerate the cooking time of whatever you press it against.
The model has been pre-seasoned with oil for a natural, easy-release finish that improves with use, and has a heavy-duty cast iron base. It not only looks good, it will get the job done quickly and easily without your hands getting hot.
When you’re done using it, hand wash and towel dry it immediately after cleaning, and apply a light coating of cooking oil to re-season. In this way, the grill press will give you many years of service.
It should be mentioned that there is some assembly required and you will need to have a screwdriver and an adjustable wrench or pliers on hand.
- Made of heavy-duty cast iron
- Cool-grip spiral handle
- Good for induction tops
- Made in America
- More expensive than other models
Top Pick Best Versatile: Cuisinart CGPR-221, Cast Iron Grill Press
A good grill press is the tool to use to flatten out a steak and burgers, and to press out unwanted grease and fat. But it can also be used to for other things, like making grilled cheese sandwiches and paninis.
This durable cast iron grill press from Cuisinart measures 8.75 x 4.4 x 3.5 inches and has a large, comfortable wooden handle that gives it an overall stylish look. If you heat the grill press, the ridged surface on the bottom will create perfect char marks on your steaks, burgers or sandwiches.
And to speed up the cooking process, just heat the press to the same temperature as the grill or pan and place it directly on top of the food. It’s even large enough to press two burgers at a time, and ideal for cooking bacon, pork chops, or for keeping hot dogs in place on the grill.
You can even use it to make sandwiches. After the pan and press are heated to the right temperature, put a fresh panini or grilled cheese sandwich in the pan and place the grill press on top of it. The weight of the grill press provides the perfect amount of pressure to cook the sandwich evenly and add wide diagonal char lines.
When you’re done, clean up is easy by hand washing and drying immediately so it won’t rust.
- Made from heavy-duty cast iron
- Wooden handle with comfortable grip
- Ridged surface on the bottom gives char marks
- More expensive than other models
This affordable commercial grade grill press is made from cast iron with a wooden handle that is designed to keep cool while you are using it. Measuring 4.24 inches by 8.25 inches, it is ideal to press burgers and stop bacon and steak from curling.
This durable press can withstand heavy use and is a good choice for cooks who will be using it on a regular basis. The solid, flat face of the press is pressed directly on the meat to be flattened, plus with some extra pressure, it will squeeze out any extra fat and grease.
In order to keep the grill press in good shape, it’s best to clean it properly and not put it into the dishwasher. Wait until it cools completely and then clean the surface with hot water and a stiff brush. Do not use a grill brush, as the bristles are too abrasive for the grill press.
- Made from cast iron
- Does not come pre-seasoned
- Base has textured bottom that some people may not like
This cute country pig-themed grill press not only looks great, it performs just the way a good press should. It will hold your cooking bacon flat so that it cooks faster, splatters less and ends up with more crisp surfaces.
Made from cast iron, the press also heats evenly to help speed up cooking times. The wooden stay cool handle adds a classic look to the black base and the 6.75-inch by 4-inch rectangular press is the ideal size to flatten burgers, pork chops and steaks, too.
This grill press should be seasoned with oil before you use it the first time. To do so, wash the press in warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to a frying pan and lightly coat the base of the grill press. Place the press face down in the pan and heat over a very low flame for 20 minutes. Wipe away any excess oil and now the grill press is seasoned and ready to use.
You can use this press on non-stick cookware and it can also be used for pressing paninis, quesadillas, soft taco shells, and hash browns for even crisping, and for pressing out whey when making cheese or thick yoghurt.
If you see any signs of rust, simply re-season the press.
- Affordably priced
- Cute country pig design
- Versatile use
Must season before use
If you do a lot of your cooking in a round pan, then a rectangular grill press may not be what you need. This round cast-iron press is an ideal choice that will fit into most fry pans.
Made from durable cast iron, this press weighs 2.6 pounds and has a comfortable wooden handle. Pre-seasoned with vegetable oil, it is ready to use right out of the package. The round press can be used on many surfaces such as a grill, griddle or pan, and used with gas, electric or induction stoves.
When the grill press is heated to the right temperature, the ridged surface on the base will create perfect char marks. The press will keep bacon and steaks from curling and also press out excess grease.
To clean, hand wash and towel dry immediately. Even though it has been pre-seasoned, it’s best to season it after every use.
- Round shape fits into pans
- Made from cast iron for durability
- Leaves char marks
- More expensive than other models
Best Stainless Steel: Manucode Stainless Steel Grill Press, Commercial Grade Bacon Press with Wooden Handle
This grill press from Manucode is ideal if you’re not the type of person to season a cast iron press. Made from 18/10 stainless steel, this grill press does not need to be seasoned. It is also non-toxic, lead-free and easy to clean.
Measuring 8.2 inches by 4.3 inches, the press weighs 2.5 pounds and is large enough to squash two burgers or panini at a time and is excellent for speeding up the cooking time of steaks, burgers, salmon and bacon, and keep the edges of food flat. Properly preheated, the press will sear the food from above, creating a nice browned surface.
The wooden handle on this round grill press is designed to not rotate and is about three inches above the base plate to reduce the risk of burning your hands. And since the column is welded to the base plate, there are no raised screws or dents to hide dirt.
- Made from easy care stainless steel
- Does not have to be seasoned
- Thick, solid construction
- More expensive than cast iron
What to look for:
Material: Most grill presses are made of cast iron. This is a great material as cast iron is a good heat conductor and it distributes heat evenly. Cast iron is also weighty, which is important when considering a grill press. You may think a spatula can do the job of a grill press, especially when it comes to pressing grease out of burgers, but there is no equivalency here. A spatula is great for flipping burgers or fish, but there is no power behind the press. The advantage of a cast iron grill press is its weight; with some pressure, it will do the job of flattening bacon and other meat quickly. As well, when pre-heated correctly, a cast iron grill press can also speed up the cooking process, something a spatula cannot do.
The advantage of cast iron is its durability. The downside of cast iron is that to maintain that durability, it has to be properly cared for. This includes washing it by hand and carefully drying it, plus seasoning it with vegetable oil, preferably after each use. By doing this, it will retain a non-stick surface and not rust.
If you like the idea of cast iron but not the care and maintenance involved, then you might want to consider one made of high-quality stainless steel. These cost a bit more than some cast iron models, but they are pretty maintenance free, don’t need to be seasoned, and usually can be put into the dishwasher.
Size/shape: The majority of grill presses are rectangular and measure about 8 inches by 4 inches, although that does vary slightly. A rectangular grill press is a convenient size if you are using it on a grill or griddle. However, some people use only a fry pan, most of which are round. If this is the case for you, then it is recommended that you purchase a round grill press.
The handle: The handle of a grill press can be wired metal, smooth metal or wood. You may choose one for aesthetic purposes, but also consider heat transfer and if your hands will get hot while using the press. A wood handle is generally considered a better option, as it does not get as hot as a metal one. Also make sure that it is located high enough away from the base so it keeps your hand away from the heat.
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