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Grill pan...what's best?

I've always done my grilling outdoors on a gas grill, but would now like to buy a grill pan so that I can grill indoors on my gas stove. Most of my cooking is for only two persons, but occasionally I cook for four. Highest priorities are good grill marks on the cooked foods (steak, chicken, veggies, etc.) and easy cleanup. What grill pan do you really like and
recommend?

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  1. Get one that is THICK for lots of thermal mass that will span two burners on your stove. I used the Lodge model with good success.

    A normal grill pan will give you the grill marks but, will it give you the space you need to cook everything? On the cheap, a Lodge skillet with the ribs works pretty well and doesn't take up a lot of room.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sid Post

      Agree. Lodge cast iron. I love my Lodge Signature grill pan.

      1. re: Sid Post

        I don't use a grill pan, but I second the two-burner idea. I use a flat-surfaced one when I make a lot of French toast. It's really the only thing I use it for, so I call it my French toast pan. I wonder if you can get a double-burner pan that's grill on one side and flat on the other. That would be useful.

      2. Well, I can tell you what's not the best ..... Nathan's Reversible Grill Griddle. I have one that I got for a good price at Target, but I am far from thrilled by it.
        It's basically the same as this:
        http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-Non...

        I do use the griddle side for pancakes and tortilla's, but it can't take the heat required for searing/"grill marking" because it's not cast iron.

        1. Cook's Illustrated review of Grill Pans.
          Published January 1, 2006. From Cook's Illustrated.

          ***** Paraphrased review *****

          Cook's Illustrated determined that aluminum grill pans were the pans of choice for indoor grilling because, aluminum grill pans were lighter, more heat conductive and produced
          more distinct grill marks than did cast iron grill pans. They also found that stamped, hollow bottomed ridges, produced more distinct grill marks than did solid cast ridges. The reason for this is because the interior of the hollow ridges were directly exposed to the heat source which allowed for better heat transfer.

          Graded on grilling performance and cleanup in descending order.
          All in the Recommended category scored the same
          for performance and cleanup, except for the All Clad which left uneven
          grill marks on zucchini. The Simply Calaphon
          ranked at the top due to its large cooking area and best price
          in the category.

          All of the Recommended with Reservations category had faint or
          uneven grill marks. In addition, the Scanpan had tall, tight ridges
          that made for more difficult cleaning than the others.

          Recommended

          Simply Calphalon Nonstick 13-Inch Round Grill Pan, Model Number SH1113P
          Pampered Chef Professional Cookware 11-Inch Square Grill Pan, Model Number 2868
          Anolon Advanced 12-Inch Covered Deep Round Grill Pan, Model Number 81302
          Swiss Diamond 11-Inch Square Grill Pan, Model Number 66281
          All-Clad LTD. 11-Inch Square Grille Pan, Model Number 3011

          Recommended with Reservations

          Berndes 12-Inch Square Grill Pan, Model Number 696167
          Look Nonstick Square Grill Pan, 10 1/2 Inches, Model Number C-G27
          Scanpan Classic 10 1/2-Inch Nonstick Square Grill Pan, Model Number 27301200

          2 Replies
          1. re: Antilope

            I love my Simply Calphalon Grill Pan. I've dones steaks, burgers, fish, chicken & veggies with good results. Even heating & cleans up easily.

            1. re: jenni49

              I almost bought a Calphalon Grill Pan this afternoon, but then I was intrigued by the new Cuisinart Green Gourmet non-stick grill pan which uses a non-stick "ceramica" coating rather than the usual HFC coatings. Has anyone tried this new technology?

          2. I have a vintage Belgique, flat, round, cast iron grill pan that I resort to when the weather's too nasty for real grilling, or I want a panini-style sandwich (with a foil-wrapped brick). Enameled on the bottom and uncoated cook surface. $5 garage sale find. Actually works really well, and not too bad to clean.

            FYI, Lodge makes a rectangular bare cast-iron grill SHEET (as opposed to a pan) that I like to use both indoors and out for kebabs and vegetables, especially asparagus, eggplant and zucchini. But you have to make sure your hob and surrounding area are drip- and flame-safe!

            1. I love my heavy Lodge reversible two-burner grill pan/griddle. It has enough mass to take the heat, but also works well at lower temps for panini, etc.

              http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...