I Never Thought I Needed a Grill Pan, But the OXO “Great” Grill Pan Completely Changed My Mind

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Asparagus grilling on OXO non-stick-grill pan
Credit: Caroline Mullen

I usually try to skip trendy kitchen gadgets in favor of quality, time-tested cookware that can serve multiple purposes — both because I live in a small apartment and because I subscribe to the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it life motto.

Avocado slicer? Don’t need it — I already have a paring knife. Air fryer? All my editors have one, but personally I’d rather not forgo the counter space. Vegetable chopper? I actually enjoy the meditative task of chopping, thank you very much. 

And because I live in a city apartment, I don’t have access to a grill. Shocker, right? But given the season (hello, summer!), plus the fact that some foods are just better with a deep, flavorful char, I gave the OXO Good Grips Nonstick 11” Square Grill Pan a chance in my quest for some proper grill marks.

What’s Great About OXO’s Grill Pan? 

OXO touts the “three-layer, German-engineered nonstick coating” as one of the pan’s main attributes, and I can’t disagree. It’s made with a particularly hardy nonstick coating (which is also hard to come by in the age of ceramic nonstick pans), which I anticipate will hold up to years of use. Because of its hard anodized body, the pan has a nice heft (but it’s not very heavy) and heats pretty rapidly (even on my cursed electric-coil stovetop) while distributing heat throughout, so even vegetables relegated to the corners of the pan can still pick up a nice sear. 

Just like with my regular cast iron or stainless steel skillet, I got a lovely sear on meats, vegetables, bread, and more, but unlike a regular skillet, the heat is concentrated on what’s in contact with the raised ridges — imparting those characteristic little grill lines. 

Credit: Caroline Mullen

I was able to get quick color and flavor on asparagus (one of my favorite vegetables to cook on a traditional grill) without losing the snappy texture, and I successfully pressed a grilled cheese into a pseudo-panini by applying pressure while crisping.

It’s also fabulous for meal-prepping pounded-thin chicken breasts, as they won’t curl up and lose all their juices (or, worse, remain white and colorless) when flash-grilled in the pan. Other things I’m looking forward to cooking in the OXO pan: a thick tuna steak that would be incomplete without grill marks, farmers market zucchini, delicate cod or flounder for grilled fish tacos, charred corn on the cob, and caprese sandwiches.

I don’t often cook red meat at home, but when I do, it’s likely a filet mignon and I’m inclined to butter baste it, which can be difficult to do in a grill pan given the shape. But since red meat is a rarity for me, this isn’t a big issue.

Credit: Caroline Mullen

How Do You Maintain the OXO Grill Pan?

Keep in mind that because this pan has a nonstick coating, the heat shouldn’t be cranked up past medium. You’ll also want to avoid using metal utensils with it, and it’ll need hand-washing in order to maintain the coating. These are all things I do anyway with my usual cookware.

Would I Recommend OXO’s Grill Pan?

I was skeptical about the necessity of a grill pan, but after using it in my own kitchen, I was so pleasantly surprised by its performance that it has earned a place in my cabinet right next to my trusted cast iron and stainless steel skillets

Buy: OXO Good Grips 11″ Nonstick Square Grill Pan, $49.99