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Secure your sear.

Grill Press 101 

By: Lodge Cast Iron / April 30, 2024

A grill press is a must-have kitchen tool for home cooks who love sizzling meats, veggies, and sandwiches on cast iron. The grill press adds enough pressure to ensure your food comes into full contact with the cooking surface to provide a nice, even sear that will take your cooking to the next level. New to this technique? Use this guide to get started.  

Smash burgers
Tips and Tricks 

Smash or press? 
When it comes to the grill press, you have two options. You can allow the weight and gravity to do the heavy lifting and simply leave it on the food to keep it flat and get a great sear. This is our go-to for sandwiches, veggies, and meats that tend to curl up while they cook, like pork chops and bacon. But you don’t always need to use the grill press the whole time. For smash burgers or smashed potatoes, we’ll smash the grill press down to flatten the food and get a great initial sear, then pull it off while the food finishes. 

Make room
Place your food on the pan or grill with plenty of space. You need to be able to press your meat or veggies down without disturbing other food in the pan. If everything is too close, the food will begin to steam, rather than sear and you’ll lose the magic of the maillard reaction. If your pan is on the smaller side, simply sear in batches. 

Parchment paper is your friend
If you’re making something that might stick to your grill press, like smash burgers, place a small piece of parchment paper between the food and press. This will keep everything clean so the grill press is ready for the next batch. You can also oil your grill press up with Seasoning Spray to prevent sticking. 

Food cooks faster 
When using a grill press, adjust your cook time to avoid overcooking. A grill press ensures full contact between the food and cooking surface, so your food will get hot faster and stay hot. This requires some trial and error, but checking your food a couple of minutes before the normal cook time will prevent overdone food. 

Get started with these smash-worthy recipes! 

Diner-Style Smash Burgers
Diner-Style Smash Burgers  

This recipe is inspired by Burger Land host George Motz’s no-frills smash burger. You can sizzle these burgers inside or out—all you need is a big skillet and grill press! The best part? We pile onions on the skillet and smash the burgers on top for a dreamy, caramelized onion crust. Then, we slather it with a homemade roasted garlic aioli.

Get the recipe 

Grilled Smashed Potatoes 

These smashed potatoes are the perfect combination of savory and sweet to add to your grilling menu. The secret? We use a grill press to get the potatoes nice and crispy. Oh, and we add a little bit of bacon grease to the vinaigrette! Make enough for seconds.  

Get the recipe 

Grilled Smashed Potatoes with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Grilled Leeks with Parmesan and Pine Nut Vinaigrette
Grilled Leeks with Parmesan and Pine Nut Vinaigrette 

These leeks are the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and smoky to pair with chicken, pork, or fish. Plus, we use a grill press to give them delicious-looking sear marks packed with charcoal-grilled flavor. 

Get the recipe 

Add a grill press to your kitchen today! 

Contributed By: Lodge Cast Iron

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