How to Use a Grill Press Like a Chef: Top 9 Uses Explained

Do you want to know how to use a grill press to get the best out of it? The proper usage of this tool can make it your most favorite one among your BBQ tools. 

To help you use it for getting perfect stakes, smashed burgers, burgers, grilled sandwiches, and crispy fish skin around the filet, we’ve compiled this guide. 

Not only this, believe it or not, you’ll soon ditch the idea of getting some other ordinary kitchen tools, for this one is going to replace them all. The reason is, we’ve also compiled some lesser-known but creative uses of a bbq press in this article.

By sparing just 10 minutes, you’ll be getting XX value out of this few pounds heavier metal tool.

What is a Grill Press? Know First.

Before getting into the uses of a burger press, understanding the structure, design, and purpose of a grill press will help you creatively learn how to use it.

Grill press, bacon press, steak iron, steak press, burger press, and manual panini press are many names used for a single tool that helps you grill, press, or sear your food.

Grill press is a hand-sized, 2-3 pounds heavy flat metal surface of either round or rectangular. It has a metal or wooden handle on one side. On the other side, it can have grills marks as well, though you can get one with a simple surface as well. The downwards surface mainly presses the steak, hamburger, or sandwiches.

How does a Grill Press Work? 

A grill press primarily works in two ways:

  • You can use it to sear your food on the grill or some of the best cast iron griddles (skillet) by spending less time. For this purpose, you heat the grill press or burger press first.
  • You can use it as a press to speed the cooking process by getting an even heat distribution under your food.
  • You know a grill press is weighty. You can also use it for removing excess fat or water from your food during or after cooking.

The steak press has a thick metal surface to keep the heat. So, place it over your food after preheating; it cooks it from an otherwise exposed surface.

In the same way, when you use it as a press (weight), it presses the food against the grill, griddle, or skillet surface, to ensure that the food evenly touches the surface and gets heat via conduction.

Some Important Points to Remember when Using a Grill Press

The grill press is a handy tool, but using it improperly can affect your entire recipe seriously. So, you must keep the following point in view. 

When using a grill press, remember not to place it too tightly over delicate food items, like fish or some soft hamburger. If you love that crispy skin on the fish and want to use a grill press, make sure the filet isn’t fragile, or you don’t press it forcefully or keep it under the press for a longer time.

Maintain space between the food items.

A grill press releases moisture and fat from your food. So, it would help if you didn’t crowd your skillet or griddle with so many burgers or steak pressed under the grill presser. 

You’ll notice a flood of fluids, which can seem pretty problematic. Resultantly, your food will take a much longer time. Likewise, the steam will also ruin your food texture.

Avoid picking the hot grill press without a towel.

Never pick a hot grill press without a dish towel or some best bbq gloves. Even if the handle is made of wood, it can be risky. Similarly, when the grill press is not used during or after cooking, place it at a safer place so that you don’t touch it accidentally — it can burn you.

Food takes less time when under the bbq press.

The grill press speeds up the cooking process when your food receives an even amount of heat under the press. At that point, you shouldn’t observe the regular recipe’s required cook time. Check your food -20% before the advised time.

Don’t place the grill press on the food unnecessarily.

The grill press never means to rest on your food all the time until you have learned its usage well. Otherwise, it can smash the food.

Beware of build-up steam, running moisture, and fat release.

You get one grill press, right? I can expect that you might try to place it on many foods simultaneously, which don’t fit under it. It can be a bad idea. You can, rather, do so with a spatula, but when it’s about a grill press, let it do its job. So, only keep one steak or burger to allow it to spell its golden magic on your food’s surface.

By considering the guidelines mentioned above, you can effectively use your grill press.

  • How to Use a Meat Press for Steak?

You know how a grill press works. Now you can use it to sear or press your steak. For using it as a weight, place it over the steak. 

However, a steak press is used for searing a steak when you’re cooking it without a grill. You can follow these steps to use a hot grill press on your steak.

Step-1 Preheat the grill press

Preheat the grill press. You can place it on the stove for 10 mins on medium heat.

Step-2 Place steak in the griddle or skillet and sear it with grill press.

Following your recipe, place your steak in the pan. And pick the hot grill press to put on it. Use a bbq glove or dish towel to pick that burning hot cast iron or stainless steel press. 

Press it firmly for a few seconds. It’ll help to flatten the steak besides marking it with grill marks. Let it rest until your steak reaches a flip time. 

Check the doneness and only cook the above surface if necessary.

  • How should you use a Grill Press for Hamburgers?

Before using the grill press on a hamburger, you’ve to get the fully packed hamburger. Why? You’ll never want a hamburger turned into a gigantic smash burger — that’s a big mess! 

And, usually, it happens when you make handmade patties for your burgers. Don’t do that, especially when you’re dreaming about cooking and searing your burgers under your favorite grill press.

For this purpose, you have to do some preparations. Get the mince and first make hamburgers out of it. To do so, follow these steps:

Step-1 Prepare your Hamburger

Get a hamburger press. A hamburger press is a healthier and easy way to form hamburgers because you don’t touch the patties frequently during the process. You can make more burgers from your favorite meat like salmon, turkey, beef, or chicken in no time. Getting a hamburger press isn’t hard. You can easily get a stuffed burger press on Amazon.

Step-2 Heat your Grill Press. (Optionally)

Now you can sear your patties by using your grill press. To do it, first, preheat the grill press. On medium heat on your stove or grill, place the grill press for 10 minutes. 

Step-3 Grill the Patties

Place the burger on the grill or skillet for cooking, following your recipe. If you’re placing over one patty, leave 3 inches of space between each so that the water evaporates easily without forming a “pool.”

Step-4 Place the Grill Press on the Burger.

The time is to place the grill press over the burger. If you’ve preheated the burger press, then pick it using a kitchen or pot towel. 

Gently place it over the patty. See, if the burger is firm, improve the pressure a little so that the weight has done its job of flattening the burger surface and also searing it evenly from the top. Remove the press after some time to check the sear lest it should burn your patties.

If you’re not using a hot grill press, you can remove it more frequently to check the doneness of your burger. 

If you’re grilling the burgers on a grill, you need not sear it on the other side, as it’ll get that captivating grill marks itself. 

When your burger is fully cooked, you can serve it along with your favorite tomato sauce or other sauces. If you’re searing several burgers at a time, you might need over one grill press. 

  • How to Use a Grill Press for Searing Delicate Foods like Veggies and Fish?

Oh, it’s critical. You can’t blindly place the grill press over the veggies or fish. 

You need to take care. You can follow the procedure discussed earlier with some care as given below:

  • The grill press can prevent the fish coming out of the fridge from curling. The cold fish is prone to curling because of sudden temperature changes. So, you can put the grill press when frying or grilling the fish. As soon as your fish relaxes, it’ll stop curling.
  • The grill press only means to cook or sear the veggies quickly. So, do not press it tightly over them – it’s not about smashing them. You can hold it in your hand so that the food receives less weight.
  • Place the preheated grill press on a thicker filet of fish with the skin upward to get crispy fish skin. 
  • The thinner fish filet can usually curl up, which can be annoying. You can also place the grill press (without heating) over the fish filet to get an evenly cooked crusty filet.
  • How to Use a Cast Iron Grill Press as a Manual Panini Press

A rectangular cast iron grill press can be used as a substitute for a cast iron panini press. You can also use a stainless steel grill press, yet it might not give searing marks on your sandwich if it doesn’t come with those marks.

The process is the same; you can follow the steps listed below.

Step-1 Preheat the skillet and grill press

Keep your skillet and grill press on two separate burners for heating on medium heat. Preheat the grill press for 10 minutes but don’t preheat the skillet for a prolonged period. 

The reason is that when you place the heated grill press over the sandwich, it’ll no longer receive heat but transfer its own via conduction to the sandwich. In contrast, there will be a flame under the skillet.

Step-2 Season the skillet and grill press

After preheating, season teh skillet and grill press with the oil using a brush.

Step-3 Heat the skillet and cast iron grill press again

Again, you have to heat the griddle and cast iron grill press. This time, you won’t put the grill press on direct heat, for it can cause flares up. Instead, keep the grill press inside the skillet and let it heat for 3-4 minutes.

Step-4 Grill your sandwich

Showtime now! Oil the surface of the sandwich using a brush and let it land on your skillet. Put the grill press over it and let it cast the spell. Soon, you’ll see mesmerizing sear marks on the sandwich and melted cheese inside it.

  • How Can you Use a Grill Press for Cooking a Chicken Breast?

You can use a grill press for cooking a chicken breast as you do with steak. Honestly, a chicken breast is more in need of a chicken breast. The reason is, it’s usually thicker at one side to look sloppy. 

And, that’s a big problem to see uneven sear marks on your chicken breast, especially on the flipped side, for it already hotels the stiffness when cooked at one side. Here, a grill press comes as a solution.

But how should you use a grill press for chicken? Here is the learning curve again.

How to use a Grill Press when Grilling a Chicken Breast on a Grill?

As said earlier, the chicken breast has uneven thickness. So, you can use a grill press as a smasher to smash the tucker part of the chicken breast before putting it on the grill.

You can also use the cold grill press to get a darker sear when the chicken is on the grill. 

How to use a grill press when cooking chicken breast on a griddle?

When you’re cooking a chicken breast on the stove, you can use the grill press to speed up the cooking process, get an even heat under the chicken bread, and sear it, of course. To do this:

  • First, smash the chicken breast from the thick side to make it even. 
  • Use the grill press or kitchen hammer. 
  • Preheat the grill press on the stove at medium heat for 10 minutes.
  • Put the chicken breast in the pan and place the grill press bit tightly over it for a few seconds. Then, cook the chicken breast according to the recipe.
  • Flip it a little earlier than the recommended time to amaze yourself with a mesmerizing golden crust on both sides. You’ll love it!

How do you Use a Bacon Press for Cooking Pork Belly Strips?

We don’t know why they become too stubborn to return to their balanced state. You could only wish! 

It’s possible to avoid those curls without getting a $$$ panini press. You can use a grill press as a manual panini press to keep them straight. Just place a non-heated grill press over the pork strips. They won’t curl.

You can use the Grill Press for Smashing Burgers.

You don’t need to look for a burger smasher; alternatively, you can use the grill press. Pick this flat plate and press it over your few ounces of mince ball to turn into a smash burger.

You can use the Grill Press for Smashing or Mashing Veggies.

Garlic, ginger, boiled potatoes, asparagus, beans, bananas, what else can’t you smash with an ordinary grill press. You can use it creatively. 

Next time, when you need to crush some veggies, don’t run to get a smasher or slicer. If it’s stainless steel and approachable, use it…!


  • Do you season a cast iron grill press?

Yes, seasoning a cast iron or metal grill press is essential for non-stick performance and longevity. It would help if you seasoned the grill press when you unbox it, no matter whether it comes pre-seasoned. Similarly, seasoning after cleaning the grill press is also advisable. 

  • How do you season a grill press?

Seasoning a grill press is easy. Get any vegetable oil with a high smoke point. Brush it well on your grill press and let it heat in the oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 15-20 minutes.

Whenever you store your grill press, do the seasoning.

  • How do you store a grill press?

Apart from a cast iron grill press, aluminum or stainless steel do not need much care except cleaning and drying them when it comes to storing. Yet, to store a cast iron grill press so this:

  1. Properly clean the cast iron grill press.
  2. Season it following the method we discussed previously.
  3. Dry it and wrap it in a paper towel.
  4. Keep it in a dry place.
  • What type of grill press should you choose?

To choose a grill press, keep the following points in mind.


If you want to use a grill press, particularly for searing or cooking the food from the top simultaneously, go for the cast iron grill press. Yet, a stainless steel grill press can be a good choice if you look at a grill press for various uses like weighing, smasher, pressing, and ironing.


Grill presses are available with different handles. For instance, some have wooden handles that can be great for insulation, while others may have spring-like metal handles, which can get hot faster than wood. Remember, despite the handle material variation; you’ve to use a glove or pot towel for picking a hot grill press.


The grill presses have different shapes, like rectangular or round. You can choose any shape anticipating how creatively you’ll be using it. We’ll advise you to go for a round grill press, for they can fit any skillet besides going on a grill.

  • How should I clean a cast iron grill press?

Cast iron grill presses require careful treatment. You can’t ditch them into a dishwasher. Similarly, using dish wash soap is not advisable. 

As soon as you’ve done with your grill press, wash it with lukewarm water or cold water. Then dry it with a paper towel, season it and store it.

  • Do you have to season a cast iron grill press?

A debate…! You always need to season your cast iron grill press. You need not season your stainless steel grill press if you don’t use it hot. You’ll surely need to season any metal steak press of you. 

  • Will a steak iron dry up my steak?

Yes, when you use a grill press on the food, the pressure causes the water from food to release, which dries the steak or other foods dry a little bit. Yet, it doesn’t affect your steak significantly. You’ll surely get a more handsome steak with a bacon press.

Though many BBQ pros advise you to use a grill press for your steaks, yet remember, for a medium-rare steak, you should never use a grill press. Despite following the advised timing, your steak will lose its moisture, and you’ll regret it!  

  • What is the purpose of a cast iron grill press?

A cast-iron press is just the other name of a grill press. The only difference is its cast iron material. It also helps you push down on meat and other foods to improve their contact with the hot surface for uneven heat distribution. 

Final Thoughts

A grill press is a handy tool that brings you excellent value for the money if you know how to use a grill press. Using the comment section, you can share your unique and creative ways of using your grill press with us. is a participant in the Amazon Associate program and will earn from qualifying purchases.