Gadget name: Staub 12-Inch American Square Grill Pan and Press
Price: $219.95 (it includes the press), available on Amazon
It looks like: A square, enameled cast-iron frying pan with ridges on its cooking surface.
How it’s supposed to work: This pan claimed to produce even grill marks on food and clean up easily afterward, too.
How we tested it: We cooked zucchini planks, strip steaks, hamburgers, and salmon marinated in a soy-maple glaze on this sturdy pan to see how it handled vegetables and meat.
How it actually works: It consistently produced crisp, distinct grill marks, and had the highest ridges of all the pans we tested, so it kept food well above any rendered fat.
Good to know: This generously proportioned ridged press comes with a coordinating panini press (it weighs down a sandwich on the hot cast-iron surface for maximum crisped goodness).
My favorite part: It has the largest cooking surface of all the grill pans we tested, and its enamel coating is easy to clean.
Drawbacks: Cast iron is heavy: The pan weighs 10 pounds (without the press). However, its solid construction accounts for flawless heat retention, so we don’t mind the heft.
Best for: Days when you want the marks of the grill without leaving the comfort of your kitchen.
Overall: For sear-seekers, the Staub is worth the investment.
We also can recommend our Best Buy, the Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Square Grill Pan and its companion panini press; however, compared to the Staub, the smaller 10.5-inch Lodge pan fits just three burgers or two strip steaks.