Grill Presses

From America's Test Kitchen Season 10: The Italian Grill

Overview:

The key to preparing the Sicilian classic pollo al mattone—chicken under a brick—is the brick itself. The weight (we used two 6-pounders wrapped in foil) holds the bird flat on the grill, helping the chicken to cook faster and the fat to render for crisp, golden skin. Do cast-iron grill presses do the job any better? We tested four brands, at prices from $14.99 to a whopping $70. Presses that were too light or small left the skin flabby and boosted cooking time. We preferred the heftiest model for its comfortable handle and nearly 5 pounds of chicken-pressing weight. But at $27.95, we can’t recommend it over bricks, which cost 35 cents apiece.

The key to preparing the Sicilian classic pollo al mattone—chicken under a brick—is the brick itself. The weight (we used two 6-pounders wrapped in foil) holds the bird flat on the grill, helping the chicken to cook faster and the fat to render for crisp, golden skin. Do cast-iron grill presses do the job any better? We tested four brands, at prices from $14.99 to a whopping $70. Presses that were too light or small left the skin flabby and boosted cooking time. We preferred the heftiest model for its comfortable handle and nearly 5 pounds of chicken-pressing weight. But at $27.95, we can’t recommend it over bricks, which cost 35 cents apiece.

less
  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Highly Recommended - Winner

    Two Bricks

    Heavy bricks press chicken flat against the grill for crisp skin and quick cooking—and you can’t beat the price. Wrap bricks in foil before using.

    • Coverage ★★★
    • Steadiness ★★★
    • Performance ★★★

    70 cents (35 cents each)

  • Recommended

    Emerilware by All-Clad Cast-Iron Square Grill Press

    Delivered deep grill marks and rendered skin, thanks in part to its heft—it was the heaviest in the lineup after the bricks. The square shape covered most of the pressed chicken, so cooking was fairly even. The handle was well constructed and easy to grip to remove from the grill. Our only complaint: The ridged design made the press feel a little unsteady on the uneven surface of the chicken.

    • Coverage ★★
    • Steadiness ★★
    • Performance ★★★

    DISCONTINUED

  • Not Recommended

    Le Creuset Grill Press

    While this press had the largest surface area of the lineup, it was not heavy enough to press the chicken into the grill—and the price was exorbitant.

    • Coverage ★★★
    • Steadiness
    • Performance

    $69.95

  • Not Recommended

    Cast Iron Grill Press by Steven Raichlen

    The only rectangular press in the lineup, it couldn’t compete with other models when it came to coverage. Its light weight yielded slower cooking times than the top performers.

    • Coverage
    • Steadiness ★★
    • Performance ★★

    $14.99

  • Not Recommended

    Lodge Round Grill Press

    While it was the second-heaviest press we tested, that didn’t help its performance. The small diameter left half the chicken with flabby, un-rendered skin. Grill marks were barely visible, and cooking took an extra 20 minutes.

    • Coverage
    • Steadiness ★★
    • Performance

    $29.99

In My Favorites
Please Wait…
Remove Favorite
Add to custom collection