The 5 Best Grill Trays That Are Non-Toxic And Safe For Your Outdoor Cooking 

 Last Update May 23, 2023

By Jenny Z

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Best Overall
Made In Cookware Carbon Steel Griddle with Leather Sleeves thumbnail

 4.9/5

Budget Friendly
Xtrema Grill Pan thumbnail

 4.8/5

If you've yet to add a grill tray to your cooking tools and gadgets collection, now's the time! A good grill tray can make all the difference in achieving perfectly cooked and flavorful food on the grill. Whether you're a seasoned grill master or just starting out, investing in the right grill tray can help you achieve those coveted grill marks and that delicious smoky flavor.

But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the perfect grill tray for your needs? Fear not, because we've got you covered! In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about buying a grill tray, from materials and size to ease of cleaning and heat retention. We have also highlighted some of the best grill pans and trays for outdoor cooking that is safe and non-toxic. 

What To Look For When Shopping For Grilling Pans And Trays

Material

Grilling trays and pans come in various materials, such as cast iron, stainless steel, and ceramic. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Cast Iron Grill Pans

Cast iron is durable and provides even heat distribution, but it can be heavy and require seasoning.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel grilling trays are lighter and easier to clean, but they may not provide as even heat distribution as cast iron.

Ceramic

Ceramics provide a nonstick surface without the use of chemicals, but it may be prone to cracking or chipping if not handled carefully.

Ceramic Enameled cast iron pans

Ceramic-enameled cast iron material has gained popularity over the past few years. However, ceramic-enameled cast iron is best to be avoided as some ceramic coatings may contain heavy metals like lead and cadmium, which can migrate out of the pan and into your food over time unless the brand offers some form of assurance on their enameled cast iron. It's best to avoid it.

Size and shape

The size and shape of the grilling tray or pan will depend on what you plan to serve or grill. A smaller grilling basket, tray, or pan may be more suitable if you're grilling smaller items, like vegetables or shrimp. A larger grilling basket, tray, or pan may be necessary if you're grilling larger items, like steak or whole fish.

Nonstick surface

A nonstick coating grill tray is always helpful and can make cleaning a breeze. It also makes cooking delicate foods like fish and vegetables easier without them sticking to the grilling basket, tray, or pan.

However, it's important to look for a nonstick coating free from harmful chemicals like PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) and PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). PFOA and PTFE are commonly used in nonstick coatings but have been linked to health concerns such as cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental issues. This is why many manufacturers now offer nonstick surfaces free from these harmful chemicals.

Handles

Outdoor grill pans and trays with handles make it easier to move them around the grill or transfer them to a serving platter. Look for handles that are sturdy and comfortable to hold.

Durability

Grilling trays and pans should be durable enough to withstand high heat and repeated use. Look for trays and pans made from high-quality materials that are designed to last for many grilling seasons to come.

Heat Retention

Heat retention is an important factor to consider when shopping for a grill pan or tray. Heat retention refers to the ability of the tray to retain heat, which is crucial for achieving even and consistent cooking results. Different materials can have a significant difference in the result.

Grill trays from materials like cast iron and stainless steel tend to retain excellent heat. Cast iron is a heavy and dense material that can retain heat for a long time, making it perfect for grilling. Stainless steel is also a good choice for heat retention, though it may not retain heat, as well as cast iron.

Ease To Clean

Grill pans made from materials like stainless steel and ceramic are generally easy to clean. Stainless steel is non-porous, which means that it doesn't absorb food particles or grease, making it easy to wipe clean. Ceramic grill pans are also nonstick and can be easily wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Cast iron, on the other hand, requires a bit more maintenance. Cast iron can rust if not properly cared for, so it's important to clean it thoroughly after each use. The grill pans should be cleaned with warm, soapy water and dried thoroughly before storing.

Price

Outdoor grill pans and trays can range from very affordable to quite expensive. Consider the price, your budget, and how often you plan to use the tray or pan before purchasing.

The 5 Best Non Toxic And Safe Outdoor Grill Pans and Trays

Made In Cookware Carbon Steel Griddle With Leather Sleeves

Best Overall

Made In Cookware Carbon Steel Griddle with Leather Sleeves

Source: Made In

Made in Cookware's Carbon Steel Griddle was designed to mimic a restaurant flat-top, maximizing direct heat contact for crispy edges. The versatile grill tray has been called "restaurant workhouse for your kitchen" by The New York Times and "what the pros use" by the Wall Street Journal.

Its modern carbon steel material combines the best qualities of cast iron and stainless steel: excellent heat retention, even heat distribution, and a naturally nonstick surface. Also makes it the ideal tool for finishing off dishes in the oven or broiler. Slip the Italian leather sleeves over the hand-welded raised handles for ergonomic carrying and added style. Designed to withstand a lifetime of frequent use, it's the perfect gift for the home chef in your life.

Unlike the other products on the market, Made in Cookware's Carbon Steel Griddle can handle heat up to 1200°F, making it perfect for searing steaks, cooking burgers, and even stir-frying veggies. One thing that really impressed me about the Carbon Steel Griddle was how easy it was to clean. Because the griddle is naturally nonstick, it means food doesn't stick, and the griddle's smooth surface makes it easy to wipe down. While you can't wash this griddle in the dishwasher, hand washing it is easy.

Our Ratings

Overall Rating: 4.9/5 Ease Of Cleaning: 4.6/5 Durability: 5/5 Value for Money: 4.8/5 Ease of Use: 4.8/5 Heat Retention: 5/5

Dimensions

24" L x 10.5" W x 1.5" H

Material

Carbon steel

Heat Resistant to

1200 F

Dishwasher safe

No

Pros:

  • Pre-seasoned
  • Safe up to 1200F
  • The nonstick surface makes the griddle easy to clean
  • The griddle can be used in the oven or broiler, which adds to its versatility
  • The griddle heats up quickly and evenly, ensuring that your food is cooked to perfection every time

Cons:

  • A bit pricey compared to other options on the market
  • Hand wash only
  • While this carbon steel cookware is pre-seasoned, it will need to be seasoned more with us
  • The griddle is quite heavy, which may make it difficult for some people to handle

FINEX Seasoned Cast Iron Lean Grill Pan

Best Value

FINEX Seasoned Cast Iron Lean Grill Pan

Source: Williams Sonoma

The FINEX Seasoned Cast-Iron Lean Grill Pan makes lean, low-fat grilling easy— without or without a barbeque out back. It is one of the best-cast iron grill pans on the market. Each heirloom-quality grill pan is handcrafted by skilled artisans at a small factory in Tennessee, where it's preseasoned with organic flaxseed oil for a natural nonstick finish. This means that food doesn't stick and cleanup is a breeze. Hand wash and care for it just like your other cast iron cookware.

The heavy-gauge cast iron construction ensures even heating and won't cool down when you add food. Measuring 15.5 inches X 9 inches, it fits nicely on a single stovetop burner, under the broiler, or on the side of the grill. What we love about this grill pan is how versatile it is. It's perfect for grilling up steaks, chicken, and other meats, but it's also great for searing vegetables, making sandwiches, and even baking small loaves of bread. The ridges on the grill pan create beautiful grill marks and help to drain excess fat away from your food, making it healthier and more flavorful. A convenient corner spout makes it easy to pour off extra drippings when you're finished.

Our Ratings

Overall Rating: 4.6/5 Ease Of Cleaning: 4.6/5 Durability: 5/5 Value for Money: 4.8/5 Ease of Use: 4.7/5 Heat Retention: 5/5

Dimensions

15 1/2" x 9" x 1 1/4" high

Material

Cast Iron

Heat Resistant to

500 F

Dishwasher safe

No

Pros:

  • The pre seasoned surface is naturally nonstick, making cleanup a breeze
  • It can be used on any type of cooktop, including induction
  • Safe up to 500F and can get some nice grill marks
  • Available in different shapes and sizes
  • The heavy-gauge cast iron construction ensures even heating
  • The grill pan can be used for grilling, searing, baking, and more

Cons:

  • Hand wash only
  • The pan needs to be seasoned regularly to maintain its nonstick surface, which can be a bit time-consuming
  • The pan is quite heavy, which may make it difficult for some people to handle

Xtrema Grill Pan

Budget Friendly

Xtrema Grill Pan

Source: Xtrema

Take your barbequing abilities to the next level with this best-selling Grill Pan by Xtrema. The 100% ceramic tray is handcrafted by specialty Chinese artisans using high-quality materials and a non-toxic finish. It is tested and certified that it is free from PFOA and PTFE and has no extractable lead or cadmium, which is a huge plus for those looking to reduce their exposure to toxins in their cooking.

Crafted from 100% pure ceramic, it can withstand high heat and is scratch-resistant. This means you can use metal utensils with the grill pan without worrying about damaging it. The time-tested material can withstand extreme temperatures and conditions, meaning it's safe for use on the BBQ, in the microwave, and under the broiler in your oven. Plus, it can handle a trip through the dishwasher for easy cleanup and the freezer for quick cool-downs. Use it to make a crispy barbecue pizza on your outdoor grill, fire-roasted vegetables under the broiler, and perfectly-seared burgers and seafood in the oven.

We absolutely love this grill pan for its non-toxic and chemical-free ceramic surface. Unlike conventional cast iron pans, this grill pan doesn't require seasoning before use or throughout its lifespan. Additionally, the grill pan is dishwasher and oven safe, a feature that cast iron pans can't boast of.

Our Ratings

Overall Rating: 4.8/5 Ease Of Cleaning: 5/5 Durability: 4.8/5 Value for Money: 5/5 Ease of Use: 4.8/5 Heat Retention: 4.8/5

Dimensions

10" x 9" x 1" H

Material

100% ceramic Grill Pan

Heat Resistant to

n/a

Dishwasher safe

Yes

Pros:

  • Non-toxic, metal-free, and sustainably made
  • Free from harmful chemicals, such as PFOA, PTFE, and lead
  • It can be used on a BBQ grill, over the fire, or the microwave
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Can get some nice grill marks

Cons:

  • The size can be small for a family
  • Slightly more affordable than some of the other trays but still quite pricey

Lodge Chef Collection Grill Topper

Best With perforations

Lodge Chef Collection Grill Topper

Source: Williams Sonoma

Lodge Chef Collection Grill Topper is an incredibly versatile tool for outdoor cooking. Designed for outdoor grilling and campfire cooking, it can be used on any type of cooktop, including induction. It's perfect for grilling up vegetables, fish, and other delicate foods that might otherwise fall through the grill grates. The topper's perforations allow for smoke and heat to penetrate, creating a delicious smoky flavor in your food. The topper's perforations allow excess fat and grease to drain away from your food, making it lower in calories and healthier overall.

Made from high-quality cast iron, this grill topper is incredibly durable, and can withstand high heat, and is dishwasher safe, making cleanup a breeze. The topper's curved handles make it easy to maneuver on the grill, and the raised edges keep your food from falling off. Pre Seasoned with natural vegetable oil for an easy-release finish that improves with use, it makes cleaning up a breeze. What makes this grill topper stand out is how easy it is to use. You simply place it on your grill and add your food. The topper's perforations allow for even cooking, and the raised edges keep your food from sticking to the grill grates. While Lodge Chef Collection Grill Topper does seem a little pricey, its durability and versatility make it a worthwhile investment.

Our Ratings

Overall Rating: 4.6/5 Ease Of Cleaning: 4.5/5 Durability: 4.9/5 Value for Money: 5/5 Ease of Use: 4.8/5 Heat Retention: 5/5

Dimensions

17 x 11 x 3 inches

Material

Cast iron

Heat Resistant to

n/a

Dishwasher safe

No

Pros:

  • Perfect for grilling a wide range of foods without falling through the grill grates
  • The topper's perforations allow excess fat and grease to drain away
  • Durable and can withstand the high level of heat
  • It can help get some smoky flavor
  • Affordable price point compared to some of the other options

Cons:

  • Hand wash only, not dishwasher safe
  • Seasoned with vegetable oil, which can be a con for some

GreenPan™ Premiere Stainless-Steel Ceramic Nonstick Outdoor/Indoor Square Grill Pan

Best Nonstick Grill Pan

GreenPan™ Premiere Stainless-Steel Ceramic Nonstick Outdoor/Indoor Square Grill Pan

Source: Williams Sonoma

Are you ready to take your outdoor grilling game to the next level? The GreenPan Revolution Outdoor Square Grill Pan is here to help, and it is one of the best grill pans on the market. This innovative grill pan is designed to help you grill meat like a pro, whether you're cooking up burgers, steaks, or veggies.

Crafted from hard-anodized aluminum, this grill pan is built to last. The nonstick coating ensures that your food won't stick to the grill pan, making it easy to clean up after your cookout. The nonstick coating is also free from PFOA, PFAS, lead, and cadmium, so you can feel good about the food you're cooking for yourself and your loved ones. And because it's safe for use with metal utensils, you can flip and turn your food without worrying about damaging the grill pan.

The square shape of this grill pan gives you plenty of cooking space, so you can grill up multiple items at once. And thanks to the raised ridges on the cooking surface, you'll get those gorgeous grill marks that make your food look as good as it tastes. Designed to be a gas grill, oven, and broiler safe to 600°F. This means you can use it indoors and outdoors, making it a versatile addition to your cookware collection.

Our Ratings

Overall Rating: 4.8/5 Ease Of Cleaning: 5/5 Durability: 4.5/5 Value for Money: 4.5/5 Ease of Use: 4.8/5 Heat Retention: 4.6/5

Dimensions

11 1/2" sq., 16 1/2" long with handles, 1 3/4" high, 3" high with handles

Material

Hard-anodized aluminum with stainless-steel handles

Heat Resistant to

600 F

Dishwasher safe

Yes

Pros:

  • No need to season it. To extend the life of your cookware, it is recommended to use clarified butter or high smoke point oils such as safflower oil, corn oil, or refined olive oil
  • Safe for use with metal utensils
  • Easy to wash and dishwasher safe
  • The grill pan is designed for outdoor gas grills and can get some nice grill marks

Cons:

  • Not compatible with induction stovetops
  • Can't be used on charcoal grills, wood-burning grills, or open-flame cooking
  • A bit pricier than other options on the market

How We Picked

Our grill tray and pan selection has been thoughtfully curated based on our own personal experiences, extensive research of customer reviews across various retail platforms, and valuable insights shared by home chefs. Our top priority has been selecting materials that are non-toxic, offer excellent heat retention, are easy to clean, come in the right size, and boast superior durability.


Jenny is a health-conscious, organic and natural lifestyle influencer with a Bachelor's degree in science. With years of experience working in food sciences with organic products and health & nutrition companies - she firmly believes that a natural lifestyle is healthier for you and better for the environment as well.

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