I used to be a grill fan, but now cook steaks, etc by searing in a very hot (smoking) cast iron skillet then pour the oil out and finish in the oven. Many steak houses do it this way. I have a Lodge double burner reversible grill, which I use daily for breakfast, never have used the grill side, anticipating the problems you encountered. Use the double burner grille with a 10 inch square Lodge skillet for a bacon press. Holds the heat, keeps it flat, cooks evenly. The best ever bacon.