Whether you are new to cooking or a seasoned professional, a cast iron griddle allows you to cook things in ways regular pans don’t. They are in use anywhere from professional kitchens to off-grid cabins and by people from all walks of life. They require some specific maintenance but will soon become one of your favorite cooking tools for camping and home cooks. Especially with a basic understanding of cast iron maintenance and use.
Using A Cast Iron Griddle
Cast iron cookware is inexpensive and virtually indestructible. It is a great way to cook because it heats as evenly as the fanciest cookware on the market and usually doesn’t require much heat. Although iron pans, iron skillets, iron griddles can withstand high temperatures and high heat. Cooking with cast iron is so versatile. You can use it for frying, baking, searing, broiling, roasting, sautéing, and more. It’s an excellent option for taking foods straight from the gas stove or stovetop into the oven.
Use two oven mitts or potholders when moving your griddle because cast iron is heavy and heats well due to the heat distribution properties of cast iron. This will allow you to pick it up with both hands and move it safely, without possible burns, dropping it, or potentially scratching a glass surface.
Cast Iron Griddle On Glass Top Stove
It’s a bit of a fallacy that you shouldn’t use your cast iron griddle on a glass top stove, but as long as you take proper care, you can do it.
Cast iron is heavy, and you could easily break the glass top if you drop it or set it down too hard. Additionally, you run the risk of scratching the large cooking surface. Double-check the bottom of the griddle for sharp edges, and don’t drag it across the glass top.
The other issue is whether or not the burners on a glass stove are large enough. Because cast iron heats evenly, this shouldn’t be a problem, especially if you use the larger burners.
Cooking in cast iron causes iron to leach into the food. People with iron deficiencies may be advised by their doctor or health professional to cook in cast iron to increase their iron intake. High acidity foods like tomatoes will increase the amount leached more than something of low acidity, like hamburger. People with high iron issues may choose to avoid using cast iron or use it sparingly, but it’s best to do some research and talk to your doctor before deciding to use or not use cast iron for this reason.
Season Cast Iron Griddle
When talking about cast iron griddle, the term “seasoning” always comes up. You may envision sprinkling Old Bay all over the cast iron, but that’s not quite what it means. This confusing terminology is likely why people are often unsure about cast iron. However, it’s a pretty simple concept once you understand it.
Seasoning means a cooking oil is rubbed all over the cast iron to fill in the porous iron, creating a nonstick surface. A variety of oils can be used, from olive oil, vegetable oil to flaxseed oil and everything in between. Choose an oil with a high smoke point for high temperatures is better.
You can also buy spray oils made by cast iron companies, such as Lodge Seasoning Spray. This non-aerosol option has canola oil and allows for an even spray. Then you wipe down the cast iron with a paper towel for a consistent coating and put it away until subsequent use.
If your cast iron griddle does not come seasoned, you’ll need to do this before using it. Rub the oil evenly with a paper towel and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour.
Once it is properly seasoned, about any food can be cooked in it. The only thing that you should avoid, at least until it’s well broken in, is acidic foods like tomatoes. If there are any spots without a proper season yet, it could leech a metallic taste into your food.
Clean Cast Iron
Cleaning cast iron griddles is not as daunting as it may seem. There are a few schools of thought on the best way to do it. The first is to clean immediately after use before it has cooled. The second is to allow it to cool, then wash it. Whichever you choose to go with, one thing is certain: make sure you use warm water (not cold water) so you don’t risk cracking or warping your cast iron.
Additionally, do not use soaps with citrus or high acidity to clean your griddle. A mild soap is probably okay, although some people will argue you should avoid all soap. Regardless of what you choose, never wash your cast iron griddle in the dishwasher, as it can harm the seasoning. If you decide to wash it, dry it immediately to avoid rust. Rub a bit of oil all over it before putting it away. You may even want to put it in a warm oven for a bit to make sure it has dried completely.
There are people that never really clean their griddle. Instead, they wipe it out after each use and continue using it for decades. This strategy is definitely a personal preference! One recommendation, however, is that if you do clean your cast iron, it’s best to avoid using steel wool. Using steel wool can strip the finish and seasoning from your cast iron pans.
Best Cast Iron Griddle
There are many quality cast iron products on the market. You should choose products depending on your specific uses and budget. However, there are a few cast iron items that stand out.
If you’re looking for a great overall cast iron griddle, consider an option like the Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Griddle With Easy-Grip Handle. It gets excellent reviews and comes pre-seasoned and ready to use out of the box. Since it is rounded, it’s perfect for stovetop use but can also be used on gas grills, open flame, or in the oven.
Lodge is a brand known for it’s high-quality, durable cast iron cookware and has been in business from 1896. Anything from Lodge will last your entire lifetime and could easily become a family heirloom. Lodge has many cast iron skillet, cast iron pan, grill pan, griddle combo options available to choose from.
Best Cast Iron Reversible Griddle Grill
The Camp Chef Reversible Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Griddle is a great cast iron griddle for the grill. This brand is synonymous with cast iron, camping, and outdoor cooking. This griddle has a smooth surface, flat surface for cooking delicious items like pancakes, eggs, and bacon for breakfast. You can then turn it over from the smooth side and use the ridged side to grill your meat and other foods. A fantastic reversible cast iron griddle
Use it on the Camp Chef 16” stoves or a regular BBQ grill. You can also use cast iron on a stovetop, but the area directly over the heat source likely will be hotter than the parts that are not on it. However, the areas away from the direct heat will likely be perfect for cooking eggs.
Best Griddle Press
A cast iron griddle press is an excellent addition to your cooking arsenal. These convenient tools are inexpensive and can be great for cooking things like panini’s or speeding the cooking time for foods like steaks or burgers. If preheated, you can put it on top of your food and walk away, rather than standing around waiting to flip with a spatula.
The Cuisinart CGPR-221 Cast Iron Grill Press comes with grill marks, is excellent for use on any griddle or iron pans larger than 10”, and is also convenient on the BBQ grill. The wood handle provides insulation so you don’t need a potholder or oven mitt to handle it.
A few simple accessories will come in handy for use with your cast iron griddle. If you buy one with a handle, you’ll want a silicone grip to put over the handle. A small plastic scraper and a stiff bristle brush will help you get off any stubborn, stuck-on food. The Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Care Kit 5-Piece Set comes with all of these, as well as the seasoning spray already mentioned, and a handy care booklet to guide you in your cast iron adventures.
Le Creuset Cast Iron Griddle Giant Reversible
Le Creuset is a brand that makes enamel coated cast iron. This enamel coating helps protect the cast iron and also helps you add a little color to your cast-iron skillet, cast-iron griddle pans. The enable is durable and shock resistant to prevent chipping and cracking in the enamel. Take a look at the Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron Giant Reversible Grill/Griddle.
Best Cast Iron Griddle Conclusion
If you didn’t know how to use a cast iron griddle before this, you do now. You could even use it inside your tent with stove. If you’re an old cast iron griddle pro, perhaps you picked up something new. With these basics, and for less than $50, you can easily get a griddle and some accessories to start.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to how you use cast iron. Experiment and figure out how you like to maintain your cast iron. Or maybe you’ll be like the old cowboy who uses one pan and never cleans it! Whatever you choose, you’ll figure out what works for you. Cast iron has been in use for a long time, and there is a reason for that.
There are even cast iron teapots widely in use today. Cast Iron is one of the best options for cooking. Even better than stainless steel in many applications. Cast iron is nearly indestructible, it’s inexpensive, and it’s not as complicated as people often think.