Cast Iron Griddles – Great-Tasting, Evenly Cooked From Long Lasting Cookware
Cast-iron griddles and pans have been around for a long time. Those who use them regularly – like professional chefs and serious foodies wouldn’t be without their cast iron cookware. But you don’t see too many manufacturers jumping into this segment of the market – despite the ongoing popularity and raving fans.
Value Beyond Compare
We suspect that one of the reasons is that most cast-iron griddles last forever. So for sellers – it’s often a “one and done” scenario. With little likelihood of frequent repeat buyers – due to the longevity of cast iron griddles and skillets – it can’t be a particularly lucrative industry to enter. When cast-iron kitchenware is well take care of, there’s really no need replace your pans any time soon.
Products in any category that can provide a lifetime of value are few and far between. That’s one thing that makes buying a good quality cast-iron griddle or skillet such a valuable-laden proposition. It can serve for decades and even be passed along to future generations. That’s just one of the reasons why cast-iron cookware has its legion of fans.
Lots of Ways to Use Cast Iron
Cast-iron cookware is so versatile that you can use it to cook pretty much anything. And while it takes longer to heat a cast-iron pan – the end result seems to always taste better. You can use cast-iron pans and griddles on stove tops, in the oven, on a barbecue grill and even on campfire.
Pre-seasoning is very important
Cast iron griddles require that you pre-season, and then season on a regular basis, they are not a buy, use, and no maintenance pan. Ensure you know what is required before you buy.
What Can You Cook on Cast Iron?
Since you can use cast iron on a variety of stoves and in the oven – the variety of foods and dishes you can cook is seemingly endless. Cast iron griddles/ skillets are perfect for meats – like chicken, steaks, pork chops and burgers. But there just as effective when cooking a wide range of vegetables too. It’s perfect for your favorite stir fry, casserole, or paella. And you just can’t beat deep dish pizza cooked in a cast iron pan. You can also bake cornbread and desserts too. Cast iron is as versatile as it gets.
What makes cast-iron a favorite among restaurant chefs and skilled home cooks too is that it heats evenly across the spam of the pan and it retains this heat as well. The result is food cooks quickly and evenly – and often with that beautiful sear on the outside. Cast-iron griddles are an excellent way to cook fish, meat and vegetables too.
Following is a short summary of the top cast iron griddles and skillets available today. As avid cooking enthusiasts, we spend days researching and testing to find the best available cast iron cookware – in the most popular sizes – so you don’t have to. Read on and you’ll become a better informed consumer.
Number One: Backcountry Cast Iron Skillet 9 inches x 20 inches
Backcountry offers this rectangular and reversible skillet and griddle. That means it’s essentially a two in one piece of cookware. On one side it’s a ribbed griddle and on the other – a smooth bottomed skillet.
It’s made of decent quality cast-iron for superior heat retention. And it allows you to cook restaurant quality meals with that perfect sear on the outside. The fact that it’s a rectangular griddle means you can cook more food at once by spreading out over two burners rather than using a smaller griddle on a single element.
This Backcountry grill works on all cooking surfaces including – electric, gas and induction stoves. Since it is made of cast iron – you can also use this thing in the oven and on the grill. It also works great on a campfire or fire pit. Although the cast-iron used here is stable material – you should avoid oven or campfire temperatures that exceed 400 degrees Fahrenheit. When exposed to extremely high heat cast iron can warp and you don’t want that to happen.
Although the overall size measures 9.25 inches x 20 inches, this means that the actual cooking surface area inside is about 7.5 inches x 16.25 inches.
– Great for cooking a variety of foods like vegetables eggs chicken, fish, steak cornbread and one “bigfoot” style pizza or several mini pizzas
– Excellent skillet to take on a family camping trip
– Nicely spans two burners on a standard stovetop and
– Heats cooking surface fairly evenly (so food cooks in roughly the same time across the griddle)
– Perfect for preparing larger family breakfasts (eggs, sausages and pancakes cook perfectly on skillet side)
– Comes with two distinct cooking surfaces – one side is a griddle and one a smooth pan
– griddle sears perfectly, leaving beautiful grill marks on your food
– A good skillet/griddle to take camping and tailgating
– Not as big as it could be – and too narrow to easily cook a lot of strips of bacon
– Griddle can be difficult to clean
– Can cause rusting – if you’re a little too harsh when washing
Number Two: Lodge Preseason Cast Iron Reversible Skillet and Griddle
This Lodge cast iron griddle is the best selling reversible griddle/ skillet on the market – and it wins by a landslide. Not surprisingly, customers are overwhelmingly satisfied with this cookware – so much so that more than 31,000 of them have taken the time to rate this product and collectively give it a 4.6 star rating – out of a possible 5 stars. That speaks volumes about the quality of the product and the cooking experiences enjoyed as a result.
Made In America
What stands out about this large rectangular, dual-sided griddle – and Lodge products in general – is that they are all made in the United States. This alone sets them apart by a country mile.
For the past several decades, manufacturing in the United States has dwindled to a small fraction of what it once was. So when Americans have a chance to buy something that is truly “made in America” – and it’s a quality product light this Lodge griddle – they jump on it. American-made typically means “quality-built” and Lodge cast iron cookware is certainly no exception.
This griddle features good heat distribution and retention – like quality cast iron should. It fits over two stovetop burners perfectly, providing a cooking area that measures 10.5 inches by 20 inches.
If you’ve used cast-iron pans before – you’ll cook like a pro right off the bat. But if you’re new to cooking with cast-iron – it may take a little practice to get comfortable. It’s well worth learning to use cast iron and with a quality product like this, you’ll soon be searing, lifting, flipping – and cooking perfect foods – with ease.
What Can You Do On This Cast Iron Griddle and Skillet Combo?
You can sauté, stir fry, fry, sear, bake and roast – all from this skillet/griddle. And you’ll get great tasting foods every time. This is an all-purpose piece of cookware that restaurant chefs and the best home cooks rely on again and again. In fact, once you get used to using your Lodge cast iron cookware, you’ll likely find yourself turning to this more often than you would any other piece of cookware in your kitchen.
There are so many ways to use it. It works on the stove, in the oven, on a grill and over a campfire. There’s so many ways to use it that chances are, it will become one of your go-to cooking accessories.
It’s perfect for making delicious grilled cheese sandwiches, french toast, vegetables like peppers and asparagus, pancakes, eggs, burgers, sausage and steaks. After cooking, be sure to wash it with hot water and a stiff brush only. Do not use soap. Oh and… if you’re planning to use your cast-iron griddle on a glass top or ceramic stove – proceed with caution. It’s not the cast-iron cannot be used here – it’s more about how you use it. With glass and ceramic, you have to lift the pan, rather than slide it to avoid potential damage.
– Relatively easy to clean if you season it and clean it correctly
– Good quality build (as durable as you can find anywhere in cast iron cookware)
– Spacious griddle with room enough for four large steaks – or six burgers
– Reversible design (double-sided– so you get a griddle on one side and flat top on the other)
– Can cook burgers and buns on the same grill – at the same time
– Good built-in handles
– Convenient grease drainage well
– Good heat retention
– Ideal size for family of two to four
– Flat side is great for french toast, sausage, grilled cheese, eggs and pancakes
– Ribbed side is perfect for getting a terrific sear on steaks, chicken breasts, peppers, asparagus, zucchini, pork chops, tofu and Halloumi cheese
– It takes a lot of work to prepare and maintain (as does any cast-iron cookware)
– If you don’t watch it closely and load it up with greasy foods – some of that grease can spill out
– It’s heavy and can scratch or break a glass range
– Finish can be a little rougher than expected (as can be the case with any cast iron cookware) so it may require more seasoning and buffing
– Weight makes it difficult to move around
– Can develop rust stains (as all cast iron can)
Number Three: Legend Cast Iron Reversible Stovetop Griddle
This Reversible Cast Iron Griddle/Skillet griddle is another marketplace favorite – scoring 4.5 stars (out of a possible 5) from nearly 4000 actual customer ratings. So this is another Cast iron griddle that delivers satisfaction.
It’s a 10 inch by 20 inch griddle made from premium-grade solid steel and iron and it provides plenty of durability and versatility.
It works well on all types of stoves and its size should be a comfortable fit over two burners on most standard size ranges.
You can expect even heat distribution and a griddle that retains this heat very well. If you take good care for your Legend cast-iron skillet/griddle there’s no reason why it shouldn’t last you a lifetime. And caring means washing your cast iron cookware and drying it thoroughly before seasoning (see above).
– Good overall value
– Strong and durable
– Once seasoned properly – t can become your best nonstick pan
– Perfect for cooking chicken, fish, steak, and shrimp too (also a good choice for perfectly grilled Portobello mushrooms, onions, peppers, zucchini and asparagus)
– Supplied booklet is quite informative – emphasizing the benefits of proper seasoning
– You have to be careful using this on a glass or ceramic stovetop because of the weight and the somewhat rough surface of cast iron.
– Difficult to handle due to the substantial size and weight
– Visible grinding marks mentioned by one buyer could indicate a lack of quality control
– Too narrow for making large size pancakes
Number Four: Camp Chef Reversible Pre-seasoned Cast Iron Griddle
This double-sided griddle and skillet combo comes with molded handles for easier gripping. Both sides tend to hold heat exceptionally well – so you can get that professional sear or cook eggs or pancakes quickly and thoroughly.
Although the manufacturer rounds off the actual dimensions by calling this a 16 x 24 – the actual size is more like 15.5 inches x 23.5 inches. It weighs about 14 pounds and is designed to fit on all 16 inch Camp Chef stoves. But yes – you can use this anywhere. What you’re actually getting here is an extra large cast iron griddle and skillet combination.
Lots of manufacturers claim to offer “pre-seasoned” cast iron cookware. But most are inadequate coatings designed more to sustain shipping without rusting than to prepare the griddle for cooking. So in most cases, you’ll need to completely season or re-season your skillet once it arrives. Camp Chef is the exception. This company actually provides a true pre-seasoned finish – so your cookware arrives ready to use straightaway.
Just be sure you allow plenty of time for your skillet or griddle to warm up. By the way, it’s always a good idea to start warming on low heat before moving up to medium heat. And in the oven, it’s best to limit temperatures to 400°F – so doesn’t burn off the seasoning.
– Good quality reversible griddle/skillet
– Ships pre-seasoned and stove-ready
– Provides even heat distribution across the full surface
– Cleanup is relatively quick and easy with water and a griddle scraper (as long as your skillet is seasoned properly)
– Size is ideal (extra large capacity cast iron cookware means you can cook more food at once)
– Once it heats up – it stays hot
– Since its heavy cast iron – it can damage delicate stovetop surfaces like glass or ceramic
– Some say cleanup is cumbersome given the overall size and weight of this product
– Inconsistent finish (may have tiny nooks and crannies – like most cast iron pans)
Number Five: Brightalk Reversible Cast Iron Griddle and Skillet Combo
If you’re looking for a round cast iron griddle that’s decent quality – this one is for you. It’s the 12 inch diameter, double-sided reversible skillet/griddle by Brightalk. You can cook a wide variety of foods on this thing. Use this flat side for crispy pizza, ideal eggs or perfect pancakes. And use the ribbed griddle side to grill steaks, chicken, fish – and vegetables like sliced eggplant or asparagus.
This griddle works easily on any electric or gas stove. It can also be used over a campfire – or on a Coleman stove – so it’s a perfect pick up to use at home, or while camping.
What you’re getting with this one is a 12 inch diameter, dual-sided griddle/skillet. It measures about 14 ½ inches when you include the built-in handles on two sides. It weighs about 7 ¾ pounds – much lighter than some of the large cast-iron griddles we’ve recommended here. It’s important to properly season your griddle before using it – and in between uses too – as with all cast-iron cookware. This is especially important at the beginning. For best results, season your cast iron cookware three to five times before cooking anything.
– Good quality round cast-iron griddle
– Reversible so you can use it as both a griddle and skillet
– A better choice for glass and ceramic (due to it’s lighter weight) although you have to be very careful
– Heats up quickly and delivers a nice evening heat
– Perfect for pan size pizza
– Practical and portable
– Perfect for camping and great for grilling
– Simple to use and quite utilitarian
– Finish on the product could be better (it’s rough texture can makes food stick)
– Pan may not be perfectly flat
If you’re serious about your cooking, you won’t find anything better than quality cast iron cookware to enhance the flavor and texture of your favorite foods. All of our recommended products are double-sided, giving you 2 cooking surfaces from one product. It’s largely a matter of choosing the size the best meets your needs.
If you’re looking for the best quality cast iron griddle – choose the Lodge Griddle/Skillet. You really can’t go wrong there. If having an extra large cast iron griddle is your priority – choose the Camp Chef Reversible Griddle/Skillet. And if it’s a round cast iron griddle you want – opt for the Brightalk 12 inch Round Reversible Skillet and Griddle. All products recommended here have been well received in the marketplace. So it’s a safe bet that they will continue to deliver.