So, you have decided to upgrade your kitchen arsenal, and you want to make sure you have the best cast iron griddle you can get your hands on. Well, we fully support your decision on going with cast iron as a material of choice, and that is why we are going to help you out with this guide. The market and general demand for cast iron are on the rise, and the choices are plenty, so we grabbed the most popular models to test them out and summed it all up in these cast iron griddle reviews.
Mastering cast iron as a material takes some patience and some trial and error. But, don’t worry, this guide covers everything you need to start, and more. Let’s get right into it!
Who Needs a Cast Iron Griddle?
Well, to be completely honest, anyone who cooks at least once in a few days can benefit from a cast iron griddle in their set of kitchen tools. There are many reasons why you might need it as well. First of all, there is the benefit of having a food preparing tool that can essentially last forever. The iron material that is cast in the shape of a griddle can rust, but that can be prevented easily. So, do not be afraid that moisture or rust will destroy your griddle, it is an urban myth, nothing else.
People love cast iron for its many unique features
The feature people like the most is the thermal capacity of cast iron material. These griddles can withstand the highest cooking temperatures without breaking, bending, or damaging in any way. If you are an outdoor activity enthusiast, you can consider your cast iron griddle as a standard piece of camping equipment, or at least, you can get an outdoor griddle to your garden. Open camping fire will not damage it in the slightest. With the possible good results you will get in camp, you can desire a top-rated electric griddle for your kitchen, or the best outdoor griddle for your garden.
Another wanted feature of cast iron is its tremendous food preparation versatility. Using it, you can fry, bake, steam, boil, sauté, or even char your food. There are even special recipes made just for cooking with cast iron. Nevertheless, cooking with cast iron griddles takes a little time to get used to.
Last, and best feature this type of cookware has to offer is: cooking with cast iron griddle makes your food tastier, and as recently discovered, healthier. Heat retention makes you use fewer oils and fats, and it has been scientifically proven that a micro amount of iron from the griddle gets into your food when cooking slightly more acidic food, like tomato sauces. The story goes even further, with doctors sometimes recommending cast iron griddles/skillets to people with anemia (iron deficiency). Essentially, you will be investing in better food taste and health at the same time.
Best Cast Iron Griddles Comparison Chart
LODGE 10.5 INCH CAST IRON GRIDDLE
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CAMP CHEF CGG24B CAST IRON GRIDDLE
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LODGE LSRG3 CAST IRON SINGLE-BURNER REVERSIBLE GRIDDLE
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VREMI 20 INCH NONSTICK LARGE CAST IRON GRIDDLE
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LODGE SEASONED CAST IRON 5 PIECE BUNDLE
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LODGE PRO-GRID CAST IRON GRILL AND GRIDDLE COMBO
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UTOPIA KITCHEN 17 X 10 INCHES CAST IRON REVERSIBLE GRIDDLE
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AMAZONBASICS PRE-SEASONED CAST IRON GRIDDLE
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Best Cast Iron Griddle Reviews
1. Lodge 10.5 Inch Cast Iron Griddle
This model is somewhere in between a cast iron skillet and a cast iron griddle. It is skillet shaped, but larger, similar to a griddle. This skillet-looking griddle comes with a well-designed cast iron handle, which has a hole in the middle, for faster cooling. The material is already seasoned, and it is ready to go as soon as you get your hands on it.
The manufacturer, which is on the cookware market since the 19th century, intended for this griddle to be used for breakfast food. Curved edges make this cast iron griddle ideal for meals that require a lot of stirring while cooking. Omelets and cut meat are the foods this griddle excels on.
The heating surface is 10.5 inch in diameter and .5 inch deep. Cast iron handle is also designed to be a hook grip, in case you want to hang the griddle somewhere dry.
2. Camp Chef CGG24B Cast Iron Griddle
Here we have a cast iron reversible griddle model. This heftier griddle has a combo plate which can be flipped to choose between a griddle and a grill surface. A feature like this is extra convenient for campers, or for people that eat a lot of meat, or juicy veggies.
As a slightly heavier and heftier griddle, it weighs a total of 22 pounds. This is good news when it comes to cast iron. The heavier, the better heat capabilities of the griddle. The handles are molded on and adapt to whichever side you are on, griddle or grill.
The heating size of this cast iron griddle-to-grill combo plate is 384 square inches (15 x 24), and it will be more than enough for a larger breakfast. This also means that it covers 2 stove burners, so make sure that your stove can fit the griddle on.
3. Lodge LSRG3 Cast Iron Single-Burner Reversible Griddle
Now comes the only square-shaped cast iron griddle on our list. This 10.5 by 10.5-inch cast iron griddle is made to cover a single stove burner, or a single electric stove heating unit. The iron plate is reversible, containing a smooth side for egg, bacon, and breakfast food in general, and a grill side for meats, burgers, and juicy veggies.
This model is handmade by a company that’s been on the market for longer than a century. The iron comes already seasoned, so you can begin cooking right away. The compact, two-sided design makes this reversible cast iron griddle into a great oven tray. This means that baking various dishes pizzas is also on the table as a possibility. There are 2 handles on the diagonal size of the square-shaped griddle plate.
This griddle is ideal to cook recipes made for two people simultaneously, and makes a great breakfast cookware addition.
4. Vremi 20 inch Nonstick Large Cast Iron Griddle
This rectangular-shaped cast iron griddle is also reversible, doubling the functionality. The other side is, as usual, made into a small grill. Even though the griddle looks hefty, we were surprised to find out that it weighs just under 7 pounds. The heftier look comes from its elongated dimensions, with its 197.5 square inches cooking surface.
On the side, we can see a couple of well-made cast iron handles, which comes in extra handy in case you are cooking outside on a grill, or a campfire. Thanks to its size it can handle preparing food for 4+ people simultaneously. You can make a super large breakfast without having to occupy 3 or 4 pots and pans.
It is reversible that takes up two stovetop spots, but it replaces more than 2 standard stovetop units. Just make sure it fits. This griddle-to-grill reversible comes already seasoned.
5. Lodge Seasoned Round Cast Iron Griddle 5 Piece Bundle
We decided to include a 5-piece set into our list. This set consists 4 circular-shaped cast iron cookware pieces and a lid. A 5-quart Dutch oven, a 10.5-inch round cast iron griddle, and a couple of cast iron skillets (8 inches and 10.25 inch). The set covers a wide range of recipes and a wide variety of cooking techniques.
The griddle is ideal for breakfast food that needs to solidify (like pancakes and sunny-side-up eggs), and the cast iron skillets are there to help you prepare food that has to be stirred a lot during the prep. Even though you can use any type of cast iron pot/pan/griddle for oven baking, this set has a Dutch oven, which is a cast iron pot designed for ovens specifically.
The lid is made to fit the Dutch oven part of the set but remember to separate the lid from the pot when not in use. This keeps it away from condensed water, thus prolonging its lifespan. The whole set is pre-seasoned.
6. Lodge Pro-Grid Cast Iron Grill and Griddle Combo
There is a reason why half of this list is populated with Lodge cast iron griddles. They create solid cast iron, and this elongated reversible is no exception. The griddle to grill combo has a 208 square inch heating surface, which can be reversed to match your needs. So, griddle or grill at a time.
The large cooking surface can handle any challenge, from breakfast food to steak and complicated recipes with a lot of vegetables. The handles are ergonomically designed, and are a part of the whole griddle, making it a single piece of cast iron.
The best thing regarding the portability of this cast iron griddle is that it weighs 3.35 pounds only. This makes it ideal for camping trips and open fire cooking. On the stove it will take 2 regular gas stove slots, providing more equal heat than those gas burners would. The griddle/grill plate is pre-seasoned.
7. Utopia Kitchen 17 x 10 inches Cast Iron Reversible Griddle
Another elongated reversible griddle-to grill cast iron plate on this list is the rectangular-shaped model from Utopia Kitchen. The very first thing we noticed is the thin design of the griddle/grill plate. It is only .7 inches tall, making it easy to maneuver around.
The total size of the cooking surface is 170 square inches, and it can easily withstand the challenge of a large breakfast or a typical meal for 3 people. Just use the smooth side for eggs, pancakes and squishy food, while the grill side of the cast iron plate serves for the preparation of meats and juicy vegetables.
The manufacturer states that this cast iron griddle is dishwasher friendly, however, we recommend cleaning it manually, applying the rules we will talk about in the guide. This cast-iron griddle/grill reversible plate comes already seasoned.
8. AmazonBasics Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Griddle
Amazon decided to throw their hat in the ring, and deliver this elongated reversible griddle-to grill combo. As opposed to its similar lightweight models, this one weighs just over 11 pounds, making its weight slightly above average. The cast iron is pre-seasoned, and the plate can act as a flat surface for liquid food like eggs, and as a grill for meats, burgers, and veggies.
The built-in handles are a part of the griddle and are thin, which means they will cool down faster. The heating surface area is 208 square inches (20 x 10.4) and can handle a whole breakfast for 2-4 people at once. The material is made to withstand temperatures up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and the shape of the plate enables you to use it for oven baking as well. The plate takes up two slots on the stovetop.
What is a Cast Iron Griddle?
The story of cast iron cookware goes way back. The first cast iron kettle appeared in the 7th century, but historians say it goes back even further. “Why are cast iron griddles and skillets relevant today” – you may ask. Well, it has recently been discovered by many chefs and gastro-enthusiasts around the world that this material is ideal for everyday use, not only because of its sturdiness and physical properties but for many reasons we are going to talk about.
This material was popular until the 1960s when Teflon and aluminum cookware took over, with the progression of the technology of course. Just when people switched to these materials of the future, and cast-iron usage started to fade, it was rediscovered in the begging of the 21st century. Famous cooks and chefs around the world started talking about it, and the media made it popular again. Even though it is still considered somewhat rare, nowadays, it is used residentially and commercially.
Although it had its ups and downs in the Western culture, cast iron cookware never seized to be popular in the far east. Countries like China, Japan, Korea, and India have cast iron as a standard material for their cookware, no matter if it is a fancy restaurant or a small family home.
The technology behind this material is not that complicated. Unlike other cookware, cast iron can has an indefinite lifespan, if maintained properly. What differentiates cast iron from other materials are special rituals – keeping it seasoned, storing it while not in use for a prolonged period of time, or seasoning it again. And of course, one of the biggest reasons why people decide to go with this material is its ability to withstand super-high temperatures, even including heat sources like an open flame.
Cast Iron Griddle Buying Guide
We`ve seen why some people consider cast iron as a first choice when it comes to cookware materials. Now it is time to go through the most important features and specifications you should factor in before making the decision on the most-fitting cast iron griddle for your kitchen.
It is important to remember that, as opposed to aluminum, and ceramic griddles, cast iron griddles tend to be a bit heftier, and weigh more in general. This is nothing to be afraid of. As with any type of product nowadays, heavier means sturdier. You cannot expect a griddle that lasts for decades to weigh a couple of pounds only. The average weight of a cast iron griddle is around 10-12 pounds, which is, considering what you get in return, not that heavy at all. These plates can endure a lot, and those few extra pounds actually mean a lot!
In terms of size, dimensions of iron griddles/grills/skillets do not stray away much from the other types. Skillets are smaller of course, and griddles handle preparing meals for more people at the same time. An average iron cast griddle can handle a set of 4-6 pancakes and sausages simultaneously, with some veggies or bacon on the side.
All in all, if portability is an important factor, you do not have to worry. As we mentioned in the section above, people also take cast iron skillets to camping trips.
Similar to their electric counterparts, cast iron cookware comes into several shapes and sizes. The three most common are:
- Griddles – The most popular and most versatile version of cast iron cooking surface. Griddles will help you prepare all sorts of meals. While cast iron griddles are most popular for their breakfast-making ability, that is just the tip of the iceberg. Basically, a cast iron griddle is a flat surface which you put on top of a heat source in order to prepare food. This flat surface is ideal for softer food that solidifies during the cooking process (eggs, pancakes, etc.), but can also be used to cook meats (fat and non-fat), veggies, and dough-based foods.
- Grills – Some griddles come with an additional grilling feature. This is designed to be a reversible griddle-to-grill plate, or sometimes the manufacturer just adds a separate cast iron grill plate on the side. The cast iron grill side is most useful when preparing fat meats or juicier veggies because the excess fat and juices can be separate thanks to the grill dents.
- Skillets – A skillet is almost like a pan. A cast iron skillet is usually larger than the average pan, and its main purpose is making food that needs to be stirred a lot. In comparison to cast iron griddles, skillets are a bit limited when it comes to types of food you can make. But yet, there are a lot of ways to cook with cast iron skillets for making omelets and soft foods, utilizing their protective sides to prevent spills.
3. Heat retention and thermal capabilities
Maybe one of the most important specifications that differentiate cast iron as material from every other on the kitchen market: the thermal capacity. Iron, as a material, can absorb a lot of heat, and it does not let it go quickly. As you probably already figured out, slowly cooling down is a much-wanted feature.
Firstly, it helps you save energy by not having to add heat all the time. The other reason you would like to have a high capacity griddle is related to the food itself. When preparing food for several people, some ingredients get colder faster than others. With a slow-cooling cast iron griddle plate, you will be able to keep these parts of your meal warm until everything is cooked. Imagine serving a half cold meal to your house guests. Not with cast iron!
The next big thing regarding the thermal capabilities of cast iron griddles is the endurance this material shows. Do not be weirded out when you hear that people use their cast iron skillets and griddles with their oven, besides open fire and stove burners. Because of the cast iron’s extreme heat endurance, you can even bake a whole pizza on it. It even helps the material get stronger and more durable in the long run. This opens a whole new world of recipe experimentation and innovation for you, so feel free to use it like this, as long as your stove can fit it in, of course.
This term comes out a lot when cast iron is mentioned. The process of seasoning is actually the process of treating the griddle, grill, or skillet surface in order to coat it with a much-necessary layer of protection. This protective film works both ways: to keep your cookware rust-free and always clean, while keeping the “aftertaste” of meals cooked before, and to protect yours from potentially ingesting a part of the rusted/damaged material.
The sole process has a couple of carefully made steps (which we are going to address a bit later), and one of the main reasons it is done is to keep the cast iron surface non-stick. This makes the cooking process easier and helps with keeping the griddle clean.
Also, it is good to know that seasoning of cast iron can act as restoration as well. Old and damaged cast iron griddles can be fixed by seasoning properly and making sure that the damage doesn’t repeat again.
5. Heat source and coverage
With such a heat-resistant material talking about heat sources might sound like too much. However, you should consider the ways of heating will dictate how your food is cooked. Let’s go through the most common heat sources and how to utilize them to generate heat for your cast iron griddle.
5.1. Standard electric stovetop
If gas stoves aren’t available, chances are that you are using a common electric stove. By all means, griddles are friendly to be used with them, however, heat coverage will not be as great as you’d expect. Some griddles are made to match exact stove types, but if that is not the case, you will have to wait a bit for your griddle to heat up. And, unfortunately, you will not be able to use the edges of the cast iron griddle, because they will be colder than the rest.
5.2. Standard gas stovetop
This is, by far, the most common heat source for your cast iron griddle. The fire underneath the griddle plate will quickly spread out and provide a complete (or almost complete) heat coverage. Some stove manufacturers have exact griddle types that can tightly fit their gas stovetops. If that’s the case, you will have the best cast iron griddle cooking experience.
As we already said, cast iron griddles can be used as pans or baking trays as well. You can bake cookies, pizzas, or any type of baked dish that can fit on top of the griddle plate, without slipping off. This type of heat is evenly distributed, however, griddles often do not have quick-cooling handles, so be careful while using it with a stove.
5.4. Glass stovetop
Even though it is possible, we do not encourage the use of cast iron with a stovetop made of glass. No matter how tough the glass is, cast iron is heavy and generally robust, and it can damage (or in some cases break) the glass top of your stove. Some more modern glass top stoves are designed to endure cast iron cookware, so make sure you check before you start cooking.
5.5. Open flame
Yes, we cannot emphasize enough the awesome heat resistance of cast iron. Bring it to camping trips and have a professional cast iron griddle to make the best breakfast food or camping snacks.
The last thing about the heated surface is to check if the cast iron griddle you got your eye on covers one or two stovetop places. Skillets and smaller griddles always cover a single stovetop space, which is often more than enough.
Cast Iron Griddle Maintenance
There are three major things to know how to execute properly when it comes to cast iron maintenance: cleaning, seasoning, and adequate storage. The usual “try not to damage” rule applies as well, but these special little rules are going to be the topic here, in the maintenance section.
If you know someone who has cast iron experience, you have surely heard the no chemical cleaning agent rule. Yes, you have heard it right. Cast iron does not react well with cleaning chemicals, especially acidic ones. The iron layer, no matter how insensitive to heat, can easily get damaged by excess moisture or by detergents. That is why you should clean your cast iron griddle by following these easy steps:
- Get rid of all big chunks of food, if any remained on the griddle
- If smaller pieces remain, put it under hot water and brush it with a softer plastic dishwashing brush
- Dry the griddle thoroughly
- If any stains, sticky food or pieces remain, heat up the griddle on a low-to-medium temperature, and repeat the process after it cools down.
As abovementioned, seasoning is a big deal when it comes to cast iron griddles or skillets. This is the process of treating the griddle surface with vegetable oil or lard and heating it up to create a protective layer around the cast iron. Many cast iron griddles come already seasoned, and ready to go right away, but, if you intend to use it often, you will have to learn how to do it too. Seasoning will help the surface remain non-stick and rust free while keeping you safe from any parts that could chip away. Proper seasoning, every once in a while, can keep your cast iron griddle fully operational indefinitely. Here’s how to do it:
- Clean your cast iron griddle/skillet like mentioned in the cleaning section. If the griddle is in poor shape, use a little bit of soap with warm water, but make sure you wash the soap thoroughly.
- Make sure to carefully dry the freshly washed cast iron griddle.
- Take some vegetable oil, lard, or solid fatty shortening and spread it evenly across every cast iron surface you can reach. Yes, that means the bottom side also.
- Put the griddle in the oven and heat it up. Leave the griddle in for 1 to 3 hours, and let it cool off inside.
If this does not go as intended at first, you can repeat, and we are sure you will get the hang of it. Remember, a well-seasoned cast-iron griddle turns black.
When it comes to storing cast iron, there is only one rule to follow strictly: keep it away from moisture. After using it, clean it and put it away in a dry place. If there is some kind of lid provided, store it separately, because a cast iron with a lid on can retain air humidity and make rust damages on a micro-scale. Humidity and water vapor are the greatest enemies of cast iron griddles, so make sure to keep them safe and dry.
FAQ about Cast Iron Griddles
1. Can I use steel wool to clean my cast iron griddle/skillet?
Absolutely not, and for a fat reason. Steel wool is harsh, and even though that’s the property we need in the first place when washing dishes, it will damage cast iron, often beyond repair. We recommend using a softer plastic dish cleaning brush, or if you insist on using metal, invest in a chainmail scrubber. If you follow the cleaning process carefully, with additional heating, you will able to remove any residual dirt from the cast iron griddle.
2. How much time can I keep my cast iron griddle on the heat source?
The beauty of cast iron as a material is that it cannot be damaged by conventional stove heaters. Practically, you can keep it on the heat source for as long as you want or need to. Just keep in mind that with longer cooking sessions the cast iron griddle will get harder and harder to clean, so make sure to not leave the cleaning process “for tomorrow”.
3. Can I wash my cast iron griddle in cold water?
Although it is possible, it is never recommended. The sole reason is the nature of iron as a material or metals in general. In cold environment iron shrinks, and that causes micro-sized holes in your griddle, which always lead to larger damages. Just to make sure you have a long-lasting cast iron griddle, clean it with warm or hot water. Especially if your griddle isn’t cold from last use yet. Large temperature differences can sometimes cause the griddle to crack, so it would be best to leave it to cool off by itself before washing.
4. My griddle is really dirty, can I soak it in order to clean it easier?
We are aware that soaking makes dishes easier to clean, however, this doesn’t apply here. As we already mentioned, by all means, avoid exposing your cast iron cookware to water or moisture. Cast iron is best cleaned by scrubbing and heating afterward. If the stubborn stain doesn’t come of fat first try, try again, and we are sure you will be able to pull it off.
5. Most cooks recommend the “no detergent” cleaning process. How do I know it is clean from bacteria?
Heating up the cast iron griddle to 400 degrees (or sometimes even more) is the essential part of the cleaning process. This high temperature makes for a far better antibacterial shield than any dish detergent out there. Detergents and soaps are used just in the case of a really old and unmaintained cast iron griddle/skillet.
And there we have it, a detailed guide on how to pick the best cast iron griddle for your kitchen. Making food is something we all do every day, so why not try and make it as healthy and enjoyable as possible. There are many types of cast iron cookware out there, and we are certainly glad helping you decide, with our most popular cast iron griddle reviews.
Yes, this technology is old and simple, and that is the biggest reason why it still works. Cast iron has been used all over the world for more than a thousand years. Different civilizations discovered it separately, and we have just recently rediscovered it, deeming it a great addition to the kitchen.
We hope you enjoyed our guide, and in the case, you have something to ask or add, feel free to do it in the comment sections below.