A cast iron griddle can be one of the most valuable pieces of equipment in your kitchen. A good cast iron griddle has a naturally non-stick surface that achieves high temperatures and excellent heat retention. There are lots of options out there for cast iron griddles that you can use on the stovetop but not all griddles are equal. Different qualities of materials, finishing processes, and thicknesses make some cast iron griddles superior purchases. These are our top five cast iron griddles on the market today.
Our Top 5 Cast Iron Griddles Picks
1. Overall Best Pick: Lodge Cast Iron Griddle Pan
Lodge is America's oldest operating cast iron foundry and the company's products are widely available. They combine good materials with high-quality craftsmanship to produce cast iron skillets, griddles, and Dutch ovens that are ideal for most uses.
The Lodge Cast Iron Griddle has an overall measurement of 19.5 inches by 10.25 inches and it measures one inch thick. The griddle has a smooth surface on one side and a raised grill pattern on the reverse. The grill side is perfect for searing steaks and chicken, while the smooth surface is ideal for eggs, bacon, and burgers.
We like this one for the combination of value and craftsmanship. It isn't going to blow your mind, but it works very well. Building up a proper seasoning layer is essential. Lodge pre-seasons this griddle with vegetable oil. The griddle weighs 10.56 lbs and is best for gas stovetop or grill use. It will work on electric burners, but results may vary.
2. Best Design: FINEX 18" Griddle
When it comes to appearances, FINEX uses some of the most interesting and unique designs out there. The company (which has been owned by Lodge since 2019) aims to offer a superior quality cooking experience by incorporating technology and design into each product.
The most striking feature of the 18-inch cast iron griddle pan is the wire-wrapped "quick Cool" handles that are cast into the griddle for strength and safety. The pan has an art deco-inspired design with a grease trap rail around the edge. The griddle surface is CNC machined and hand-polished for a perfectly smooth finish. The griddle is pre-seasoned using 100% flaxseed oil that gives this pan a distinctive bronze finish that will darken and patina with use and additional seasoning. The griddle measures 22" by 12.25" with a cooking surface of 15" by 10" and it weighs 14 lbs.
We like this design for the angled sides that make using a spatula more comfortable and the stainless steel wound handles that provide excellent grip while staying much cooler. The quality of the pan means this is one that you will pass down to the next generation.
3. Best Enameled Design: Le Creuset Giant Reversible Griddle
Le Creuset is world-famous for producing some of the finest cast iron cookware on the planet. Cast iron products from Le Creuset are treasured because of the exceptionally high-quality construction and uncompromising materials.
The Le Creuset griddle is an enamel-over-cast iron design that combines a permanent non-stick coating with the excellent heat retention properties of cast iron. The enamel finish means you won't need to preseason the griddle or worry about rust and it is durable enough to withstand metal utensils. The griddle features a smooth side for frying and a grill surface for searing meat. The French-made griddle measures 12.5" by 10" overall and weighs 10.5 lbs.
We like the Le Creuset griddle for the superior finish and the excellent non-stick surface enamel that allows this pan to cook just about anything perfectly. The enamel finish allows the griddle to be thinner while still performing like a thicker product.
4. Best Budget: Victoria Griddle Pan
Victoria is another well-known name in the cast iron industry. The company was founded in Columbia in 1939 and continues to produce high-quality, reasonably priced cast iron products. The griddle pan from Victoria is among the most affordable options around without sacrificing quality.
The Victoria griddle measures 18.5" by 10" and has incorporated handles that are wider than most designs without taking too much space from the cooking area. The reversible design provides a smooth griddle surface for frying and a grilling side for searing. The griddle comes pre-seasoned with flaxseed oil. It weighs just 9.4 lbs.
5. Best Single Burner Design: Smithey No. 14 Griddle
Smithey is a lesser-known company that is based in South Carolina. Smithey cast iron pans and griddles are almost works of art rather than cooking tools, but they simply work too well to leave hanging on the wall. The No. 14 Griddle is a round design with higher walls than most of the products on this list.
The Smithey griddle pan has a slight rounding to the walls of the pan that makes sliding fried eggs right out of the pan easy. Dual handles provide a good grip and balance for safe cooking. The surface is highly polished and comes pre-seasoned with 100% flaxseed oil. The surface of these pans is super smooth and will take a while to develop a proper seasoning.
We like the No. 14 because it is the perfect size for cooking a lot of food at once while being easy to handle. The polished cast iron cooking surface gives the griddle an amazing non-stick ability. It measures 14" overall with a 10" cooking surface. The pan weighs 10lbs.
Are Cast Iron Griddles Worth It?
Investing in a cast iron griddle pan can offer tons of versatility in the kitchen on the stovetop, on the grill, or in the oven. There are plenty of upsides to cast iron cookware such as the ability to provide superior heat distribution while having the most durable of all finishes. Most cast iron griddles will last a lifetime or longer if properly cared for.
A cast iron griddle does have some downsides. The biggest one is the weight of the griddle itself. Cast iron is a heavy material so you'll want to plan on moving it around and storing it safely so that it does not fall. Cast iron must be properly treated, including washing it correctly.
How to Care for a Cast iron Griddle
Most cast iron griddles these days are pre-seasoned, but that does not mean you won't want to keep up a seasoning routine. The process starts with properly washing the pan. You should avoid using soap and hot water when possible. This will weaken the seasoning layer and can make your pan more likely to stick.
There are lots of products on the market for seasoning griddles but at a minimum, you'll want to use a food-grade oil with a high smoke point. Put the griddle on the burners and get it very hot, then apply a thin layer of oil evenly. We typically use heat-resistant gloves and paper towels for this task to ensure a thin and even layer. Grapeseed oil makes a good choice for seasoning a griddle and it is usually affordable. Flax seed oil is a good option that is often used by high-end manufacturers.
The best way to handle keeping the griddle clean is to scrape it down immediately after use, then wipe it clean with paper towels. Once it has cooled completely, wash it with cool water and a clean rag. When a griddle is properly seasoned, very little will stick to the surface and clean-up is quite easy.
It is a good idea to wipe-dry the griddle after washing. A good trick is to heat the griddle up until it is very warm, then wipe it down with a very fine layer of oil. This helps retain the seasoned cast iron and prevents rust.
What Do You Cook on a Cast Iron Griddle?
The list of things that you can cook on a griddle is practically endless. A high-quality cast iron griddle pan makes an excellent choice for cooking any meal. They are ideal for diner-style pancakes and make the most delicious fried eggs and bacon. You can sear a pan of seasoned vegetables large enough to feed a crowd. The best burgers are on the griddle and it is the most useful way to cook fish. Even a simple grilled cheese sandwich on a cast iron griddle tastes better. Cooking steaks opens up opportunities for garlic butter flavors and a great sear.
Do Cast Iron Griddles Need to be Seasoned?
All cast iron cookware must be seasoned. The seasoning is a layer of oil that has molecularly bonded with the surface of the cast iron pan to create a non-stick and food-safe surface. Over time and with use, the seasoning layer breaks down and needs to be restored. Regular seasoning of a cast iron griddle will ensure that the pan lasts for more than a lifetime.
You can increase the seasoning layer's effectiveness by avoiding washing cast iron in hot water or using dish soap that will break down the seasoning. You should also use caution when cooking acidic ingredients like tomatoes or wine in a cast iron skillet. While fine for brief periods of time and at lower temperatures, acidic ingredients interact with the cast iron and give foods a metallic flavor while also damaging the seasoning layer on the pan.
What is the Best Cast Iron Griddle?
The best cast iron griddle is the one that works best for your style of cooking. We tend to like the affordable and easy-to-use nature of the Lodge cast iron griddle, but there are times when pans like the Le Creuset are going to shine. The biggest thing is finding high-quality craftsmanship and that is one thing all of the products on this list share. The majority of these pans are made in the United States and help support a truly niche market of American cast iron producers.
Cast iron griddle pans can be very expensive. Most of the time, the difference between a mid-priced pan and a high-dollar one is the amount of hands-on attention the cooking instrument required. Many of the higher-cost pans on this list undergo processes that require significant amounts of time finishing the pans by hand.
Sometimes, you'll find a pile of cast iron pans at a yard sale for a great price. Believe it or not, you might just find the best cast iron griddle you've ever used.
Can Cast Iron Griddle Pans Be Used on Any Stovetop?
There is a bit of debate about whether cast iron griddle pans should be used on induction and electric stovetops. Some products claim to be safe, while others simply don't recommend using the griddle on these stove burners. Generally, these griddles are designed to bridge two gas burners on a conventional kitchen stovetop. The pans can use both burners for even heating, or a different temperature zone for cooking different types of food that need medium heat.
Our top five cast iron griddles include options at a few different prices and with somewhat different performance levels. If you are looking to cook pancakes and make grilled vegetables once in a while, the Lodge or the Victoria pan might suit you just fine. If you are looking for unique features and distinct design elements, the Smithey and the FINEX are truly interesting pans that make great heirloom gifts one day.
The extra care that a cast iron griddle requires is more than made up for with the versatility and ability to cook just about any type of meal. A well-seasoned griddle offers the ability to cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert from one pan. These pans are also ideal for cooking larger amounts of food when entertaining guests.
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