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Stove-top griddle


aliénor
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i spent the weekend with my grandchildren and after making loads of pancakes in a 9 inch skillet i have decided that i need a stovetop griddle, but can't decide what type-cast iron or non-sttick. in the non-stick variety there are many different choices of brands. my stove is a kitchen-aid with a high output burner and a low output directly behind it. so i was hoping that there may be someone out there who can help me with the decision.

thanks in advance for your help

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Your choice depends partly on how often you plan to use it and how carefully you are while maintaining it. Cast iron is the obvious choice if you plan on using it a lot, if it's seasoned and cleaned correctly it will be almost nonstick and you won't have to worry about chipping the nonstick surface. The cast iron also disperses and holds heat better. On the other hand a nonstick surface may be easier for infrequent use and will be easy to clean by everyone while requiring less care. I don't know how much trouble your burner arrangement will be but good sized electric griddles can be purchased for a reasonable price and may be a better option for you.

I have a cast iron griddle that I've had for a long time, I use it weekly and it still looks new and performs better than new.

I've learned that artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Definitely cast iron.

Cast iron can handle high heat. It won't warp.

With pancakes and a lot of other griddle top foods, you'll need to bring the griddle up to temperature. Thus, 'm not a fan of high-heating bare non-sticks and would not recommend a non-stick for this appliance.

My guess would be that a Lodge griddle that fits over two burners would work great for you. Money no object, buy the Le Creuset griddle.

I was fortunate enough to find a single burner size Le Creuset at a second hand store. It is ribbed on one side and flat on the other. It came pre-seasoned and has been such a workhorse that I don't own a toaster, I just toast my bread on the Le Creuset. I use it for grilling vegetables, tortillas, meats, et. al. I'd prefer one that was large enough to go over two burners and one day I will buy one.

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If you only use it for pancakes, get the non-stick. Cast iron is very difficult to control the heat with. If you get it too hot and you start burning your pancakes it will take a siginificant amount of time to cool it off enough for use. Then it's more time spent trying to get the temp right. The non-stick benefit of CI comes after seasoning and unless you plan to cook a lot of bacon with it and season it and take care of it then it would be a good choice but still, I come back to what you're using it for. Bacon? Sausage? Pancakes? I have three well seasoned CI pans (including a CI griddle I use for fish on the grill outside) and I would still get a non-stick griddle just for the ease of use. CI is great for searing and frying at high temps. For low temp cooking why bother. While visiting my mother one weekend I used her NS griddle for just this exact purpose (breakfast) and was happy with the way it performed. No problems at all.

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  • 14 years later...

Bumping this topic up hoping that someone in the intervening 15 years has some more advice for me.  I've decided I'd like to try a stove top griddle.  I have an electric one, which I do like, but storage is non-existent and it is, by necessity, in the attic.  Which means that when I want to use it, I have to bother Mr. Kim to go up there and get it - grumbling and cursing when he inevitably hits his head on the ceiling.  I mainly use the one I have for pancakes, French toast, grilled sandwiches, etc.   I once had a cast iron griddle with the ridges, which I didn't like at all.  So, I know I don't want one of those.  I really think I want a one-sided, non-stick pan.  I'm seeing them on Amazon for anywhere from $16 to $220!!  Any advice would be welcome and thanks in advance!

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22 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

Bumping this topic up hoping that someone in the intervening 15 years has some more advice for me.  I've decided I'd like to try a stove top griddle.  I have an electric one, which I do like, but storage is non-existent and it is, by necessity, in the attic.  Which means that when I want to use it, I have to bother Mr. Kim to go up there and get it - grumbling and cursing when he inevitably hits his head on the ceiling.  I mainly use the one I have for pancakes, French toast, grilled sandwiches, etc.   I once had a cast iron griddle with the ridges, which I didn't like at all.  So, I know I don't want one of those.  I really think I want a one-sided, non-stick pan.  I'm seeing them on Amazon for anywhere from $16 to $220!!  Any advice would be welcome and thanks in advance!

 

I have a two-sided stove top griddle with ridges on one side. My major gripe is that with my gas cooktop, it's impossible to place it so the burners are of similar intensity.  I understand that staggering the burners makes sense to accommodate pan sizes but it makes it extremely challenging to maintain even heat across 2 adjacent burners.  

I've tried using my baking steel for pancakes and it's the same issue with getting even heat.   

 

If I used a double-size griddle often enough, I'd try to find an accessible space to store that electric one. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, blue_dolphin said:

I've tried using my baking steel for pancakes and it's the same issue with getting even heat.   

 

 

Not a big problem with the smaller square one. 

 

I also have one of these (but it's all-clad), and it works fine...

 

image.png.26c00491a5ab9ede1b9885a3d51bf792.png

 

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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For 15yrs we had a big commercial Vulcan with a huge griddle/plancha on the side.  Hardly used it. Took forever to heat and a PITA to get clean.

 

I now have a big-ass SS griddle that I bought off of a rec here on eG. Probably a few hundred dollars now that I got for like $50 about 10 yrs ago.

 

It wont heat evenly, but you can see this as a strength.  Hot zones and cool zones etc.

 

Having said that I hardly use it.

 

Mostly I use a couple big SS pans (+/- teflon) which come close to the usable surface area of the griddle, are already purchased  and are easy to work with.

 

 

 

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My workhorse griddle is a basic cast iron comal. No ridges, just a large flat surface and it works well to distribute the heat on one burner. We use it for pancakes, tortillas and quick searing dried chiles. It's cheap and indestructible.

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Many years ago I bought a cast iron comal in a Mexican grocery store in Pueblo, Colorado. It says "Hecho en México" on the back but I've never seen any cast iron sold in México, so I assume it was for export to the US. It lives permanently on my stove and I use it constantly. If I'm making salsa, I use it to toast the chiles, tomatoes or tomatillos, onion and garlic. Quesadillas, pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches--it's a workhorse. It spans the central 2 burners, but when we replace the stove I'm looking for one with the oval burner so there won't be a cold spot in between the 2 burners. I don't use it to roast and peel poblanos--I do that directly on the gas burners, which is the only time I remove the comal. After many years of use it's completely non-stick.

 

I also have a cast iron wok that makes wonderful fajitas. Takes a little time to warm up completely--this is characteristic of cast iron--but once it's hot it's better than any other pan for making crispy fajitas. Which reminds me that I haven't made fajitas in far too long.

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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Thank you to everyone who responded.  I think this is one of those things that I'm going to have to get out and get my hands on in a store.  I know I don't want cast iron or anything heavy (been there, done that - plus I have arthritis in my hands and things are seeming heavier and heavier as time goes by).  But I don't want flimsy either.  I like that square one that you showed, @weinoo.  Maybe same brand, but rectangular (I know I like the larger one - when I use my electric one, I use the entire surface).  

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I have one of the heavy griddles by King Chef (2 burner, 7 gauge). It's huge (covers 2 burners on a big domestic or actual commercial range) and quite heavy. The carbon steel surface is perfect ... durable, seasons easily, and nothing sticks to it. 

 

It does not heat very evenly. 3/16" is pretty thick for steel, but not thick enough to spread head efficiently several inches. So for pancakes, you have to learn how it heats, and work within those limitations. Either don't take advantage of the full surface area, or don't expect photoshoot-perfect evenness. One approach that works is is using the center portion (between the burners) for keeping things warm rather than for cooking. You still have enough surface for 4 big pancakes at once. 

 

I would not get a nonstick griddle. The surface is too short-lived (I don't care if it has a lifetime warrantee or if you baby it ... if you cook at griddle temperatures, it will lose its stick resistance over time). My ideal material would be 3/8" aluminum. You can actually season the surface of bare aluminum if you want. You won't get a durable finish, but it works. And it would warp. But you'd get much better heat distribution, with no weight penalty. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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5 minutes ago, paulraphael said:

I would not get a nonstick griddle. The surface is too short-lived (I don't care if it has a lifetime warrantee or if you baby it ... if you cook at griddle temperatures, it will lose its stick resistance over time).

 

Yeah, but at the price point, and with its ability to be easily stored, it's easy enough to replace when it hits that point.  I've had that square non-stick All-Clad griddle for years, and it's still fine.  

Edited by weinoo (log)
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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

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I've had a double sided Nordic non stick for a few years. Maybe $30.  The flat side works great over 2 gas burners but the grill did not fare well after a few uses and the teflon quickly wore off.  Cleaning it too was a major PIA esp.  The flat side, for the money and weight convenience was worth it.  Fine for infrequent use.  

That wasn't chicken

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3 hours ago, Nancy in Pátzcuaro said:

Many years ago I bought a cast iron comal in a Mexican grocery store in Pueblo, Colorado. It says "Hecho en México" on the back but I've never seen any cast iron sold in México, so I assume it was for export to the US. It lives permanently on my stove and I use it constantly. If I'm making salsa, I use it to toast the chiles, tomatoes or tomatillos, onion and garlic. Quesadillas, pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches--it's a workhorse. It spans the central 2 burners, but when we replace the stove I'm looking for one with the oval burner so there won't be a cold spot in between the 2 burners. I don't use it to roast and peel poblanos--I do that directly on the gas burners, which is the only time I remove the comal. After many years of use it's completely non-stick.

 

I also have a cast iron wok that makes wonderful fajitas. Takes a little time to warm up completely--this is characteristic of cast iron--but once it's hot it's better than any other pan for making crispy fajitas. Which reminds me that I haven't made fajitas in far too long.

My comal also lives on the stove, but it only takes up one burner and rarely needs to be moved. I don't roast my poblano or other green chiles on it either.  For that I have always used the broiler, which is how we did it when living in NM, but my broiler is underperforming currently so I've been using the outdoor gas grill for blistering peppers which is even better. It is a mystery why I didn't think of that before.

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52 minutes ago, Eatmywords said:

I've had a double sided Nordic non stick for a few years. Maybe $30.  The flat side works great over 2 gas burners but the grill did not fare well after a few uses and the teflon quickly wore off.  Cleaning it too was a major PIA esp.  The flat side, for the money and weight convenience was worth it.  Fine for infrequent use.  

 

That's got to be a problem with any double-sided griddle. Any coating ... non-stick or even just seasoning ... is going to burn off the side facing the fire. I wouldn't want to be in a room with that much incinerating teflon. 

Notes from the underbelly

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5 hours ago, paulraphael said:

I have one of the heavy griddles by King Chef (2 burner, 7 gauge). It's huge (covers 2 burners on a big domestic or actual commercial range) and quite heavy. The carbon steel surface is perfect ... durable, seasons easily, and nothing sticks to it. 

 

I don't remember if mine is the same brand but looks exactly the same and works great, lives on my stove. If that is too heavy maybe try and find something that size and shape would be my recommendation for the OP

244250C9-5B55-4EED-AD61-C743E5E84844.jpeg

Edited by AAQuesada (log)
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Yeah, looks like it. To confirm, see if the thought of dropping it on your toe arouses mild panic.

 

The company makes smaller ones with the same construction. There are similar options by some other companies on webrestaurantstore.

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Notes from the underbelly

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I have an electric griddle which I store in the basement, much as you store yours in the attic.   I have a baking steel which lives in the kitchen.  It is heavy, it is greasy, it stays hot for a long time after use, it is a pain to move.

 

I use the electric, which requires a trip to the basement 5-6 times as often as the steel.  And not because I think it does a better job.  YMMV.

 

having seen pictures of weinoo’s steel.   He got the half one, as opposed to mine, that may be a better way to go. 
 

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23 minutes ago, Dr. Teeth said:

having seen pictures of weinoo’s steel.   He got the half one, as opposed to mine, that may be a better way to go. 

I do have the half one, and also the larger Modernist Cuisine baking steel (double sided), which lives in the oven. At 25 lbs., I found it annoyingly heavy to move in and out of the oven when needed for use as a griddle/plancha, so I invested in the smaller one as well.

 

FWIQ, I also have the giant Lodge cast iron, two burner reversible griddle/grill.  As @paulraphael mentions, when it's used, whatever seasoning might've been present tends to get burned off on the side facing the fire. It resides somewhere in a closet, as even giving it away became a problem. I think its best use is as a plancha, outside on a real grill.

 

AND, I have the Cuisinart griddler, which really works nicely for pancakes and panini, but also a pain in the ass to store.

Edited by weinoo (log)
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8 hours ago, weinoo said:

I do have It resides somewhere in a closet, as even giving it away became a problem. I think its best use is as a plancha, outside on a real grill.

 

Or you could send to Kyiv. A whole family could shelter behind it.

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So comments from 10,000 feet.  Before I start let me say this is the kind of advice I hate to be given.

 

First some background.   Mrs Dr Teeth is very sensitive to clutter.   Dr Teeth himself floats between not noticing clutter and being clutter.

 

The problem you have is that your kitchen has too much clutter.   Your solution is buying a large, heavy, greasy iron griddle.

 

This is analogous to saying “My life is too complicated, I should really have children.”

 

I would suggest you may wish to check your calculations again.   Perhaps getting rid of enough minimally used items that the electric griddle could have a happy home in your kitchen would be a better solution.

 

I would now like to apologize for my hypocrisy and unwanted advice.

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17 hours ago, Dr. Teeth said:

So comments from 10,000 feet.  Before I start let me say this is the kind of advice I hate to be given.

 

First some background.   Mrs Dr Teeth is very sensitive to clutter.   Dr Teeth himself floats between not noticing clutter and being clutter.

 

The problem you have is that your kitchen has too much clutter.   Your solution is buying a large, heavy, greasy iron griddle.

 

This is analogous to saying “My life is too complicated, I should really have children.”

 

I would suggest you may wish to check your calculations again.   Perhaps getting rid of enough minimally used items that the electric griddle could have a happy home in your kitchen would be a better solution.

 

I would now like to apologize for my hypocrisy and unwanted advice.

No apologies necessary at all.  A clarification, though.  What I am more likely to buy is the rectangular version of @weinoo's All Clad one - much lighter and easier to clean than the heavy one I once owned and gifted to Goodwill.  And, as far as finding room in my kitchen, I would direct you to my eG foodblog for a tour.  I have such a small amount of storage space that I don't even keep all of my daily dishes and FOOD in my kitchen.  We laughingly refer to the dining room as the Convenience Store.  😄  I also promise to not just order something pretty willy-nilly from Amazon until I've done my due diligence and actually handled a few in a brick and mortar store. 😁

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8 hours ago, Kim Shook said:

No apologies necessary at all.  A clarification, though.  What I am more likely to buy is the rectangular version of @weinoo's All Clad one - much lighter and easier to clean than the heavy one I once owned and gifted to Goodwill.  And, as far as finding room in my kitchen, I would direct you to my eG foodblog for a tour.  I have such a small amount of storage space that I don't even keep all of my daily dishes and FOOD in my kitchen.  We laughingly refer to the dining room as the Convenience Store.  😄  I also promise to not just order something pretty willy-nilly from Amazon until I've done my due diligence and actually handled a few in a brick and mortar store. 😁

 

Who keeps their dishes and food in the kitchen??

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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