June 1, 2021 | Cooking | Tips and Advice

How to Use a Cast Iron Griddle

You’ve got yourself a griddle. Maybe you’ve had one before. Maybe you’ve always wanted one. Or maybe you have found yourself staring face to face with a griddle and have no idea what to do with it.
No matter where you are on your cast iron griddle journey, you have come to the right place.
We are going to take a moment to look at all the perks and benefits of having one of these cast iron griddles – as well as how to care for it.
And, who knows, perhaps you will stumble across some pretty stellar recipes, too.
Ready? Let’s go!

The Power of a Griddle

The idea of cooking on a griddle may seem a bit odd to some people. After all, what’s the difference between cooking on a griddle and cooking on a pan, right? Well, there is the power behind that griddle – and once you use it, you probably won’t stop.
A cast iron griddle is one continuous large cooking space that sits over the space of two burners on your stovetop. Whether you are cooking for a crowd or just cooking for your family, you can cook a lot of food all at once on its surface. Think about how many times you have tried to cook a large breakfast, for instance. Were the first eggs you cooked ice cold by the time the last eggs finished? Sitting down to eat together always means someone is left with cold food. With a griddle that doesn’t happen. All your food can be cooked at the exact same time.
Moving on, glancing at a griddle, you will notice that it has a smooth, wide-open space with no big sidewalls as a regular pan does. You may not realize it, but the walls of a skillet can hold moisture that, in turn, affects the food you are cooking. Without them, your food can get nice and crispy – and there is nothing to get in the way of an easy flip!
Finally, the power of a griddle comes with the ability to cook different foods on the same surface at the same time. It may sound scary or even overwhelming, but it shouldn’t. Do you know why? You will only have one pan to clean afterward. What a score!

A Few Griddle Safety Precautions

Safety is always crucial. It’s no different when it comes to a griddle. As you venture about your kitchen creating delectable meals using your cast iron griddle, keep everyone safe with these 2 important tips:

  1. Monitor the grease. With no sidewalls, grease can build up and have nowhere to go. If it overflows, it could cause a serious situation – especially if you are using your griddle with a gas stove.
  2. Protect your hands with an oven mitt. The surface of a cast iron griddle can get very hot, just like touching a burner or the grate on your grill. If you need to move your griddle or touch it in any way while cooking, put on a mitt.

Tips for Griddling Perfection

Griddling is not hard. You don’t have to watch hours of YouTube videos or read thick manuals in order to gain expertise. You just need to use it. Of course, knowing a few cooking tips in advance is always beneficial. To get you started, here are 3 notes for griddling perfection:

  1. Timing is different on a griddle. Things will cook much faster than if you were cooking in a skillet. This is important so you don’t walk away and come back to charred food. Remember, nobody likes charred food.

The reason for the faster cooking times is that the entire griddle is a solid block of heat – with no means for the heat to escape.

  1. The surface is not non-stick. Your cast iron griddle is just like any cast iron pan – it requires oil. Be sure to use a good oil or cooking spray to coat the surface before you begin cooking. This will not only reduce the chance of your food sticking to the surface, but will also make cleanup much easier.
  2. Cook multiple items with foil. You don’t have to use foil, but it will make cooking different foods at once much easier. Plus, for thicker foods, the foil allows them to cook and sort of steam at the same time which leads to faster cooking.

The more you use your griddle, the more you will get the hang of it – and find what works best for your cooking habits.

Cleaning Your Griddle

Perhaps one of the best features of cooking on a cast-iron skillet is the cleanup. Very few people – if any – enjoy cleaning up a kitchen. But, when the cleanup is easy, it is more tolerated. That’s exactly what you will find with a griddle.
When you are done cooking, use your oven mitts to protect your hands and remove all excess food from the griddle’s surface. You can do this once it has cooled, but some foods will harden and stick to the surface making it more difficult to remove. Once the surface is clear – and cool – use a wet rag to wipe down the surface. Follow this up with a light layer of oil to protect the cast iron surface.
And, you’re all set!
Cleaning your griddle is something you should do after each use. The longer you wait to clean it, the more difficult it will be to remove stuck-on debris. Follow the steps above every time for a no-mess, simple way to a clean griddle.
Whether you have a griddle that is part of your gas range or you have purchased a cast iron griddle plate, you will find joy in the easy use it brings. Cook larger meals faster, enjoy an easy cleanup and save time.
It doesn’t take long for someone new to griddling to quickly become hooked on its ease of use and multiple benefits.
Now, all you have to do is search for some griddle recipes and get cooking!