I’d recommend to not buy any cast iron that has a bumpy surface. Good cast iron is polished. This helps the finish build and prevents food from sticking. You’re better off getting used cast iron if you can find it and the surface isn’t pitted like this modern crap. So product placement. Very sell-out. Wow.
I’ll point you to the post I linked to about antique vs new cast iron.
I recently got a new gas stove and it has a dedicated “bacon lane”, or central cast iron griddle part. Similar to:
Does not replace my cast iron, it augments it. Makes a great heat sink if a pan gets too hot on an adjacent burner. Just slide it off the heat and the smooth iron to smoothish iron contact drops the temp a few degrees, pretty rapidly.
I’m not aware of anyone, aside from perhaps very small run companies, that produce modern cast iron with the smoother surface. Having grown up with ancient cast iron, and purchased new stuff as well, there isn’t a whole hell of a lot of difference. The new stuff is marginally heavier, though its difficult to tell even with direct side by side comparison. The old stuff will also be very slightly slicker. But the differences are nowhere near extreme enough to say “never buy the new stuff with the rough surface”. It works fine, and its cheap. The season will eventually smooth it out most of the way.
And that’s not pitting or evidence of “crap”. IIRC its a difference in the casting processes, coarser sand for the molds. Though some seem to claim the old stuff was instead polished or machined after casting.
Glad to see another cast iron post. I like the design - especially the angled ribs. When I’m at the stove my spatula comes in at a 45° angle and having the ribs match that fits neatly with my OCD tendencies (use tongs… No. Shuttup. I cook with a spatula, fork, and spoon damnit!)
I have a Le Creuset grill pan that’s I’ve enjoyed for a few years now and my only problem with it is having to turn the pan to match what I want to do with my spatula. On the other hand, I have a wooden fork that fits perfectly between the ribs which makes cleaning a snap
One question I have is how tall are the ribs? Do they allow enough room for drips to fall, smoke, and add flavor back to the meat or are they the lower style ribs that just keep the food out of the fat and add grill marks?
I’d say it depends on the heat you are using. For a steak that starts on the range and moves to the oven, I think they are perfect. For a hamburger, they are a bit tall and the meat needs to be packed densely enough not to get you trapped.
Thanks I actually like the taller ribs for these sorts of pans. I think they add just a bit of smokey flavor that I couldn’t get with my now retired stove top grill. I seem to remember an Alton Brown piece where he explained that part of the great grilling flavor was the drippings being burned and the resulting smoke adding flavor. With the lower ribs it seems to give more of a splash back and less of that smokey goodness.
This is the kind of product that sounds awesome when you first see it but makes no sense 10 minutes after you actually try to use it. Unless your cast iron is immaculately clean (and if your cast iron is immaculately clean…buddy. I hate to break it to you, but you’re using it wrong) the minute you use the second side for the first time and the remaining grease on the side you cooked on first liquifies and starts dripping onto your stovetop, you’re going to feel like an idiot.
For a campfire? Sure. Absolutely. But if you use this in your kitchen, you’re going to have problems.
Also grill lines on cast iron is a dish-washer’s nightmare. Get a skillet and a ball jar and learn how to drain your pan as you cook.
You cook on one side at a time and then clean it. If you leave enough fat/grease on your cast iron to liquify and run off onto your stove after cleaning, you’ve done a terrible job cleaning. I just don’t understand what you are going for here. I wouldn’t recommend flipping it over mid-cooking and use the clean side while the dirty side runs all over the place. Tho if you poured off the grease, you could I guess.
I clean several cast iron waffle irons, including a heart shaped one, all the time. They are FAR more annoying than grill lines.
I gave away a couple of old cast iron griddles, because they didn’t do anything my cast iron pans didn’t do better.
Hmm, this is probably because I don’t cook or eat waffles or pancakes. My grandfather took me to an “all you can eat” pancake house when I was a child and I ate all I can eat. Took two or three hours, but I’m done for life. Seriously.
For the things I cook, griddles produce too much spatter. I have a fancy schmancy screen thingy I can put over a pan that catches oil spatter whilst letting steam escape, and I just use a pyrex lid if I don’t want to let the steam out either.
One problem with this is that you can’t baste without sides or a handle.
I have owned this exact grill for over 10 years now used mostly on our gas stove. Simply awesome. Great for fried eggs.
I’ve had one for years and it gets almost as much use as my 10" skillet. A fantastic piece of cookware.
Been using mine for years without a problem. Both sides.
I have the double wide one and its used mainly for the camp stove or a fire, never indoors cuz holy crap does it get black and filthy from the fire and open flames, so I just wrap it in newspaper and stow it until next time.
The two burner models tend to be a bit problematic on the stove. Unevenness and some of the smoking and mess issues people mention. I don’t remember ever having that problem with single burner models. Personally I don’t see the point in grill pans or the grilled side of the griddle. Messier, harder to clear, and they really don’t approximate in anyway actual grilling. Their sole purpose seems to be in getting those nice even grill marks, which are solely about presentation. They don’t add much in the way of flavor or crust. So I roll with a round be-handled griddle.
I wire brush fixes that right up.
Cast iron is going to have a texture by it’s very nature. The carbon deposits from seasoning it fills them in and it’s the carbon film that makes them non-stick.
Hell yeah though, old well used and seasoned cast iron is the best, but it looked rough when it was new too.
I personally haven’t found griddles to be all that useful if only going to be used on a burner stove. Great on grills and campfires though.