A cast iron griddle is essentially a slab of cast iron with a shallow lip that sits directly on your burner or over a campfire. Single-burner griddles are available in round and square varieties. If you are cooking for a crowd, try a large rectangle shaped griddle that stretches across two burners. Many griddles are reversible, with a smooth side and a grill side. A cast iron griddle is ideal for frying eggs, making fluffy pancakes and searing juicy burgers.
Things You'll Need
- Cast iron griddle
- Neutral oil
- Aluminum foil
- Cooking oil
- Heat resistant brush
If your griddle is new, season it before cooking. According to WhatsCookingAmerica.com, the best way to season your cast iron is to apply a thin layer of a neutral oil, then place it in a 300 to 500 degree oven for 30 to 60 minutes. Be sure to place a sheet of aluminum foil beneath the griddle to catch drips. Allow the griddle to cool after seasoning.
Place the griddle directly over one or more burners and turn the heat to medium. Since cast iron is an excellent conductor, high heat is not necessary for even cooking. Depending on your stove and what you are cooking, you may need to adjust the temperature.
Apply a light layer of cooking oil. You can apply the oil with a heat-resistant brush or pour a small amount directly on the griddle and distribute it with a flat spatula. The oil will be ready for cooking when it is shimmering but not smoking.
Test the temperature by flicking a couple drops of water on the cast iron surface. The water should dance on the surface. If it evaporates instantly the griddle is too hot, and if it sits on the surface for more than 2 seconds the griddle is too cool. Adjust the temperature accordingly.
Place the food on the griddle. Leave a couple of inches between items to allow for spreading and to prevent the food from steaming. Flip when the first side is cooked sufficiently and remove the food when fully cooked.
To clean your griddle, wipe the surface with a warm soapy dishrag and rinse. Dry the griddle, then heat it on the stove to evaporate any leftover moisture. Last, wipe the cast iron surface with a very thin layer of neutral oil.
Tips & Warnings
- If you are unfamiliar with cast iron cooking you may want to first cook a single egg, pancake, burger etc. before loading an entire batch onto the griddle. This will allow you to make final temperature adjustments and get a feel for cast iron cooking.
- Photo Credit pancakes image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com
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