For a time-tested cookware option that’s durable and nontoxic, you need one of the best cast iron griddles. These handy pieces might be a tad heavy and take a little extra care, but they’ll last a lifetime with proper maintenance. In the roundup below, I’ve selected the best cast iron griddles for a variety of foods and cooking styles.
Griddle Vs. Grill
Depending on what type of foods you plan on cooking, it pays to look at the cooking surface. Griddles have smooth, flat surfaces that heat evenly, making them ideal for making pancakes, paninis, and grilled cheese sandwiches. Grills, on the other hand, while still made of cast iron, have raised "ribs," which allow excess fat to drain from your food while simultaneously searing (satisfying) grill marks onto whatever you’re cooking. A grill is your best bet for meats or large vegetables.
Square Vs. Round
Most grill pans are square because grilled foods need to be cooked in a single layer, and the square shape offers more surface area for cooking. Conversely, most griddles — which can be used for foods that can be layered (think stir-fries and scrambled eggs) are often round.
A Note About Maintenance
Whichever pick you choose, you can rest easy knowing that cast iron cookware is safe — and when kept properly seasoned (more on that later) — it’s also naturally nonstick. Don’t be intimidated by the cast iron maintenance process. The main things you’ll want to remember are: Cast iron isn’t dishwasher safe; you should never soak cast iron in hot water; you should avoid scrubbing it with metal scouring pads; and you should season it after each use. While all of the picks below come pre-seasoned, you can check out this article for a handy step-by-step guide on seasoning cast iron to ensure that it stays in mint condition.
Take a look at the best cast iron griddles on Amazon; all are highly rated.