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.
1. A Round Griddle From A Company That’s Been Making Cast Iron For 100+ Years
The shallow walls make this round cast iron griddle particularly great for making pancakes and crepes, but it also can be used to sear, sauté, bake, broil, braise, and fry — whether that's on a stovetop, in the oven, or over a campfire. It’s pre-seasoned with 100% vegetable oil and boasts excellent heat retention and even heating. It’s also from a brand with some heritage. Since 1896, all Lodge cast iron cookware has been made in South Pittsburg, Tennessee.
One note: The handle will heat up, so consider buying a heat-resistant cover for the pan handle if you don’t own one already.
A helpful review: “This is a great pan for pancakes or other delicate dishes that need the utensils to make precise movements. My other cast irons that I use have high walls and make it difficult to maneuver so having a really low side wall on this pan makes it super convenient and worth the purchase.”
2. A Square Cast Iron Grill With An Anti-Splatter Lid
This square cast iron grill pan comes with a convenient glass lid to avoid splatters; a removable, non-slip, heat-resistant silicone cover for the handle; and a free scraper to make cleanup a cinch. While it comes pre-seasoned (though it’s unclear with what oil), the manufacturer still recommends seasoning it yourself before first use. It's fantastic for preparing meats, but you can also use it to cook veggies, sandwiches, and anything else you like to grill. It’s also suitable for indoor or outdoor use, so you can use it at home or take it camping.
A helpful review: “This is an awesome cast iron skillet. It is pre-seasoned, but you do need to oil it and bake it to make it kind of set in. It cooks evenly, and the lid helps [cut] down on grease splatters.”
3. A Reversible Grill & Griddle For Ultimate Versatility
Pre-seasoned with 100% vegetable oil and great for cooking pancakes, eggs, meats, and more, this reversible cast iron griddle offers two cooking surfaces with both a smooth griddle and a ribbed grill. It provides great heat retention and even distribution, and is big enough to straddle two burners on your stovetop or across a campfire. It has handles for easy handling (though you should still use an oven mitt or a pot holder because the handles will heat up). It's another pick from Lodge, a trusted name in cast iron cookware.
A helpful review: “Loved this reversible cast iron griddle. Perfect heat distribution and heat-up. Very easy to clean as well.”
4. A Round Pizza Griddle That Can Be Used For So Much More
This durable, heavy-duty cast iron pizza pan is pre-seasoned (with vegetable oil), and while it's perfect for making crispy, evenly baked pizzas, it can also be used for grilling veggies, baking cookies, broiling, or even as a skillet. It comes backed by more than 1,400 customer reviews on Amazon, and it can be used on your stovetop, the grill, or in the oven. Its convenient side handles allow for easy maneuverability, although, a note of caution, they will get hot, so use the included silicone hot handle holders.
A helpful review: "Very well made iron skillet and heavy! I am still practicing on how to use it and not overcook our burgers and steaks. Good quality and the handle on the other side makes it easy to transfer from stove to oven, to counter top. Just remember to season it after each use to prevent rust."
Also Nice: A Cast Iron Grill Press
This cast iron grill press is ideal for sandwich lovers or anyone who might be short on space. It’s perfect for grilled cheese sandwiches, paninis, steaks, bacon, and more. It weighs 2.8 pounds and features a comfortable wood handle. I wasn't able to find any specific seasoning or maintenance instructions for this pick, but one Amazon customer suggested wiping the clean grill press with olive oil, heating it up, and then wiping the oil away.
A helpful review: “So far, I have only used this to grill bacon, breakfast sausage patties, and grilled cheese sandwiches on an electric griddle. I love it. It cooks these items faster and browns them perfectly. I can't wait to try it on my outdoor gas grill!”
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