The cast iron griddle is a pretty simple piece of equipment on the surface. However, when you really stop and think about it, it quickly becomes one of the most obvious gadgets in your kitchen!
In the most simple terms, a cast iron griddle is simply a piece of long, rectangular metal. It is flat, and often has a reversible side that has ridges. Sometimes, the same side may even have a flat half and a ridged half. The purpose is, of course, to cook food, typically on top of a stove, open fire, and even a BBQ.
They are typically associated with breakfast foods, but we think they are so versatile that they can be used for all meals and recipes (well, provided that meal or recipe can be fried, sauteed, or seared).
Thing is, it can be difficult to think of creative uses for cooking equipment, especially if you have never used them before.
Luckily for you, that’s where we come in. In this article, we are going to be exploring all of the different things you can cook on a cast iron griddle, sharing some of our favorite cast iron griddle ideas, plus some tips and tricks that will enhance your griddle experience even further!
So, if you have received a cast iron griddle as a gift and have no idea what to do with it, or even if you need some inspiration for your well-loved griddle, this is the article for you!
Pancakes are a favorite breakfast food item of people all over the country, whatever their age. Whether you like them with bacon and maple syrup, loaded with chocolate chips, or bejeweled with blueberries and strawberries, you can make all the pancakes your heart desires on your cast iron skillet.
Pancakes can be made thick or thin, and of course, you should choose whatever you prefer. However, we have found that the best type of pancakes to make on a cast iron griddle is the thick American pancake version. This is because they are less liquid in terms of consistency, and so they tend to cook much easier, and there is typically less clean-up required afterward!
That being said, there is also the option of using a pancake mold (ensure that it is safe to use on a cast iron griddle first) where you can pour your pancake batter directly into the mold and keep it all contained until it is ready to flip.
Then you can simply top them with your favorite pancake toppings. Don’t forget to cook up some crispy bacon rashers next to the pancakes on the griddle - trust us, there will be plenty of room to fit them all on.
Eggs and bacon
Eggs and bacon are yet another breakfast staple, but in our opinion, we are obsessed with bacon and eggs for a brunch or lunch, too!
Because cast iron griddles are so similar to a regular pan, you can use them for foods that would otherwise be fried.
As such, bacon and eggs work well. Simply crack an egg and add some bacon rashers if you prefer a fried egg, or whip the egg first and add a dash of milk for an omelet.
The best cut of bacon, at least in our opinion, is the humble rasher, but you can use whatever you prefer.
Burgers are commonly associated with the grill or barbecue, but that doesn’t mean they are confined to the outside!
You can actually cook up some delicious burgers on your cast iron griddle in your own kitchen. After all, if burgers can be flipped from a stovetop pan in a restaurant, there’s no reason why you can’t do it too.
Simply follow a recipe for your own juicy beef burgers, or buy some freshly made from your local butcher and fire up that griddle. You can experiment by adding cheese slices, pepperoni, bacon, and sauce atop the almost-cooked burger at the end, too.
If you’re cooking eggs and bacon on your cast iron griddle, you may as well go the whole hog (get it?) and cook up some sausages too!
There are no special tricks or tips for cooking sausages on a griddle, but we want to make sure that you know to prick the sausages first (or your bangers will go bang).
Of course, it goes without saying that the fresher the sausages, the better they will taste. Head to your local butcher and get your favorite type, whether they be plain old pork, or spiced and flavored with some exotic seasoning!
Yes, that’s right! You can cook the most succulently scrumptious steaks on your cast iron griddle. As if that wasn’t enough, they also take just a few minutes - far quicker than if you were to go out to a steakhouse!
Depending on how you like your steak cooked, you may need to get the cast iron griddle hotter, especially if you like it to be seared well on the outside but rarer in the middle.
Don’t forget to season it well, and you can even add your favorite steak topping directly to it as it cooks if that is what you like! We are sure this will quickly become your favorite method of cooking steak.
Grilled cheese is the ideal meal that can be made on the ridged side of your cast iron griddle pan. It is a quick and easy lunch or filling snack and is ever so satisfying.
Simply cut some thin slices of your favorite cheese, or grate it so it is shredded, and layer it onto some bread slices, brioche, bagels, wraps, or whatever else you want to use.
Make sure you seal the edges as well as you can first by dressing them together with your finger and thumb or a kitchen tool. This will ensure the hot molten cheese does not make a mess on your cast iron griddle (melted cheese is notoriously difficult to clean after it has hardened)!
Chicken stir fry
A quick chicken stir fry can be a lovely light evening meal, especially after a long day at work. Chicken breast is the best type to use or boneless thighs if you prefer.
Simply cook some seasoned chicken breast strips on a low heat until cooked through, add your favorite chopped stir fry veggies (peppers, onion, carrot, cabbage, and pak choi are our favorites), turn the heat up, and quickly fry them atop your cast iron griddle.
Serve up quickly with a drizzle of sesame oil and soy sauce, with some chopped red chili for spice! A delicious, flavorful meal.
Welshcakes, as the name might suggest, are a Welsh recipe. They are small, round sweet pastries, resembling scones in terms of taste. In fact, the recipe for Welshcakes includes the same ingredients as a scone recipe, but they are thinner in terms of size.
They are traditionally made with dried fruit but work well with chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts, and dried coconut.
The reason why we have suggested them for your griddle is that they were traditionally made on huge slabs called ‘bakestones’. These are very similar to cast iron griddles, meaning Welshcakes can be easily made on your griddle!
Last on our list is another breakfast recipe (hey, we had to go full circle), but we think it works well as a snack or dessert, too! French toast, like grilled cheese, involves bread (or at least brioche or something similar).
Whichever way you like to flavor yours, whether, with a simple sweet egg wash, dusted with cinnamon, or with lots of syrup and chocolate chips, it will work well on your cast iron griddle. Just be sure it clean it well afterward - no one wants a sticky griddle, take it from us!
Is cooking on a griddle healthy?
Because a cast iron griddle does not require much in the way of cooking fat or oil, it can often be a healthy method of cooking.
Whereas you may use lots of oil for frying eggs in a normal pan, a griddle doesn’t require this, therefore cutting down the calorie content of the eggs.
This, in turn, can be interpreted as being healthier, especially if your health goal is to use fewer calories.
However, this does depend on what you cook! Cooking bacon on a griddle, for example, doesn’t reduce its fat content, it just reduces the need for using extra fat.
Can I put a griddle on a gas grill?
Yes, you can use a griddle on a gas grill. The reason for this is because the gas will heat the bottom of the griddle up and provide a flat surface on which you can cook your favorite recipes.
However, be aware of how hot the griddle will get (whether on a gas grill or any other form of heat)! Use heat proof gloves to pick up the griddle if you need to, and keep your arms covered to protect from burns.