How to find the best cast iron griddle

If you are in a hurry and just want to know what griddle I would pick then it's the Victoria GDL-196 Rectangular Cast Iron Double Burner Griddle. I strongly suggest you measure your stovetop and find the one that fits!

Cast iron is ideal for griddles as it can withstand the high temperatures needed for griddling, grilling and searing. 

In this article I will help you find the best cast iron griddle for your stovetop.  To do so, I’ve reviewed the following cast iron griddle pans:

What To Look For in A Cast Iron Griddle

Size

The first thing you want to think about is how big do you want it to be?  Bigger pans may need to use more than one burner on the stove. When cooking for a family though, it can be a pain if it’s too small and you have to griddle twice.

For a family, a two burner pan could be ideal.  This might be about 18 X 10 inches (45 X 25cm).  It’s large enough to cook for the whole family, but you can also have something else on the stove.

Even with a family I’ve always bought single burner pans.  These can be about 10 inches by 10 inches (25cm X 25cm) or 10 inches in diameter (25 cm wide).  There’s only so much room in my kitchen and this is normally enough. My kids are still small though – when they are teenagers devouring everything I’ll need the double burner!  I’ve cast the net wide in this article looking at single and double burners to future proof my kitchen.

Every stove is a different size.  Whatever you do, measure your stove and work out whether the one you want will fit.  Envisage it on your stove – will it leave room for other pots and pans?  This should be a bigger factor than whatever you read here. There’s no point buying a griddle you won’t use because it doesn’t fit.

Seasoning, Cleaning and Maintaining

All cast iron cookware needs to be seasoned.  Fortunately, these days, a lot comes pre-seasoned.

You still need to take care of it, being careful how you clean it.  You should be ready to season it again if something goes wrong. I recommend seasoning when you get it, even if pre-seasoned.  Manufacturers’ seasoning is often only a layer or two.

None of this is very difficult.  In this video, Martha Stewart explains how to clean and season a cast iron skillet.  (The same would apply for a griddle):

All I would say is – are you prepared for this?  It’s more work than nonstick but you get something that can last lifetimes.

Ridges and Reversing

Griddles are normally flat surfaces with no ridges and low sides or lips.  They are great for cooking pancakes or searing meat. In some places a griddle has ridges and valleys, although this is often called a grill pan.  The valleys help the fat drain away and give you those nice grilled, charred, stripes. I will look at both alternatives: griddles and grill pans.

In fact many griddles come with their own alternative as you can reverse them.  On one side they have a flat surface and on the other they have ridges. I will highlight the reversible griddle pans for you.

You can see the difference between the grill pan and griddle (flat) here. This Lodge product (not reviewed) is reversible.

Handles

With cast iron you typically aren’t going to get an insulated handle you can touch with your bare hands.  Cool touch handles need to be separated from the body of the griddle in some way and that becomes a failure point.  If you want cast iron that lasts, any handles should be part of the same block as the rest of the pan.

Yet there are different ways to approach this, and some manage this better than others.  I’ll highlight this in the reviews. I will say at this point, though, that Lodge have come up a great solution to this.

Dishwasher Safe

I’ll tell you which cast iron griddles are dishwasher safe:  None of them are! Seriously, I’m prone to throw things I shouldn’t in the dishwasher, but not cast iron!  In fact you should avoid using strong detergent with cast iron. Ideally you shouldn’t use any detergent. You need to protect the layer of seasoning.

If a child, or partner, does put your beautiful cast iron in the dishwasher – don’t worry about it!  Simply follow the instructions above to reseason it.

Grill Press

You can use a grill press to keep thin food from curling due to the heat.  You want to avoid curling as it would mean only part of the food was cooked.  You would most likely use a grill press with something like bacon or strips of eggplant.

A grill press uses its own weight to hold down food, so cast iron is ideal for this.  Since the grill press needs to be lifted, it will often have a heat resistant handle. As this sort of handle is a weak point, expect it to fail at some point.

These aren’t for everyone – I’ve never used a grill press and haven’t missed it.  I flip the food as I cook and it all works out. Here is an example of a grill press in action:

Some griddles come with a grill press and most don’t.  None of the ones I’ve reviewed do, though some have options that include a grill press.  If you want a grill press and your griddle doesn’t come with one, you can always buy it separately.  There are plenty of options.   If you want a recommendation , this cast iron grill press is good quality and comes with a nice folding handle.  Expect the folding handle to fail at some point though.

My recommendation is that you don’t worry about the grill press.  Get the griddle, and if it turns out you do need a grill press, buy it later.

Lodge LSRG3 Cast Iron Single-Burner Reversible Griddle

Lodge are well known for quality cast iron cookware.  They don’t disappoint here with a quality product that you can expect to last.  Since this griddle is for a single burner it should fit in most places. At 10.5 X 10.5 inches (26.7 X 26.7 cm) square there is plenty of room to cook something on.  Realistically though, if cooking for a family, you can only cook one thing at a time on this griddle.

Lodge make the pan in the USA if that matters to you.

I like to have a pan that I can hold whilst cooking, and the handles on this pan don’t really lend themselves to that.  They do have holes in them which make it easy to store by hanging up.

If you like this pan but think it’s a bit small, here’s an idea – buy two!  This could be a better option than a large one as it is easier to store. As a bonus, you could use one with a flat surface and one with ridges at the same time.

I would say this pan is ideal for a couple with a small kitchen and a gas burner. 

Pros:

  • Reversible griddle / grill pan combo
  • Compact
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Durable and long lasting

Cons:

  • Quite small for a family
  • Doesn’t lay completely flat meaning grease can pool on one side
  • Small, integrated handles means it is harder to pick up
  • Lips on both sides make it difficult to use with electric or induction stoves
  • Heavy for its size

Lodge L9OG3ASHH41B Cast Iron Griddle and Hot Handle Holder

This round 10.5inch griddle is useful anywhere you go.  This is a true cast iron griddle pan with a genuine handle.  It’s a shame that it isn’t reversible, but I guess that’s partly the price of having a proper handle.

Since it isn’t reversible the base is flat so you can easily use it on an induction or electric stove.  This makes it versatile in it’s own way.

If you are actually looking for a grill pan (with ridges) then how about this alternative?  It’s a similar size, though square, and also comes with a handle cover.

Lodge make their products in the USA if you are interested.

How to use Lodge Silicone handle cover

This may sound strange but I most love the handle and cover.  I know it’s not for everyone but if you use it right it works well.

The handle on this pan is part of the integrated cast iron block.  This means that it should last as long as the pan. It also means that it will get as hot as the pan.  Lodge supply a silicone handle cover that you can use to cover the handle.  

If you leave this cover on, it will get hot, not as hot as the handle, but too hot.  The trick is to put the cover on the handle when you use it, then take it off. Does this seem like a lot of faff?  Not to me. There are no easy answers here, but Lodge has found a way to have a handle that lasts, and give you heat insulation.  This is the best I’ve seen.

Even better if you lose or damage the silicone handle, just buy a new one.  It doesn’t cost that much!

Pros:

  • Can use on gas, electric or induction
  • Cast iron handle integrated with rest of pan
  • Nice silicone handle cover included
  • Sturdy and long lasting
  • Preseasoned – less work for you

Cons:

  • Heavy to handle
  • Not reversible – not for grilling

Victoria GDL-196 Rectangular Cast Iron Double Burner Griddle

This rectangular double burner grill is just the right size for my stove at 18.5 X 10 inches ( 47cm X 25.4 cm).  It fits over the two burners nicely, leaves room for other pans, and is big enough to cook loads of pancakes!

Victoria offer a range of sizes, so pick the one that suits you.  Given the options, I would definitely suggest measuring your stove first – not all are the same size.

What stands out here is the quality of the product.  This has the smoothest surface of all the cast iron griddles reviewed here.

It’s preseasoned with flaxseed oil which, I believe, is the best product to use when seasoning cast iron.  OK, opinions vary on this, but it is an expensive and quality oil. This shows the care Victoria are taking with their product.

Like many of the griddles here, it is reversible with a flat side for griddling and a ridge side for grilling.

Pros:

  • Smooth finish
  • Pre-seasoned with high quality flaxseed oil
  • Decent handles
  • High quality product
  • Uses flaxseed oil for seasoning (my favourite)

Cons:

  • Pricy
  • Difficult to hold the handles whilst cooking
  • I can’t see this working on an induction stove due to the shape

AmazonBasics Cast Iron Reversible Griddle

This rectangular and reversible two burner griddle is a versatile and easy to use pan.  It’s two handles are the right shape for lifting the pan (with oven gloves on).

At 20 X 10.4 inches it is the right size for two burners.  This means you can cook with it, and still have room for something else on a four burner stove.  It also means you can fit a few things on it at the same time. This is especially useful when cooking for the family.

When you have two children both demanding pancakes it’s very useful to be able to do two or three pancakes at once.  This pan lets you do this comfortably.

It doesn’t have quite as good quality as a pricier product, but it should still last a long time.  This is a great value product, especially for a family on a budget.

Pros:

  • Great value and very affordable
  • Great size for cooking several pancakes or pieces of food

Cons:

  • Griddle surface is a little rough
  • This is a heavy griddle
  • Shape and size mean it is unlikely you can use with induction stoves.
  • Low oven safe heat rating 204℃(400℉)

Victoria GDL-155 Round Cast Iron Griddle

This round 10 inch (25.4cm) reversible griddle is a bit different.  It has nice detachable wire handles that should be cool to touch. I’d still be careful with them though.

In theory this griddle should work on an induction stove.  Realistically the grill pan might work but I can’t see the griddle working.  The problem is that the bottom should be flat against the stove – the ridges on the grill pan stop this happening.  It may also struggle on an electric stove.

This griddle is ideal for camping, or barbecues.   The handles stick out in a way that lets you lift the pan off a hot surface.  It even has bigger sizes for bigger barbecues.

Victoria claim that this is a double burner griddle.  For the 10 inch one I’m sceptical – but measure your stove (or bbq, or pit).

Pros:

  • Reversible
  • Cool touch Handles are useful for putting on / removing from hot surfaces (like a BBQ)
  • Handles are detachable if they get in the way
  • Can use on electric,  induction and gas stoves (in theory)
  • Uses flaxseed oil for seasoning (my favourite)
  • Decent size options
  • Compact – easy to transport on a trip
  • Nice gutter to catch the grease on both sides

Cons:

  • Expect the handles to fall off at some point, meanwhile they might warp
  • Hard to see griddle working on induction stove with grill ridges on stove top
  • Surface is a bit rough, especially compared to other Victoria products

My Choice

For me the best cast iron griddle pan is the Victoria GDL-196 Rectangular Cast Iron Double Burner Griddle.  This is the one I would use on my gas stove.  I love the range of sizes it comes in, as well as the smooth, quality finish.  Victoria pay attention to detail and the quality comes through even with the oil they use.

It’s a bit big for me now, as my children grow I’ll use it more and more.

Whatever happens, though, don’t just click the link and buy it!  It comes in 3 different sizes:

  • 13 X 8.3 inches
  • 18.5 X 10 inches
  • 20 X 14 inches

For me the second size is just the right size for my stoves.  It fits nicely over two and is big enough to cook a feast for my family.  I recommend you measure your stove, and try to picture this griddle on it.  You have size options – why not take the time to get the right size?

Runner Up and Best Single Burner

I’m tempted to get the Lodge L9OG3ASHH41B Cast Iron Griddle and Hot Handle Holder, just for the quality handle.  It’s a handle that will last as long as the pan, with a system to let you hold it with your bare hands.

The pan itself is a no frill durable product.  Bear in mind it’s not reversible if that’s what you are looking for.  I think there’s something about the simplicity of this product that makes it very attractive.

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