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Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

Posted by msrevise (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 30, 06 at 15:03

Now that i'm about to move into my new kitchen w/a 6-burner stove, i'd like to get a griddle i can use for pancakes, etc, and maybe w/a grill on the reverse side. I've looked a little bit in the stores, and the cast iron seems just way too heavy for me to handle, plus if i'm not cooking bacon on it, i'm not sure i'll get the full nonstick patina i'd need. I'm wary of products that use nonstick coating b/c they just don't seem to hold up and b/c of health concerns. Are there any other options out there?

TIA!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

Cast iron and nonstick are the only two materials I've seen. We have a big two-burner cast iron griddle and a small one-burner nonstick griddle. We were always careful to use plastic utensils on the nonstick one but the coating in the center failed anyway. I'd estimate that about half of the total area is bare. When we replace the small griddle we will look for a cast iron one about the same size. Our big cast iron griddle is as least as nonstick as the so-called nonstick one and we can use metal utensils. We've never cooked bacon on the cast iron griddle. We use oil or butter as appropriate for what we're cooking and scrub it afterwards under running hot water with a stiff brush - no soap. It has a lovely patina. The downside is that it's too heavy for DW to get out of the cabinet and put on top of the range. That's why we have a small griddle too.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

I have a Nordic Ware cast aluminum 2 burner reversible griddle that I couldn't live without. When I first got it, it was a dull gray finish. Now it has a sleek finish that would rival any cast iron griddle. It takes time to season it just like cast iron, but it's way lighter so I don't break my arm when I take it off the stove.

You could probably check Target but I know QVC has them.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

ellyd, thanks for the nordic ware recommendation--i'm going to look for that. How do you clean it?

velodoug, i'm pretty strong, but no way can i pick up that cast iron griddle on a regular basis, and i think i need something that doesn't have to live on the stove--but i'm glad to hear you can get the patina w/just oil/butter.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

I clean it just like I would cast iron. If anything sticks to it, I use hot water and one of those green scrubby pads. No soap. If you do decide on the cast aluminum, don't be discouraged by how it looks at first. Mine looked a little brown and splotchy in places. But have patience. It takes a bit of use to get the dark, sleek sheen. I was a complete novice when I first got it, so I'm wondering if you can season it in the oven like you would cast iron. Does anyone know?

I'd say that the cast aluminum griddle weighs about 1/3 less than the cast iron.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

I have an Anolon anodized aluminum grill pan, and it has a seasoning just like cast iron. Oils and fats polymerize on it the same way as cast iron. Mario Batali has a 14" round pizza pan coming out that would make a great griddle. It has an enameled cast iron exterior, and a matte black enamel interior that you can season. Weighs 11 pounds though, but has many other uses. It's $59.99 with free ship from Amazon, and $25 off a $125 or more purchase. Be out 7/31.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

ellyd, I think i saw the nordic ware griddle today in bed, bath beyond, but it said it was cast aluminum w/"professional" nonstick surface, from the color, it looked coated w/something. Is yours something different?

blondelle, the anodized aluminum isn't coated? Maybe i'll give that a try... The Batali pan sounds interesting, but i really want a rectangular one to fit over 2 burners.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

msrevise, that is different than the one I got. Mine definitely had no coating whatsoever. I saw the one you're talking about and it has a non stick coating.

Did you check out QVC? Unfortunately I can't get the link to work correctly, so just search for item # K118415.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

thanks, ellyd, i'll give it a try!


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

ellyd: I'm confused. I did a search for "reversible griddles" and saw your March 5 post in which you said you had a Chef's Design. Do you have a Nordic as well? If so, which one do you prefer?

I'm in the market for one not as heavy as cast iron but am leaning toward one that is anodized. Any thoughts?


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

suzyq3, i've also been looking at the anodized ones, but can't seem to find anything that doesn't also specify "nonstick coating," even though some say 'professional' nonstick. Have you had better luck?


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

msrevise, I'm so glad you reminded me of that. I was about to take a look in person at a $40 one I was interested in at Target (no brand name listed) but checked the specs again, and yup, hard-anodized but also with a nonstick coating. The Chef's Design that is available also appears, at least according to the description on Amazon, to be nonstick. And it received one review -- very poor.

I'll keep looking and let you know if I see anything worthwhile. But maybe the Nordic cast aluminum is the way to go. And I found it on sale for $24.99 at JCPenney online, with reasonable shipping, which I think beats QVC. Hope the link works; if not, just search on their site.

Here is a link that might be useful: JCPenny reversible griddle


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

Oops. Msrevise, I apologize. After checking out nordicware's own site, I am not even sure that that item on JCPenney's is not nonstick. I will call the company tomorrow.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

suzyq, i just checked the nordic ware site, too, and it looks to me like all the griddles they're showing have a nonstick coating, but i think it's definitely worth a phone call. Let me know what you find out!


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

msrevise, I made that phone call. Nordicware's rep said that all their griddles are nonstick. Period. End of story. I even mentioned that those advertised on a couple sites, like Target and JCPenney's, don't mention "nonstick." She simply repeated that they are nonstick.

It seems, then, that the only option is cast iron. I am looking at the Lodge Logic Pro 20-by-10-7/16-Inch Cast-Iron Grill/Griddle but would welcome opinions and suggestions on any others.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

I have both a reversable cast iron double burner griddle, and I have dedicated All-Clad nonstick double burner griddle, and double burner grill. I tend to leave the cast iron one in the cabinet due to it's lack of griddle space. The overall usable amount seems to be roughly over half of the All-Clad, even though it is not much smaller. The AC ones are a little expensive, but I love them!!


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

Cookwaresnob1 -- how has the nonstick held up, and do you think food like pancakes, etc., come out as well as people claim they do on cast-iron? The lack of a nonstick finish is really my main reason for looking at cast-iron.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

The nonstick has held up perfectly. I do not use any nonstick spray when I cook pancakes, etc. That stuff will build up and actually cause it to stick. The thickness of the aluminum is enough to mimic the even cooking of cast iron without taking as long to heat up. I also make sure that I use a plastic spatula. When I am done cooking, I usually only need to wipe it off with a wet paper towel, and it is clean (much like I do with my cast iron). I do love cast iron, but not for this purpose!!!!


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

Cookwaresnob1, thanks so much for the info. Specifically about the AC nonstick grill, though: Do you think it performs the grilling process as well as cast-iron, anodized aluminum, or perhaps something like Calphalon One's infused?


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

cookwaresnob, i was looking at the all-clad; i'm glad to hear the nonstick holds up well, but i wondered, does the 'moat' get in the way when you're making pancakes, and what about the handles, are they in the way b/c they stick up? I guess i'm wondering if they would be, if i put the griddle across front and back burners, rather than side by side.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

The "moat" is not all that big (you maybe lose 1 inch around the edges of the pan). It all depends on how big the pancakes are.....I stagger them and get around 6 per batch at around 6-8 inches diameter. I put my griddle on the front to back rather than side to side. The handles are tall, but fit perfectly under the overhang on my range. My range is average, so I would suspect that it would fit.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

The grill I have is Anolon uncoated anodized aluminum. I had the regular original Calphalon uncoated one but that one was much harder to clean. This one cleaned more easily but developed a patina just like cast iron. I didn't know you could do that with aluminum. A compromise might be the Calphalon One infused, although it does have the same chemicals as nonstick.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

What about the Le Creuset griddle/grill? Does anyone have that? It's touted as same benefits as cast iron w/o the need to season...but i guess it will be heavy. How would this compare to the All-clad?


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

The Le Creuset griddle/grill is enameled cast iron. It weighs more than the All-Clad griddle but a LOT less than our big Lacanche griddle plate which is also enameled cast iron. Our experience with the enameled cast iron is that it needed a fair amount of butter or oil the first few times we used it but because we clean it under running hot water with a stiff brush but no soap it has developed a nice patina and needs much less butter or oil to do the job. I'd expect the Le Creuset griddle/grill to perform in much the same way.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

I was just told by someone who sells pro-ranges that if you cover two burners w/a griddle/grill and use a high heat, unless there's some space between the griddle and the burners, too much heat can be reflected down toward the stovetop and eventually cause damage to it. Does that make sense?


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RE: Griddle

Thanks to all for your comments! Just wanted to say i decided to buy the All-Clad griddle. I'll let you know how it goes.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

Hi there!
I'm lookin' for a grill/griddle pan that will provide EVEN heating--I've used a two burner cast iron pan and it definitely had "hot spots" so that some items cooked way faster than others depending on where they were on the pan. So, does the aluminum type heat more evenly than cast iron? Would a single burner pan be a better choice for even heating?
Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!
Raquel


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

well, i tried the all-clad griddle, and the heat was definitely even, but i think i let it get too hot--still experimenting w/my new stove. I did burn something in the second batch b/c i didn't realize the griddle was still getting hotter. It seemed to work if i heated it on medium, and then turned it down to low--it retained an even amount of heat. However, b/c i burned something i had to scrub a little to get it off. Also, the next day i noticed the burner caps were a little discolored, and i wondered if that was from the heat of the griddle.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

Hi Raquel. With uneven heating on cast iron, 2 things come to mind.

First, you have to let it preheat for a bit for the heat to be even. The parts directly over the burner heat up first of course.

Second, are the 2 burners you're using exactly the same? My front right burner puts out more BTUs than any of the other burners while the back right burner puts out fewer. This is a feature that stove manufacturers advertise - it gives you the ability to do a higher heat on one burner more like a professional range (though not quite that hot) and the abiltiy to cook delicate sauces on the smallest burner. (I learned about this on the appliance forum while I was shopping for my cooktop).

On my stove, only the front left and back right are exactly the same and of course a griddle probably can't reach diagonally. The difference in BTUs means that Medium on the large burner doesn't equal Medium on the small burner. So you'd need to adjust the heat for them to be equal.

Obviously I have a gas stove, but this would probably be true on an electric stove if you have different sized burners.


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RE: Griddle: nonstick vs cast iron?

Thanks for the responses so far!
I did let the cast iron one heat up a while (10 minutes) and I still had a cool spot in the middle between the burners. I was using my mom's fancy gas range, so I'm not sure what the BTU situation was--I was going by the visual size of the flame and trying to keep it the same on both front and back burners.
As for me, I only need a one burner sized pan, maybe a square one; maybe even heat won't be such an issue if it's only one burner???
Thanks again,
Raquel


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