Griddle me timbers, matey!
February 10, 2011 3:32 PM   Subscribe

What's your favorite use for a cast iron griddle?

Mr. Hot Stuff got me a cast iron griddle for my birthday (much like this one), which I've wanted 4*eva* so that I can make a big breakfast all at once. So I've been frying and grilling, eggs and pancakes, but feel like there must be more I can do!

So what fun and delicious things do you do with *your* griddle?

(Bonus points if someone can tell me how to not produce a crazy amount of smoke when using the grill side.)

Thanks, Mefites!
posted by letahl to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have the round Lodge griddle, which I found at a thrift store. It still had the original store label on it, which read "10" fajita pan". So, it could be a fajita pan! I have also used mine for quick searing at high heat, where I'm not using a ton of extra oil and not keeping the meat/fish on the pan for long, so there's not time for grease to accumulate and slop over the sides (dangerous!).

I have also used mine in the oven to bake smallish pizzas and bread, in place of a stone, so try flatbreads or baguettes/batards/boules on yours. You get a really nice bottom crust with a cast iron pan.
posted by padraigin at 3:40 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Baking French bread as described above. I do all my cooking in the skilled.
posted by fshgrl at 3:54 PM on February 10, 2011

What's your favorite use for a cast iron griddle?

Teaching the teenagers some manners.

No, I mean for food.

Oh. Different deal. Cornbread, of course.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:57 PM on February 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

Reheating corn tortillas. They get a bit stale and stiff after a day or two; a quick plap onto a hot cast-iron skillet brings 'em back to life. (Plus I like mine a little bit scorched.)

how to not produce a crazy amount of smoke when using the grill side

I also would like to know this; I have *never* been able to use the ridged side of mine without everything sticking and smoking.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:59 PM on February 10, 2011

Tarte tatin! Fry up chunks of tart Granny Smith apple with lemon juice, brown sugar, cinnamon and Too Much Butter. Throw a circle of flaky pastry on top and stick it in the oven till golden. Serve with Too Much Cream. NOM.
posted by rdc at 4:01 PM on February 10, 2011

Argh, read "skillet" for "griddle." Slinking away now.
posted by rdc at 4:01 PM on February 10, 2011

Searing steaks and chops after sous vide-ing their insides to a perfect medium-rare.
posted by nicwolff at 4:07 PM on February 10, 2011

Best answer: You can do lots of flatbreads on them: chapatis, dosas, uttapam. Stick it in the oven, use it for pitas.

Drop scones, crumpets, potato cakes.
posted by holgate at 4:12 PM on February 10, 2011

hashbrowns. yum.

posted by bottlebrushtree at 4:24 PM on February 10, 2011

Best answer: I've tried using the ribbed-for-your-pleasure side of that exact griddle for everything from steaks to fish, but it always, always smokes. The one good use for it I've found is pairing it with a heavy cast iron press (like this one) and using it to make panini. Works great for that, just keep the temperature down (to let the insides get all melty without burning the bread) and let it do it's thing over about 5 minutes per side. And oil the bread, not the griddle.
posted by digitalprimate at 4:34 PM on February 10, 2011

Best answer: Quesadillas. Just put a tortilla on there, throw some grated cheese on it, and some yummy stuff on top of that (I like jalapeno slices, tomato chunks, chicken pieces, prosciutto, spinach, rucola, anchovies, avocado...oh, anything in your fridge really!), another tortilla (maybe with some cream cheese on it for added cheesy goodness), flip, wait 30 seconds - done. Cut into quarters.
posted by The Toad at 4:36 PM on February 10, 2011

Making griddle cakes
london broil
pan seared scallops
high heat sautees when a wok isn't large enough
sausage, peppers and onions
you name it, I'll make it in cast iron.

I have a kitchen full of All-Clad stainless pans and their non-stick varients, and I almost never use them anymore. For 95% of the cooking I do I pretty much stick with either my 3 cast iron pans of various sizes, my steel woks or my enamel cast iron pots. Cast iron also makes a great pan for macaroni and cheese and deep dish pizza. I guess everything old is new again after all.
posted by chosemerveilleux at 5:12 PM on February 10, 2011

My favorite use for our cast-iron griddle is to make a half-dozen of these hamburgers at a time. [Stupid e-mail registration required, but easily bypassed in the usual ways]
posted by ob1quixote at 5:43 PM on February 10, 2011

Really, really good pizza.
posted by sanka at 5:56 PM on February 10, 2011

I could go on and on, but I'll stick to my favorite...I'll start some super thin cut pork chops and bacon on one side and when they're almost done quickly fry some eggs on the other side. When everything is done and there is plenty of grease in there, remove everything, drop in some corn starch, a little flour and a little milk and make the most awesome breakfast/country gravy ever!

My second favorite is to fry up some bacon, remove the bacon and then cook some diced potatoes and other veggies in the grease. Then of course chop the bacon up and add it back in.

(Not being bacon-jokey...I'm very serious about my griddling.)
posted by snsranch at 9:09 PM on February 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Grilled cheese sandwiches! Alton Brown's For Whom the Cheese Melts, fast forward to 8:00.

btw, if you're going to heat any sort of oil/fat to extreme temperatures, it will smoke. No getting around it.
posted by Sallysings at 10:54 PM on February 10, 2011

Best answer: I use the ridged side on my griddle to grill zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers and, particularly nummy, asparagus (which sit perfectly in the ridges and are thus easy to flip).

I also like to make lamb or chicken koftas on mine.

Even though I have the extractor fan going full blast, I always have the kitchen door open too (whatever the weather) to disperse the smoke, particularly if I'm grilling meat. The reason for having a cast-iron griddle is to use it in a really high heat when cooking meat, so smoke is inevitable.
posted by essexjan at 1:02 AM on February 11, 2011

Meatballs! Get the ridged side as hot as you can, then throw the meatballs on and let the outsides get nicely seared and browned. Don't scrape with anything, just shake the pan around to get all sides evenly done. Then finish cooking them in a nice sauce.
posted by primer_dimer at 1:59 AM on February 11, 2011

I've only recently started cooking with cast iron and finding an oil with a high smoke point and cooking at a lower heat than I did with conventional pans has helped make my kitchen a less smoky place. Cast iron holds heat really well and I was whacking up the heat like I did with non-sticks and was essentially burning everything for a few weeks.

Also made the pan much easier to clean.
posted by Ness at 3:18 AM on February 11, 2011

posted by armage at 11:19 PM on February 14, 2011

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