A griddle is a large pan with a flat surface, similar to a pan but much handier when catering to a large number of people. You can use a griddle for a variety of food items.
If you want the best output when browning or grilling food items, a griddle is a must to reach for. But many are confused regarding the material. Which one to go for? Stainless steel or cast iron?
Today, in our stainless steel vs. cast iron griddle guide, we’ll compare both of them to help you identify which one is ideal for you.
Editor’s Recommendation: Top 5 Stainless Steel vs. Iron Cast Griddle
Stainless Steel vs. Iron Cast Griddle
Cooking on a griddle is fun if you use the right material and one that suits you best. When buying a griddle, one of the major concerns is the material, and we will compare the two most popular griddle materials, stainless steel, and cast iron.
Stainless steel and cast iron are both alloys of iron. They contain different percentages of carbon. Cast iron contains 2-4% of carbon, and stainless steel contains less than 2%.
The ways in which both these alloy griddles are manufactured are different as cast iron requires more seasoning at the end of production, but a desired shape of detail can be achieved with cast iron.
Whereas with stainless steel, it is an easy process without the need for any seasoning. It is much easier to work with and can be beaten into a thin sheet and is a combination of other materials like copper or aluminum.
If you are looking for a griddle to be used for a long time, no doubt, the cast iron griddle would be the best for this purpose. Some people even say that a cast iron griddle will last a lifetime.
Cast iron griddle is made of strong material and is thick. It checks the point of durability with ease. If you hit the cast iron with a spatula, be sure to get a new one. But there are some disadvantages that come with it too.
Stainless steel, however, is not that thick, and you will surely get a dent if it hits something or the griddle slips from your hand. It is durable but not for long-time use.
It is very important for a griddle to be lightweight. You would like to be able to move it around and not let it sit in the kitchen and occupy space. Lightweight also allows you to be able to use the griddle inside your house as well as outside.
Cast iron griddle is durable, strong, and thick as long as heavy. It is almost like an exercise or a workout in the gym when lifting a cast iron griddle. And it is almost as heavy as two or three stainless steel griddles put together.
On the other hand, stainless steel griddles are made of thin materials, less durable compared to cast iron griddles, and definitely a lot less heavy. These griddles are easy to move around and definitely a win for those who love outdoor and indoor activities.
Seasoning is the process of baking a cast iron in an oven with oil. There are a few steps to follow when doing this process. This is a time-consuming process, but we are not going to go into detail.
If you are using a cast iron griddle, you might have to follow this process to ensure that the griddle is seasoned well, and the food does not stick to the griddle. The seasoning would need to be done a few times to get a non-sticky surface.
Whereas, when using a stainless steel griddle, this will not be a problem. Stainless steel surface can be used with just using some butter and oil. A simple addition of oil needs to be done in both griddles. But a stainless steel griddle can help you with saving time.
Heating and Conduction
Both these materials are metals and good conductors of heat, but cast iron can take a long time to heat up compared to stainless steel.
Cast iron griddle is thick, and the area where heat is directed towards will heat up faster than the other parts. This makes the heat spread over the griddle in an uneven manner.
However, on a stainless steel griddle, the heat is spread evenly throughout the whole surface and takes less time. A stainless steel griddle will definitely be best for even cooking and is preferred by chefs and restaurants.
Taste of Food
The taste of food is an important factor when choosing a material. Some materials can alter the taste of cooking more than others due to their reaction with acidic chemicals in food.
Cast iron griddle is one such material which has an effect on the taste of food. All food items cannot be made on a cast iron griddle. Some common acidic foods like tomatoes cannot be grilled on this griddle. The after-effect of the cast iron cooking is that the taste of the food alters a little bit and has more iron content.
These sorts of problems do not occur when using stainless steel. It does not alter that taste of food at all, and all types of food can be cooked on it—one griddle for multipurpose use.
A big part of chores is cleaning, and most people do not like to clean griddles after every use. This seems like a tough task more if the cleaning process is time-consuming and requires care. Cleaning a cast iron griddle needs to be done with care as it can rust easily.
And a cast iron griddle should be hand washed with soap and warm water. The most important part is drying, and you cannot leave it to dry on its own as it will rust and have to dry it with a towel. Seasoning of the griddle needs to be done too after washing. This also emphasizes that cast iron griddles need more maintenance.
The stainless steel griddle is easy to clean. You can clean it with soap and a scrub. There is no need for seasoning, and definitely dries on its own without any problem. In addition, you do not need to maintain it that much.
A stainless steel griddle is more cost-friendly than a cast iron griddle. You can change the cookware and always get a new one when needed.
The cast iron griddle is a good addition to the kitchen for its chic look. But the stainless steel griddle can go with both modern and traditional kitchen décor and appliances.
In a nutshell, both stainless steel and cast iron griddle tick off certain criteria and are best equipped to serve your purpose. However, if you are getting a griddle for the first time, stainless steel griddle is one to reach for.
After reading our stainless steel vs. cast iron griddle comparison guide, you have an idea of which material would be best for a griddle. With the perfect griddle at your disposal, you can enjoy a cozy meal with your family and friends.