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Old 12-14-2009, 07:53 PM   #1
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What is the best griddle for pancakes, eggs, etc?

Looking for a new griddle for my wife. She had an 11" square one that is now ruined. Slightly warped and teflon flaking. I REALLY wanted to go with Cast Iron, but reviews on the Lodge 12" Square griddle was that it didn't heat evenly. I want it to be a single burner size but as big as I can go without heat issues on the edges. I looked up All-Clad which came highly recommended, but quite spendy.
If I can't get a large cast iron to heat evenly, then I will go with something else AND get the 10 1/2 inch round Cast Iron griddle.

So, educate me!
PS: We have a gas stove.

Thanks!

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Old 12-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #2
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Welcome to DC.

Have you considered electric?
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:35 PM   #3
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We have an electric. However, we like the quick convenience of using a griddle on the stove.

Another issue: In reading more about All-Clad, I read that you must hand wash. Not sure if this is true, but we would prefer something we can throw in the dishwasher.
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Old 12-14-2009, 09:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimrod View Post
We have an electric. However, we like the quick convenience of using a griddle on the stove.

Another issue: In reading more about All-Clad, I read that you must hand wash. Not sure if this is true, but we would prefer something we can throw in the dishwasher.
That pretty much eliminates cast iron.
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Old 12-14-2009, 10:12 PM   #5
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Yes I know. I should be more clear. I figured if I was NOT going to go with Cast Iron and WAS going with All-Clad, etc, then I should get the benefit of dishwasher safe.
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:28 PM   #6
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I grew up watching my Dad make pancakes on a cast iron frying pan. They came out just fine. The trick with cast iron is that although it has substantial thermal mass, it is not a good conductor of heat. Once it's heated for sufficient time though, the heat is fairly even across the pan.

I personally don't use cast iron for another reason; i.e. that same thermal mass causes it to pump heat into foods for a longer period of time. Let me explain. Cast iron has what could be called heat capacity. Thing of it as stored heat, like water in a pond. The more heat stored in the metal, or water in a pond, the more heat or water can transfer from the pan, or pond, without losing so much as to change either substantially. Light aluminum pans, on the other hand, store very little heat within the metal by comparison. When you spoon batter onto the teflon coated aluminum pan, it initially transfers as much heat as does cast iron at the same temperature. But the aluminum quickly cools down. You would think that the heat from the scource (flame or electric element) would reheat the aluminum quickly, causing more heat to go into the cooking food. But it doesn't.

I tend to scorch delicate foods, like pancakes or crepe's on cast iron pans. I don't on coated aluminum pans.

I would think that the lighter weight "mineral" pans, usually made from high carbon steel, would do a better job with pancakes than a heavy cast iron pan. And it seasons well, and is nearly indestructable, just like it's iron cousin.

Now if you can get the cast iron to just the right temperature, then because it changes temperature more slowly, it would be a fantastic pan for delicate things. I need to learn to turn down the flame a bit.

I think an high quality aluminum pan, like Calphalon, would fit your needs nicely.

Have I ever typed in a short response to anything? Sheesh. See what happens when you compare things in your head as you type them on the screen?

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Old 12-15-2009, 09:07 AM   #7
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I agree with you to not waste money on the Lodge cast iron griddle. I got one for Christmas and it gets little use because of the heating variation across the pan. It seemed like a little 2" circle in the center was too hot and the rest of it was too cold to really be able to cook things well. I tried for 3 months cooking bacon and sausage to get a good seasoning but gave up on it ever heating evenly. I then went out and bought 2 aluminum teflon griddles at Walmart (around $30 for 2) and have used them instead. They go in the dishwasher and so far the teflon is holding up. Even if it didn't, the cost was low enough to replace them easily.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimrod View Post
We have an electric. However, we like the quick convenience of using a griddle on the stove...

I use a Cuisinart Griddler. I turn it on first than make pancake batter or prep other breakfast items and it's ready to go. I never thought it took that long to get ready. The teflon coated meal plates are dishwasher safe.
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Old 12-15-2009, 10:41 AM   #9
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I use a two burner very heavy aluminum griddle, flat on one side, ribbed on the other. I know you said you wanted something for just one burner, but perhaps you could find something like this, only smaller. The point is, it's heavy aluminum (not cast iron), and it has a nice non-stick coating that's flame resistant and can be tossed (not literally! :)) into the dishwasher.
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:14 PM   #10
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I use a tramotina non-stick frying pan i got from Sam's club, i think it was like 20 bucks or so. I have them in every size. 8, 10, 12 and 14 inches. You cannot, or rather should not was them in the diswasher, neither will you be able to do that with any non-stick pans. It works great. It's not a griddle per se, but it works like one.
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