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Pancakes in Cast Iron!!!

ktcolt Jun 4, 2007 05:48 PM

Oh my goodness! All these years I have been cooking pancakes in an electric skillet. I am moving and packed the skillet but my 5 year old wanted pancakes for dinner tonight and I indulged the request. I went for my electric skillet only to remember I had packed it already, batter sitting there, kids hungry, I am scrounging around for a suitable and available skillet. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the good ol cast iron 9 in skillet to the rescue. I had never cooked anything but greasy foods in my cast iron (I am just getting started with CI) until tonight. Can I just tell you all that I will never cook pancakes in my electric skillet again!! They were light and fluffy and fantastic!! Now I just need a CI griddle!!


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    wayne keyser RE: ktcolt Jun 4, 2007 06:38 PM

    Cast iron is so wonderful at maintaining even heat - electric griddles cool down under the batter and re-heat unevenly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: wayne keyser
      Caitlin McGrath RE: wayne keyser Jun 5, 2007 10:10 PM

      I don't know about electric frying pans (what the OP says she formerly used), but our electric griddle, which has a knob that adjusts by actual temperature rather than just low-high, has never had this problem. We use a highish setting for pancakes, according to the instructions on the griddle, and once it's properly preheated, we can easily cook six or eight pancakes (depending on size) evenly at once - with light and fluffy results - without any uneven heating issues. (I'll have to check the brand later, as the griddle and I are in separate locations at the moment).

      Don't get me wrong, I'm in no way disputing the virtues of well-seasoned cast iron for even heating, but you just can't use a cast iron griddle in the same way on a standard-issue (read crappy apartment-rental) electric stove where the only adjacent burners are of different sizes and heat ouputs. The problem with using a single cast iron skillet, especially a smaller one, is that you can only cook a couple of pancakes (or pieces of French toast, etc.) at once; of course, you can use two pans at once, if you've got them, on different burners, . With our even-heating electric griddle, we are able to make a larger number at a time and start cooking more right away, right at the table. We've made pancakes so much more often since we got it.

      So if a cast iron griddle isn't practical for similar reasons, it IS possible to turn out excellent pancakes with (the right) electric griddle; as I said I don't have experience with an electric skillet, so I can't compare, except to note the obvious - you can't make as many at once).

    2. Will Owen RE: ktcolt Jun 4, 2007 10:38 PM

      Yes, do go get yourself an iron griddle! So much handier for a lot of the usual skillet chores, such as frying hamburgers or grilled cheese sandwiches. They do tend to warp a bit, some of which is not terribly inconvenient - I don't have any trouble working around the slight buckling on mine. Where? I got mine at a monthly flea market, and I've seen them in antique malls as well. $10-25 range, plus you can always dicker. I imagine Lodge or someone is making new ones, but I haven't looked.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Will Owen
        KaimukiMan RE: Will Owen Jun 5, 2007 05:08 AM

        yes, lodge has a selection of griddles as well as reversable grill/griddles

        1. re: Will Owen
          holy chow RE: Will Owen Jun 5, 2007 08:28 AM

          In my neighborhood, Sears Essentials sells them for about $19 new and preseasoned.

          This is a must have for pancakes, flip over for amazing grilled cheese or pannini, grilled vegi's when you don't want to go outside...

          You'll never be without one again.

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          Ela0427 RE: ktcolt Jun 5, 2007 09:30 AM

          i make pancakes and french toast on them. Saturday night I used it to sear ahi and scallops, rinsed well with hot water, and Sunday I made French toast. awesome grill. i have the Lodge one.

          1. PamelaD RE: ktcolt Jun 5, 2007 09:38 AM

            I have two cast iron skillets: one for 'sweets' (pancakes, etc...) and one for 'meats' (or anything savory). Cast iron tends to adsorb and hold flavors to some extent, so a batch of pancakes made the morning after seared scallops would be pretty nasty I think!

            1 Reply
            1. re: PamelaD
              wawajb RE: PamelaD Jun 6, 2007 08:56 AM

              I've been told this many times, and yet I've never actually noticed it happening with my cast iront. Both in my house and my brother's the cast iron is used for nearly everything with no sweet/savory discrimination and I've never noticed any unpleasant flavor carry-over. Perhaps my palate is dull...

            2. Miss Needle RE: ktcolt Jun 5, 2007 05:38 PM

              Sounds lovely. I love pancakes with browned crisp edges. I think cast iron is the perfect way to achieve that.

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                Ellen RE: ktcolt Jun 5, 2007 05:58 PM

                The fact that you used your cast iron skillet for all of those greasy foods is exactly what helped to make your pancakes perfect! Do the same for the griddle. You can find them at flea markets really cheap.

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                  achilles007 RE: ktcolt Nov 23, 2008 04:43 PM

                  what type of Cast iron skillet do you use?

                  I heard the griddles sometimes heat unevenly...

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                    TMichael05 RE: ktcolt Mar 30, 2009 06:13 PM

                    Ain't cast iron great? It also makes the food cooked in it iron enriched. Both my son and daughter are vegetarians and I cook most of their food in cast iron. The first time they went to donate blood and had their iron levels checked, the nurses were amazed that a vegetarian would have high iron levels. Once explained that we cook with cast iron they understood,

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