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Jan 23, 2008 09:13 AM

Cast Iron Grill

A local store has a cast iron grill, with ridges, for $11, a price I cannot resist.
It is about 12"x24", able to span 2 burners (I have gas and electric, but probably would use gas for this.)
Will it be prone to thermal cracks, if there is a cool area between the two hot spots?
Should it come up to temp. slowly, before I give it a blast of heat?
It will mostly be used for grilled fish, and thick steaks or chops.
Any suggestions?

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  1. Heck of a price -- amazing what global trade does.

    I really doubt you need to worry about cracking it on any kind of a stove installed in a home kitchen.

    If somehow things go wrong, for the price you'll have no regrets

    1. Cast iron is pretty tough stuff, so fire away, Gridley.

      1. Great price. I say go for it. Not much to lose. That said, the one pan that get's practically no use in my kitchen is my cast iron grill pan. Although I have three other cast iron pans that are now perfectly seasoned, I've never been able to season that one properly so it's a pain both to cook in and clean. And I can never time anything properly. Maybe I'm just used to my regular cast iron, but I'd give the ridged one away in a heartbeat if anyone ever asked for it.

        3 Replies
        1. re: JoanN

          Do you really think you need somethign that large? If you really think you'd use it, then go for it. But if not, it will take a lot of storage space and be relatively heavy to use.

          1. re: warneral

            After three months of use, I do like it, and it has a niche as an indoor grill, with temp. control by two burners. Vertical storage is easy. It is, however, unwieldy to clean the ridges, and as soon as the weather improved, I burned off the excess crud outdoors.
            This grill is very good for an indoor searing of steaks, burgers or chops, followed by moving to the cooler part of the grill and covering for a few minutes.
            All of the suggestions above were helpful, and thankfully no one brought up the made in China issue!

            1. re: jayt90

              Ooh, this sounds like a solution to my lack of grilling area in my apartment. Do you think this "excess crud" could be removed alright indoors with a little elbow grease?"


        2. Yes, and a solution of water and baking soda while still warm would make it easy.
          I didn't mention the source, but it was Loblaws, and they sold it alongside the pre-seasoned Lodge pans.

          1 Reply
          1. I have a similar Lodge model I picked up for $20. I've found a cool spot in between the two burners, although I wouldn't call it "cool" so much as "not as hot." Flat side is great for hashbrowns, red flannel hash, sausages, etc. Ridged side great for steaks and chops. I set to warm before I torque it up. I scrub with a plastic scraper and wipe down with bacon fat occasionally.

            Also, a deep pot lid helps to trap heat when you need a little more cook time.

            2 Replies
            1. re: monkeyrotica

              Yeah, the trick is to think of it not as a "cold spot" but as a "cool zone." Just like on my Weber kettle, I use that center section as a place to hold something that's cooking too fast, or that was done earlier than the other thing I'm cooking.

              I learned the pot lid trick (I use the lids to my Revereware saucepans) from watching an episode of Alton Brown's FEATING ON ASPHALT: a short-order cook at a diner in St. Paul was doing that. It's perfected my hashbrowns.

              After a long period of trial and error, I've learned that, counterintuitively, the trick to using the Lodge two-burner griddle on its griddle side is to keep the heat DOWN. When I'm starting my mise en place, I put the griddle down, fire up the two gas burners at no more than 3 (medium-low) and by the time I'm ready to cook, I down the heat all the way down to Low. The griddle has absorbed and is retaining all the heat I need to do my pancakes or potatoes or sausage or whatever I'm cooking.

              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                The lid trick is an old diner technique: works for eggs, burgers, steaks, anything that needs to cook a wee bit more. I second the low-cook method. I cook sausages in natural casings and anything higher than gas 2 will cause the cases to burn.

                Diners, Drive-ins and Dives had some place whose signature dish was shredded potatoes and basically whatever was lying around cooked on the griddle: bacon, sausage, eggs, steak, ham, etc. with an egg cracked on top. Once the meat/hash mix has browned on one side, you make a little mound in the middle, crack an egg into it, and cover. The residual steam cooks the egg.