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cast iron pan...regular flat versus grille

Hello.
I'm running out of pan space but I want at least one more pan. I want cast iron but asking advise whether to get regular, flat bottom or grille type. I live in an apartment and don't have access to cooking outdoors. I want a cast iron for hambugers, grilled vegetables as well as hashed brown potatoes. I have a Calphalon stainless steel for these now but think I'd get better results with cast iron.
Please advise.

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  1. I, too live in an apartment without outdoor options. Thanks to Mark Bittman, I realized that I can use my broiler for the same effect. He explains that a broiler is an upside-down grill. Duh! I have Lodge CI round flat griddle pan which goes under the broiler to grill meats, vegetables, even make toast. I also have both a Lodge CI grill pan (with ridges) and Le Creuset grill pan but both of them take so long to heat up, I find myself using the flat griddle pan almost every time.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ambimom

      Agree with this.. I am also in an apartment without outdoor cooking options, and I only have a flat-bottomed cast iron. It's Le Creuset and it does take a while to heat up, but it's versatile and I love it and definitely think you should get a flat.

    2. I think if you have to get only one, then go for the flat bottom one.

      1. thank you for this post. Each time I go to buy a CI lodge pan, I stare at both options and walk away buying neither.

        1. In my opinion, flat is actually better for burgers. When you cook them in a grill pan (or even on an outdoor grill) the fat just drips out of them. With a flat pan, the juices are held inside better.

          Plus, since there is more contact with the cooking surface, you get more caramelization of the meat.

          But overall, if you only want one more pan, I think you will get more use out of a flat pan. it is more versatile.

          1. thanks to all...I think I'll get the regular flat IC pan, the grill marks aren't important to me and with the flat as you say, will get more caramelization of the meat. I see in restaurants they use flat bottom for grilling onions and potatoes...when I grill them in my stainless steel the potatoes stick too much to the pan.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sylvan

              I disagree with those who don't like the ridged pans. It may be mainly cosmetic, but I think it's awfully nice to have grill marks on fish, chicken or whatever. I own and use both flat and ridged pans (and agree with those who say that the flat is better for some things) but if space were an issue, I would definitely buy one of the reversible pans, and have the best of both worlds. I've seen several. I'm pretty sure that Lodge makes an very nice two-burner reversible.