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What do you think of pans/griddles that occupy two burners?

m
MonsieurLinguini Jan 4, 2012 08:38 AM

Looking at a Le Creuset 15 inch oval skillet. Im sure it works amazing in the oven but i suspect that it wont cook as evenly in the middle while on the stovetop. If this is the case, I feel an electric griddle would be a better option.

  1. Will Owen Jan 9, 2012 04:21 PM

    I have an old 2-burner pan/griddle - it's reversible - with "Ovenshire" inscribed above the socket where the removable handle goes. It's some kind of light alloy, very much like Magnalite. Unlike the iron ones this heats very evenly; I use it almost exclusively for pancakes, three at a time, and there's very little difference in cooking times between the two directly over the gas burners and the one in the middle. Of course, when it's griddle-side up the shallow walls of the pan side both hold the surface up off the flames and provide some volume to trap the heat in. It's far and away the easiest griddle I've ever used, requiring only a film of Crisco applied by paper towel between batches. I'll have to try it next time I'm making grilled cheese for all hands.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen
      k
      kaleokahu Jan 10, 2012 04:07 PM

      *Now, that's what I'm talkin' 'bout!*

      1. re: kaleokahu
        Will Owen Jan 12, 2012 04:46 PM

        Yes, and your suggestion of welding on a rim would be good for the reason I mentioned - give a place for the really hot air to hang out. Funny, I'm not nearly as crazy for pancakes as I was 50 or 60 years ago (how very odd!), and I dug this thing out only to give Mrs. O a nice surprise for New Year's breakfast. But it was so much more fun to use than any pan or griddle I'd tried before that I've done it a couple more times since, and it's less than two weeks later!

        1. re: Will Owen
          k
          kaleokahu Jan 12, 2012 08:55 PM

          Hi, Will Owen:

          No reason it won't excel at savory crepes and/or fritters, either.

          Kaleo

    2. m
      mikie Jan 9, 2012 03:35 PM

      So here's the deal, our new range top came with a two burner cast iron reversable grill/griddle. So far, I've been able to burn just about everything I've put on it and so has the spouse. Although I did make a grilled ham and swiss on it today that came out just about right. On first glance it looked like it would be great, but in practice, it's horrible. Too big for a ham and swiss, too inconsistant heat for pancakes, although perhaps if I let it preheat long enough it would be somewhat better. My guess is this thing is headed for the next garage sale, but is't custom built with indexing tabs for the Electralux rangetop. To add insult to injury, the griddle and other "free" attachments were made in China although the rangetop was not. So short of an eleven pound slab of copper, what would be the next best pan to use as a griddle for pancakes? We had an old cast aluminum one but I gave it to one of our daughters, perhaps I should ask for it back.

      6 Replies
      1. re: mikie
        g
        GH1618 Jan 9, 2012 04:09 PM

        Perhaps you are not giving it enough time to preheat at a lower temperature. Then you probably need to cook just two pancakes at a time for consistent results. With a consistent method you should get consistent results.

        1. re: mikie
          Chemicalkinetics Jan 9, 2012 04:32 PM

          Mike,

          When you have a griddle heated by two burners, there will always the cold spot between them. A high heat conductor (like aluminum or copper) will help. Making it thicker will also help. However, these are all the "less efficient" fix. They are accommodations. The most direct way is to use a more uniform heat source. If you are not going to cook at high temperature, then many electric griddle will work. Something like this:

          http://www.amazon.com/PCG-10-Professi...

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
            m
            mikie Jan 10, 2012 11:29 AM

            Well and to make matters worse the two burners it typically lays across are not the same size, so it's even more difficult to control the heat evenly even at the two ends.

            1. re: mikie
              Chemicalkinetics Jan 10, 2012 05:27 PM

              "the two burners it typically lays across are not the same size"

              True. I had to turn on the smaller one at a higher setting than the larger one -- if you know what I mean.

          2. re: mikie
            k
            kaleokahu Jan 10, 2012 04:00 PM

            Hi, mikie:

            Sorry to hear about your disappointment.

            "So short of an eleven pound slab of copper, what would be the next best pan to use as a griddle for pancakes?"

            My similarly sized, double-thick slab of aluminum (see above) would be worth a try. It was scrap (a porthole or scupper cutout from a boatyard) and free. If you wanted to get fancy, you could scrounge a chunk of an alloy that's weldable and put a rim around it, in which case you can also bake on/roast in it.

            Cheeers, Kaleo

            1. re: mikie
              k
              kaleokahu Jan 10, 2012 04:01 PM

              [Edit: Oops, double reply deleted]

            2. SanityRemoved Jan 6, 2012 05:56 AM

              Oven seems to be the only logical choice. I was thinking an outdoor paella burner until I realized it was oval, so even that doesn't work out very well. I suppose you could have a hot zone and a warm zone somewhat like a flat wok but for $180 I could come up with other solutions.

              1. b
                bbqJohn Jan 5, 2012 06:51 PM

                The kitchen I'm in this week uses Turbo Pots, they also have a griddle plate with the same design that is intended to fit over a range but I can't find them online anywhere.

                the design is below.. the fins seem to provide decent heat distribution

                http://theturbopot.com/ResidentialProducts.html

                http://youtu.be/2jvxNQCiNP0

                1 Reply
                1. re: bbqJohn
                  k
                  kaleokahu Jan 12, 2012 04:12 PM

                  Hi, bbqJohn:

                  Bargreen-Ellingson carries the Turbo pots--don't know about the griddle, but they would have the manufacturer info.

                  Bella Copper also makes sheet copper flame-tamers that would help in solving the "crappy griddle" problem. For photos of a couple griddle-sized special orders, see, http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/...

                  Aloha,
                  Kaleo

                2. s
                  shezmu Jan 5, 2012 01:24 PM

                  Cheesesteaks, burgers, pancakes, and dinner food in general are a lot easier to do on a two-pan griddle, So I like the idea in general. Can't say anything about the LC though.

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: shezmu
                    Chemicalkinetics Jan 5, 2012 01:40 PM

                    Still, I am curious about the 15 inch skillet mentioned above.... Won't 15 inch be a bit small to go over on two stoves/burners. I think it may be meant for one burner.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                      g
                      GH1618 Jan 5, 2012 02:27 PM

                      It looks to me to be intended for one burner, and it should be one with a large spread. However, I have a 24" range with small burners which are 10.5" apart on center. I could put it on two burners. I'm not saying I want it unless I find it dirt cheap, though.

                      I can imagine cooking a fish in something like this. I'm thinking of carp smothered in black bean sauce.

                      1. re: GH1618
                        g
                        greenturtle36 Jan 5, 2012 03:04 PM

                        I have a Lodge 15 inch skillet and it's too large for one burner. I use it for oven or outdoor use.

                        Maybe it might work for 2 burners, but, gas only. I've never tried it though.

                        1. re: GH1618
                          Chemicalkinetics Jan 5, 2012 03:09 PM

                          " I have a 24" range with small burners which are 10.5" apart on center."

                          I am guessing a 15" pan will reach across the two burners, but not entirely cover both burners, right? So the pan will sit between two burners, while flame (or whatever) will be shooting out at the two ends of the pans, right?

                          That just does not sound like a good idea. Maybe you can do it once or twice, but I don't see that as a normal operation. .

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            s
                            shezmu Jan 5, 2012 04:27 PM

                            Yeah, that doesn't sound too good to me either. I can feel the hot spots.

                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                              g
                              GH1618 Jan 5, 2012 04:29 PM

                              Allowing for the flared sides, it still looks like most of the flame (at a low setting) would be under the ends of the pan. I expect I would preheat the pan in the center witj one burner, then shift it to two. But it would not be an efficient arrangement. I am not going to buy the pan just to test it.

                              Actually, my small burners are a problem even with a smaller pan used on one burner. The advantage of having a larger spread of flame with a better range is as important as having higher heat output for most uses, I expect.

                              1. re: GH1618
                                Chemicalkinetics Jan 5, 2012 04:43 PM

                                "Allowing for the flared sides, it still looks like most of the flame (at a low setting) would be under the ends of the pan."

                                True.

                                Heat distribution aside. I wonder if it is meant for one burner or two. It seems too big for one and too small for two.

                                On a 10" burner, there will be 2.5" sticking out on each side of the pan. 5 inches total out of the 15 inches is a lot. On my stovetop, the two burners cover 18" from one tip to another. So, at least 1.5 inch of each stove is not covered by this 15 inch pan -- since a 15 pan probably has only a 13-14 inch bottom.

                                1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                  g
                                  GH1618 Jan 5, 2012 05:52 PM

                                  t's certainly meant for one large burner.I

                          2. re: Chemicalkinetics
                            r
                            RGC1982 Jan 7, 2012 07:21 PM

                            Chem, I don't think 15 inch pots and pans are meant for home use. If you check out the dimensions of very large commercial stock pots and pans from restaurant supply houses, they are much larger than typical pots used by home cooks. Commercial gas stoves are capable of handling these, (and by commercial, I don't mean "pro-style" ranges you are installing in your upscale kitchen, I mean a commercial cooking line). Some stock pots go up to well over 100 quarts, so you can imagine that the diameter of these pots is quite large, and they work only on commercial size burners. The poster that only uses it outdoors or in the oven is using it the only safe way possible for even heating at home. I personally wouldn't risk the pan straddling two burners. You can catch sleeves on fire, G-d forbid.

                            1. re: RGC1982
                              Chemicalkinetics Jan 7, 2012 07:27 PM

                              Hi RGC,

                              But these are 15 inch Oval (not round) skillet sold by Le Cresuset. Here, this one:

                              http://www.amazon.com/Creuset-Enamele...

                              It is my belief that these pans are not sold for restaurants, but for normal household usages. I actually think it is for a single stoves as opposed to two burners, but anyway. ....

                              I guess I won't really know how to properly take advantage of one. If it is only for baking fish in an oven, then I would think many things can do so, including a roasting pan.

                        2. g
                          greenturtle36 Jan 5, 2012 06:13 AM

                          Cast iron double burner griddles work on gas stoves but not on electric! Gas burners distribute heat better than electric.

                          Cast iron retains heat better than other cookware, so I would not recommend any other than cast iron. And again, not recommend for an electric stove.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: greenturtle36
                            m
                            masha Jan 5, 2012 07:22 AM

                            I cannot speak to use on electric ranges but I agree that double-burner griddles work fine on a gas range. We use our's all the time. So long as you preheat the griddle sufficiently far in advance, the center gets plenty warm.

                            1. re: greenturtle36
                              k
                              kaleokahu Jan 5, 2012 04:42 PM

                              Hi, greenturtle:

                              I think you are right that these things tend to work better on gas hobs, and that's because the griddles spread the flow of hot combustion gases across a relatively wide surface area. However, I think a qualifier needs to be added, i.e., for sufficiently high heat settings. At low heat settings, resistive coils will be more even, at least where the griddle contacts the coils.

                              "Cast iron retains heat better than other cookware..." Aluminum has a specific heat twice that of cast iron, and so holds *twice* the heat--measured by weight. Ergo, an aluminum griddle *half* the weight of Ci will hold just as much heat. The problem of course is finding a thick aluminum griddle, but if one did, the hot/coldspotting problem would fade to insignificance.

                              I have a .625" (5/8) aluminum sheet "trivet" that will work as a two-burner griddle. When I finally get the IR thermometer, I'll do some tests with it.

                              Aloha,
                              Kaleo

                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                r
                                RGC1982 Jan 7, 2012 12:14 PM

                                I actually disagree about gas being a better cooktop for these kinds of pans versus electric. I have had gas, and was never a fan of double or extra size pans, because even though gas appears to heat the pan evenly if you place it just right, the real issue is the shape of the burner ring versus the shape of the pan, so there are always cold spots. On the other hand, my verstatile smooth top ceramic, which is an electric cooketop, has reconfigurable burners, so that I can heat the "bridge" element between two burners and either accommodate my very long DeBuyer oval fish pin, or else my double size grills and griddles. In fact, the bridge element works with the front burner exclusively, so when I need to just make it more of an oblong heating element versus a true double, all I have to do is turn on the front and bridge burners, and leave the back burner off. I know many people are not fans of this type of cooktop, and I was concerned too when I first got one, but it is way better than electric coils if you need to go electric. Gas cooktops can be flexible too, but I don't think the burner shape versus pan match is as precise.

                                1. re: RGC1982
                                  k
                                  kaleokahu Jan 7, 2012 11:17 PM

                                  Hi, RGC1982:

                                  You know what? You're right. If you have a "configurable" type resistive setup, I think you're better off with electric. I'm actually a big fan of electric, at least in terms of evenness. Its drawbacks lie elsewhere...

                                  And I'm (temporarily) jealous. Jealous because *you* could make excellent use of my lonely salmon poacher and oblong daubieres. "Temporarily" because, in a month or so, I'll have my solid-surface wood cookstove installed, at which point I'll have a 26x36-inch "bridge element".

                                  Your post raises an interesting question: Why are there not "bridge element" gas hobs, or if there are such things, why haven't they been popularized?

                                  Aloha,
                                  Kaleo

                            2. tim irvine Jan 4, 2012 05:54 PM

                              I am still waiting for All Clad to make the first and likely last piece of their wares I I'll ever buy. It is SS wrapped around a very conductive core. It covers two burners, has a lip, and works way better than the old CI griddle and its conspicuous hot spots. Ridges on the reverse side are optional.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: tim irvine
                                Chemicalkinetics Jan 4, 2012 06:04 PM

                                Tim,

                                Would this work for you want to do? (it depends what you you have in mind)

                                http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                1. re: tim irvine
                                  g
                                  GH1618 Jan 5, 2012 02:08 PM

                                  What's the point? Why would you want SS cladding on the bottom of a griddle? For that matter, why would you want SS on the top?

                                  1. re: tim irvine
                                    k
                                    kaleokahu Jan 5, 2012 04:16 PM

                                    Hi, Tim:

                                    You mean if this was fully clad?: http://www.4and20kitchenantiques.com/...

                                    Aloha,
                                    Kaleo

                                    1. re: kaleokahu
                                      tim irvine Jan 6, 2012 05:36 PM

                                      Kaleo, Chem, and GH...I don't want the high sides on a griddle, I don't care if the bottom is clad or not but most manufacturers of cookware seem to ust the full cladding approach, and the antique piece is great as is, no cladding needed. If I could make the pan myself it would be a slab of copper or aluminum with a thin SS surface for the abuse a spatula metes out. I hope, however that the big manufacturers read this website for ideas and would likely be happy with something like an AC version of a Lodge griddle.

                                  2. dcrb Jan 4, 2012 11:05 AM

                                    Hello,

                                    We have and use the Lodge cast iron reversible grill/griddle. It is great!

                                    1. caseyjo Jan 4, 2012 10:29 AM

                                      I have a Lodge bare cast iron griddle that takes up two burners, which I love. Works fine for pancakes, as long as you preheat the thing well enough. I like to use it under the broiler, though. I preheat the broiler so the grill gets all hot and delicious, meaning excellent grill marks. It's a good substitute for an urban dweller with no BBQ.

                                      But what I'm describing is not at all similar to that LC skillet. I'm not really sure what the purpose is, but I think you could get more bang for your buck with a different product. What do you want to do with the pan? That will definitely influence whether or not it's a good buy.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: caseyjo
                                        a
                                        AsperGirl Jan 5, 2012 04:48 PM

                                        A cast iron 2 burner grill is what I was looking at, too. I, too, was thinking you'd have to let it sit and preheat well first, and even then you would use it for something that isn't large mass + high water content (i.e. won't absorb large amounts of heat). Kind of like for searing sous vide cooked meats, or grilling seafood & veggies.

                                      2. Chemicalkinetics Jan 4, 2012 10:20 AM

                                        "i suspect that it wont cook as evenly in the middle while on the stovetop"

                                        Like you said, the heating surface won't be very even if you want to put it on two burner. On the other hand, it really does not look like it is for two burners. I think it is meant for one burner. Regardless, an electric griddle is probably better in term of providing you an more even heating surface -- both because the heating elements are more uniformly distributed and also because many electric griddled use aluminum as the base. On the other hand, most electric griddles do not have high power output. So it is difficult to cook at high temperature.

                                        What do you want this oval pan to do? If it is to use to cook large items like a fish, then the uneven surface can post some challenges. On the other hand, if you are going to just fry pay green beans or chopped potato, then it is fine because you will move the food around the pan a lot.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics
                                          m
                                          MonsieurLinguini Jan 4, 2012 10:59 AM

                                          I wanted it for fish and other long cuts of meat. tbh, Im just trying to figure out how to spend this $200 coupon for Williams Sonoma that expires this month. I might just put it towards a Magimix food processor. I've been dreaming about it for a while.

                                        2. w
                                          wyogal Jan 4, 2012 10:12 AM

                                          I have a large cast iron pan that fits over two burners. It's kind of tricky, but I never use it for things like pancakes. I will use it to roast something, then put it over two burners to manage the gravy made in the pan from the drippings.
                                          Looking at the LC 15 3/4" skillet, it seems to be too big for any burners, but not quite a two burner pan.
                                          Like this, but I don't have the lid (I got it used) http://ramblingsoncastiron.blogspot.c...

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: wyogal
                                            d
                                            DrMag Jan 4, 2012 10:33 PM

                                            I have a large reversible Lodge griddle that can fit over 2 burners. The hot spot/cold spot problem is ridiculous- I hoped to use it for pancakes, but it's impossible. Now it just goes under the broiler. AND it's very very very heavy, not so great for sore hand to deal with.

                                            1. re: DrMag
                                              pikawicca Jan 5, 2012 03:17 PM

                                              Love mine, use it all the time, no cold spot problem. The trick is to heat the pan for quite a long time over moderately low heat. This allows the entire pan to become hot. Crank the heat up right before you add the food.

                                              1. re: pikawicca
                                                k
                                                kaleokahu Jan 5, 2012 04:23 PM

                                                Hi, pikawicca:

                                                I'm glad your griddle does what you want it to do.

                                                But it is highly unlikely that you are getting anything resembling even heat over the entire griddle. The experiments done by fellow CH athanansius and others using infared thermometers, show pretty convincingly that preheating doesn't solve the cast iron problem--there will be large temperature differentials between the heated areas and the nonheated ones, regardless of preheating.

                                                Aloha,
                                                Kaleo

                                                1. re: kaleokahu
                                                  pikawicca Jan 5, 2012 06:58 PM

                                                  (My first name is Cindy, but don't you dare use it.)
                                                  There is no grill that I know of that heats perfectly equally. Whether I'm cooking over charcoal, or on the stove, I move the food about as needed. That said, a properly preheated stove-top grill works amazingly well.

                                                  1. re: pikawicca
                                                    k
                                                    kaleokahu Jan 5, 2012 08:17 PM

                                                    Hi, Cindy (we'll be in the no-real-names Gulag together if you will please call me Kaleo):

                                                    What you say is true, in terms of boundary conditions standing in the way of perfect evenness. A solid surface, sealed element cooktop or a wood cookstove would come close. But there are a lot of variations within that truth.

                                                    I have zero problem cooking things like grilled meat (for one or two) with move-abouts--once you get used to it, it can actually be good to "rest"/finish meats away from the hotter zones. But there are many folks out there who read these threads and come away with the--wrong--impression that you can, say, pour four or six pancakes onto one of these CI griddles (or those atrocious 15-inch LC skillets) and cook things evenly. Not that I cook pancakes often, but when I do I like them to be consistent, and to be able to cook more than one or two at a time so people can eat together. Unless one has the intuition of Jamie Oliver, the back development of Lou Ferrigno, and the reflexes of an NHL goalie, Jiffy-popping the CI grille over the hobs to turn out multiple cakes/steaks at one time isn't an option.

                                                    I have a big (24x24 x 3/8), heavy (>20 lb.) SS griddle I take to elk camp every year. Now that I've pimped out my wok burner/camp stove, maybe I'll test *really* preheating it and see if I can even things out more. But I think two 2-burner Colemans, butt-to-butt may be the only solution.

                                                    Aloha,
                                                    Kaleo

                                          2. k
                                            kaleokahu Jan 4, 2012 10:03 AM

                                            Hi, ML:

                                            Put. The. Pan. Down. This is the second-dumbest product LC ever made, possibly a tie with the saucepans. The worst is the round 15-incher.

                                            I suppose someone might say it's great because you can have two-zone cooking in the same pan, but it would come at the price of *more* hotspots *and* cold spots.

                                            Oval fish pans and gratins are great and versatile shapes, but buy them in a more conductive construction.

                                            The choice you pose between the LC oval and the electric griddle isn't much of a choice IMO, unless you're bereft of oven-safe pans and/or serving pieces.

                                            Aloha,
                                            Kaleo

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: kaleokahu
                                              m
                                              MonsieurLinguini Jan 4, 2012 10:38 AM

                                              You're effin bomb. You saved me from two bad purchases.

                                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                                h
                                                HokieAnnie Jan 7, 2012 07:08 PM

                                                Honestly I was considering this pan for my new range that has a middle fifth burner that is oval shaped. I figure that it will be good for fish (it is called a fish griddle after all.) and searing long meats like a pork tenderloin. Also I thought maybe for shallow frying like potato pancakes and the like.

                                                But I'd never consider it for a round burner. You're quite right!

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