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flat grill or skillet grill? - cast iron

I know tools have their own specific use.

But does the flat grill (griddle?) have any advantages over the skillet grill?

Assuming they're both the same size, does the flat grill do anything the skillet grill can't do?

Enlighten me :)

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  1. I have both in cast iron, I prefer the flat one for making steaks etc. as it gets a better seared crust. I use the grill pan to roast chickens and small cuts of meat, The grill ridges give it a nice lift and higher sides help with heat retention

    1. I have gotten hell for this opinion but I do not particularly like these grill pans - I own several raw and enameled as shown I find little use for them - making grill marks is fun but I much prefer to use a regular cast iron skillet for cooking almost anything - If anything I like the aw cast iron griddles that are flat on one side and ribbed on the other so they are multitaskers at least like this one http://www.target.com/p/lodge-reversi...

      1. I have owned a flat bare CI round griddle pan. Can't say i was a big fan, largely because it didn't get used often enough to develop a great seasoning layer. In fact, the foods I cooked in it ended up stripping off some of the seasoning as often as not. So that was a little frustrating. I've since abandoned it in favor of a similarly sized deBuyer Carbone crepe pan. It's essentially the same pan, but with enough differences to make it more desirable to me.

        That's one of the reasons I've been increasingly drawn to the enameled pans you're showing, because there's no need to season them.

        Then this afternoon, I got an email advert for this:
        Now I'm even more intrigued, because I think the shape is better for the things I'd cook in it. This might get me to pull the trigger and try one.

        2 Replies
        1. re: DuffyH

          interesting Duffy - that is basically identical to the small ribbed grill pan I have without the ribs - which IMO got in the way more than they helped. What gap do you see this filling that your carbon steel pans don't fill? Seems like it would be good for an stove to oven sear/bake for veg

          1. re: JTPhilly

            <What gap do you see this filling that your carbon steel pans don't fill?>


            I see it aiding mostly in terms of shape. The square shape lends itself to things like asparagus and 4 burger patties, a pair of sandwiches, fish fillets, stuff like that. A lot of what I pan fry is better suited to a square pan.

            I've still got a pair of 12" frypans, one a cheap (thin) stainless nonstick and one a Calphalon Tri-Ply. Neither is up to the quality of my other pans, whether the carbon steel or my Zwilling sauté pan. I've been keeping them around for items that don't fit in my smaller 10" round pans, which is all the things I mentioned above plus some, but I really don't like using them, mostly because they're just too big and not as even heating as my other pans. The large base may be the culprit, too big to get good heat spread from even my largest burner. Perhaps a square pan would better suit me. I'm not sure, but I do know it will better fit my big induction element.

        2. I have both too, in bare cast iron. I have lots of ECI but don't see the point of it in a grill pan. I use my vintage Griswold round griddle almost every day. It really depends on how you cook though. Other than a quick panini I have no need for a grill in the house, we do that outside.

          1. The flat grill or griddle is good for making pancakes and such. You can do it in a skillet too, of course, but cast iron holds and distributes the heat better, and the square shape also suits that purpose.

            1. I thought grill pan was used when you are cooking something really fatty like burgers or when you want to cook meat and veg together and not have veg cooking in juices/fat.

              1. I agree with JPhilly. A flat surface skillet is more useful (overall) than a grill pan.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Agree. 100% of our grilling is done outside.

                2. While the ridges leave pretty marks and keep the food out of the fat, I have found them extremely wearisome when flipping eggs or pancakes. So I just use a flat griddle or large cast iron pan/

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                    I... can't even imagine trying to cook eggs or pancakes in a ridged pan.

                  2. If I could have only one, it would be a flat one. The grill pan does have its uses (not just to put pretty grill marks on food), it elevates food and stops it from being boiled in its own fat/juice, this does actually give a noticeable difference in texture/taste for things such as sausages (which is what I use my grill pan for the most).

                    1. Hi everyone.
                      I think I may have caused some of the confusion when I said "flat grill" - I should've said grill pan vs grill skillet.

                      I am comparing pan to skillet (both with ridges - as pictured).

                      Does a pan with ridges for grilling have any advantages over a skillet with ridges?

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Foodenist

                        If there is any advantage to either, it would be minor. The plate version might make it easier to slip a spatula under your food, without walls to interfere. OTOH, Lodge, LC and Staub offer fitted panini lids for the skillets.

                        As I said, minor. The thing you want to focus on is ridge height. If the ridges aren't tall enough and you grill something fatty, like a burger, your food will fry in the pooled fat. And of course, you need to decide if you want it enameled or bare.