If you’re looking to cook meals that can usually only be found in restaurants and diners then one of the best ways is with a good stove top griddle. They come in different shapes and sizes and made with a variety of different materials.
The first stove top griddle I purchased was a flat stove top griddle which I got for a camping trip. We wanted to cook on an open fire and when you’re out in the wilderness; the food tastes amazing when cooked over a fire with some friends and family around.
In this Top 5 stove top griddle list I’ll discuss what to look for in the best stove top griddles and what to avoid.
After using stove top griddles for many years, I’ve learned many things you should avoid… Hopefully, you can learn a thing or two by reading this and prevent yourself from getting the headaches that I had along the way.
If you want to learn a few tricks on how to keep your stove top griddle in perfect condition, then scroll down to the bottom for Maintaining Stove Top Griddles. Where you will learn everything about cleaning, temperature management, seasoning and storage.
If you plan on using your flat stove top griddle indoors, which I do about 99% of the time, then you won’t get that nice fire and wood flavor. You will however be delighted by just how spectacular the food tastes, compared to traditional pots and pans. It’s well worth the investment. Without further ado, let’s dive into my top 5 favorite flat stove top griddles!
#1 Lodge – Reversible Grill and Griddle
The Amazon #1 Best Seller; Lodge reversible griddle stands out the most. Located in Tennessee, Lodge has been the leading name in cast iron products for over 100 years, and they make some of my favorite cast iron products. The older these get, the better the food tastes when you cook on them.
I purchased this one a few years ago, and it’s priced the same as most other stove top griddles but the quality is far superior. Lodge pre seasons these griddles but it’s highly recommended that you season it as well to enhance the flavor of your foods.
First, you want to wash with hot soap and water and use a scotch brite pad (or similar) to really scrub the surface of the stove top griddle. Do this several times in order to get the oils that can be built up on it during the manufacturing process.
Then you want to apply a light coat of olive oil on the stove top griddle and put on the stove on low heat for about an hour. Some people like to do this each time before cooking but that’s a little too much work for me. Never use soap after you season it for the first time and you will taste the best food you’ve ever eaten.
- A large 2 burner stove top surface area for cooking a lot of food.
- Comes with handles, so you don’t burn your hands.
- Reversible – with one side ridged, ideal for cooking meats and vegetables.
- The material retains heat for a very long time.
Some people complain about the handle design on this stove top griddle. Cracks can occur if you make a mistake or your stove top griddle is not properly maintained. DON’T wash with cold water immediately after cooking! Another way to get a crack is by dropping it on the floor. But other than that, this stove top griddle is the best bang for your buck and a personal favorite of mine.
#2 Little Griddle – Commercial Stove Top Griddle
If you want to get that authentic restaurant style griddle flavor, then this is the way to go. Many people use this style of commercial stove top griddle for cooking on the grill. BUT you can also use it indoors on a standard gas range cooktop. The Little Griddle is a personal favorite of mine for parties and is one of the most popular stainless steel griddles out on the market today.
It might make your house smell like a small town diner but the taste is incredible, there’s nothing else like it. You really do get the authentic diner flavor with this one, without having to pay a small fortune for a huge commercial griddle used in restaurants and fast food places.
This style is very popular for grilling and I reviewed it on the list of best outdoor griddles. This is personally one of my favorite outdoor griddles but not many people know that it’s also ideal for a stove top.
It took me a bit of trial and error to get this working properly on the stove. Each burner can be set different, so if you want some things to cook faster than others, you can do that as well. Once you figure it out, you’ll be cooking food that’s better than most restaurants.
The great thing about this one is that it’s large enough to cook for several people. I have managed to cook about 20 eggs and pancakes at the same time. You can even throw a little bit bacon and anything else on there.
As for cleaning, I just use a damp scotch brite pad but you can also use a paper towel. Never had any issues with rust or anything else. Certainly one of the most affordable commercial stove top griddles out there.
- restaurant style commercial griddle
- Detachable handles allows you to carry around easily
- Large enough to cook for a a lot of people
- High quality 304 Surgical Stainless Steel
One of the complaints I have is that the grease tends to linger in the center of the pan, rather than drain to the sides. The griddle does have a slight slope for the grease to drain off but only if the grease is close enough to the sides. Therefore, what I like to do is put the foods with the most grease near the side of the griddle, so that the grease can drip off more easily.
If you don’t know how, this can be pretty tough to clean. There are many videos explaining how to clean commercial stove top griddles by different restaurants and once you know how to clean them it’s not a problem anymore. If you’re looking for a large stove top griddle than this is the way to go. If it were any bigger it wouldn’t fit on your stove!
#3 Lodge- Stove Top Griddle Pan
What list wouldn’t be complete without the classic cast iron stove top griddle? This cast pan is a personal favorite of mine. The Lodge cast iron griddle made it onto the top of the list for the best cast iron griddles. The quality is top of the line and I actually enjoy this one more than the larger griddles that I use.
I should warn you though that these pans are heavy. It’s nice to use heavy pans because you get a bit of a workout before you sit down to eat. The craftsmanship is top of the line and while I didn’t want this list to be all lodge products, they certainly do have some of the best products out there at the best prices.
The stove top griddle pan is pretty much my go to pan for cooking just about everything. Ever since I got it I fell in love with it and it was one of the reasons I was inspired to make a cooking websites talking about how amazing cooking with griddles is! The Lodge cast iron griddle made it onto the top of the list for the best cast iron griddles.
This pan does come in several different sizes and they can be a bit expensive but I assure you that it’s worth it. I find the 8″ pan perfect for cooking eggs for a single person and you can also use several pans at the same time.
Cleaning these pans is very easy. Simply use a little oil at the start and wipe it off when your done. The scotch brite is my favorite tool to clean with and you can also use the chain mail scrubbers which are amazing.
- Comes in many different sizes.
- Perfect for any stove top or camp fire.
- The material retains heat for a very long time.
If you’re not very familiar with cast iron pans then you should know that these are heavy. You may want to use two hands when handling this and other cast iron pans with hot pads.
Make sure to pre-heat the pan before you cook. Many people wonder why the food sticks the pan and if you don’t heat the pan up to the ideal temperature, you will get food to stick on the pan which can be difficult to get off.
Also, Be careful if you have a glass stove top as these can break the glass.
#4 Chef’s Secret – Stainless Steel Stove Top Griddle
It was hard decide between this and the lodge pan for me for the number #2 spot on this list. This pan is AMAZING! I think I bought this back in 2012 and the great thing about this one is that it never sticks.
I like to have a griddle with a lid because I like to steam a lot of my foods. Before I knew any better, I use to use Teflon pans, which is not the best for your health if you’re using it every day.
Everything always cooks very evenly and very fast. The material is 5 ply surgical stainless steel, which is considered some of the best cookware in the world.
Very easy to clean this one, just put a little water in the pan after your done and boom! It’s clean. You can always use the sponge and a little soap. This one will last a lifetime.
- Perfect for Induction stove tops or electric stove tops
- The lid is nice for steaming vegetables
- Big enough to cook for a few people
- High quality 304 Surgical Stainless Steel
Food can tend to stick if you don’t properly heat the stainless steel stove top griddles properly. Many people just like to turn on the fire, throw the griddle on the stove top and throw in the food. You need to wait a couple of minutes if you don’t want everything to stick.
Other than that, I have had nothing but delicious meals with this stainless steel stove top griddle. Stainless steel and cast iron are probably my two favorite materials to cook with and probably the two healthiest options. Also, if you have an electric stove top, this is the way to go.
#5 Lodge – Flat Stove Top Griddle
When I bought this griddle a few years ago it was for a camping trip and this griddle makes a PERFECT camping griddle. I didn’t want to lug around a 9 lb griddle but it was well worth it. The great thing about this griddle is that you can cook with it on an open fire with very high heat AND it doesn’t take up too much space.
As you all know by now, I’m a huge fan of all cast iron but the flat stove top griddle design is not my personal favorite. This ones tends to cook unevenly for some reason and it’s a little heavier than most of my other griddles.
The flat part is nice for cooking sandwiches, especially when you use the cast iron press to smash the bread into the hot iron griddle. The reverse side is ideal for cooking vegetables and steaks.
This flat stove top griddle is also ideal for outdoor BBQ and Pizza stone. I have made some amazing square thin crust pizzas on this bad boy and they taste amazing! It’s pretty much the perfect size for me and I always like to cook for others and it never disappoints. It works if you have a small or large stove.
For this flat stove top griddle make sure to use LOW heat because this thing get’s super hot. You can actually cause it to crack if you crank up the heat to full, so you need to be a little patient if you want to get that authentic restaurant style food.
As for cleaning, it’s just like most of cast iron products. Simply use a scotch pad or damp paper towel when your done and put let it dry for a minute. Then store in a small cabinet if you can because it weighs 9 lbs!
- Flat surface area
- Fits on most stove tops
- Perfect for camping and cooking on an open fire
- Comes pre seasoned and ready to cook
The biggest downside I can think of is that it weighs 9 lbs. I enjoy the flat stove top griddle design and you get what you pay for. Lodge is best when it comes to cast iron and I have tried a few other flat stove top griddles over the years and they are similar.
If you don’t know how to properly care for cast iron griddles then be sure to check out the section below. If you are not careful you can rust your flat stove top griddle within one cooking session.
The handles can also be a bit of a problem. As with all cast iron, make sure to use oven mitt or a towel when trying to move this one.
Maintaining your Stove Top Griddle
Cast iron griddle is regarded as one of the most versatile and durable tools found in a kitchen. As a result, one should pay close attention by taking appropriate care of it. It is indeed a finest piece of cookware and no kitchen is complete without the presence of such types of classic pans. When it is maintained properly, it could last for years. Now we shall discuss about how to maintain a stove top cast iron griddle.
Cleaning Cast Iron
One of the vital rules of cast iron griddle is to avoid use of soap and abrasive textures such as steel wool. Also make sure that you do not put inside a dishwasher. They are most likely to strip off the pan owing to its natural non-stick coating.
In order to achieve best results, pour hot water into the skillet and later use a soap-free sponge or a nylon brush to scrub the pan. If you find it too hot to handle the pan, then you may use a pair of tongs to control the sponge. After the remaining food particles are scrubbed off, use warm water again to thoroughly rinse the skillet.
Begin by adjusting the heat to either medium or medium-low for a period of about five minutes. Depending upon the weather conditions and external environment, the griddle surface temperature would reach approximately 350 degrees to 450 degree Fahrenheit. Later, switch the heat to either medium-low or low for a period of about three minutes. It would ensure a uniform temperature for the whole cooking surface.
Even though it heats up quickly, the cooling process is very slow. It is essential to manage the heat on the griddle to prevent further damage. If the steel is found to be rigid and durable, then you are required to set the heat settings accordingly. It is very crucial especially if you prefer to use different heat settings on a large griddle that is capable of covering more than one burner. To record or gauge temperature readings, you may use a device known as Pro-surface thermapen by placing it on the surface of it. This helps in tracking both cool and hot zones as well.
Seasoning Cast Iron
Once the griddle is thoroughly cleansed, gently warm it up. Then place a cast iron conditioner which contains a palm oil base over it to ensure optimum shelf-life. It is better when compared to cooking/natural oil. Whole corners and surface of the griddle has to be completely coated to ensure that it is properly seasoned. It safeguards the cast iron from formation of rust. Allow the griddle to cool down and thoroughly cleanse it to remove the excess conditioner using a clean cloth.
Another best option is to wash the skillet using warm, soapy water along with a rigid brush. Before that grab the required supplies and pre-heat the oven to approximately 350 degree Fahrenheit. Even though soap is not recommended, it can be implemented if the pan is about to be seasoned. Then you thoroughly cleanse and dry the skillet using a clean dried cloth or even a paper towel. Some of the recommended oils for seasoning are vegetable oil and flaxseed oil. Seasoning is essential to ensure optimum shelf-life.
Unsaturated oils are best recommended for seasoning since its chemical structure is proved to be more responsive when compared to saturated oils. It also enables smooth polymerization to the metal. Flaxseed oil is very expensive. It is extremely harder to track since it is supplied as a supplement.
Best Place to Store Cast Iron?
Once the griddle is thoroughly cleansed, dried and seasoned, ensure that it is kept in a dried and pristine spot. Today, certain carry bags are also available in the market that is capable of holding the griddle. However, you need to make sure that the zipper is left opened at least four inches to prevent sweating and formation of rust as well. Another major advantage is that it prevents scratches and further damage within the cookware. They also absorb moisture which could even lead to rusting.
Today, many people prefer storing cast iron cookware in an oven since it considered being a safer and better spot to preserve it when not in use. But, if it comes with a wooden part, it should not be stored in an oven since it is a fire hazard. While removing cast iron cookware from the oven, ensure that you use oven mitts. They would normally get hotter when stored inside the oven. Appropriate ventilation is essential especially while preserving cast iron cookware. There should not be any presence of moisture content. Do not forget to remove the lid upon storing a cast iron cookware. It could trap moisture thereby leading to formation of rust.
- Ensure that the griddle is leveled prior to cooking. It would also make sure that any trace of juices and grease is drained properly.
- Avoid washing a cast iron griddle with soap. Cast iron should be either rinsed or wiped clean.
- To remove excess amount of food particles on the pan, pour some water and let it remain for about few minutes. You may even use a plastic scraper to scrape the remains.
- Place a towel over the stove top to dry the pans. Let it remain until the moisture content present on the handles as well as inside and outside of the pan is completely absorbed.
- Leave few traces of oil in the pan to enhance the properties and prevent formation of rust. Experts would even suggest coating the pan using ghee, bacon grease or coconut oil.
- Cast iron handles are susceptible to heat; as a result safeguard your hands. You may make use of a pot holder or a towel to handle the hot pans. Handle covers can also be used to protect the hands.
- Search for cast iron pans that have a built-in protective wooden handles.
The best thing about a stove top griddle is that you can use it anywhere. Throw it on a fire and you’re ready to cook your food. They are perfect for camping trips and perfect for parties. When cooking over an open fire on cast iron or stainless steel the quality of the food is second to none! Persoanlly, I use my stove top griddle juust about every day and when people come over they always are impressed. Many of my friends and family have gone out and purchases stove top griddles after trying my cooking!