Way back when– way back when– my Grandmother had a cast-iron griddle among other kitchen utensils. It was good quality, had to be because she kept a farm-family going down in Southern Georgia. This griddle came into my parent’s possession sometime in the late 1970s when Grandma passed away. My Dad made good use of it during his last years, bacon, eggs and pancakes were a regular feature on Sunday morning. From Dad, it passed to me in 2007. I married that year, and my wife and her son managed to use it cooking pizza of all things, which probably isn’t the best use of a griddle but it worked– sort of.
In 2009, our marriage went down the tubes. I got called vile things and fair driven out of the place about March of 2009. Shortly thereafter, she threw several of my things– including the griddle– over the porch railing to the concrete patio below. Cast iron doesn’t fare well when it hits concrete from the third floor, so of course it cracked and became unusable. I moved on, got other stuff to replace the damaged stuff and managed not to make too big a mess of things from then on. One thing, I got a cast-aluminum griddle/grill to replace the old one. It’s a big one, fits two burners on the range, and you can flip it so it’s a griddle on one side or a grill on the other. Still, the loss of the old cast-iron griddle bothered me because of the family history.
So— today I bought a new one. Stopped off at Ace Hardware, turns out they sell the “Lodge” brand of cast-iron cookware. I bought the 10-inch griddle, which is the same size that Grandma used to have. Brought it home and prepared it for use.
Now, cast iron needs a little prep. First, wash it thoroughly in hot soapy water. Note that this is the ONLY time you use detergent on this pan, after this you clean it either with a paper towel or with water only. Now you’ve got the pan clean and dried, coat the pan both inside and outside with Crisco. Place the pan upside down in the oven, over a cookie sheet, for about an hour and a half at 375 F. After the time runs out, turn off the oven and let it cool down before trying to remove the pan. This process begins “seasoning” the pan, and from now on every time you cook bacon or sausage or hamburger in it, the “seasoning” will get better and the pan will become “non-stick” by the very nature of the thing. Cast iron gets better with use, so I’m not afraid to cook sausage, eggs and pancakes in these cast-iron skillets and griddles. I can’t make eggs stick to my 9-inch skillet, it’s that good at being “non-stick” just from being used regularly. See photos below, the new griddle. I think Grandma would be happy, it’s good quality just like she would use.