So you need a griddle top and are confused about choosing between stainless steel griddle top vs cast iron?
Well, you’re not alone with this problem. Stainless steel vs cast iron is an age-old debate. And everyone answers according to their preferences.
But that’s not the case here, so heave a sigh of relief.
Below we’ll discuss the two famous griddle materials, aka “Stainless Steel and Cast Iron .”We’ll share the facts about which one is more reliable and best for you. So be with us until the end of the article and find out which one is worth your money: stainless steel griddle top vs cast iron.
Stainless Steel Griddle Top Vs Cast Iron: Primary Difference
Let’s start with the basic point, “griddle.” it’s an amazing cooking accessory with a flat surface. This flat cooking surface is the main part that creates the difference. It’s usually made of stainless steel or cast iron.
Though these are two different materials. Still, you can cook almost anything, sausages, pancakes, toast, eggs, meat fries, etc., on both the griddle tops just like you use stainless steel pans or of cast iron. Yet, the result and the cooking experience will not be the same.
The reason is the different percentages of carbon in both materials: cast iron and stainless steel. resultantly, they have got specific pros and cons are different. If one is durable, the other is not. So let’s see the other primary difference between stainless steel and cast iron.
Stainless Steel Material Griddles’ Tripple or Five-Ply Layering System: Know First
The stainless steel griddle tops contain 1.2% or less carbon. It’s why there’s a major difference between the stainless steel surface and the iron cast’s weight.
If we consider stainless steel griddle tops, they’re super portable since they’re lightweight. Anyone can use them with no hassle.
Another thing that we notice is that despite being stainless steel, it’s an excellent heat conductor. Therefore, despite making reason is the bottom or core of the griddle top core and bottom, out of aluminum or copper, stainless steel is preferred for the exterior, like the griddle top and bottom.
Many people don’t know that underneath the stainless steel griddle, there’s also a core layer of aluminum or copper. The core layer helps stainless steel for conducting and provides consistent heat. Therefore, you may notice the term tri-ply or five-ply in the description of stainless steel items. These terms represent the construction.
For example, if you see the term trip-ply. It means the griddle top is made of three layers, the bottom, the top layer is stainless steel, and the core layer is aluminum or copper. At the same time, five-ply represents five different layers. The exterior (bottom and top layers) is stainless steel, and the three core layers are aluminum or copper.
Pros of Stainless Steel Griddles
- Consistent heat
- The cleaning is easy.
- Need low maintenance.
- Stainless steel is non-reactive.
Drawbacks of Stainless Steel Griddles
- It’s durable but not as compared to the iron cast.
Cast Iron Material – Overview
Cast iron cookware has been popular for hundreds of years, contrary to stainless steel, which only gained fame during the last century. If you ask your grandmother, she might tell you that she cooked on cast iron cookware daily.
But for now, it has been replaced by stainless steel skillets. Does it mean cast iron griddle tops are not good? No, cast iron is one of the best materials for griddle tops.
Cast iron is constructed with “pure iron combined with 2% – 4% carbon, which means they’re heavy, but there’s an advantage.
High carbon represents that the griddle top is tough. You’ll not see any dents on the surface, even if the griddle top slips on the ground.
Plus, an iron cast is a good choice, particularly for a person who has an iron deficiency. Yes, iron cast material reacts with acidic chemicals in foods like tomato sauce and does not prove favorable for innovative cooking.
For example, when you cook on a cast iron top, the food will react with the surface, and a small amount of iron in the food will mix to produce an undesirable taste despite being good for health. Likewise, cleaning cast iron is challenging, and you must take extra care of cast iron griddles.
Pros of Iron Cast Griddles
- Retain heat for a longer time
Drawbacks of Iron Cast Griddles
- Cast iron griddles are heavier, just as your cast iron pans are.
- Need proper maintenance
- Not versatile
- Hot spots are common
Stainless Steel Griddle Top vs Cast Iron: Features Comparison
Here are the comparison of stainless steel and cast iron griddle tops features. It’ll help you make the best decision.
Durability is the most important factor when discussing cast iron griddle tops vs stainless steel. In the end, we all want to spend money on things that last long. So in terms of durability, cast iron is a win-win situation.
The reason is cast iron is tough in contrast to stainless steel. It contains more carbon, which makes it heavier, but it has many advantages.
For instance, if you take care of the griddle top, clean it, and season it properly, then it’ll last long for years. On the downside, it can catch rust and demand reseasoning in no time.
At the same time, stainless steel is also durable if used correctly. The only downside is, that if the griddle top is hit with something hard, you’ll see a large dent on the surface.
Ease of Cleaning
Do you want to spend time cleaning the griddle top after each use? If not, then you should pick stainless steel griddle top.
Stainless steel has amazing features, and one of them is it saves time. It’s easy to clean and needs low maintenance, which is not the case with cast iron.
People who use cast iron know how difficult it’s to clean it. First, you’ve to clean it; then you must dry it properly because it’ll rust easily if you leave this step. Then you have to maintain it through seasoning.
Imagine yourself seasoning the griddle top after each use. It seems like a terrible situation, right?
That’s why we recommend stainless steel for those who don’t want to spend their time maintaining the griddle top.
In stainless steel, you only have to clean it; the top will dry on its own. Afterward, you’re free to place it again on the grill without seasoning. In short, stainless steel doesn’t need high maintenance.
Weight is another factor that creates a big difference between stainless steel griddle tops and cast iron. People who’ve used stainless steel and cast iron griddle tops know the distinctions.
Stainless steel griddle tops are lighter in weight. And if we’re saying lightweight, it means they’re poles apart. Any person can easily carry and move around with the stainless steel griddle top in one hand.
However, that’s not the case with the iron cast griddle tops, as they’re quite heavy. Other than the weight, you’ll also notice a thick surface good for durability but not for mobility.
In case you love traveling or camping activities, stainless steel is a perfect choice for you. After all, heavy items are not ideal for traveling, and how will you manage to move them?
Cooking Performance and Food Taste
What will be the taste of the food? It’s a million-dollar question, and it’s better to find an answer rather you regret the decision.
Stainless steel and cast iron both are good. You can use any griddle top, but both have some pros and cons that you should be aware of.
For example, stainless steel is non-reactive. Whatever you’ll cook will be delicious, and there’ll be no problem picking up a strange color. Hence, you get another advantage of cooking acidic food like tomato sauce.
If we consider iron cast, you can face some problems. It’s not like stainless steel; it reacts with food that contains acidic chemicals or a strong odor like fish. If you cook braised meat on the griddle top, the color of the food will be changed and taste.
It’s up to you what you want. If you’re looking for a versatile option, stainless steel is far better than an iron-cast griddle top when it’s about taste consistency. Otherwise, keep your option open for the iron cast.
Seasoning and Maintenance
Do you mind seasoning the cast iron skillet after every use? If your answer is also no, you need a stainless steel griddle top like many people.
The stainless steel griddle top is super easy to clean. For instance, the things you need to clean are hot water and a mild dishwasher. After cleaning it, you’re done. You don’t have to season it again, nor do you need to wait until it dries.
But things are different for iron-cast griddle tops. You’ve to clean it carefully because carelessness can harm the seasoning. Later on, wait until it dries, then there’s a seasoning process.
To season it, you’ve to pour oil on the surface, then heat the griddle top in the oven for at least 30 – 40 minutes. And this process ought to be done four to five times. In short, you need three to four hours to maintain an iron cast griddle top.
You’re free to choose anyone you want but make sure to think about do you have time for the maintenance.
How well can the griddle top hold heat? How much time does it take to heat up? These two questions demand an answer because the cooking performance depends on them.
If the griddle top can take a lot of time to heat up, it’s a problem, for sure. Similarly, a griddle top that doesn’t hold heat or provide consistent heat causes either undercooked food or burnt. People who like to cook meat on griddles know how cold and hot spots can spoil the taste.
So, choose what you want, but after keeping the type of food, you’ll be cooking in view. For example, stainless steel griddle top is an amazing option if you need a quick blast of heat. Yet, as soon as you turn the flame off, the cooking process will stop.
While the iron cast is good or, in other words, far better than stainless steel at retaining heat. Yet, the iron cast griddle top takes time to heat up since the surface is thick. Plus, it doesn’t deliver consistent heat to food, though the common belief is vice versa.
Therefore, cast iron is not a good option. However, we like one thing: it has a non-stick surface naturally. The food particles won’t adhere to the surface, but you’ve to ensure that the griddle is seasoned properly.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is stronger stainless steel or cast iron?
The simple answer is iron cast is stronger than stainless steel griddles. Yet, it can rust. So, cast iron is more durable and will also last longer if you take care of it properly.
However, stainless steel’s durability depends on the percentage of carbon and other alloys, which make several grades of stainless steel, like 304 or surgical grade stainless steel. Such categorization tells you how corrosive the material is.
Do chefs use cast iron or stainless steel?
Yes, many chefs choose iron case griddles because of their toughness, heat-containing feature, and excellent cooking performance. But we can’t say anything for all because many also prefer stainless steel.
What can you not cook in cast iron?
Cast iron is an amazing material for cookware and also for griddles. Yet, you can’t cook several types of food on it. For example, tomatoes, lemon, or anything that contain acidic chemicals is harmful to seasoning. Moreover, you can’t cook food like fish and garlic since they have a strong aroma and can leave their aromatic memories.
Which is better, steel or cast iron griddle?
There’s no specific answer to which one is better for you. It depends on what you like and whom you’re comfortable cooking with. If you think you’re not a person who can clean or maintain the cast iron, then please go with a stainless steel griddle top.
Stainless Steel Griddle Vs Cast Iron, Who’s the Winner?
Ask yourself what you want: Are you fine with cooking with a heavy cast iron griddle?
Do you have time to season the metal surface every time? Do you want to go with the versatile option (stainless steel) or the iron cast?
Find the answers, and you’ll get the idea of who’s the winner between stainless steel griddle top vs cast iron. But according to us, no one can beat iron cast in durability and stainless steel in portability and ease of cleaning.
If you’ve any questions, please let us know in the comment section. We would be happy to assist you further.
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