5.0 out of 5 stars
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on 22 December 2011
Some months ago, we went on a bit of a spree and purchased a whole bunch of Lodge Logic cast iron cookware items from Amazon. Our family had been using some pretty awesome Calphalon (aluminum/nonstick) cookware for fifteen years or so. The Calphalon was (and is) still holding up quite well (nothing, and I mean *NOTHING* can destroy that cookware), but we wanted to make the move to cast iron for all the usual reasons.
Cast iron requires a bit of care - especially early in the relationship. Lodge Logic cookware comes pre-seasoned, which is nice, but you're probably going to want to treat it out of the box, anyway. There are innumerable website and videos (i.e. on YouTube) showing how to properly care for and season cast iron cookware. The effort is minimal for the payoff and you can take some solace in the fact that each time you use it - and subsequently care for it properly - it gets BETTER. It bears mentioning that I did not always "get" the concept of cast iron cookware and the black carbon coating it develops. Many, many years ago, I did a college housemate a "favor" and scrubbed his perfectly seasoned cast iron skillet down to the bare metal. It was CLEAN (and temporarily destroyed). I was a moron and my housemate let me know it, but, cast iron being what it is, it was possible to re-season it and get it back on the road to awesomeness.
Lodge Logic items are sold at many common brick-and-mortar retailers so you can get a first hand idea of the size and weight of many of their items before ordering online. At the time I purchased these items from Amazon, though, the prices could not be beat and - absurdly enough (this stuff is HEAVY) - Free SuperSaver Shipping was available across the board.
Now, for this particular item: Lodge Logic LPGI3 Pro 20-by-10-7/16-Inch Cast-Iron Grill/Griddle
- We have a typical four burner glass-top stove (with a warming element, too). The left side burners are "small" burners with a "bridge burner" between. This is where we use the griddle.
- For cooking most things, we've settled upon setting all three burners (front/back/bridge) to about 6 out of 10. If you have a Spinal Tap stove that goes to 11, maybe try a 7. Put the burners on and let it heat for a little while. You'll know when its ready to roll (water beads, sizzles, and evaporates the same on different parts of the grill).
- On the flat side, we have cooked pancakes, french toast, sausage, scrapple, grilled cheese, cheesesteaks, and hamburgers.
- On the ribbed griddle side, we have cooked rib-eye steaks, filet Mignon, London broils, kielbasa and peppers, chicken breasts, and pork chops.
- This item works great with the Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Round Cast-Iron Grill Press. We purchased two of them. When cooking steaks, chicken, burgers, etc..., having the presses reduces cooking time, reduces splatter, and keeps the food from curling up on the sides.
- If you can wash it while it is still warm, all the better. Hot water + a plastic scrub brush (no SOAP!) works great. If you're just using the flat side, cleanup takes seconds. When using the ribbed griddle side, it can take a bit longer, obviously, because of the grooves and the types of things cooked on that side (meats). We lucked out and found a plastic kitchen scrub brush with a handle...the hard plastic head of which fits PERFECTLY within the grooves to scrape out the stuff that settles there. I once cooked steaks on the ribbed griddle side and left it on the stove until the next evening (oops!) and it cleaned up with hot water almost as easily as it would have the night before.
- Dry it thoroughly and, with a paper towel, apply a very thin layer of vegetable oil everywhere. If you happened to use your oven to cook, throw it in there while the oven cools. The heat will be enough to get rid of any residual moisture and do a bit to expand the metal to allow further seasoning to occur.
- The griddle heats very evenly. I've filled it with meat from stem to stern and, with very little rotation, consistently end up with evenly cooked meals.
- You can use whatever kitchen utensils you like with this puppy...kid gloves are not required. I've got a metal spatula that was in drydock for much of the Teflon era that has new life.
- People love the ribeye steaks I make on the outdoor grill. The results indoors are different, for certain, but are absolutely outstanding. In fact, the results you can achieve with this item indoors may be more reminiscent of the high end steak houses (i.e. Ruth's Chris or The Capital Grille) than what you can get grilling outdoors.
- It's big. You can accomplish things on this griddle that you cannot with a frying pan. For example, we buy those big bags of boneless/skinless individual chicken breasts from [a box store] and you can get eight or nine of those things jamming at once (so nice...throw them - frozen - right on the grill and season them for quick dinners).
- It's cast iron. 'nuff said on that.
- It is HEAVY. That's not a problem for most people, but, in my case, my wife refuses to manipulate this griddle on her own. She asks me to set it up for her because she fears the weight and composition (a giant chunk of iron, baby!) combined with a glass stove top is a recipe for potential disaster. She is a wise woman. No big deal, really, since I do most of the cooking.
- Fire up that range hood fan! This thing will throw off some serious smoke, especially when cooking meats. You've been warned.
- Cleanup will suck if you don't have the right tools to do it. It's tempting to whip out the green scrubbies and get between those grooves, but you don't want to scrape off that precious carbonized coating. As I mentioned, a sturdy plastic kitchen brush is your best friend.
- We bought separate, darkly colored dish towels to use on all of our cast iron cookware. When drying after cleaning, the towel may pick up some of that dark residue, which is fine because scrubbing all of that off would be pretty stupid. Don't ruin your nice white kitchen towels.
IN THE END
- This is a five-star item. The "CONS" are more warnings than anything...I would not recommend this item for your 88 year old grandma who doesn't have a range hood. Warnings aside, the results are consistently delicious. The product is well-built, works as advertised, and, if treated right, will still be in use by your great-grandchildren and beyond. How cool is that?
EDIT: Almost 3 years with this griddle and I still love it. I use it all the time. At this point, it is perfectly seasoned with a healthy coat of carbon and NOTHING sticks to it. I clean it easily with a dishwashing brush and hot water. I shake off the water and put on the bridge burner on the glass-top stove and turn it on high for about 90 seconds and turn it back off - that gets rid of any water. It never rusts. My wife still hates it because it is heavy, though. Meh.
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