Lodge Reversible Pro Grid Iron Grill/Griddle on a glass-top stove
Can you use the Lodge Reversible Pro Grid Iron Grill/Griddle on a flat-top electric stove?
The short answer is yes, you can.
When we moved, I went from having a (very basic) gas stove to this glass-topped, electric monstrosity (gimme a ‘BOOOOO!!!!!). I could go on and on about the travesty of this type of stove (gimme a ‘HIIISSSSSSS!!!!), but for now let me focus on a basic challenge with them: usually, in order for the ‘burners’ to work properly, you need to have as much contact between them and the pan in question.
This causes problems from the get-go, because there are many pans that are not perfectly flat on the bottom. Inexpensive pans can warp slightly with use (I had a regular pancake griddle that didn’t sit quite flat; it was fine on the gas stove but I had to replace it after we moved), or, they can be shaped like this:
I’ve got a couple of grill pans; this one is the Lodge Pro Grid Reversible Grill/Griddle, or some version of that long name. The idea is that you have one side that’s flat for pancakes and stuff, and the other is ridged for steaks or whatever you want grill marks on. The problem is that, on the glass-top stove, very little of the pan is actually touching the stove, whichever way is up. With gas, it’s no problem, because the flames just reach up and heat the pan, but no, that’s not the way glass-top stoves work.
The caution is that if the ‘burners’ on the glass-top stove aren’t in contact with the pan, they can overheat, or other bad things. It also takes FOREVER to heat the pan, because first the electric coils have to get hot, then they have to make the glass hot, then the glass has to make the air above it hot, then the air has to get hot enough to heat the pan, which then has to get hot enough to heat whatever’s in it. (Whereas with a gas stove: you apply fire directly to the bottom of the pan. Much more efficient.)
You also have to be super careful moving cast iron pans around on a glass stove, because it’s easily scratched. (WHY WOULD YOU MAKE A SEARING HOT COOKING SURFACE THAT FRAGILE?!?!?!!?)
The good news is that it is possible to use your cast iron reversible griddle on a flat-top stove, as long as you use a little care and common sense:
1) Heat your pan gradually, and no hotter than necessary. You should always be doing this anyway, but I’m much more careful about it when the burners have so much air over them. I start off with the burners on 2 or 3, then gradually increase to 4 or 5, then usually max out at 6 or 7. The good thing about cast iron is that you don’t have to turn the burners way, way up in order to get the pan searing hot.
2) Move the pan around carefully. I have a pair of welding gloves that I use for moving heavy, hot pans, and I’m always super careful with this one. For one thing, it weighs a ton; for another, it gets HOT. So I carefully place it so that it covers as much of the burners as possible, then try not to move it. Once I’m done with it, I let it cool for a while on the stove before I take it off.
Next time I’ll show you the grill in action with the best burgers you can make in your kitchen!