Cast Iron Divided Griddle from Lakeland – Product Review

Review by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Cast Iron Divided Griddle
Lakeland Ref 13329
Price: GBP 27.99

I must first of all admit that I am an absolute lover of cast iron cookware and cooking with cast iron, at least as far as griddles and such are concerned. I have yet to get a Dutch Oven or other for review to see how they work in a non-campfire environment.

My primary reason for love of cast iron is that once your frying pans of that material are properly seasoned they are absolutely non-stick and this without any coating whatsoever, and especially no Teflon, the material that, if it flakes off can be dangerous and probably not just when it flakes off. The text in the catalog is, therefore, more than a little misleading which “black enamel” because the pan is not enameled and the black is just the way old-fashioned cast iron comes.

It is true, however, that properly cared for, this pan should last for years. In fact cast iron cookware of the old school, such as Wagner 1894 and other good makes not only last for years but for generations in fact.

Using cast iron griddles for frying eggs, steaks, and such like, you also use very little if any fat and using a pan with a ridged internal bottom you drain away the fat that the meat itself has also from the steak or such itself.

Seasoning of the pan on the stove top was rather easy and took no more than an hour and the first trial of the pan was most successful with a great steak and fried potatoes produced.

The user instructions on the bottom of the box are somewhat strange and wrong even in that there is no need to avoid the use of metal tools, such as, say, metal egg slice with cast iron pans. There is no coating that can be damaged. In fact, cast iron and other uncoated pans are the only ones that are safe with metal utensils, though I would refrain from using metal utensils on copper, for instance, as it scratches the surface.

In fact nylon ones, as advised in those instructions, might get damaged in use on cast iron griddles as they are very not; hotter it would seem that what many nylon tools can withstand.

The best tools to use, as in cooking in general, however are wooden ones or those made from bamboo.

From the green point though wood is more sustainable than bamboo and I am primarily here referring to utensils made locally from local (hard)woods which did not have to travel long distances.

It is also totally safe to use a metal “wire wool” scouring pads, the ones without soap, to clean the pan. I do this with all my cast iron pans and griddles without any problem.

The cooking experience with the divided cast iron griddle from Lakeland was extremely good and there was no sticking, even though the pan was not seasoned in the oven, as normally is the advice as regards to seasoning of cast iron cookware of this kind but was done, as per instructions on the bottom of the box, on the stove top – in this case an electric stove.

Please remember not to immerse the pan in soapy water or use soapy water again to clean it (unless absolutely necessary) for you will have to re-season the pan afterwards again before it will be non-stick again.

Also, never, immerse the pan in water, regardless whether hot or cold, immediately after cooking, as can be safely done with stainless steel or spun steel, for instance, but let it cool naturally and completely before washing it. Hot cast iron will crack if immersed in water.

Remember that prior to each and every use before heating up the pan it should be given a thin coating of oil wiping it all around the pan.

Also, never heat up the pan to full heat and then add oil, as is commonly done with other kinds of frying pans. Not that it will harm the pan but for a gooey black mess that was the oil.

When pan is coated with oil then heat the pan until it is sizzling hot – the oil will begin to smoke slightly – before adding the food. That way nothing will stick.

My rating for this pan? 10 out of 10, I should say. This is a quality pan nearly in the league of Wagners and others of the old school. This pan should give years of service and generations of service even if cared for well.

© 2009