Pancakes are a delicious breakfast treat that can be enjoyed any time of the day. However, not all pancakes are created equal. If you want to make perfect pancakes every time, then using a cast iron griddle is the way to go. In this article, we will explore why you should use a cast iron griddle for pancake cooking, the benefits of doing so, how to choose the right cast iron griddle and the step-by-step process on how to cook pancakes using a cast iron griddle. Plus, we’ll even offer some creative pancake recipes that you can try at home!
Why use a cast iron griddle for pancake cooking?
A cast iron griddle is the perfect tool for making pancakes because it distributes heat evenly throughout the cooking surface. This means that your pancakes will cook evenly, without any hot or cold spots, and will come out perfectly fluffy and golden brown. Cast iron also retains heat so it stays hot for longer, which means that you’ll be able to cook more pancakes at once without having to wait for the griddle to heat up again. Plus, cast iron is incredibly durable and can last for generations if properly cared for, making it an investment you’ll be glad you made.
Another advantage of using a cast iron griddle for pancake cooking is that it is versatile. You can use it not only for pancakes but also for cooking other breakfast foods like eggs, bacon, and sausages. Additionally, you can use it for cooking other meals like grilled sandwiches, quesadillas, and even steaks.
Using a cast iron griddle for pancake cooking is also a healthier option. Unlike non-stick pans that can release harmful chemicals when heated, cast iron is a natural material that does not contain any harmful chemicals. It also requires less oil or butter for cooking, making your pancakes healthier and less greasy.
The benefits of using a cast iron griddle for pancake cooking.
Aside from producing perfect pancakes every time, there are plenty of other benefits to using a cast iron griddle for your cooking needs. For starters, cast iron is versatile and can be used on a variety of stovetop cooking surfaces, including gas, electric, and even induction. Additionally, cast iron is a non-stick surface when properly seasoned, which means you’ll be able to cook your pancakes without worrying about them sticking to the griddle. Cast iron is also great for searing meat and vegetables, making it a versatile kitchen tool.
Another benefit of using a cast iron griddle is that it is durable and long-lasting. With proper care and maintenance, a cast iron griddle can last for generations, making it a worthwhile investment for any home cook. Cast iron also heats evenly, which means your pancakes will cook evenly and consistently every time. This is especially important for achieving that perfect golden brown color and crispy texture.
Finally, using a cast iron griddle for pancake cooking is a healthier option compared to using non-stick pans. Non-stick pans are often coated with chemicals that can be harmful to your health when heated to high temperatures. Cast iron, on the other hand, is a natural material that does not release any harmful chemicals when heated. This makes it a safer and healthier option for cooking your favorite pancakes.
Choosing the right cast iron griddle for pancake cooking.
When choosing a cast iron griddle for pancake cooking, there are a few things to consider. The first is size. You’ll want a griddle that’s large enough to fit at least a few pancakes on at once, but not so large that it’s difficult to store. The second thing to consider is whether or not the griddle is pre-seasoned. Pre-seasoned griddles are already coated with a layer of oil, which means you can start cooking pancakes right away without having to season it yourself. Finally, consider the weight of the griddle. While cast iron is heavy by nature, you don’t want a griddle that’s so heavy that it’s difficult to move on and off the stove.
Another important factor to consider when choosing a cast iron griddle for pancake cooking is the shape of the griddle. Some griddles have a flat surface, while others have a slightly raised edge. The raised edge can be useful for containing any batter that may spill over the edge of the pancake. However, a flat surface may be more versatile for cooking other foods, such as eggs or bacon.
It’s also important to consider the maintenance required for your cast iron griddle. While pre-seasoned griddles require less maintenance, all cast iron griddles need to be properly cared for to prevent rust and maintain their non-stick surface. This may include regular seasoning, hand washing, and avoiding the use of harsh detergents or abrasive scrubbers.
Preparing your cast iron griddle for pancake cooking.
Once you’ve chosen your cast iron griddle, you’ll need to season it before use. To do this, wipe the griddle down with a few drops of vegetable oil, making sure to coat the entire surface. Then, place the griddle in the oven at 350 degrees for one hour. This will create a non-stick surface on the griddle that will prevent your pancakes from sticking as you cook them.
It’s important to note that you should never use soap or harsh detergents to clean your cast iron griddle. Instead, simply wipe it down with a paper towel or cloth after each use. If there are any stubborn bits of food stuck to the griddle, you can use a scraper or a stiff brush to remove them.
Another tip for cooking pancakes on a cast iron griddle is to preheat the griddle before adding the batter. This will ensure that the pancakes cook evenly and have a nice golden brown color. You can test if the griddle is hot enough by sprinkling a few drops of water on the surface. If the water sizzles and evaporates immediately, the griddle is ready to use.
How to make the perfect pancake batter for your cast iron griddle.
Now that your griddle is seasoned, it’s time to make the pancake batter. Start by whisking together 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour, 3 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat two eggs until light and fluffy, then add one and a quarter cups of milk and half a stick of melted butter. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter, as this can lead to tough pancakes.
For a twist on traditional pancakes, try adding some cinnamon or vanilla extract to the batter. You can also mix in some blueberries, chocolate chips, or chopped nuts for added flavor and texture. Just be sure to adjust the amount of milk accordingly, as these additions can make the batter thicker.
When cooking the pancakes on your cast iron griddle, make sure to preheat the griddle over medium heat for a few minutes before adding the batter. Use a ladle or measuring cup to pour the batter onto the griddle, and cook until bubbles form on the surface and the edges start to look set. Flip the pancake and cook for another minute or two on the other side, until golden brown. Serve with your favorite toppings, such as butter, syrup, or fresh fruit.
Tips and tricks for flipping pancakes on a cast iron griddle.
One of the most challenging parts of making pancakes is flipping them without creating a mess. To make flipping easier, use a large spatula to gently loosen the pancake from the griddle before flipping. Also, be sure to only flip the pancake once it’s set around the edges and has bubbles forming on top. If you try and flip it too early, the pancake might fall apart. Finally, beware of overcrowding the griddle as this can cause the pancakes to stick together and cook unevenly.
Another tip for flipping pancakes on a cast iron griddle is to use a non-stick cooking spray or butter to prevent the pancakes from sticking to the surface. This will also help to create a crispy outer layer on the pancakes. Additionally, if you want to add some extra flavor to your pancakes, try adding some vanilla extract or cinnamon to the batter before cooking.
It’s also important to note that the temperature of the griddle can affect the outcome of your pancakes. If the griddle is too hot, the pancakes may cook too quickly on the outside and remain raw on the inside. On the other hand, if the griddle is not hot enough, the pancakes may take too long to cook and become dry. It’s recommended to preheat the griddle to medium heat and adjust as needed throughout the cooking process.
How to keep your pancakes warm on a cast iron griddle while cooking the rest of the batch.
If you’re cooking a large batch of pancakes, you may find that they start to cool off before you’ve finished cooking them all. To keep your pancakes warm, place them on a baking sheet in a 200-degree oven while you finish cooking the others. This will keep them warm and prevent them from getting soggy as they sit.
Another way to keep your pancakes warm is to use a warming drawer if you have one. Simply place the cooked pancakes in the warming drawer and they will stay warm until you’re ready to serve them. This is a great option if you’re cooking for a large group and need to keep a lot of pancakes warm at once.
If you don’t have an oven or warming drawer, you can also keep your pancakes warm by covering them with a clean kitchen towel or aluminum foil. This will help to trap in the heat and keep them warm for a short period of time. However, this method may not be as effective as using an oven or warming drawer, so be sure to serve your pancakes as soon as possible to ensure they’re still warm and fluffy.
Creative pancake recipes to try on your cast iron griddle.
While traditional pancakes are always a crowd-pleaser, why not mix it up by trying some creative pancake recipes on your cast iron griddle? Try adding blueberries, chocolate chips or even bacon to the batter for a unique twist on the classic breakfast food. Or, experiment with different syrups like maple or honey for a tasty topping. The possibilities are endless!
If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try making savory pancakes? Mix in some herbs and spices like chives, garlic, or cumin to create a delicious and savory pancake that pairs perfectly with eggs and bacon. You can even add some shredded cheese or diced vegetables to the batter for an extra burst of flavor.
Don’t have a cast iron griddle? No problem! You can still make delicious pancakes on a regular non-stick pan. Just make sure to use a low to medium heat and flip the pancakes carefully to avoid burning them. And remember, the key to perfect pancakes is to not overmix the batter – a few lumps are okay!
Cleaning and maintaining your cast iron griddle after pancake cooking.
After you’re done making your pancakes, cleaning your cast iron griddle is easy. Simply rinse the griddle with hot water, being careful not to use soap as this can damage the seasoning. Then, use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to gently scrub away any food particles. Dry the griddle completely with a towel, then apply a thin layer of oil to the surface to prevent rusting. Store your cast iron griddle in a dry place until you’re ready to use it again.
In conclusion, if you want to make perfect pancakes every time, using a cast iron griddle is the way to go. From seasoning the griddle to choosing the perfect batter recipe to trying out unique pancake flavors, this guide has you covered on everything you need to know to become a master pancake chef. So grab your favorite pancake toppings, fire up the stove, and get cooking!