We are often asked the question of why in the store we practically only have griddles, grills and iron grills. That is why we have made this complete guide to find out why it is important to use an iron grill if what we really want is to GRILL, since there is no color in the results of using grills, pans and iron grills when grilling, versus doing it in a nonstick skillet or grill. You will also see tips to be able to choose between the different types of irons that exist.

Next you will see:

  • Why you need an iron kitchen grill to really griddle
  • The great benefits of cooking in iron
  • Types of iron grills that exist
  • Buy a round or square grill
  • Reasons to choose between a smooth griddle or a ribbed griddle
  • When you may be interested in cooking on a non-stick griddle
  • How To Use Iron Grills: Tips For Cooking On Iron

1. Why a grill, frying pan or iron plate to make a griddle

When you grill, what you want is to quickly seal the food to retain all the juice inside and roast the meat, vegetables or fish in a few minutes, also taking on that grilled flavor so characteristic of a good barbecue.

To do this, to seal and really roast, what you need is TEMPERATURE: a lot of temperature to seal in a second.

And how to get that high temperature? With iron. Only with an iron plate you will achieve the high temperatures you require for a good barbecue (with non-stick grills, you will never achieve the same temperature, it is a physical issue of the materials themselves). Iron can be made red hot!

Le Creuset iron grills and griddles

Le Creuset iron plates .

2. Other ADVANTAGES of cooking in iron

  1. By quickly sealing with iron, food releases virtually no juices, so all the flavor is concentrated inside.
  2. The juices that are released evaporate quickly, due to the temperature of the iron. In a non-stick frying pan or grill, the food is rather boiled precisely for this reason: the juices are released because you are not able to seal correctly, and that liquid that remains on the grill does not evaporate and boils the meat instead of really grilling it.
  3. An iron utensil is for life, literally!
  4. You should not put non-stick grills on high heat because you burn the non-stick (and it becomes harmful to health, so you will never be able to make a good griddle for that same reason), and with time and washing they lose properties, they get scratched and they have to change.
  5. Most cast iron pans are all cast iron parts, making them fully oven safe . Do you know what you can do on iron grills besides using them as a griddle? From roasting a chicken in the oven to some potatoes, spreading a pizza base on them and baking a delicious pizza in the purest Italian style, making puff pastry pies also baked, making bread and galettes, making cookies that will brown in no time. An iron plate is an ideal base for the oven to cook dough , for the same reason that it is a good griddle: the iron in the oven will take a lot of heat, and will cook the dough in a moment leaving crispy crusts and fabulous baking.

Le Creuset iron grills

3. Types of iron grills and how to choose

Broadly speaking, we can classify iron grills according to 3 characteristics:

3.1. Iron grills according to the iron of their construction:

  • Vitrified cast iron skillets and griddles: Le Creuset skillets and griddles are griddles that have been made by pouring molten iron (liquid iron) into sand molds, cooled, and given a protective glaze. from oxidizing and also helps prevent food from sticking. They are more expensive than other iron plates, but their design, construction, being able to clean them without having to dry them immediately and that help that the vitrified gives you so that food does not stick a little, if you can afford it, it is worth it. They are grills with a lifetime guarantee (Isn't everything said?). An investment that you make only once, in a plate that you will have intact for life.
Regardless of the shape, it's the same to griddle in a vitreous-iron skillet pan as it is on a round or square vitreous-iron grill - you'll be cooking on exactly the same surface.
  • De Buyer Grills and Pans: You can griddle on De Buyer's Mineral B iron . Regardless of whether we are talking about Mineral B pans, grills, crepes or paella pans, you will be roasting on an iron plate that has been shaped with the help of a press, and a layer of beeswax 100 is applied. % natural, which will help to a certain extent so that they do not rust and do not stick in the first uses, until a natural patina is generated.
They are somewhat lighter than vitrified iron plates, they are cheap (more considering that they will also last you a lifetime), but it is somewhat easier for food to stick to you and they can rust easily. What does that mean? That you have to be careful: cook according to the instructions for use and be patient the first two days of using them, until you get used to them, and above all avoid humidity, drying them immediately after cleaning them. They are 100% natural, they turn black with use due to natural protection being generated and that makes them more authentic and easier to use each time. They are the pans as they have always been known.
  • Other griddles and iron pans: New concepts are coming out that are worth considering, such as WMF's Fusiontec griddles and frying pans . They are still 100% natural grills, which have been built with the fusion at high temperatures of iron and other minerals that give them a natural non-stick coating throughout. They are modern, beautiful and with a 10-year guarantee.

NOTE: All of them are iron plates, 100% natural, free of chemicals, suitable for all types of fires (they also induce wonderfully) and that will last you a lifetime.

iron grills

Le Creuset Skillet Frying Pan and De Buyer Iron Grill

3.2. Smooth or ribbed iron: Why choose an iron with stripes or when smooth

You can grill on a smooth griddle or grill or on the classic grill with a grated bottom.

  • Stretch marks help you:

  • That the meat is marked with the classic grill grates
  • That the food sticks less, because there is less contact surface between the food and the plate
  • That the air circulates under the food, generating a caramelization effect of the juices that are released and achieving the purest and most authentic touch of the grill.

The big con is that it is more difficult and entertaining to clean them.

The most popular of these are Le Creuset 's round , rectangular , and drop-handle grills.

  • The smooth grills

The smooth ones have the great advantage of being very quick to clean, and they are also more versatile: often we do not dare to cook certain fish on the ribbed grills, and above all, as they are suitable for the oven, on a smooth grill you can also make cookies , puff pastry tarts and baked pizzas, which due to their cracks you won't do as well on a fluted grill.

Unless, above all, you are going to cook meat, you are a purist of making meat with that more authentic caramelization effect, you care a lot about the aesthetics of the stripes and you are not lazy about cleaning, we highly recommend smooth grills , they really are more practical when it comes to cleaning and using.

3.3. Choose a round, square or rectangular grill

The usual shape of the stove is round, so the most optimal way to start is to choose a round grill for a homogeneous distribution of temperature, since a radial distribution is made and thus the entire surface and sides will be heated at the same time. If the size of round grills suits you, it's a great option. In addition, Le Creuset's best-selling griddle, the smooth round griddle , is already very wide, at 32cm in diameter; or the so popular Skillet pan , in which you will undoubtedly grill, it also exists in many diameters.

But if there are many of you at home or you usually cook a large amount of food, you will need a larger rectangular grill . Also in case you want to use the iron often to make pizzas and rectangular cakes, or as a baking tray. Those will be the cases in which a rectangular grill is recommended. The most popular of these are the Le Creuset Deep Grill with Handles and the Le Creuset Tradition .

Round or rectangular grill

    Rectangular grills with folding handle (also in square ), round grill and Le Creuset square skillet pan

    When to use a nonstick griddle

    On some occasions we do recommend non-stick grills, it will be above all:

    • In case of not being able to take a lot of weight and look for a lighter grill. Especially for the elderly or people with physical difficulties, they see a benefit in choosing a non-stick grill. We highly recommend the Infinity grill from BRA , with ultra-reinforced coating and very wide, it's a great non-stick grill.

    It must be said, if this is the case, that if you are looking to grill on a light but 100% natural surface, then what is recommended is to use a stainless steel pan .

    • To make white fish and for softer cooking: it is difficult for white fish not to crumble when grilled, so for this we can recommend a non-stick grill. Although if this is the case, I'll give you a trick: use an iron grill but place a baking paper on top, placing the fish on top. You will be able to take advantage of the high temperature of the iron to make the fish, using a 100% natural surface.

    fish grills

    BRA Infinity Grill and Le Creuset Flip Handle Iron Grill

    How To Use Iron Grills: Tips For Cooking On Iron

    • Cast iron grills will spread the heat fantastically, but put them on low heat up front to give it time to spread the heat out to the ends of the grill. When everything is hot, you can put the fire to the maximum.
    • The iron first grabs the meat and then releases it. That's why if you try to turn the food on the grill and see that it's sticking, it's raw. Do not insist, wait a few more minutes and try again. It may be stuck at some point, but turning the meat when it's sealed shouldn't cost you - when you see that you can do it, it's time.
    • Iron is ideal for meats, vegetables and oily fish. White fish requires gentle cooking, and it is the only thing that will be appropriate to do in non-stick (so that it does not stick or crumble). Despite this, you can also grill white fish on the iron grill: place a piece of parchment paper on top of the grill and place the fish on top.
    • The iron grills do not scratch, you can handle the food with all kinds of utensils, from tongs to iron spatulas.

    Remember that you will find all the griddles, grills and skillets that we have talked about in our Grills and Grills section .

    Claudia Ferrer

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