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A Family Member Weighs In

stove-top cast iron griddle/grill

A couple of days after getting my new website up and running, I received a long e-mail from my brother Richard complimenting me on my work, and offering up a suggestion. He spent time on my site, perusing the recipes, looking at the books on my shelf, and thumbing through my Favorite Kitchen Tools.

He said, “Diane, remember you suggested that I buy a cast-iron stove-top griddle for baking my English muffins? Well, you didn’t put it on your site and I think you should. It’s a great tool.”

Richard loves to bake bread, make pizza, and, in general, work with dough. Making homemade English muffins is his new passion. I can attest to their goodness as I had one for breakfast on my last visit.

While it works to use a large, cast-iron skillet when making small batches of English muffins, for larger-scale production it really helps to have a bigger surface.  This cast-iron griddle conveniently fits over two burners, allowing the baker to cook twice as many muffins. But this pan does so much more than just English muffins.

I own this incredibly useful piece of equipment and use it regularly. My reversible grill/griddle is at least fifteen years old. The griddle side is perfect for pancakes or French toast, as well as for English muffins. Flip the griddle over and you have a two-burner indoor grill pan. It’s better than a single-burner grill pan because it can hold more food. I use it when it’s raining outside and I don’t feel like standing under an umbrella to grill. Consider it when you want to grill foods that tend to fall through the grill grates on outside grills–vegetables such as asparagus, onions, peppers, and zucchini. In addition, shrimp and scallops, along with boneless chicken breasts, are ideal on an indoor grill. Certainly, a steak can be done on an indoor grill, but there is an issue of splattering, so for steaks and larger cuts of meat, I prefer to grill them outside.

It works for panini-style sandwiches, too. Especially, if you invest in a rectangular or round, cast-iron grill press.  Here’s where you save money and space. You don’t need an electric panini maker when you have a grill pan and grill press.

One piece of equipment does it all and will last a lifetime with proper care. That’s what I think about when I’m stocking my kitchen.


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