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The Ultimate Showdown: Stainless Steel vs Cast Iron Griddle

Justin Gonzalez
stainless steel vs cast iron griddle

Iron cast and stainless steel are two of the most popular metal materials used in making cookware. These two metals are used to make the best griddles.

Cast-iron skillets are popular for their exceptional heat retention. They provide a non-stick cooking surface that makes cooking less messy. Stainless steel griddles, on the other hand, are lightweight and easy to maintain. So, which is the best option?

In this showdown, we will compare everything about stainless steel and cast iron griddles. We will cover their advantages and disadvantages to assist you in deciding. 

Let's dive right in to determine which griddle will come out as the clear winner! 

Stainless Steel vs Cast Iron Griddle Comparison

Stainless Steel vs Cast Iron Griddle


Cast Iron Griddle

Stainless Steel Griddle

Heating Properties

Better heat distribution and retention

Faster and uneven heat distribution


Highly durable

Highly durable


Heavy and not portable

Lightweight and portable


Can rust if not well taken care of

Resistant to rust and easy to clean


Non-stick cooking surface

Prone to sticking if the surface is not seasoned

Cooking Abilities

Suitable for almost any heat source

Ideal for almost any heat source


Affordable and easily available

Abit expensive


Requires frequent maintenance 

Easy to clean, some are dishwasher safe

Cast Iron Griddle

Cast iron is an iron alloy with 2 to 4% carbon. This material is popular for cookware because of its durability, versatility, and heat retention capability. A cast iron griddle, therefore, is a heavy-duty cooking surface. 

Advantages of Cast Iron Griddle

Cast Iron Griddle

Perhaps the most obvious advantage of a cast iron griddle is its durability. Cast iron is hands down one of the most durable kitchenware materials. A cast iron griddle will last for generations if well taken care of. In fact, if it slips and falls, you should worry about the floor, not the griddle. A cast iron skillet can do everything from searing meats to cooking pancakes. 

Another notable advantage of cast iron griddles is that it holds heat well. It can also work well with most sources of heat. These include gas, electricity, induction, or open flame. You can also pop it into the oven. 

Cast iron griddles are also easy to clean. Lastly, it is an affordable option.

Disadvantages Cast Iron Griddle

With these many advantages, cast iron griddles have their fair share of downsides. First and most noticeable, it is a heavy option. The heavyweight also implies that it takes longer to heat. On the bright side, once heated, it can continue warming the food even without the heat source. 

Another disadvantage results from the choice of material. If not well taken care of, iron-cast kitchenware will rust. They can also add a metallic taste to your food if you do not clean it properly. 

Pros of Using Cast Iron Griddle

  • Excellent heat retention
  • Affordable 
  • Highly durable
  • Non-stick surface
  • Works well with a variety of heat sources

Cons of Using Cast Iron Griddle

  • Heavy
  • May rust if not well-taken care off

Stainless Steel Griddle

Stainless Steel Griddle

As you already know, a stainless steel griddle is a flat cooking surface made from stainless steel. This griddle is popular with professional chefs as well as home cooks. They come in different sizes, ranging from portable griddles to built-in units. 

Advantages of Using Stainless Steel Griddle

Like the cast iron griddle, a stainless steel griddle is highly durable. One of its key strengths is its rust resistance. This implies that it can last ages with proper care. Stainless steel griddle is also versatile. You can use it with almost any heat source. 

Unlike cast iron griddles, stainless steel heats up faster, but evenly. This makes it easy to use as you do not have to worry about preheating it before using it. 

Lastly, stainless steel griddles are easy to clean. Some models are even marked as dishwasher safe. 

Disadvantages of Using Stainless Steel Griddle

Stainless steel griddles are prone to sticking. This is particularly true if the surface is not well-oiled. This downside makes cooking food such as eggs or pancakes hard without using a lot of cooking oil. Also, considering the material, these griddles are often more costly than other alternatives.

Pros of Using Stainless Steel Griddle 

  • Highly durable 
  • Rust resistant
  • Does not alter the food taste
  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to clean
  • High-quality sear

Cons of Using Stainless Steel Griddle

  • Sticky 
  • Expensive

Comparison Between Cast Iron and Stainless Steel Griddles

Stainless Steel Griddle

There is no doubt that cast iron and stainless steel griddles are great. However, we all have preferences and may favor one over the other. Here is a comparison of stainless steel vs. cast iron griddles:

Comparison of Heating Properties

Heat Distribution and Retention

As mentioned earlier, cast iron griddles have better heat distribution and retention capability, while stainless steel griddles heat up faster but do not retail the heat for long.

Comparison of Durability

The two materials are quite durable. In fact, if well-taken care of, you may never have to buy another griddle.

Cast iron griddles, however, have an edge regarding durability. They can last generations. However, they are prone to rust. Stainless steel griddles do not rust. Instead, they tend to warp over time. 

Comparison of Maintenance Requirements

As you already know, the durability of a griddle relies heavily on maintenance. Cast iron griddles require more care for them to last a lifetime. First, they are prone to rust. They also require regular maintenance to retain their non-stick surface. 

Cast iron griddles, on the other hand, require minimal maintenance. All you have to do is regularly clean it and avoid exposing it to sudden temperature changes.

Comparison of Versatility

Stainless steel griddles take the title for versatility. You can use them for cooking anything from breakfast eggs to pancakes to meats and vegetables. Cast iron griddles are reactive. This means acidic foods such as sauces and wine may damage the surface. However, their heavy nature makes them ideal for searing meat.

Comparison of Price

Generally, cast iron griddles are more affordable. However, if we are to consider the maintenance cost, it will get really expensive with the time. Stainless steel griddles are more expensive at first, but they require minimal maintenance. 


Stainless Steel Griddle

The article above shows that cast iron and stainless steel griddles are of high quality. However, if we are to choose a winner, stainless steel griddles have a slight edge. Some of the advantages include minimal maintenance, lightweight, and versatility. Cast iron griddles take the title for durability. However, their reactive nature makes it critical to clean them frequently. 

So, which is the best griddle for you? It all depends on your needs. We hope you get the best griddle for your cooking needs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best material for a flat-top griddle?

It all depends on your preferences. The top materials are cast iron, stainless steel, and aluminum. Cast iron is highly durable, heavyweight, and has impressive heat retention. Stainless steel is easy to clean, dust resistant, and durable but sticky. Aluminum is lightweight and heats quickly, but not as durable as iron or steel. These three materials are all ideal for different circumstances. 

2. Are restaurant griddles stainless steel?

Most restaurant griddles are made of stainless steel. Other popular materials are cast iron and aluminum. The choice depends on the restaurant's cooking needs.

3. Do stainless steel griddles warp?

Yes, stainless steel can warp if you expose it to extreme temperatures. To prevent this, avoid uneven heating and sudden temperature changes. If you use a stainless steel griddle for your average cooking needs, it is unlikely to warp.

4. Why does stainless steel griddle turn black?

Stainless steel griddles may turn black due to a buildup of layers of burnt food particles. This will happen if you use it without properly cleaning it. A steel griddle can also turn black if you leave food on it too long. To retain that shiny silver color, always clean it after each use using a non-abrasive cleaner.

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