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Cast Iron Skillet Vs Griddle Cooking (Only One Winner?)

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You love your cast-iron cooking, but maybe you are now wondering if the outdoor griddle hype is worth it over your cast-iron cooking? Well, there are a few considerations to take in and we will lay them out.

Have you ever found yourself wondering about what the differences between a cast iron skillet and a griddle are? I did the other day and just like I always do when I ask myself these questions, I make sure I get to the bottom of it quickly so that you don’t have to.

It’s both a blessing and a curse. Anyway, back to the point I want to make. There are a few differences between the two types of the pan that I think it’s good to know.

Whether you’re looking to purchase one and you’re unsure of which one works best, or you have both already and don’t know which one to use for the next food task you’ve got in your itinerary, I’m hoping this article will work for you.

I’ll look at the major differences between the two, as well as which instances require which pan to work the best.

The Pros And Cons

Let’s start with the most important of all then shall we? Whenever I come to a post that’s talking about comparison, I usually find myself waiting for the pros and cons list, so I figured I’d get it out of the way first and then elaborate later!

First things first. The size is the biggest pro and con based on which pan you’re talking about. The cast-iron skillet comes in a much smaller size than the griddle, which is considered to be a con in my book.

However, the griddle being larger isn’t just a pro. It can be a con too, especially if you’re planning on using the griddle inside. Its larger size will require more than one burner to operate, which can cause a few issues I’ll get to later.

Then there’s the difference between the heat. The skillet being relatively small in size has a pro in this department. The heat is easily distributed across the whole surface and takes very little time to reach the required temperature.

The griddle, however, can be seen more like a con. Being slightly larger makes the heat a little more inconsistent and it can end up with hot and cold zones that can impact the meat or veg being grilled on it.

The Size Difference

Well, as I’ve already said, the griddle wins when you think about the size of the two pans. Most griddles are designed to be about twice as large as the skillet (often in length rather than in overall size).

That means there’s plenty of room to cook as much as you want on the griddle. I would recommend anyone who needs to cook quite a lot of meat or veg at once to use a griddle over a skillet to save themselves the time.

A skillet is obviously a lot smaller. They’re only about as big as a single burner on your stove. They’re also usually designed for indoor cooking (though I must stress that they can still be used on a BBQ if you desire).

This smaller size means they’ll only really be able to cook one cut of steak or one burger patty at a time.

While this can work well for one person, and I will admit that the skillet cooks them just as well as a griddle, if you need more than one or two pieces, you’ll find yourself cooking meat over and over again and wasting loads of time.

So, if you’re going to make your decision based on size, then the griddle is usually always the winner.

Unless you don’t plan on cooking for multiple people or having multiple cuts of meat yourself, the griddle is just more efficient as producing more food than the skillet can. There is just a bit too much restriction on the skillet.

Sometimes, even a cut of steak can be a little too large for a standard skillet, and there’s nothing worse than having the two ends of your perfect steak pressed up against the sides of a pan while you’re trying to sear it.

The Heating Difference

There isn’t much of a difference in the heat for either of the pans. Both of them are usually made from a cast iron material, meaning that it’ll heat up in much the same way and it’ll tend to keep up with the temperature of the burner underneath it.

The skillet is smaller, so it will generally heat up to the desired temperature much quicker than the griddle, which works incredibly well for people looking to cook something quickly.

The griddle is larger and therefore comes with its own issues with heating. It usually requires two burners to operate it because of its superior length to the skillet, but using two burners means that it might not end up being very consistently heated.

I don’t recommend touching your griddle to check (seriously, don’t do that), but if you were able to press your skin against it while it was heating, you’d notice some very obvious differences in the metal as you touch it!

You’d usually find that the middle of the griddle (hey, that rhymed) is much hotter than the edges ever reach.

This could lead to inconsistent cooking times and will mean that you’ll want to bring the most important meats into the center while letting everything else sit on the side and just hoping that it’ll heat up eventually. It’s not the most efficient way to cook.

That being said, given enough time (and finding the perfect positioning), the griddle can still be heated very well and the heat is the perfect temperature to cook your meats exactly as you need them.

However, if I was to look at the differences in heating objectively, I’d have to give the point to the skillet for being a little more efficient overall.

The Winner

If I had to sum it up, the griddle is easily the best choice for anyone that requires a lot of food to be cooked quickly (mostly in a BBQ or party setting). There isn’t really any competition in the matter, the griddle is just the best choice!

A good balance between them both would be the Steelmade USA stovetop griddles, they let you dabble in griddle cooking without needing to fully invest in a Blackstone Griddle. Plus, they are made in America, go to Steelmade USA here and check them out!


Well, there you have it. I’ve taken a look at the most pressing differences between the two pans so that you can get a good idea of which works best for you.

However, that doesn’t mean that a cast iron skillet is useless. It still has plenty of good about it. I’d recommend the skillet for anyone just looking to cook a little something for themselves from the comfort of their own home.

They can get it done quickly for you and the food will be just as high quality as it would be on a griddle.


Lover of the outdoors and great food. If I'm not in my backyard cooking up a feast, I'm deep in the backcountry camping....and cooking up a feast! Follow along and let's create something great.