Since we have been making a lot of pancakes lately, I decided I would like a big double burner griddle. After doing some research I settled on a large cast iron griddle that came pretty highly recommended. It produced decent pancakes this past weekend; however it definitely takes some adjustment after my being used to cooking on some pretty standard non-stick pans.
First of all, the heat needs to come way down to cook on these things. The cast iron distributes and retains the heat pretty well so I had the burners at 3 and 3.5 (we have higher BTUs on the front burner). The pancakes stay on the griddle a bit longer, but cook evenly at this low heat. With the frying pan I had settled in at about 4.5 to cook the pancakes.
There are some funky things about dealing with cast iron. For example, the method of cleaning: No soap. If you use soap you pretty much blow the cooking surface for the next 20 uses until it is seasoned again. I have to admit, that to the extent I like cleaning… I like doing it with soap. While this hot water approach has a slight aspect of hygiene, it strikes me as the type of cleaning more suitable for people who bathe monthly and eat with sticks.
One final note of interest on the cast iron is that before putting it away the entire cooking surface should be coated in vegetable oil. I will continue to give this a try; but if the continued use of cast iron freaks me out, it may be making its way up to craigslist.