Cast Iron on the Grill

Cast iron is the most versatile cookware and is essential to our kitchen, it’s our daily go-to.  Over time, and with more use, your cast iron pot or pan will become seasoned and is as efficient as “non-stick” cookware. They’re cost effective, especially considering their longevity. With proper care, your cast iron cookware will last you your whole life and can be passed down for generations.  In this Lodge article are some tips to help with your initial seasoning of your cast iron, plus ways to properly clean your cast iron.  Note:  Never put your cast iron in the dishwasher unless it is fully enameled.  You will want to check with your particular brand before using enameled cast iron on the grill.
 
Dealing with cast iron, you will want to ensure you have quality BBQ grill gloves for handling the very hot cast iron.  A link to article on grill gloves can be found here.
 
In this article, we’ll be listing five different non-enameled cast iron pieces. On each, we’ll cover some general uses and how to use them on the grill. Let’s get started!
 
Product Uses
7-Quart Cast Iron Pot with Lid 
  • Stews/Chili/Soups
  • Braising
  • Frying
  • Baking Bread

Cast Iron Reversible 20″ x 10″ Griddle

 

  • Breakfast (Bacon, eggs, pancakes)
  • Burgers
  • Steaks

Cast Iron Dual Handle Pan, 12″

 

  • Deep Dish Pizza
  • Quiche/Frittatas
  • Sautéing
  • Burgers
Cast Iron Skillet 10.25″
  • Burgers
  • Sautéing
  • Sauces
  • Pan-frying
Cast Iron Griddle 10.5″
  • Fried eggs
  • Pancakes
  • Quesadillas
  • Paninis
  • Patty Melts
 
Uses:
  • Baking bread
  • Chilis and Stews
  • Braising
  • Deep frying
The dutch oven should be a staple in any kitchen. You can do anything from bake bread to cook stew to braise chicken on with this pot. The thick cast iron walls offer superior heat retention when braising meats like chicken or short ribs, or slow-cooking a roast leaving them tender and juicy. This would be a great purchase for any family or busy person in need of a pot for cooking easy one-pot meals in the oven. Although you cannot compare a slow cooker to a dutch oven, if you have the time and choice, the flavor the cast iron dutch oven imparts is unparalleled.
 
On the grill, this one may have less usage, but you can always throw it on your grill or wood stove to boil water, heat oil for frying, or even bake bread! Use your imagination and get creative!
 
A cast-iron dutch oven is also a must-have camping tool, as you can cook almost anything in it. From soups and stews to sausages and bacon, this pot will get the job done. Camping is all about practicality and resourcefulness, and the multi-faceted dutch oven is just that!
 

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Uses:
  • Breakfast
  • Burgers
  • Camping
The double-sided griddle is a very unique and fascinating piece of cast-iron equipment. On one side, you have a flat, smooth surface. Flip it over and you have a ridged surface, resembling a grill grate. This griddle is designed to fit over two of your stove burners, creating a long griddle for cooking multiple types of food at once. Of course, you can also put it on the grill for the same effect.
 
On the smoother side, you can easily cook several eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, or toast. It’s an ideal breakfast companion. On the ridged side, you can make burgers, patty melts, or grilled chicken.
 
A trick for reducing hot or cold spots on this griddle is to slowly pre-heat it while you’re prepping your food. This will slowly bring the griddle up to temperature and heat the entire griddle evenly.
 

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Uses:
  • Deep Dish Pizza
  • Quiche
  • Frittatas
  • Desserts
The dual-handle cast-iron pan is a perfect addition to your kitchen for its unique versatility alone. This pan is roughly two-inches deep and a foot in diameter. You can use this pan on the grill just as easily as you can in your oven or on your stovetop.
 
We love this pan specifically for quiches or deep dish pizzas. If you’ve never grilled a quiche or a pizza, this is the pan to try it with. The depth allows for a good rise on your quiche, and the diameter is the perfect size for a pizza. The cast iron enriches the quiche or pizza due to its natural seasoning and adds a terrific char on your crust.
 

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Uses:
  • Pizza
  • Quiche
  • Stir Fry
  • Fried rice
  • Sautee Veggies
The cast iron skillet is the Swiss Army Knife of cast iron! This cast iron skillet is very similar to the dual-handled pan reviewed above, but its sizing is slightly smaller. In diameter it’s 10.5” and depth is slightly less than 2”. What we like about this pan over the dual-handled pan is the long assist handle. This makes maneuverability easier, which comes in handy when cooking foods like fried rice or stir fry. This would also be a great pan for meat sauces or gravy.
 
On the grill, the long singular handle makes for easier handling, but it could get in the way of the lid if you have other food grilling. It’s a matter of how you choose to use the pan. This skillet works equally well as the dual-handled pan on the grill.
 
This would also make an excellent camping companion, as it is deep enough to hold whatever you want to cook while camping, but not as deep as a dutch oven. Secondly, the single handle makes it easier to move it on and off the fire.
 

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Uses:
  • Breakfast (toast, fried eggs, omelets, ham)
  • Sandwiches
  • Patty Melts
  • Tortillas
The round griddle is one of our personal favorite pieces of kitchen equipment, cast iron or not. The round pan has a small ridge on the edges to prevent anything from spilling over. It is shallow enough to not interfere with your spatula when you need to flip or remove what you’re cooking. It heats very evenly, and is very versatile. This pan is perfect for breakfast (pancakes, omelets, eggs, bacon), lunch (sandwiches, quesadillas) and dinner (burgers, patty melts). Throw it on the grill to add that classic charcoal flavor.
 

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Conclusion: 

All these pans are versatile, strong, and of superior quality.  If you are new to cast iron, start with the basic skillet, then to the dutch oven.   A few benefits to remember about cast iron:
 
  • Once seasoned, it as well or even better than traditional non-stick cookware
  • Easy to clean (A few personal favorite handy tools:  Chainmail Scrubber, Plastic Scraper, or Scrub Brush)
  • Tough as nails, but can be used for delicate meats
  • Cast Iron is a safe cookware
  • Versatility…Grill, Cooktop, Campfire, Oven (No microwave use; not dishwasher safe)  
While grilling with cast-iron may seem like only a camping use, it can also be an endeavor born out of necessity (if your power goes out or your stove/oven has issues), more importantly it can also be a fun way to spice up your cooking life. Using cast iron on the grill can be a great alternative to turning your oven on in the summer or stinking up the house with frying.  Try using your cast iron on this grill this week and get creative!
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Brian Canada

Brian Canada

Founder and creator of Big Grillin. Since early adulthood, Brian has enjoyed grilling and smoking a variety of foods. Brian’s mission is to share his grilling knowledge and help others enjoy grilling as much as he does.

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