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Cast Iron

Why does my cast iron griddle make gradient pancakes?

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Why does my cast iron griddle make gradient pancakes?

Caviar | Jun 1, 2002 12:45 PM

I thought cast iron was supposed to be among the best conductors of heat (spreading the heat through the metal to create an even heating surface, rather than passing it through directly to the surface).

I don't really like teflon, so I recently ditched my square teflon (aluminum core) griddles in favor of a cast iron one (stainless seems not helpful, since they're very expensive and require a lot of butter/oil for griddly things like pancakes and eggs).

I was expecting it to perform very well, but no matter how I try, all of my pancakes come out looking like black and white cookies - well-done on one edge, white on the other (4 at a time - if I cook one big one in the middle, it comes out perfect). I've tried cooking fast over high heat, which makes them burned on one edge and uncooked on the other. I've tried preheating for 10 minutes and cooking over very low heat, which only succeeds in getting them brown on one edge and white on the other.

Is there a secret that I'm missing? I'm using a 12" round griddle on the largest burner on my stove.

Is it just too large for the burner? I find that a little hard to accept.

Do I need to use a heat diffuser? That seems a little like admitting defeat and I might as well switch back to an aluminum pan.

What's the story here?

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