One of the best ways to get a crispy, delicious, perfectly caramelized crust on meats and even grilled vegetables is to use a cast iron griddle. Griddles are also great for eggs, pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, and many other items.
There's no question that our favorite griddle is the Yoder Smokers Cast Iron Griddle. Thanks to the pre-seasoned cast iron with raised grill ridges on one side and a smooth non-stick surface on the other, this reversible griddle can cook with the best of them.
In this article, we will show you how to set up the YS480s or YS640s for cooking the perfect smash burger. We'll also show you how to take care of the griddle after the cook. And we'll even share our favorite burger recipe using the cast iron griddle so you can see the results for yourself.
Benefits of Using a Cast Iron Griddle
Cast iron is a great heat conductor. A good cast iron griddle offers unparalleled heat retention and gives even heat distribution which produces an amazing browning effect on everything it touches.
That crust is where the big flavor is! The flat surface area of a griddle also allows you to spread everything out to get as much food as possible on the griddle so cooking food for the whole family is easier.
Griddles allow fats and juices to stay on the cooking surface so they are infused back into the food. If you don't like your food sitting in the fat and juices, you can use the grill side with the raised grill ridges. Either way, your food is not losing any flavor in the cooking process. And that's why we love the Yoder Smokers cast iron griddle!
Setting Up the Cast Iron Griddle in the Yoder Smoker Pellet Grill
It's easy to set up the Yoder Smokers cast iron griddle. You want as much heat as possible to reach the underside of the griddle, so you're going to remove the entire diffuser plate and set up the Yoder Smokers cast iron griddle directly over the flame on the left side.
If you're cooking with a Yoder Smokers YS640s pellet grill, push the variable displacement damper all the way to the left to keep as much heat as possible under the griddle. Place your standard grill grates on the right side and install your second shelf.
We prefer the half-depth second shelf when using a griddle because it allows for easier access to the entire griddle. We usually set our grill temperature between 500 and 550. This keeps pellets feeding, which maintains constant heat on our griddle surface.
Cooking on the Cast Iron Griddle
Griddle cooking is usually hot and fast due to the intense heat. Keep in mind that your target is browned food, not burned so don't walk away from this cook.
Let your food cook long enough to form a crust on the bottom, then flip it over to brown the top as well. The more crust that's formed from contact with the griddle, the more flavor your food will have.
Caring For The Cast Iron Griddle
We hear from people all the time that they shy away from cooking with cast iron because they fear the care involved. We promise, it doesn't have to be that tough. Follow some pretty basic steps and your griddle will provide a lifetime of quality food. Trust us; The payoff is worth the effort.
Let your griddle cool first, then clean with hot water and a scouring pad or a cast iron pan scraper. Dry immediately. Next, heat the griddle again (so the pores in the metal will open) and apply a thin coat of oil. Use a cotton cloth (not a paper towel) to spread the oil and then wipe off any excess oil. Let your griddle cool and then store in a dry place until your next cook. Every time you re season your cast iron griddle, you are adding another layer of non-stick coating.
For an easy-to-follow video on how to care for the Yoder Smokers cast iron griddle, see below.
You can also read our article Take Care of Your Cast Iron Cookware Like A Pro for more advice on keeping your griddle and all of your other cast iron cookware in the best shape possible.
For even more information on the Yoder Smokers Cast Iron Griddle and to see it in action, see Chef Tom's Product Roundup video:
As promised, we've learned how to set up the Yoder Smokers Cast Iron Griddle, we've learned how to cook on it, and we've learned how to care for it. All we need now is something to cook on it. We have lots of recipes for cooking on the griddle, but one of our absolute favorites is the Oklahoma Onion Smash Burger.
Now go fire up the grill and start cooking! Your next best meal ever isn't going to cook itself! Do you have a great recipe using the Yoder Smokers Cast Iron Griddle? We would love to hear about it!