A Truly Enjoyable New Years' Resolution
Screw waiting in line for the treadmill at the YMCA. A new cast iron griddle is guaranteed to make 2020 better for you.
Landmark studies conducted by the Midwestern Center of Judgmentalism (disclaimer, I am a founding member) show that over 99% of people who join a gym on New Years stop going altogether by March 1st. Several billion dollars are wasted on upfront registration fees as well as sturdy yet ugly workout shoes that you will never wear in public. Don't be Peloton Mom! Stop the cycle of madness! If you want to make a real difference in your life, make your food tastier in 2020 by cooking with cast iron!
People have been cooking with cast iron skillets for over a thousand years. Since, um, the Iron Age to, well, the Teflon Age, that's all there really was. By Y2K or so, cast iron was pretty much scorned in favor of aluminum pans coated with non-stick chemicals. But, between the popularity of some faux-rustic teevee presenters and people's concerns about exactly how much of the 'non-stick' materials was actually getting into our food, cast iron is back in its blackened, hard-to-clean glory. Most likely your grandma had a set, and it is just waiting for you to find it in your parents' attic, take it home and vastly improve your culinary skillz.
But, even then, there are considerations.
A cast-iron skillet in its happy place
Does not that fried bacon, prepared outside over a fire, look absolutely delicious right now? I mean, right now, since no doubt you've just started your 2020 New Years' Diet? Problem is, at least in my domicile, all that smoking bacon aroma and bacon grease popping on my wife's range-top sends her in psychopathic rage! HULK SMASH! HULK CLEAN!!
Don't even tell me to bake it in the oven. Then it splatters all over the oven walls! A fate even worse than a sloppy rangetop. I could spend $3,000 on an industrial overhead vent or an outdoor kitchen except oh yeah, I don't have it. So, in my particular case, my precious set of hand-me-down pre-seasoned iron beauties are basically useless. Thus, I am not suggesting you rifle through your parents' attic for your granny's hand-me-downs, or God forbid buy new pans, whose preparation alone is a whole another topic best tackled by a 20 minute James May video.
There is a solution. Just go buy one of these:
This is what I have at home. 28 inch wide surface. Suitable for dinner parties of 4-5 people.
From the Industrial Cooking Complex comes the portable cast iron griddle, which solves all of your current cooking woes. These inexpensive buggers feature a easy-care cast iron grilling surface as well as efficient propane operation. I had one a few years back, and used it twice because the top was poorly designed. Grease drained onto my patio instead of the grease catcher. But for 2019, a redesigned top sent the grease to its proper home, making this pretty much foolproof.
I have already declared that this is the proper way to cook hot dogs and all other sausages. Some say this is the best way to cook burgers, too. It does a superb job on vegetables. I use mine for fajitas, stir frys, and big pancakes, eggs & bacon breakfasts. Anything you can cook in a cast iron skillet will cook just fine on here, outside with God's ventilation system, no kitchen splatter, no need to tend a campfire, no need to spend 3 grand.
But I have a huge Agrarian Age family. That grill doesn't look big enough.
36 inch surface, four burners. They make them bigger but the price tag jumps significantly.
But I live in an apartment or flat with a postage stamp balcony.
17 and 22 inch models available, with optional stand
But, but...steaks and chops dry out and taste like butt. Now what?
I just saw this and OMG I want my very own today!
The left side grated part uses charcoal; the right side uses propane!