Ribbed vs. Flat Cast Iron Skillet: Which Is Better?



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Ever since people started using skillets, there has been a debate on which is better between a flat and a ribbed skillet. There are many differing opinions from meat lovers. Many households today have a skillet as the grilled food becomes more popular. The type of skillet you choose will play a big part on how your food will taste.

So, which is better between a ribbed and flat skillet? The best answer to this question will depend on your needs. Before coming to a decision you need to consider several factors. The main difference between ribbed and flat skillets is the surface. Flat cast iron skillets are easy to clean because of the surface. On the other hand, ribbed skillets separate food cooking juices from the ingredients, and this ensures the food is grilled, not poached, or stewed.

Read on the article to find out the pros and cons of each skillet, what you should use each for and some of the related questions.

Ribbed Skillets

The ribbed skillets (see Amazon) are becoming popular with each passing day. Though you will not get the same flavor on your food as you would with an outdoor grill, they are a great addition to your kitchen. Below are some of the pros and cons of a ribbed skillet.


  • The grill marks are nice. Your food will look like its grilled, and it will have dents which are satisfyingly crusty.
  • If your model fits over two burners, then you will get a large surface area. You will be able to cook many kabobs, vegetables, and chicken breasts at a go.
  • If your skillet is reversible and it flips over to become a griddle, you can make bacons and a lot of pancakes.
  • The ridges will allow fat to flow off from the layer of meat. It is just the same way it would between the grates of your grill. This ensures your burger does not boil in its own juices.
  • Most of the ribbed skillets heat evenly because of their weight.


  • You cannot use wood chips, charcoal, hence no outdoorsy flavor
  • It is hard to cook meat thoroughly before the outside is burned or dry.
  • When you cook a lot of meat over high temperatures, there will be a lot of smoke in the kitchen
  • It is hard to clean and store the skillets

Flat Cast Iron Skillets

Cast iron skillets (see Amazon) are ideal for baking and frying foods to perfection. When you season them properly, they are almost perfect for non-stick cooking as well as baking inside the oven. Though they are quite heavy, it is worth the extra muscle power one takes to use them.


  • Due to their versatility and durability, there is no iron that is absorbed during cooking.
  • They display your food properly especially when you are cooking pies or bread.
  • Cast iron is tough and as such, it is hard to ruin.
  • Once the skillet is hot, it stays that way for a long time. It will keep food warm as it holds on to the heat.
  • Cast irons are quite affordable.


  • Cast iron skillets are prone to rust
  • They are poor conductors of heat. Though it is good at retaining heat it is not as good in transmitting heat. It will heat unevenly if you are using a burner that is smaller than the skillets itself.
  • Cast iron skillets are heavy and this makes it awkward to maneuver.
  • The handles are bound to get hot and hence it becomes hard to handle them.

Where Can You Use Your Skillet?

You can use your skillet virtually anywhere. You can use it on the stove inside your home, or outside over a beautiful campfire. Moreover, you can set it right over the grates of the back porch grill. You just need to set your skillet on a flat surface and you are ready to cook pancakes, eggs, sausages, and hash browns.

What’s more, you can use the skillets inside a grill if you want a stable area to cook your vegetables and keep them from falling through the grates.

How to Take Good Care of your Skillet

Caring and cleaning a flat and ribbed skillet is the same. As with any other kitchen appliance, the key is to keep it seasoned and clean. After you finish cooking, do not let foods sit on the surface of your skillets. Make sure you store the leftovers in another container.

Are flat cast iron skillets safe to use?

Absolutely, they are safe to use as long you observe the normal cooking temperatures. They also offer a healthy way to cooking as they retain heat.

How much should a ribbed skillet cost?

The price ranges from $30 to $300. The price varies depending on the material and the uses.

See Also:
Pan Fry Vs Grill Steak: Which Is Better
Should You Poke Holes In Steak Before Grilling
How to Light a Gas Grill without Ignitor (5 Steps)
Can You Use A Grill Pan On An Electric Stove

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