Food & Drink

Solo Stove’s Cast Iron Griddle Turned Me Into a Live Fire Cooking Master

I’m a lover of the outdoors. In my neighborhood of Chicago, there aren’t a ton of opportunities to hike or camp, to be sure, but I never pass up an opportunity to fire up the grill, use my outdoor pizza oven to throw some pies, or just kick back with a cocktail and light up a bonfire on the old Solo Stove. 

It never really occurred to me until recently to combine any of those endeavors, but when I saw that Solo Stove had multiple cooking accessories that pair with its fire pits, a lightbulb went off. I mean, I’ve watched the Francis Mallmann episode of Chef’s Table at least 10 times, so why wouldn’t I want to graduate from my Weber charcoal grill (which I still love, for the record) to Solo Stove’s Cast Iron Griddle for some straight-up live fire cooking? After all, this is my summer of s’mores, so why not just upgrade the whole rig?

Why Solo Stove? Having attended many parties and park visits where the popular fire pit was a main attraction, I’m a major fan of the brand. I have the Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0, which is one of the best things I own for its ease of use and portability. 

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0


I’ve used dozens, if not hundreds, of charcoal, gas, and live fire grills in my life, and I can honestly say cooking over the Solo Stove is not like anything else. The brand offers four cooking apparatuses: a cast iron griddle, grill, wok, and pizza oven., But, the coolest Solo Stove cooking accessory by far is also the most fun one to use: the cast iron griddle top. It basically lets you cook a la plancha, which is to say that you’re using a flat, metal grill directly over a fire. I’ve tried to use other griddles over fire in my backyard, but all my a la plancha dreams finally came to fruition when I used this.

Solo Stove Cast Iron Griddle Top


The cast iron griddle is heavy duty. Weighing in at almost 17 pounds, it’s a serious piece of equipment for people who want to get down and dirty with metal, fire, and oil. I say this because you have to use the Solo Stove Hub to elevate and secure the griddle over the fire after starting it, which takes a little legwork (don’t worry, you can also get the hub and the griddle together). But, it’s absolutely worth it for me.

Like any piece of cast iron worth its salt, you’ll start out by seasoning the griddle (the instructions basically have you coat it in oil and let it heat it for a while). I seasoned mine immediately before using it the first time, and the griddle handled food like I’d been cooking on it for 50 years. To get festive and kick things off in style, we cooked a bunch of recipes out of Francis Mallmann’s book Green Fire, and it was the blazing bacchanal I’d always dreamed of hosting (see photos here). Using only a splash of oil, I made smoky, smashed beets and cabbage steaks; we also grilled polenta slices and eggplant. Everything got beautifully charred and cooked through. I’ve since used it for burgers, hot dogs, and more.

Food & Wine / Adam Rothbarth

Solo Stove Cast Iron Grill Top


The grill is equally good — you still get that smoky vibe, but you’re also getting more direct heat and, by proxy, grill marks. I really love how the grates are slightly raised. Between that and the smooth cast iron, you’re not going to have to worry about food sticking like you might with conventional grills. When you might want different heat distribution, like while cooking corn, fish, or chicken, this is a great option (though the griddle could handle all of those as well). If you get both attachments, you’ll be absolutely unstoppable when it comes to grilling.

In the end, the Solo Stove’s griddle and grill attachments are incredible investments that can pay off for many, many years and meals to come. Personally, I’m excited to see how the griddle develops and seasons over time, as I have no doubt that each subsequent cook will be increasingly flavorful. Next, I just need to make sure my grilling tools are in order.

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