Happy Day Griddle/Grill Best Giddle I Have Ever Used, Period.

In one of my first posts I discussed pots and pans, see it here. I said that a good place to get your more expensive pots and pans was at Goodwill. Well another great place to get some of the best cooking pans is from your mother. Well at least my mother.

I can’t speak for every body’s mother. But my mom was a great cook, even though her entire spice repertoire was salt and pepper, oh and maybe a little paprika for goulash.

Well I stopped over the other day to say hello and help her with her annual junk fest she calls a garage sale. I was moving stuff around when I spied the Happy Day Griddle-Grill that had been in our family’s kitchen since I could remember.

I quickly grabbed it a said “you’re not getting rid of this are you? To which she replied something about “that old thing”

“Exactly ‘that old thing'” I said. That great old cast iron griddle had created so many pancakes, French toast and grilled cheese sandwiches that I cannot begin to guess the number.

She replied that she had had the giddle since around 1945, right around the time my oldest brother Bob was born. Well that makes the griddle about 62 years old. Can you imagine selling away 62 years of family cooking history, well I couldn’t. I snatched the griddle and put it directly into my car and brought it home.

When I reached my own family dwelling I produced the cherished family heirloom of cookery and my wife blurted out “where did you get ‘that old thing’?” To which I said, “‘This old thing’ is perhaps the best griddle I have ever used.” She eyed me as if I were crazy and continued about her business.

Well to make a long story short, I know too late, she tried the Happy Day Griddle-grill and has been hooked ever since.

I have tried to find out a little more about the Happy Day Griddle-Grill but hit a complete dead end on the internet. I even checked the patent office I found a similar griddle patented in 1956 but it was from the Wm B Watkins Co. All that means is that Billy Boy probably patented a design that was already out there, because mine comes from Perma-Cast Corp. Racine Wis.

I guess will never know. But I do know that nothing cooks like my Happy Day Griddle Grill!

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63 Comments

63 Responses to “Happy Day Griddle/Grill Best Giddle I Have Ever Used, Period.”

  1. phoenix says:

    omg! i have my mother’s too! mine is one of the wm b watkins ones, but it looks identical to yours (only cleaner). maybe the company was sold?

    i LOVE this griddle-grill. is it really cast iron? i stumbled onto your site trying to find out what it’s made of.

  2. Chef Benwa says:

    Only Cleaner!?!? That is years of love and cooking goodness. If you clean it too much it loses it’s “season”. My grandma Buzas had cast iron pans that she never washed.

    I’m pretty sure it’s cast iron, either that or cast aluminum. But it seems rather heavy for aluminum. The only mention of it on the web I found was in news paper archives as advertisements.

  3. Fan1 says:

    I would very much like to buy one, any sellers out there or suggestions where to find one?
    We share one at a family vacation house (not sure which vintage, will check next time). I would really like to find one for my husband to have all his own–we all love it.

  4. Dolfan says:

    I’ve been using my happy day griddle for my forty years of marriage. My mother used one and, I’m quite sure, ordered one through a catalog for me. I’ve been looking for a replacement(even asked the Vermont Store for their help) but have never found it. No griddle has measured up. And , yes, it’s use conjures up many happy memories.

  5. Chef Benwa says:

    I’m not sure where you might be able to purchase one of these. I had the hardest time finding any info about the Happy Day Griddle/Grill. Other than it was produced by a couple different companies and is no longer in production.

    You will most likely need to keep an eye out on eBay and other such outlets. When I do a Google search I am pointed towards eBay but every time the Griddle/Grill is already gone.

    Good luck with your hunt,
    Chef Benwa

  6. jane says:

    Just brought home my moms and can’t wait to try it out again. This one is made by the Wm. B. Watkins Co. Evanston, ILL. It was popular in my house with hamburgers on the grill side. It’s not cast iron, I believe it might be cast aluminum. If any one finds an extra I want it, I need to get it for my sister, other wise I’ll have to share this with her.

  7. Rich says:

    I have two of the griddles, I use them all the time. I can remember when my mom would make pancakes, grilled cheese, burgers etc. One of the ones I have is exactly like the one shown, name and all, the other has no identification. I believe that they are made of cast aluminum. It is the best griddle that I have ever used.

  8. Chef Benwa says:

    Cool, Thanks for the comment, be sure to let your friends know about my blog.

  9. Corry says:

    This is the best griddle ever made! My grandmother always used this griddle. She explained to me that it was sold by a door to door salesman for $7.50 in the 50’s, which by the way, amounted to almost a week’s wages at that time. She could not afford to purchase it, but my grandfather’s Uncle, whom they lived with, purchased it for her and my grandfather. After I married I can’t count the number of similar griddles I purchased which did not work anything like the Happy Day Griddle. Until one day at a church bazaar, I found one!! In a box where everything was 25 cents! Although my husband was horrified that I would purchase some piece of trash griddle, all burnt and filthy and even entertain the thought of using it to cook something for the family…he came around and agreed that was the best griddle there is!

  10. Chef Benwa says:

    I agree I have been looking for another as a backup. Somebody should start making these again.

  11. John V. Yanik says:

    I have had a Happy Day Grille for 40 years. I believe it is made of cast aluminum. I lent it to my son. I just got it back and it is covered with burned-on grease. Does anyone know a safe way to clean it?

  12. Chef Benwa says:

    Thanks for the comment! As you can see by the condition of my Happy Day Griddle/Grill the burned on stuff is not bad. Like cast iron, you don’t want to clean the cooking surface down to bare metal. You want to leave the pan “seasoned” which is like a natural Teflon coating.

    As for the bottom and edges I think a green scrubby pad, like I described in this post Potato Scrubbing Made Easy http://www.chefbenwa.com/blog/?p=17, and a little elbow grease should do the trick. There are also some aluminum cleaning products out there but caution should be used with these and any such chemicals.

    Hope this helps,
    Chef Benwa

  13. Cathy Byrd says:

    Just this morning I had world famous french toast on it and then got on the internet to see what information was out there. My greatgrandmother purchased The Happy Days Grill back in the day when she was a cook at a downtown department store. I have now inherited it. It will one of my greatest treasures to pass down to my daughter.

    My griddle is from The Wm. B. Watkins Co, Evanston, ILL and my handle is not solid. Mine is riveted with a bracket that encases the wood handle.

  14. Chef Benwa says:

    Yes, these are great griddles. Every so often I check eBay to see if I can find another for a backup. No luck yet, I guess I’ll keep serching.

  15. Lowen says:

    FOR SALE One ( HAPPY DAY GRIDDLE -GRILL THE WM.B. WATKINS CO EVANSTON ILL

  16. Lowen says:

    lowie_fuzz@yahoo.com

    I will e/mail pictures. Lowen

  17. Chef Benwa says:

    I Have two, but what the heck, how much?

  18. Chef Benwa says:

    Pics would be great

  19. Sharon says:

    We have a Happy Day Griddle which we will be selling on E Bay next week [Feb 17].
    Your site is very interesting, and gave us information about the handy little griddle.

  20. Chef Benwa says:

    I’ve got 2 now, the original I got from my mom, and one I purchased for a back-up. The original, at least to me, was manufactured by Perma-Cast in Racine WI. The second one was manufactured by the WM. B. Watkins Co. from Evanston IL.

  21. […] Now have two Happy Day Griddle-Grills. As you may know from my first posting “Happy Day Griddle/Grill Best Griddle I Have Ever Used, Period.” I acquired my first Happy Day Griddle from my mom. She was about to throw it in the trash. My […]

  22. Barbara says:

    I have this same griddle by Watkins and swear by it. I got it from my mom who got it from her mom, and it is older than 1945 I think. The handle is attached differently, and it is a bit wobbly, but secured to the grill with rivets that look like they would never come out. The pancakes are the best…..the family has never had pancakes as good.

  23. Chef Benwa says:

    They are great pans, I love ’em!

  24. Janice says:

    I have one I received as a shower gift forty years ago and it still makes the best grilled cheese sandwiches and pancakes over all the frying pans I’ve acquired over the years. I have an original Permacast pan and will pass it down to my kids who have fond memories of grilled burgers and many delicious breakfasts.

  25. Chef Benwa says:

    Yes it’s a great pan. I’m up to two of them now.

  26. mark says:

    I rarely comment on blogs but yours I had to stop and say Great Blog!!

  27. Lou says:

    I bought one today at Goodwill and am now looking forward to trying it out. In case anyone is looking, I saw one for sale on Ebay today – no pix though.

  28. Chef Benwa says:

    They are Great!

  29. charlie says:

    Bought mine at Goodwill years ago. I have not used it yet. What is the best way to season it? Mine lists patent # 1763450, The Wm. B Wattkins Co., but no location.

  30. Chef Benwa says:

    I usually just use it. Maybe cook some bacon or or other fatty food. The best way to season a pan is to coat it with a thin film of shortening and stick it in the 350 to 400 degree oven for an hour, but the plastic handle make this impossible. So just use it and make sure not to scrub it or use soap on it.

    Make sure to use plenty of shortening, butter or cooking oil and you shouldn’t have a problem.

  31. Kitt says:

    Funny. I was just cleaning up my Happy Day griddle (Watkins) and thought I’d Google the provenance. Quite a following it’s got! Inherited mine from Mom. Love it.

  32. Chef Benwa says:

    Yeah I know, I wonder why no one makes these any more?

  33. Mike says:

    There is one on eBay NOW… looks very clean and nice. Don’t look like it’s very ‘seasoned’ if you know what I mean.

  34. Melanie says:

    I just got one from the Wm B Watkkins Co pat #1733450 at an estate sale. I just liked the way it looked but now after reading this I can’t wait to use it. Mine is in excellent condition and I got it for $1.50. Thanks for this blog

  35. Chef Benwa says:

    Wow! That’s a great deal. I guess I’m not going to enough estate and garage sales. It a great place to pick-up kitchen hardware on the cheap!

  36. MichaellaS says:

    tks for the effort you put in here I appreciate it!

  37. Hi, I bought a happy day griddle and tried to clean it but it didn’t work. The last person used a degreaser along with steel wool. It is pitted now. I don”t think I would want to cook on it. I might have to throw it out. I don”t think you could have someone recoated it again. I have another grill I use all the time. Mona

  38. Chef Benwa says:

    If you are talking about the flat part? A random orbital sander with a medium grit sand paper should be able to clean it up. Just be sure to use a mask or respirator. I’m sure aluminum dust would not be great for the lungs.

    If you are talking about the raised part on the bottom there isn’t much you could do with that.

  39. Linda says:

    Wow! I’m in the same club as Mother-Daughter inherited! She moved into my sister’s house and was getting rid of some of her pots and pans (she’s a depression era pack rat and kept EVERYTHING). I left the box outside for months, finally brought it in and stored it in my cabinet. I recently pulled it out and used it for frying bacon…Wonderful grill! I had to poor off the grease several times, but that only made the bacon nice and crisp. I’ve also used it to warm up flour tortillas. Mine is Wm B. Watkins, Evanston, IL also, with the metal going around the wood handle. I guess mine hasn’t been used a whole lot…it’s very metal looking. Guess I need to use it more often. I didn’t even realize until this blog that you could turn it over and use the grill side…HAMBURGERS! Great idea! Thanks for starting this blog…I’ll do some more searching, but wish I knew more about it. I need to ask my Mom how she got hers…door to door salesman, very likely since she was a stay-at-home Mom. Thanks for the great blog!

  40. Mary says:

    I inherited my Mom’s Happy Day Griddle/Grill. It looks exactly like yours. I absolutely love it. I use it all the time to make pancakes. And I use the grill side for steaks and burgers. I, too, was wondering if they still made them. I don’t know where my Mom got hers or when. She was also a stay-at-home Mom. So it could have been a door to door salesman. It was interesting reading all the comments.

  41. Chef Benwa says:

    They are a great griddle. I managed to find another, so now I have a spare.

  42. Paul Kelly says:

    I have a Happy Day Griddle that I got from my mother. it used to belong to my Grandmother so I know it has been in use since the 1950’s I use it every day. Sure would like to find another one. I think it is the best thing since sliced bread.

  43. Chef Benwa says:

    Keep an I out on eBay or Craig’s List

  44. Hello /
    MY Happy day grill / is the best ever Pasat down from my Grandmother
    To my mother ,now to me I have bin useing it for many years ! \
    I AM IN NEED OF A HANDLE/ AS IT GET’S VERY HOT .
    THANK’S /RAND C TANNER = Ranctan@wmconnect.com )

  45. Chef Benwa says:

    Hm… Is the handle broken or just jets hot. Mine is plastic, of some sort, and doesn’t really get that hot. If it’s broken keep an eye out on eBay maybe you can fid a spare.

  46. Cheryl Harvey Mish says:

    I too have the same (and seasoned) Happy Day Griddle-Grill by The Wm. B. Watkins Co. in Evanston, Ill. My father was a door-to-door salesman/owner of The Joseph Kershaw Tea Co. in Fall River, Mass. He delivered weekly to his customers pounds of tea and coffee and would carry a basket of other items to the door. He could get his customers anything they wanted including Happy Day griddles. He had a few of these griddles left when he closed his business and we all took one. That was probably in the 1965-70 years. I use mine all the time and grew up eating french toast and grilled cheeses on that griddle. My son, daughter-in-law and grandaughter live with us. When they move out (my son has been unemployed for 10 months) I will carefully check their belongings because they want to steal my griddle….darn kids! It’s comforting to know others enjoy their griddle as much as I do……a little bit of home!

  47. Chef Benwa says:

    If they really want one every so often they come up on eBay. Craig’s List might be a good place to check too.

    Thanks for the input and Happy Griddling!

  48. lane brody says:

    Yes!!! it is the best by far!!! i am from racine wisconsin originally!!! i have my mothers and i purchased another because when i make my pancakes i use both at the same time!! there are remarkable patterns that my buttermilk pancakes get and fluffyness that only happens on this griddle!! i treasure them and i am happy to see so many others hold such a vintage great in such high esteem!!! when they are kept seasoned with oil they are fantastic and there is no sticking!! enjoy happy food all!!! lane brody (recording artist)

  49. Chef Benwa says:

    Glad you like the post. I have two also. Got one from my Mom and found one on eBay.

  50. Norma Burnett says:

    I grew up with a Happy Days Griddle Grill that my mother got from my grandmother.I just got it back from my daughter (who kept it because it was grandmas). I have been looking for one for years and years! It is inprinted Happy Days Griddle Grill, patent #1733450 and has a wooden handle attached by rivets. Cooks the very best pancakes ever! Glad to find this website and know how others feel about this impossible to find grill!

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