The word griddle doesn’t describe only one type of appliance—they can be as different as normal skillets or barbecue grills.
Even if you are familiar with regular grilling on a grate or coals, working with a griddle is slightly different. There are certain nuances that concern preparation, maintenance, and cooking itself.
If you have ever cooked outdoors, you know that different foods never act the same when prepared on coals, gas range, or electric plates. Griddles can combine one or several of these features, so every meal needs to be mastered individually when you become acquainted with your first griddle grill.
Cooking with a griddle grill is above all paying attention to details. You must be careful with what you choose to cook, how you go about it, and what type of griddle you need for every particular task. Carefully look at the materials from which the griddle is made—it can contribute or take away from its capabilities.
What is a griddle grill?
Griddles are essentially gas or electric ranges with flat top surfaces made of untreated iron or stainless steel, depending on the type of appliance we’re talking about. Griddle plates and portable flat tops, on the other hand, are more of an accessory rather than a stand-alone appliance.
Large commercial griddle grills are a must-have feature of every restaurant and are specifically designed to use indoors in a professional capacity. Those are not to be used in residential settings since griddles of this scale demand proper ventilation and fire-proofing. Chances are your building won’t be code-compliant for such installation.
Smaller griddles made for home use come in various sizes: there are portable camping griddles, griddle ranges, griddle stations, electric griddles, and, of course, griddle plates for stoves and grate grills.
Dedicated outdoor griddles offer various levels of heating power: they can feature one, two, four, six, or even eight burners. More burners mean more equal heat distribution under the iron flat top, but mid-tier power griddles will work just as well.
This is the most common type of outdoor griddle today—you will often see it in backyards, gardens, on patios and verandas; they stand on sturdy legs and give enough surface area to feed a whole crowd. Some people find the complexities of seasoning such griddles intimidating, but once you get past it, a whole new world full of unique flavors and exotic dishes will open before you.
Small one or two-burner griddles and electric griddles are suitable for smaller families with more modest grilling ambitions. Because electric griddles don’t rely on gas-powered burners to heat their surfaces, they get heated up more evenly which can be a huge advantage for cooking breakfast foods. They can also be used indoors when propane griddles can’t due to safety hazards.
Removable griddle plates and flat tops are helpful additions for your kitchen’s cooking tool collection. They can be placed directly on the stovetop when you need to whip up something light and zesty. These plates have non-stick surfaces that allow you to make crepes, pancakes, and omelets without burning them.
Is a griddle better than a grill?
It all depends on the type of food you like to make and how often you plan to cook for a large gathering. Griddle grills and grate grills are great for cooking very specific things in a set amount of time, but it’s always more convenient to have both of these appliances if you want to expand your culinary options.
If anything, you can always compromise and buy a griddle plate to fit over your outdoor grill.
Outdoor griddles fueled by gas are similar to outdoor grills in the way they deliver firepower. However, these larger dedicated griddles require a lot of maintenance in terms of cleaning, seasoning and storing. All of the fuss that comes with owning a standalone flat top is completely worth the results since every single meal comes out simply scrumptious.
Most people are probably more familiar with traditional barbeque grills with grate tops. These have been around for ages and are especially popular for tailgating, camping, and weekend BBQ parties.
Grills are divided into three main types based on the way they are powered: classic charcoal grills, outdoor gas grills that use LPG or LNG, and compact electric grills. Grills can be pretty flexible and take on a huge variety of recipes, though they are pretty tricky to clean from all the grime and food grease.
What can you cook on a griddle grill?
A griddle grill can be truly magical in a sense of sheer scope for recipe versatility. Since griddles don’t have tall or restrictive edges but boast a large cooking surface, it makes them perfect for preparing all sorts of things that are impossible or too messy to do in a normal pan or skillet.
The first thing you probably think about when you hear the word griddle—aside from burgers—is breakfast food. Griddles are good for making a whole bunch of egg-based breakfast foods since their flat-top open surfaces provide even heat and make sure egg doesn’t stick or get burnt.
You can try out all your favorite recipes for pancakes, omelets, eggs and bacon, french toast, grilled cheese, hash browns, breakfast burritos, and more.
Of course, your cooking options don’t stop there. Griddles are famous for giving you the best conditions for grilling meat in the least messy way possible (compared to grates and charcoal barbecues).
Unless a recipe involving meat requires slow cooking such as braising and steaming (things like brisket, for example), you can be sure practically anything can be grilled on a griddle and come out delicious: chicken wings, pork chops, beef filet, saltwater fish, scallops, and more. You can also successfully reheat already prepared meats to make beef sandwiches and other juicy snacks.
What is even more astonishing, you can actually make pizza on a griddle. Of course, it differs from an oven-made pizza in many ways, but this still can be done and tastes wonderfully crisp in its own distinct way.
Some desserts are also best made on a griddle, such as delicate crepes, cherries jubilee, cinnamon apples, caramelized fruits, bananas foster, funnel cakes, and all sorts of stuffed french toast.
What is the best griddle grill to buy?
Deciding on a good griddle may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually pretty simple. A griddle needs to be suitable for your outdoor area and be large enough to serve all members of your family.
One of the best griddles today is the 36-inch Blackstone 1554 station gas griddle with four stainless steel burners and thick cooktop. All heat zones can be adjusted for different foods, while the large flat top area allows you to cook multiple things at once.
If you are looking for something smaller and more manageable, then your best choice would be the 17-inch Blackstone portable tabletop griddle. It’s still made for outside use and powered by propane but thanks to its compact design, you can take it on camping trips in nature or on a beach holiday. They are small and powerful enough for tailgating and barbecuing in nature.
For those looking for a separate griddle plate, your best bet would be the Camp Chef Professional 16″ x 37″ Fry Griddle that fits most Camp Chef cooking stoves. If you have another stove brand, you can always go with various Cuisinart or Little Griddle models.
Essentially, all these griddles will serve you perfectly as long as you spend a little time maintaining them. You can start by learning how to season a Blackstone griddle.
Is cooking on a griddle healthy?
Like with most things in life, nothing is set in stone and it’s the approach that defines any potential health benefits of a meal. This principle applies to grill on a griddle as well: you can cook foods that are healthy just as easily as you can make the most greasy and fatty dishes.
It’s a widely known fact that grilling is a far healthier choice than frying, so you’ve got one thing already covered. But how healthy your meat and sausages will turn out to also depend on the way you prepare them.
What can make grilling unhealthy?
What is extremely unhealthy is consuming high-fat meat-based products that are rich in saturated fat and cholesterol. Fortunately, though, griddles reduce one significant health risk that tends to come with regular barbecue or coal grilling and it’s the harmful effects of PAHs and HCAs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic amines respectively.
- When you cook fatty meats on a grate, the grill’s heating element (or charcoal pit) absorbs all the dripping fat, resulting in the formation of PAHs which then go straight back into the meat through raising smoke. To make your grilled meat more healthy, you can cut any substantial fatty bits off the meat and take time to skin poultry. Lean cuts of meat will not drip as much fat on the heating element or coals.
- PAHs can be found in the charred bits of meat that so many love, so healthier diets generally require you to avoid charring meat.
- Then are HCAs which are the bane not only of red meat but also fish, game, and poultry. Any of those meats go on a too-hot grill and get treated on the highest setting for the whole duration of grilling and you’ll get HCAs forming like nobody’s business. Sadly, this is not only the problem of grilling but also your regular broiling.
What makes griddling healthier?
It all comes down to the flat top design of the griddle. Griddles, especially larger outdoor types, provide an extensive cooking area that prevents the collection of moisture and ensures no fat drips on the heating element.
Such an even cooking surface also allows you to prepare your food a la plancha, which is one of the healthiest ways to grill practically anything. This method involves a minimal amount of smoking since you have to sear your food on a dry griddle top without additional fats, letting the ingredients bake in their natural juices.
Still, most people love a nice piece of a fatty juicy steak straight off a griddle, which on its own is completely fine, but everything needs to be done in moderation. So by grilling healthy, you can enjoy the benefits of healthier food that still tastes pretty good.
- One way to go about griddling in a healthy way is to marinate your food properly and thoroughly. Specific types of marinade not only reduces the production of HCAs but also give the food more flavor and a healthy bit of juiciness.
You can marinate almost anything you like before putting it on a griddle, from red meat and chicken to fish vegetables. It’s recommended to soak your ingredients in marinades that are low on fats (or better yet—completely fat-free).
- Marination time should not be cut short out of impatience; keep meat and poultry in your infusion for up to two hours; vegetables and seafood are faster and can be soaked well within an hour.
- Don’t moisten the meat that’s already cooking on the griddle with the marinade you’ve been soaking it. If you need to add marinade as you griddle, add fresh one or whatever you have left that wasn’t in the marination container.
- Popular choices for well-seasoned marination are dominated by natural vinegars, homemade wines, and citrus juices (such as orange, lime, and lemon). If adding oil, try to use olive or canola oils in your marinade, and only do so in little amounts. World cuisines offer plenty of tasty infusion ingredients, including soy sauce, honey, mirin, sake, Greek yoghurt, unsalted butter, aromatic herbs and plenty of spice mixes.
- Don’t leave your griddled food on for too long — flip it as often as possible, though of course, it doesn’t work with some recipes.
- Try to reduce cooking time. You can do it by working with smaller pieces of food which will allow you to griddle faster. Some people even cook their food in the oven before putting in on a griddle to be more efficient and healthy.
- Don’t shy away from fruits, vegetables, and greens. You probably already know that these foods—if cooked in a balanced way that doesn’t completely rob them of vitamins and microelements—come with considerable benefits for your health.
- Regularly consuming fruits and veggies (even those done on a griddle) can reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases, heart problems, and improve metabolism. Moreover, any griddled meat or poultry will go nicely with some veggies on the side since plant-based foods give you a healthy dose of vitamins, antioxidants, and carotenoids.
- Fruits and veggies that come out best on a griddle include onions, scallions, tomatoes, aubergines, courgettes, zucchinis, sweet peppers, common chicory (endive, catalogna, puntarelle, or frisée), apples, pears, pineapples, and even mangoes.
Can you grill chicken on a griddle?
Griddle stations and griddle pans are great for grilling chicken. Wings, breasts, drumsticks, or fillet—it all comes out tasting so distinctly juicy and well-seared that you might want to forget about cooking chicken any other way.
Griddled chicken is a source of vitamins A and D, lean protein, and iron. Since it’s also relatively low on calories and fat, grilling chicken on a griddle can add some much-needed taste to your diet. Well-treated white meat and the lack of burnt fat you get when frying literally anything in a buttered pan mean that you will also feel much better after such a meal.
Cooking chicken on a griddle is extremely easy: simply add a little amount of olive oil and remember to constantly turn the chicken pieces. This should make them evenly-grilled, non-fatty and free from unhealthy charred edges.
Can you cook steak on a griddle?
Of course! It doesn’t even matter what type or brand of a griddle you have. Making a steak on a griddle is slightly more complicated than searing regular burger patties or stir-frying minced meat, but with the right recipe you will be able to make a lovely steak—and perhaps even a whole batch of them.
Preparing steaks on a griddle can actually be more rewarding than grilling them on a regular barbecue or doing it in a pan on the stove. Griddle steaks can be as juicy or as oil-free as you like and you can always throw some vegetables, eggs or cheese to cook on the side for extra flavor.
To cook a good steak on a griddle you will need only a few accessories: paper towels, a timer, and a pair of tongs. As for ingredients, go for a simple half-pound strip steak, cooking oil, garlic, salt, and seasoning. That’s not the end of it, though—there are still a few essential steps to complete before throwing your steak on the griddle.
- Defrost the steak prior to cooking. This should be done early on since the meat needs to thaw at room temperature. Naturally, this doesn’t apply to freshly bought steaks.
- Methods for seasoning and marinating your steak also vary. There is dry seasoning (oil, salt, and pepper), quick marination (two hours of soaking in oil and spices), and long marination (oil, seasoning, and a good long overnight soak). You can choose the one that appeals to your tastes the most.
- Clean and re-season the griddle before cooking. You need a smooth non-stick oil-coated surface for your steaks, and old grease or lack of seasoning can seriously ruin the meat.
When you are finally ready to cook the steaks, try not to rush it all at once and sear them one or two at a time (depending on the size of your griddle). This may not seem important but it will be much easier for you to flip the steaks on time.
Here is a rough classification that may help you achieve the desired level of readiness:
- Rare steak is cooked for 90 seconds on each side at 135 ºF to 140 ºF;
- Medium rare steak takes 2 minutes to cook on each side at 140 ºF to 150 ºF;
- Medium steak needs 2.5 minutes at 150 ºF to 160 ºF;
- Well-done steak goes on the griddle for 3 minutes on each side at 160 ºF to 200 ºF;
Depending on how thick your steaks are, it will take them between 1-3 minutes to get ready on each side. Everyone has their own preferences for how well the meat is done, and this crucial detail is decided by how long you keep the steak on the griddle and at what temperature.
Do grill marks add flavor?
Grill ridges are generally purely visual and designed to make grilled meat more appealing. Though grill marks don’t add much to the flavor, they create these famous slightly charred lines on steaks, chicken breasts, and fish fillets that look rather pleasing and make for a professionally-looking presentation.
So if you are struggling to decide between a smooth griddle and ridged griddle on the basis of flavor benefits, there simply is no difference and you can go ahead and choose whichever looks more aesthetically appealing to you. Those who plan to use a griddle primarily for breakfast foods might as well go straight for a smooth-surfaced plate.
Can you cook ribs on a griddle?
Ribs can be a rather controversial issue among foodies, specifically how slow or fast you have to cook them. Some people slowly pre-cook ribs in the oven and finish it off on a griddle while others prefer fast and high-heat grilling. Regardless of the method that appeals to you best, one thing remains constant—you can cook ribs on a griddle and cook them well.
Griddle flat tops allow you to cook ribs through-and-through while keeping the pieces out of the direct flame’s reach lest they char or overcook. Ribs are traditionally well-seasoned prior to grilling, though some griddle recipes involve marinating or saucing the ribs for extra flavor.
Everyone is keen on different types of meat on ribs, whether it’s well-textured, fat and meaty, bone-dry, or juicy throughout.
- One of the absolute classics of rib grilling is baby back ribs with much more tender meat wrapped around a bigger bone. Beef back ribs or pork back ribs are griddled either in one slab or in trimmed sections.
- Lamb ribs are also rather tender since they come from lamb’s breast. Though the meat is soft and fat it’s not as bulky as other rib meats. The rib bones are also not as wide as other types of ribs, though they are rather long. What makes lamb ribs a good choice for griddling is the ease of prep. When put on a griddle, lamb meat produces rich juices and natural smoky flavor, so you will only need to pre-treat these ribs with salt and maybe some spice or herb mixes.
- Short ribs come from the shoulder of a cow and therefore appear more uniform and angular. These ribs are perfect for a griddle grill since their bone structure includes both lean and fatty bits which don’t accumulate in one part of the piece but alternate between rib segments.
Grilling time for ribs varies from type to type (whether it’s meat, size, or recipe), so you have to watch each portion closely. Thankfully there is a fool-proof way to check if your ribs are ready to be taken off the flat top. Using your cooking tools, check the firmness of the meat and how well it sticks to the bone. If the meat is tender and can be moved away from the bone freely, then your ribs are probably done.
Can you scramble eggs on a griddle?
Griddle flat tops and plates are exceptionally good for making scrambled eggs. This famous breakfast dish needs to come out light and fluffy, but many frying pan surfaces can burn the eggs or turn them too crisp or charred which not only smells bad but tastes rather unpleasant.
- Making scrambling eggs on a griddle is fairly simple though it requires constant vigilance. The griddle should be preheated to about 275 degrees Fahrenheit (some griddles should go a bit higher to about 300 degrees) and then layered with a tablespoon of cooking oil to prevent any sticking.
- The prepared egg mixture is then poured right on top of the griddle and stirred. The key to good scrambled eggs is to constantly stir it until they are done. If you like smaller curds in your scrambled eggs, then stir it more moderately; overall it should take about 2 to 3 minutes.
Most seasoned outside griddles provide a non-stick cooking surface which is vast enough to prepare large portions of scrambled egg. This allows a certain freedom of movement as well as ease of cooking. Though you will have to be pretty handy with your wrist—this level of stirring requires a certain speed and finesse which can only be achieved with practiced wrist action.
Where frying pans require you to often use one of your hands to move them about by the handle while turning the egg mixture inside the pan, griddles let you use both hands to scramble the eggs with wide spatulas right there on the iron plate. Electric griddles also make quality scramble eggs thanks to their stainless steel or Teflon-like surfaces.
How thick should a griddle be?
It depends on what you intend to use your griddle for. All griddles can be categorized based on the thickness of their plates, including both electric and propane models. This is done to assist different styles of cooking as well as cooking environments.
Many brands aim to provide griddles that are best suited for residential use, but you will still be able to enjoy a huge variety of plate sizes.
To simplify, you can separate griddle thickness into the following types:
- Regular thickness starts at about ⅛ inches and goes up to ¼ inches.
- Medium thickness is typical of ½, ⅜, and ¾-inch griddle plates.
- Heavy-duty thickness is reserved to 1-inch thick griddles.
Standard Blackstone griddles come with ⅛ inches plates, though there are thicker options. A plate that is too thick (⅜—½ inches) heats up much slower, so you will find yourself constantly waiting for an evenly heated surface which isn’t very useful when all you want to cook is a quick breakfast.
Average home cooks are better off with griddles that have ⅛ —¼ inch thick plates with ⅛—3∕16 -inch sides and rear or center drain.
Can you cook corn on the cob on a griddle?
Being one of the staple foods of warmer seasons, corn on the cob is sweet, juicy, and comes with just the right kind of smokey post-grill zing to thrill your tastebuds.
It’s common knowledge that traditional grills are a good way to prepare a whole batch of corn on the cob, but griddles can handle it just as well. Not to mention that electric griddles can serve you corn even in deep winter, so you won’t have to spend months waiting to snack on your favorite summer delicacy.
- With a standard propane griddle, cooking corn on the cob is a fast and simple process. As usual, you will need to preheat your flat top but this time get it only to medium heat.
- Layer the griddle with cooking oil (olive or sunflower).
- Put the husks of corn on the plate in neat rows.
- Use a spatula to rotate the corn every few minutes to get an even color and degree of readiness.
- Keep grilling and turning on medium heat until corn becomes tender. This should take between 10 and 20 minutes.
- Once ready, take the corn off the grill using tongs. You can use your hands but only if you wear clean heat-resistant gloves.
- Clean the griddle from remaining ears, husks and silk.
Griddles are a good option for cooking corn on the cob since they are easier to clean from any remaining mess. They also grill each piece more consistently and get you just the right amount of charred lining.
Can I use my Blackstone griddle inside?
If you own a propane Blackstone griddle, you should always use it outside. Griddle ranges with use gas instead of electricity are not designed for indoor use. Any griddle of this type, especially larger models, requires a lot of powerful ventilation and fireproof surroundings.
A fuel supply system found on a typical griddle can malfunction and result in gas leakages, while the process of burning propane produces carbon monoxide that can build up over time, creating dangerously and toxic conditions.
Griddles are also extremely powerful in terms of heat output, so they are much too hazardous to be used indoors. If you are set on cooking on a griddle inside your home, it’s best to purchase an electric griddle plate for your kitchen. It’s safe and effective for grilling small batches of food while also requiring less maintenance.
Can you put a griddle on the grill?
If you already own an outdoor grill, you don’t necessarily have to spend money on a separate griddle station. There is a wide range of griddle plates on the market which you can simply place on the top of your existing grill and enjoy the deliciousness of flat top homemade meals.
There is a wide range of griddle plates made to be used with various stovetops, gas ranges, and grill stations. However, you can’t just throw any griddle on top of your grill—it needs to be designed for high-heat or open fire treatment.
Electric griddles should stay on your kitchen counter where they belong and stainless steel plates are best used with kitchen ranges. Cast iron griddles, on the other hand, are an ideal choice for any outdoor grated grill range.
What is good to cook on a griddle?
It has already been established that, compared to grated grills, griddles provide an astonishing variety of options when it comes to cooking. Whether you own a compact tabletop griddle or a substantially sized 36-inch outdoor griddle range, you will never be short of culinary opportunities.
Outdoor griddles are large and powerful enough to service large groups of people, making them ideal for BBQ parties, camping, and other social gatherings. Gas-fueled iron griddles like these are great for searing party-sized steaks and fish fingers as well as preparing multiple fillings for tacos and burritos all at once.
Vegetables and certain types of desserts are also a good healthy choice for griddling. In addition, you can use the seasoned surface of the griddle to experiment with various egg-based dishes, multi-layered burgers, and quick crunchy snacks.
Can you boil water on a griddle?
Outdoor griddles technically function as large skillets heated by a series of powerful burners. While you may use a griddle as a substitute for a frying pan on a kitchen stove to prepare all sorts of sweet and savory things, this thing is not a complete substitute for a burner. This means that putting pots and saucepans to boil water or make sauces is not a good idea.
Of course, in theory, a griddle will be able to provide the heat required for boiling a pot of water, but it is so slow and ineffective you will end up waiting for your water to boil well into the next day. Same goes for making sauces that you want to add to your grilled meat. All in all, it is generally much easier and faster to boil water on a regular electric hotplate or a burner stove.
Can you cook biscuits on a griddle?
Yes, griddles are more than capable of cooking biscuits. Although compared to oven-made biscuits which come out raised due to convection, griddle biscuits will have a more closed texture and lose some of that baked puffiness.
But what if you don’t have an opportunity to bake in the oven? Then there is no shame in using a griddle to produce a perfectly fine batch of biscuits.
- Prepare the dough for the biscuits, knead it, and cut into individual pieces with a shaped cutter or a knife.
- Heat up the griddle but keep it medium intensity, you don’t want your biscuits to burn.
- Coat the griddle with a light layer of grease to prevent the dough from sticking.
- Place your cut out pieces on the griddle so that they have about the one-inch interval between them.
- Leave the biscuits to cook and pay close attention to the speed at which they brown. Usually, it takes between 3 and four minutes for each side to brown, though some plates may take longer.
- When one side is sufficiently browned and dried out (make sure it doesn’t become charred), flip each biscuit to let the other side brown in the same way.
When you make biscuits on a griddle, never stray far from the plate. This type of dough can burn easily when unattended, and you can lose an entire batch.
Can you use a pan on a griddle?
Yes. Electric griddles and portable griddle plates that you put over a stove are safe to pots and pans. However, the effectiveness of using a frying pan to cook on a griddle plate is questionable since griddle flat tops will get your food ready much faster without the restriction of another layer of metal on top.
Can you use a cast iron griddle on a grill?
Cast iron griddle plates are commonly used with kitchen stoves for a variety of recipes, from pancakes and crepes to grilled cheese and quesadillas. The beauty of these portable griddles is in their flexibility, allowing you to safely use a cast iron griddle on your existing outdoor grill.
All you need to do is put the griddle plate on top of the grill grates and turn up the heat. The griddle top will heat effortlessly, and with the addition of a light layer of vegetable oil, it will be ready for cooking in no time.
What also makes small to medium-sized griddle plates useful in outdoor settings is their ability to take up the optimal amount of space on top of the grated grill. When covering only one section of the grill with the griddle top, you can cook several meals at once with different techniques without mixing up the ingredients or wasting time on resetting your cooking station.
Who makes the best Flat Top Grill?
The current market for outdoor cooking appliances may be heavily saturated, but a few top manufacturers remain well-known as well as well-trusted for their products. Among the leading brands that make the best flat-top grills and griddles, you will find Blackstone, Camp Chef, Royal Gourmet, Black + Decker, Backyard Hibachi, and Cuisinart.
Perhaps the most recognized entry on the list, at least in terms of brand awareness, is Blackstone. And it’s no great surprise — Blackstone has been consistently delivering quality products and expanding their catalog of griddles and grills to serve all cooking styles as well as accommodate different income brackets.
But if you aren’t that attracted to what Blackstone is offering, then Camp Chef is your next best choice. Camp Chef griddles may not be as large or intricately planned as Blackstones, but they deliver great heating power, reliable materials, and sturdy flat tops and grates.
While operating a griddle grill is not exactly rocket science, knowing your way around this simple piece of culinary equipment can change the way you approach food or even make you a much better cook.
Each type of griddle offers its own advantages, so when choosing one for yourself you must always look at what it is you want to get from a griddle in the first place. Big families who love even bigger parties should consider large Blackstone griddles, while smaller households will be happy with portable griddle flat tops and electric plates.
Griddle grills provide something that regular stoves and barbecue grills can’t, and this secret ingredient is nothing other than space. They are adaptable, multi-functional, and simply a joy to cook with.