What’s a Griddle?
So you’re wondering what’s a griddle, and how do you use one. We’ve got all the info you need.
What Exactly IS a Griddle???
A griddle is a piece of cookware, similar to a frying pan, that is completely flat and has no or very low sidewalls. The griddle is placed on your stovetop and is heated by the burners, just like a frying pan.
Some ranges feature a built-in griddle, which is handy if you like to cook burgers, steaks, or for large groups. Another option is to use an electric griddle, which frees up space on your stovetop. In this article, we’ll focus only on stovetop griddles.
You cook the food directly on the griddle, typically with a bit of oil, just as you would cook in a frying pan. They provide a larger cooking surface than a frying pan, and typically take up two burners on your stovetop.
You can cook all types of food on a griddle. Griddles are great for cooking breakfast foods, such as pancakes, French toast, hash browns, bacon, and eggs. Meats, hot sandwiches, even sautéed vegetables can be cooked on a griddle.
Types of Griddle Pans
The words “griddle” and “grill” are sometimes used interchangeably. While griddles and grills are very similar, griddles have a smooth surface which distributes heat evenly across the griddle. Grills, on the other hand, have raised ridges that mimic cooking on an outdoor grill by leaving sear marks.
Many of the same foods can be cooked interchangeably on both grills and griddles, such as chicken, ribs, steak, seafood, and vegetables. Other foods, such as eggs, pancakes, crepes, and French toast, can only be cooked on a flat top griddle.
Griddle Sizes and Styles
Smaller griddles typically fit on one stove burner and have a handle, much like a frying pan, and are big enough to cook for one or two people – things like a single steak, or 2-3 chicken breasts, or several hot dogs or bacon slices.
Larger griddles usually cover two burners on your stove, which gives you a large, rectangular cooking surface that’s large enough to make meals for an entire family.
Some of the larger, two-burner griddles are reversible, featuring a smooth griddle surface on one side and a ridged grill surface on the other side. Vremi makes an excellent reversible griddle.
Griddles are often crafted from cast iron, but you can also find aluminum griddles with a non-stick coating.
How to Use Your Griddle
The key to success when using a griddle is even heat. Don’t use griddles on glass stovetops, and only use large, two-burner griddles on an even cooktop surface.
If you purchase a cast iron griddle, it may need to be seasoned before you use it (some griddles come pre-seasoned, which is a nice feature). Seasoning a cast iron griddle makes the surface non-stick, so food will lift off smoothly.
To season a cast iron griddle, simply cover the entire griddle – inside and out – with a thin coating of vegetable oil, then bake it upside down in a 325 degree F oven for an hour. Once it’s cool, the cast iron griddle is ready to use. Check out some YouTube videos for more details.
Heat both coated aluminum griddles and cast iron griddles over medium/medium-high heat. If you are using a larger, two-burner griddle, situate it evenly over the two burners.
Griddles are designed to transfer heat well, so the entire surface should heat evenly, without any cool or hot spots. Your griddle is ready to use when a drop of water sizzles when dropped on the griddle. You may want to lightly grease your griddle before using it, ensuring that your food won’t stick.
Check out this video for more information.
How to Care for Your Griddle
Aluminum coated griddles can be washed with soap and water, but don’t use abrasive sponges or scrubbers that could scratch the coating.
Cast iron, on the other hand, should not be washed with soap and water. Instead, just wipe the griddle clean with a damp cloth, then dry it and coat it with oil before putting it away.
If food begins sticking to your cast iron griddle, you will need to give it a thorough cleaning and then re-season it.