A griddle, also known as a flat-top grill, is a fantastic addition to your kitchen gadgets. Its smooth, rectangular, flat cooking surface allows you to cook large quantities of food or various dishes at one time.
Griddles offer remarkable convenience, especially for outdoor cooking. However, they also have a few downsides. Here are some vital griddle pros and cons that you might want to consider before purchasing your unit.
Griddle Pros and Cons
The most remarkable griddle pros include a large cooking surface, versatility, durability, ease of cleaning, and ease of use. The cons include; being costly, slow to heat up, and high maintenance.
Can you imagine cooking all your foods on a single surface without using multiple pans and pots? That’s precisely what a griddle offers.
Many people associate griddles with breakfast foods. It is true that griddles are excellent for making pancakes, eggs, hash browns, bacon, burger patties, and sausages. You can also use it to make muffins, grilled cheese sandwiches, and toast on it.
But that’s not all!
A griddle can cook almost anything. It is perfect for searing meat and sautéing vegetables. You can also cook fried rice, cheesesteaks, quesadillas, and pizza on your flat-top grill.
Large Cooking Surface
Another impressive feature of a griddle is that you can cook large quantities of food at once. This appliance comes in handy when you want to prepare big meals for Christmas, Thanksgiving, or hosting family or friends.
The large cooktop helps save time because you can cook different dishes at one time. For instance, you can grill your steak in the hotter area and sauté veggies on the cooler end.
The griddle surface has plenty of room to flip food without messing.
Easy to Clean
If your griddle is well-seasoned and adequately maintained, cleaning it is quick and effortless. After cooking, let your grill settle down for some time to cool.
Get your metal spatula and scrape off the food residues from the cooking surface. Then, wipe the surface with clean paper towels or a lint-free cloth.
Sprinkle some oil and spread it with paper towels. And there you have, a spotless griddle, ready for the next cooking session or storage.
If you have stuck food, sprinkle some water and then scrape it off.
Suitable for Indoor and Outdoor Use
Griddles do not produce a lot of smoke when cooking, thus convenient for outdoor and indoor cooking.
Propane-powered grills are the best for outdoor use. You can use them in your backyard and carry them for hiking.
On the other hand, electric griddles are perfect for indoor use. You can use them on a kitchen countertop or near a power outlet. These grills are compact and can fit in your kitchen cabinet.
A grill’s cooking surface is flat but slightly slanted. It comes with an opening behind where oils and fat drip off into a grease trap/ tray. As a result, it helps reduce the fat content in your food.
Also, a well-seasoned griddle or a stainless steel model does not require you to use any oil when cooking. And if you have to, you only need a small amount. This way, griddles help promote healthy cooking and eating.
Your griddle can last for generations. It has sturdy and durable construction from the materials used in manufacturing.
Steel griddles are mostly oxidation-resistant. Nevertheless, you have a responsibility to take good care of your griddle to last long.
If you deliberately or ignorantly expose it to water or humidity for a prolonged period, it will likely rust. Rust compromises the longevity of your flat-top grill.
To avoid oxidation, store your griddle in a cool, dry place. Always dry it thoroughly before after cleaning and season it well.
A grill can heat up to extreme temperatures. Once it heats up, it retains that temperature much longer before cooling down.
As a result, it leaves an even, solid, consistent sear on your steak and meat.
Griddle seasoning causes the oil to bond with the metal surface, leaving a non-stick cooking surface. Besides, a seasoned griddle helps to enhance the flavor of your food.
Food cooked on a cast iron or steel griddle contacts the metal surface directly. As a result, it gets a crispy, golden brown layer and a consistent sautéed or pan-seared taste.
Cooking on a griddle is also healthier. Unlike a grill, food does not contact the open fire flames directly. So, you don’t have to worry about your food getting a smoky taste.
Easy to Use
Most cooking appliances need experience before using them. For instance, charcoal grills are pretty hard to master.
Griddles are straightforward to use. But, be sure to read the instruction manual to avoid accidents and have a temperature gun at hand to monitor hot spots.
High-quality griddles are relatively pricey, from entry-level to intermediate and pro series. There is no way around it!
If you want a unit that will serve you longer with minimal or no hitches along the way, you must be willing to part with a good amount of money.
It is recommendable to buy your griddle from the manufacturer or a trusted dealer. Ensure that it has a warranty so that in case of a fault, you can get complete customer support and replacement when necessary.
Takes Long to Heat Up
You cannot light a griddle and cook on it on the go. You will need to preheat it for 10 to 15 minutes. As a result, it is not economical to use a flat-top grill when cooking a small meal because you will waste a lot of heat energy.
When you take care of your grill, it will care for you. Sounds funny, right?
A griddle indeed needs special care to serve you effectively and longer. Griddle care involves handling, cleaning, seasoning, and storage.
You cannot put away your grill after cooking without cleaning it as you would with pots and pans. Well, you can, but that can compromise its durability.
No matter how tired you are or how late it is, spare a few minutes to tidy up your grill.
When you pile things on top of your grill, it can chip. Also, exposing your grill to intense temperature changes could cause warping.
Griddle care also involves using suitable oils when cooking different dishes. For instance, if you use a low smoke point oil when searing meat, you can end up with a damaged cooktop or burnt food.
Requires Detailed Seasoning
When you buy a cast iron griddle, you must season it thoroughly before the first cook. Doing so helps to create a non-stick layer.
Then, after every cook, ensure that you clean and season your grill lightly to maintain the non-stick layer and prevent food from sticking.
Using too much oil on the cooktop could cause stickiness and chipping.
Propane-Powered Griddles Are Not Suitable for Indoor Use
It is recommendable to use a gas griddle outdoors where there is sufficient airflow.
When propane burns incorrectly, it produces carbon monoxide, a poisonous and deadly gas. If this happens indoors, you won’t notice because the gas is odorless.
Griddling fatty foods also produce a lot of smoke. You wouldn’t want to stay in a house full of smoke.
Cooking on a grill indoors can get messy. Oil pops on your kitchen counters, cabinets, and floor.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the disadvantages of a griddle?
A griddle takes a lot of time to heat up. It needs special care and frequent seasoning and is a bit expensive.
Is it worth it to get a griddle?
Yes, an outdoor griddle is a worthwhile investment. You can use it in your backyard or get a portable model with which to go camping or hiking. Its versatility and large cooktop are impressive.
What are the benefits of a griddle?
A griddle has a large cooking surface which allows you to cook big meals or a variety of dishes simultaneously. It has a grease trap to drain excess oil and fats from your food and is durable.
Is using a griddle healthy?
Yes, cooking on a griddle is healthy because food does not come into direct contact with flames. You also use little or no oil when cooking on a griddle top.
Griddles are excellent cooking surfaces, loved for their versatility, wide cooktop, ease of cleaning, and durability. They give your meat a perfect sear and add flavor to your food.
However, you will need to dig deeper into your pocket to acquire a high-quality griddle. Flat-top grills also heat up more slowly than pots and pans.