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7 Things To Know About Griddles

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What is a griddle?

Many of us tend to associate griddles with making pancakes on a weekend morning, and while this is certainly a great use of a griddle, griddles can do so much more!

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Griddles are wide, traditionally flat cooking surfaces that are commonly made of aluminum, steel, or iron. They are made in several different shapes and sizes and come in a variety of thicknesses, ranging from less than 1/8” thick to over 1” thick. Easy to use and optimal for cooking, griddles are the perfect, versatile tool to add to your kitchen.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the major differences among available griddles today and discuss some of the primary benefits that a high-quality griddle can bring to your table!

How thick should a griddle be?

As a general rule of thumb, thinner griddles tend to heat up more quickly, but they are more susceptible to distortion under high heat. If you are looking for a higher quality griddle that will stand the test of time, you will want to select a thicker griddle that is between 1/2″ thick and 1″ thick.

Some griddles are made as thinly as 1/16” to 1/8” thick, but these thinner pans are known to have “hot spots,” which means that they produce uneven heating.

On top of this, thin pans struggle to retain consistent temperatures once food is added on top. 

Griddle pans that are over 1/2” thick will take a bit longer to heat up, but once they do, these pans produce even and consistent heat throughout the duration of their use. Thicker griddle pans are also sturdier altogether, making them less likely to warp, dent, or chip. 

What kind of metal is a griddle made of?

Aluminum, steel, and iron are three common metals that are used to make griddles. Of these metals, aluminum griddles tend to be cheaper, whereas steel and iron griddles tend to be more expensive. 

Aluminum griddles tend to be thinner pans and are often covered in a nonstick coating, which can chip off and mix in with your food.

Since aluminum griddle pans are usually thinner and more cheaply made, they are more likely to warp over time, especially if they are consistently exposed to high heat.

On the other hand, one of the biggest benefits of using an aluminum griddle pan is that they heat up and cool down quickly.

While there are various steel griddles available on the market, stainless steel griddles are some of the most popular. Stainless steel griddles have a high chromium content that helps to prevent corrosion and rust.

These griddles are usually higher quality than their aluminum counterparts, and they also offer a quick heat up and cool down time. Stainless steel griddles tend to be made on the thinner side, and the thinnest models are likely to warp over time. 

Cast Iron griddles are the thickest on the market and are extremely effective at heating evenly and maintaining heat. However, they do take longer to heat up and cool down because of that thickness. Cast iron griddles can easily be used on your stove top, with a grill, or over a fire, making them some of the most versatile options. These griddles are heavier, however, and they need to be properly maintained to avoid rusting. 

Is a griddle pan worth it?

A griddle pan is an excellent investment and definitely worth it. Griddle pans boast a bigger surface area than traditional skillets can provide, and they can greatly expand your cooking options. On top of this, griddle pans include drainage for grease, which means making all the crispy foods you love but without all the grease.

Whatever your budget is, there is a griddle out there for you. Griddle pans can make cooking more efficient, versatile, and fun, and some are even reversible. With reversible griddle pans, one side is typically flat and the other side is ridged like the surface of a grill.

With so many available options, a griddle pan is an incredible addition to any kitchen.

What does a griddle pan do?

A griddle pan cooks food directly through conductive heating. When we use griddle pans, we can easily prepare food that meets our personal preferences, whether that be underdone, overdone, or somewhere in the middle!

Some griddle pans are electric and are heated by a coil that runs underneath the pan. Other griddle pans are placed on top of a heat source like a stovetop, a grill, or a fire. 

In each of these cases, the griddle pan operates by using conductive heating methods to cook the food that is placed upon it. 

What is a griddle pan used for?

With a broad, shallow cooking surface, griddle pans are perfect for making hundreds of different kinds of foods. You can use a griddle to make breakfast foods, appetizers and snacks, side dishes, and even main courses. 

Griddles are perfect for preparing traditional breakfast foods like pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, and sausage, but you can use a griddle to prepare almost anything! 

Griddle pans can be used for both indoor and outdoor cooking, and they are especially helpful when you have larger quantities of food to prepare. 

Final Thoughts 

Griddle pans are incredibly useful kitchen gadgets, and with so many options concerning griddle material, thickness, and size, you can personally customize your griddle to meet your personal cooking needs. 

Whether you want a griddle to prepare pancakes or not, you’ll find that the wide, flat cooking surface of a griddle makes preparing your favorite foods easy, effective, and enjoyable!

This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.

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