What is an outdoor griddle?
One of the most interesting developments in outdoor cooking in the last couple of years is the outdoor griddle. They are a large flat outdoor cooking surface, usually powered by propane.
They come in multiple sizes, ranging from portable models that can sit on a tabletop to big carts boasting four burners and sometimes even lids. Due to their flat metal top, you can cook food items on them that you would only attempt on a grill with a skillet or a grill basket.
What is an outdoor griddle used for?
An outdoor griddle is great for filling in gaps in your outdoor cooking arsenal that a grill or smoker is not designed for. Yes, you can throw a skillet on your grill for searing or sauteing food, but you are limited by the size of the skillet and the cooking space on your grill. There is also the potential for uneven heating on grills.
An outdoor griddle can provide consistent, even heat for cooking because the propane burners heat the cooking surface evenly. Also, you can set up different levels of heat by adjusting the burners. They come in a range of sizes that can meet you and your family’s needs.
If you are cooking for a large family or entertaining, Blackstone’s 36-inch four-burner griddle has 720 square inches of cooking space, while Char-Griller’s Flat Iron Premium Griddle boasts 775 square inches of cooking space.
Is an outdoor griddle worth it?
The beauty of an outdoor griddle is its versatility combined with its consistency. You can cook an entire meal on one surface while enjoying time outdoors. If you cook a lot of food, a larger model like that mentioned above means you do not have to run around managing multiple cooking stations between a grill and an inside stovetop.
Post-meal cleanup can be easier. If you are making tacos, you can brown your meat, caramelize the onions, and heat the tortillas on one surface. Outdoor griddles can cut down on the dishes used during your cook. Fewer dishes used for cooking mean fewer dishes to wash, and who wants to wash dishes after tacos?
Also, let’s face it. If you have grilled, you have lost food at one point or another through the cooking grates. It is an unfortunate reality of one of the best ways to cook food. You do not have to worry about that with an outdoor griddle since you are cooking on a solid flat metal surface.
Is a griddle the same thing as a flat top?
Most people use the terms flat top grill and outdoor griddle interchangeably. The term flat top may conjure pictures of a restaurant kitchen, but for all intents and purposes, the point is the same: an evenly heated cooking surface perfect for multiple types of food for every meal where you can cook most, if not all, parts of the meal.
What can you cook on an outdoor griddle?
The outdoor griddle is a versatile cooktop that allows you to cook a variety of foods. Just like an indoor stovetop griddle, you can cook a pancake breakfast for the whole family complete with eggs and bacon. If you love Taco Tuesday, you can cook all your meat on an outdoor griddle while also warming or even making fresh homemade tortillas.
Speaking of tortillas, you can cook steak or chicken and then throw them in a quesadilla that you cook on the same surface. Fajitas are a snap as well.
Of course, an outdoor griddle is perfect for a nice, crusty smash burger. You can even toast the burger buns right next to the burgers.
An outdoor griddle is also great for seafood, from searing perfectly crispy skin on salmon to cooking a large batch of shrimp.
An outdoor griddle has the versatility for making a big pancake breakfast with all the fixings, smash burgers for lunch, and tacos for dinner all on the same surface. It will not replace your grill because you will never get that charcoal flavor or perfect grill mark, but an outdoor griddle is a worthy addition to your cooking arsenal.
There is something to be cooked on an outdoor griddle for everyone for every meal of the day. If having an outdoor griddle means getting outside more often to cook more meals, that can only be a good thing.