It’s time for a new grill, but, you keep hearing about Griddles and you are unsure where to put down your hard-earned cash. Well, as an owner of both and someone who cooks on them both all the time, I am partial to griddles, here is why.
Cooking outdoors on an open fire reminds us of how laid-back life can be! Nothing compares to sitting around the fire, cooking your favorite foods.
The smell of the smoke, the crackle of the fire, cooking your food under the stars, tellings stories, and reminiscing with family and friends!
Owning a griddle allows you to cook a variety of foods using different cooking methods. From breakfast for two to a feast for a crowd, food cooked on a griddle is always tender and tasty. Using a griddle, you can grill, steam, smoke, or stew all your favorite foods.
These days it’s not often practical to build a fire in your back yard or on your balcony, but an outdoor cooker is an excellent second best! You can still relax around the cooker, smell the flavors of your cooking food, and enjoy some downtime with your friends, no matter where you happen to be!
Modern cookers are very versatile and offer you different cooking styles to cook your favorite foods. This article discusses the differences between the griddle and the grill and reveals our favorite cooking method!
What Is A Griddle?
A griddle is, essentially, a modern-day version of the old-fashioned hot plate used in restaurants and diners to cook your food to order.
A griddle is a big flat, square, or rectangular metal frying pan that is heated from underneath. The sizes vary, though, depending on the use. They can be used indoors and outdoors and for commercial or home cooking.
When choosing your ideal griddle, buy the best that your budget allows. The thicker the metal, the better the cooking quality and the heat retention of the plate. The beauty of a griddle is the cooking time – healthy, fast food cooked the way you like it.
A simple flat piece of steel or iron specially made for a campfire or gas burner would be the griddle of choice for people who enjoy BBQs and the great outdoors! A portable outdoors griddle can be permanently packed into your outdoor gear, waiting for the perfect occasion to use it!
Restaurants and diners would generally have a larger griddle pan fitted on a range top inbetween the burners.
Smaller griddles are generally made for home and indoor use. Most griddles used for commercial and home use are gas-powered, but some tabletop versions are electric and can be safely used wherever there is an electrical outlet.
A standalone griddle pan is designed for cooking on any stovetop burner. A cast-iron or steel griddle pan can cook anything you need in smaller quantities by placing it directly onto any burner.
The electric tabletop version can be used as a portable griddle appliance which means that you can carry it with you to the office or on vacation to enjoy your favorite breakfast wherever you are!
As with a frying pan, you can cook most foods on a griddle, from pancakes and rice to eggs and meat. When using a griddle, the one important rule is to keep it straight and level to prevent liquids from running off to one side.
The Benefits Of Owning A Griddle Over A Grill
There are many benefits to owning a griddle. If you are an aspiring cook and spend a lot of time in the kitchen trying out new recipes and cooking methods, then this is the appliance that you should have, and here is why:
- You can cook more foods, quicker, on a griddle than on a grill. Traditional breakfasts featuring favorites like hash browns, French toast, fried eggs and bacon, sausages, beans, and tomatoes, can all be cooked on a griddle!
- Anything that can be cooked on a wok can be successfully cooked on a griddle. The high heat required to cook these foods makes a griddle the perfect cooking tool – think Mexican, Chinese, Japanese and Korean dishes.
- If you are a fan of more traditional food like steaks, burgers, hot dogs, and chicken, cook them on your griddle too!
- A griddle is easier to clean than a grill. Warm water and a flat scraper are generally all you need to clean a griddle, whereas you need a stiff brush, soapy water, and elbow grease to clean a grill!
- A portable appliance or griddle pan can be used anywhere, indoors or outdoors.
What Is A Grill?
A grill is what gives your BBQ’d food that wonderful appearance and taste! Dark, smokey, charcoal ridges stamped onto your food, adding a delicious flavor to your favorite foods!
Having said that, there are two different styles of grills, each with its own attributes:
- A solid steel or iron plate with ridges or slatted cooking grates is used on a stove or range top. Solid grills have rows of ridges transferring heat into the food while simultaneously allowing the grease and oil to drip down from the food into the pan underneath the ridges, effectively removing excess grease.
- An open grill grid is placed directly over an open flame. The intense heat from the flames creates grill marks from the bars on the food. The metal heats up and blackens the food, where contact is made by a process called the Maillard reaction (the heat causes the sugars to caramelize) – delicious! If you are using an outdoor open fire, excess oil and grease drip onto the flames below. If you build a fire inside an outdoor gas-powered BBQ range, it might have a recessed area that collects excess fat and oil during the cooking process.
All grills produce lots of heat and smoke. If you are using one on your indoor cooker, it would require a ventilation system overhead to pull the smoke outside. Outdoor grills should always be used in a well-ventilated area.
We love the Char-Boil 4 Burner gas grill! This stainless steel outdoor grill has rust-resistant cast-iron grates, made to last and produce tasty food every time!
The Benefits Of Owning A Grill
A grill means that you are limited to the types of food that you can cook, but there are benefits to owning one:
- Grilling your food means that unhealthy fats and grease are drained away from your food onto the open flames. The drained fats and oils cause the flames to burn hotter and brown the food quicker, sealing in beneficial fats.
- Cooking food over a grill exposes the food to burning wood and charcoal, imparting wonderful smokey flavors into the food.
- Grilling foods can help with weight loss by removing some of the unhealthy fats from the food you are cooking.
- You use less butter and oil for basting when grilling food.
What Is The Difference Between A Griddle And A Grill?
The most obvious difference between a griddle and a grill is the cooking surface. The other difference is the temperature they work best at:
- A grill works best at temperatures of around 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius). Heat at this temperature is directly transmitted through the metal grates or ridges, causing the brow strips on the meat. Very hot temperatures are great for searing meat on the outside without overcooking the inside.
- A griddle works best at temperatures of around 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). The heat source or flames never touch the food. These temperatures underneath the griddle pan are more than hot enough to sear meat and also allows you to safely cook foods or vegetables in a sauce without overcooking the food.
A griddle or a griddle pan is a flat pan designed to cook over an electric or gas burner. A grill is a grid generally used over an open flame (indoor grill appliances are available), whether indoors or outdoors. Cooking over a cooking range or stovetop rather than an open fire means that you can use different appliances.
Generally, if you are cooking over an open fire, your cooking area is restricted to a grilling grid or a flat bottomed griddle.
If you are cooking indoors without an open flame, different appliances are available according to your needs. You could enjoy the benefits of both cooking methods, using one appliance.
- A reversible electric grill/griddle provides a flat surface on one side and a ridged surface on the other for both cooking methods.
- A contact grill/griddle, known as a panini press, allows you to cook food using both sides of the appliance at once.
- Small contact grill/griddle appliances are designed for cooking sandwiches.
- Large contact grill/griddle appliance create two flat surfaces (A griddle or a grill) to cook food on both sides at once face-up, or they allow you to press-style your food.
- Some grill/griddle appliances feature additional plates like waffle plates for cooking waffles, extending the usefulness of one appliance without cluttering up your kitchen.
Read up here on what the staff over at Blackstone Griddles said about this here (they may be a bit biased though).
Why You Need A Griddle Instead Of a Grill
While a grill is a wonderful cooking tool and, when used over an open flame, helps you to produce tasty, flavorsome food, it is limited in what you can cook directly over it. You can purchase different pans to use over a grill to cook different foods, but they are costly and could take up space in your kitchen that you don’t have.
While indoor grilling appliances are available, their use is limited unless you purchase additional equipment to use with them.
A griddle, on the other hand, is the perfect appliance for indoor or outdoor use! A stovetop griddle can be easily stored in a kitchen cabinet or a large drawer and can be pulled out when you need to use it – easy!
If you use an electric griddle often, it can be left out on a kitchen countertop or easily stowed away. A portable griddle is so useful – you can cook anything on it, no matter where you are!
An outdoor griddle can cook everything that a grill can, and more! A griddle provides consistent heat across a flat area, allowing you to cook foods that can not be cooked on a grill surface.
An outdoor griddle lets you cook your food the way you like it while entertaining your family and friends outdoors – no more left alone cooking in the kitchen while everyone else enjoys the outdoors!
With an outdoor griddle, you have the option of cooking for two or for a party! A gas option means all you have to do is plug the adapter onto the cooker, switch it on, and cook! No waiting for the fire to reach the correct temperature.
Another great benefit for cooking on the griddle is – no more burnt or charred food! To become a great griller, you need to spend many hours perfecting the craft and protecting your food from overcooking and burning when grease overflows onto the fire below, sending higher flames up to burn your food.
Using a griddle, you don’t have to worry about hot flames charring your food! The grease flows from the top of the griddle into a cup – no flames to feed. You can safely leave your food cooking unattended for a few minutes without fear of it burning.
The griddle sears the outside of the food, leaving the inside to slowly cook without drying up – tasty and tender! Because the griddle is made from cast iron, once it warms up, it stays hot!
You can try out different oils on the griddle to produce different flavors while still cooking the way you like with the spices you enjoy.
Another benefit of using an outdoor cooker is that you can turn some burners off underneath the griddle while leaving others to cook different food for different lengths. The already cooked food will stay warm without drying out!
Once you have discovered the joys, wonders, and excitement of cooking using the griddle method, you will change your cooking style – guaranteed! But dont just take our word for it, see what the folks at Smoked BBQ Source said.
Although each cooking method has its benefits, your cooking method is entirely up to you and should be determined by your available space, your budget, and your own particular tastes.
For a good value for money and exciting cooking options, the griddle is at the top of my list all the time! A griddle is so versatile and easy to use; cooking on one is a pleasure!
The good news, though, is that you could enjoy the benefits of both the grill and the griddle by simply placing a griddle pan over your grill and using both cooking methods simultaneously!