Ah, the griddle: the beloved, versatile cooking companion. It can fry eggs, flip pancakes, and crisp bacon. But one key ingredient necessary for griddle cooking success is the season. If you’ve ever been afraid of griddling out of inexperience, you’ve come to the right place. So, what does a well-seasoned griddle look like? And how can you tell if it’s ready? Let’s delve into the delicious world of seasoned griddle cooking and discover the secrets of this much-loved kitchen tool.
First, let’s look at the essential benefits of a seasoned griddle. When you season a griddle, it helps to protect the surface from discoloration and rust, as well as improve its non-stick properties. This means that when it’s time to cook, you can do so with greater ease and ease of cleaning afterwards. Seasoning a griddle helps to create a well-greased surface that’s capable of withstanding the heat of cooking without your food sticking to the surface. What’s more, it enables the foods you’re cooking to brown better, helping you to achieve more of that signature golden crust in your pancakes, crisp bacon, and grilled sandwiches.
Now, let’s talk about the appearance of a well-seasoned griddle. A properly seasoned griddle should look dull and slightly greasy. If your griddle looks shiny or has spots that look like they’ve been scoured, it hasn’t been properly seasoned. A correctly seasoned griddle will have evenly distributed patches of oil that are visible with the naked eye. Depending on the type of griddle you have, it may also have a glossy finish to its surface that comes from a seasoning of either lard or shortening.
So, how can you tell if your griddle is ready for cooking? Well, the best way to tell is by testing it. Put the griddle on medium heat and drop a few drops of water on the surface. If the water beads up and then evaporates, your griddle is ready to go. Similarly, if the water soaks quickly into the surface and then evaporates, this denotes that your griddle is properly seasoned and ready to cook.
If you’re using a brand-new griddle, it’s essential to season it properly before use. The best way to do this is with melted lard or vegetable shortening, as this will help to create an even coating of oil on the surface of the griddle and ensure that your foods cook evenly and without sticking. Start by heating the griddle to a medium temperature and then spread a thick layer of lard over the surface using a paper towel. Then, turn down the heat to low and let the lard cook until it has absorbed into the griddle. Allow the griddle to cool and then turn the heat back up to medium and repeat the process a few times, allowing the griddle to cool each time in between. The goal is to achieve a griddle surface that is an even, slightly glossy dark brown colour.
Finally, proper griddle care is essential for retaining the right cooking environment. After each use, make sure you let the griddle cool completely before cleaning it. Then, use warm, soapy water and a sponge to clean away any residue, before wiping the surface with a paper towel or soft cloth. This helps to remove any excess fats and oils and leave the griddle with a smooth and ready-to-use surface. Lastly, if you’re griddle has been cooked in a lot or is used often, it’s a good idea to season it at least once a week to maintain its slick cooking surface.
By following these steps, you should be well on your way to creating delicious griddle-cooked meals in no time. So, what does a seasoned griddle look like and how can you tell if it’s ready for cooking? Now you know exactly the look you should be aiming for and the steps needed to achieve it. Enjoy your griddle cooking!