Griddles are great pieces of kitchen equipment, but do you really need one? After all, a frying pan can pretty much get the job done (even if the job is done in a couple of stages).
So, are griddles really worth it? Well, today, we’re looking at griddles, what they are, and some pros and cons of griddles to help you decide if you could benefit from one in your kitchen.
First, though, let’s find out what a griddle is, shall we?
What Is a Griddle?
A griddle is a large rectangular grill pan that typically fits over two burners on your hob. It has ridges on the surface to give you those classic sear marks, but some also have a flat surface for more versatility.
Griddles have two handles on the smaller ends of the rectangle to help with carrying and are made from many different materials. The common materials, though, are cast iron or cast aluminium.
Griddles look a lot like cast iron skillets, and you are likely weighing up the pros and cons of the two. So, here are some pros and cons about griddles.
By the way, we understand that some griddles are advertised with a single handle and look much like a cast-iron skillet.
Here we’re focusing on longer rectangular griddles as that is what most people consider a griddle to be.
The Pros of Griddles
Griddles are extremely versatile. Not only can they be used on the barbecue and the hob, but they can also go in the oven.
However, there’s more. Griddles can be used to sear and fry just about anything.
Steaks, fish, veg, chicken breasts, burgers, and so much more. Plus, you can achieve those awesome sear marks too, which is cool!
Griddles are also a healthy way to cook. Much like some cast iron skillets, griddles have ridges on the cooking surface. These ridges give you cool sear marks, but they also keep the food raised above the bottom of the pan.
This means the fat and grease are out the way, and when you remove your food from the pan, you aren’t bringing that fat with you. So, griddles can cook tasting but healthy food!
3. Bigger than alternatives
You can buy large cast-iron skillets, but nothing as big as a rectangular griddle. These things are designed to fit over the top of two hob rings. So, they are huge and allow you to cook a lot of food at once.
So, if you have a big family (or like cooking massive steaks), a griddle is a really good choice. They are also lighter than large cast-iron skillets.
The Cons of Griddles
1. Takes up more than one burner
The fact that griddles are bigger is a pro and a con at the same time. While you get more cooking space on your griddle, you lose a burner on your hob. If you’re cooking a large meal, this burner could come in extremely handy.
2. Can damage glass stovetops
Most griddle adverts you see show them on gas hobs or barbecues. This is because griddles are quite prone to scratching glass topped hobs.
These are really heavy (perhaps another con), and the urge to slide them off of the hob once you’ve finished using them is hard to resist.
If you slide a griddle off of a glass hob, you will damage it! Cast iron skillets are also prone to damaging glass hobs, but they are usually smaller and easier to wield.
3. Requires seasoning
When you buy a cast-iron skillet nowadays, most companies season it for you out of the factory.
You’ll need to top up the seasoning, but it is off to a flying start for you. Griddles, though, often don’t come pre-seasoned, so this is something you’ll have to do.
Seasoning a griddle isn’t tricky; we have a seasoning article for cast iron skillets that will work wonders. However, if you don’t want this extra step before cooking, this is a consideration.
We hope this look at griddles and some pros and cons has been helpful. Griddles are really fun to use in the kitchen and on the BBQ; they are even great for fire pits and stuff as well.
Scott is a writer and a passionate home chef. His passion for cooking began when he was 10 years old. Scott has been writing professionally for over five years now and loves to combine his passion for cooking with his day job.