Summer might be all about grilling meat and vegetables, but let’s face it – we do it all year long. Using a griddle makes it healthier with the use of less oil & fat, but which one to choose?
We all enjoy grilled food, no matter when, and cooking it outdoors when having a party makes the experience most enjoyable. However, have you tried out grilling on the griddle? What’s a griddle, you say?
The griddle is a device used for cooking on a flat, broad surface usually heated by gas, electric, wood, or coal. It can be used commercially (if you are running a catering business) or privately at home.
It usually comes in various sizes and is generally made of stainless steel or aluminum. Some griddles are also portable to make it easier for people who love outdoor cooking.
Now that we know a little about what a griddle is let’s talk about its benefits when cooking food. It’s one of the healthiest ways to cook, as the griddle grill requires less oil to cook meat and veggies.
It usually uses the juice that comes out of the food, making it completely baked instead of fried without any fat. That way, it retains the food’s nutrients and makes it more delicious and healthier to consume.
Another advantage to using this griddle grill is that it cooks the food quickly and avoids the risk of being burned, much like a regular grill would do when barbecuing. For more about the difference between a grill and a griddle – read this post.
How to choose the perfect griddle?
There are many types available, ranging from using them commercially or residentially. There are portable ones and also the big attached ones. Let’s take a look at the types which may help you decide on the best griddle grill for you.
Traditional griddle grills are stovetop grills that require gas to heat up and are mainly made of cast iron. They come in a small size where a single gas burner can be used or an overall size where you may need two burners to heat it. You can also serve it at the table, but you need to make sure you place a wooden mat underneath it.
Typically, these flat griddles are mostly used in cooking flatbreads, tortillas, pancakes, and such.
If you’re planning on purchasing a traditional griddle grill, then look for one that’s made of cast iron or enameled stainless steel. These materials help in distributing heat evenly and are resistant to thermal shock and corrosion.
Also, choose one with a minimum temperature of 270/320 degrees. You can use a food thermometer to check the heat distribution and check if the food has been cooked to your liking.
You can get griddle grill models that have a big broad surface and which takes up two burners. That way, you can cook meat and vegetables simultaneously with different parts of the board’s temperature being controlled by you. Also, try selecting a board that has a fat collection tray.
As the name suggests, these types of griddle grills run on electricity. They are mainly used for residential purposes and are portable too. They come in stainless steel, carbon steel, wrought iron, aluminum and are 1.6 to 3.2 mm thick in size.
These are best for light cooking when you do not have the time, and the best thing about it is that it has limited temperature control. That means you can digitally control its temperature instead of turning the flame up or down, like the traditional ones.
Most preferred electric models come with a thermostat where you can adjust the temperature when you cook. You can also choose one with a removable baking griddle, which can easily be thrown into a dishwasher for quick cleaning. Like traditional ones, get one with a fat collection tray, so cleaning can be made easier.
Commercial griddle grills are of two types: either free-standing countertops or a part of a large piece of equipment usually found in restaurants. However, all have three things in common: plate, source of heat, and temperature control.
When all of these are combined in perfect order, it can lead to good productivity (how much food per pound is being cooked), less time, the ideal consistency and evenness of the food texture.
You can choose these if you have a large restaurant business running off making grilled food and need to fill out multiple orders at once simultaneously.
You can use the free-standing ones or portable ones to sell grilled food, such as grilled cheese sandwiches, in a van or whichever you think will be a perfect fit for your street food business.
It’s natural to be concerned about the safety issues associated with purchasing a griddle grill. Like all kitchen appliances, this too can be a hazard if not maintained properly, even if it is equipped with flame-failure safety devices (in gas-run griddles).
You need to take care to place the griddle where other appliances and combustible materials are kept out of the way. Splash guards at the edges keep the grease away from your counter space and avoid slipping on floors.
However, clearing out the grease by putting it in a collector tray saves you a lot of time and can be easily cleaned out without any hassles. If the griddle is a portable one, then you need to ensure the place you’ll keep it in is clear of any flammable materials and especially, for household griddles, out of reach of children and those who are untrained in using griddle grills.
Griddle grills are useful tools that are best for light baked cooking and are healthy for the entire family with the food cooked in its own juices rather than using oil or fat (used in regular grilling).
You can also use griddle grills to prepare a feast for a party with a couple of food ideas that would wow your guests.