Smithey’s No. 10 Flat Top Griddle is our top pick for very good reason: It’s beautiful, sturdy, versatile, and most important, heats quickly and evenly (view at Smithey). If you’re on the hunt for something quality but you’re on a budget, the Lodge’s Reversible Pro-Grid Grill/Griddle will give you that bang for your buck—it has a wide cooking area, it’s multipurpose, and you can even use it over the campfire (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Buying a Griddle Pan
Size and Space
Before you click buy, consider where and how you’ll use the griddle. If you’re primarily going to use it on your stove instead of on a grill, you’ll likely need a different size. Think about the space in your kitchen both for using and storing the griddle.
“They tend to be large, but you can find ones that are more compact, depending on your needs. If you entertain once in a while, having a bigger one around is a great idea,” says Charlie McKenna, founder and chef of Lillie’s Q, a Southern BBQ restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina.
If you’ll be using it inside to cook a lot of food at once, you’ll likely want a rectangle griddle that will cover two burners. If outside, Chris Mentzer, director of culinary at Rastelli Foods Group, recommends measuring the grill surface to get the exact size that will meet your needs.
“You may want to have a griddle that covers only half of the grill. So, you can have the griddle pan on one side cooking up some peppers and onions, and then fresh sausages being cooked to perfection on the open grill.”
Next, you’ll have to pick between nonstick or cast iron. Nonstick tends to be inexpensive and easier to store, but less durable.
“You can also find grill/griddle combos that might make more sense, especially if you want to save space,” says McKenna.
What’s the difference between a grill pan and a griddle pan?
Also read: Best Pancake Griddle 2022: Top Brands Review
A grill has raised lines or ridges on the bottom of the pan that leaves grill lines emulating those that appear on food cooked on an outdoor grill, whereas a griddle pan is flat with no ridges.
“It cooks like a sauté pan or fry pan,” says Mentzer. Griddle pans are also typically longer and have more surface space than grill pans.
How do I clean a griddle pan?
It’s going to depend on what your griddle pan is made out of. If it’s nonstick, use soapy water and a sponge or dish towel.
“Avoid using anything abrasive that would ruin the nonstick coating. If there are any difficult spots, you can pre-soak the pan in soapy, hot water for a few minutes before cleaning,” says Mentzer.
Also read: The Best Pancake Griddle Pan
If it’s cast iron, make sure it’s completely cool before you attempt to clean it. Save the soap and instead add a pinch of coarse salt, scrub with a dish towel and then rinse the pan underwater. Dry right away and put a bit of oil (0.5 to 1 teaspoon should be plenty) on it. While it’s best not to use soap on cast iron, you can occasionally; just make sure you hand-wash with mild soap and dry right away. You’ll also want to add a touch of oil.
Why should I use a griddle pan?
Simply put, because it lets you get more cooking done faster. With the larger cooking area, you can whip up pancakes, French toast, eggs, and bacon in no time. If you have a large family or are entertaining, it also makes it easy to make a lot of food quickly, such as sautéing vegetables or making fajitas. Plus, several brands have ones that work outdoors as well, allowing you to add that smoky grill flavor to things like scallops and other seafood and vegetables that are too delicate to place right on the grill.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Bridget Shirvell has been writing about food and wine for more than a decade. Her work has appeared on Foodprint, Martha Stewart Living, Food52, and more. Obsessively organized, Bridget is always looking for items that will make baking with her toddler easier while keeping her kitchen tidy and making the best use of the tricky shelf space in her early 19th-century home.
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