What is the Best Oil for Griddle Cooking
Griddle cooking is all the rage right now. Sear your steaks, perfect your pancakes, and fry up the best burgers you can, all from the comfort of your own kitchen. A griddle pan should be an essential piece of equipment for all chefs because there's so much you can cook on them!
There are so many foods to cook on a griddle, but for the perfect meal, you're going to need to know which oils are best for griddling. From canola oil to olive oil, we asked our top chefs: which is the best oil for griddle cooking?
Do you need oil to cook on your griddle?
Cast iron griddle is a fantastic piece of kitchen equipment. These heavy-duty flat top pans are excellent for cooking meats and vegetables, quickly, and at high temperatures. Griddles cook the best burgers, the best-grilled cheese sandwiches, and even the best pancakes!
But no matter what it is that you're cooking up, be it breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you need to use oil when you're cooking on a griddle. As we'll get to in a moment, different oils have different qualities, which makes some oils more suited to griddling than others.
Oil is essential for griddle cooking, and you'll need to apply plenty of oil to your pan before you start cooking on it. When the oil heats up, it stops your food from sticking to your griddle, making the cooking experience much easier, and making the finished product taste much better.
How to cook on a griddle
It doesn't matter if you're cooking breakfast pancakes or cheeseburgers for dinner, there are a few key steps to follow every time you start cooking with a griddle, for the best experience.
- Preseason your griddle: Before you start cooking, you need to make sure you've preseasoned your griddle. This means drowning it in cooking oil and heating it up, to stop food sticking to the pan. Over time, the oil creates a more permanent non-stick layer on the bottom of a cast iron griddle, which makes it easier to cook with and stops it from rusting.
- Cook your food: This step is simple. Cook your food! Griddle those burgers, griddle those pancakes, or griddle that cheese sandwich!
- Clean your griddle pan: As soon as you've finished cooking, you need to clean your griddle pan immediately. This means scraping off any residue or burnt food and washing the pan in water. Dry the pan thoroughly after cleaning.
- Season your pan (again): Once the pan is thoroughly dry, you should season it once more. This means taking a thin layer of oil, wiping it around the bottom of the griddle pan and heating it at a high temperature. This layer of seasoning is why oil is so essential to cooking on griddles (and to any other cast iron cookware). Seasoning creates a non-stick surface, and it protects a cast iron griddle pan from rusting.
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What is the best oil to use on a griddle?
You will find that there are plenty of different types of oil for sale in your local supermarket. There are vegetable oils, olive oils, sesame oils, and even avocado oils. Different oils can contribute a different taste to your food when you griddle it, while different oils work best at different temperatures.
The most important point to consider is the smoke point of the oil. The smoke point is the temperature at which the oil begins to burn. If the oil begins to burn, it starts to break down. This affects the temperature at which you can cook with the oil. The higher the smoke point, the higher the temperature you can use. The best griddling happens at high temperatures, so a high smoke point is a massive bonus!
Our top picks are vegetable oils or canola oils. They are widely available, cost-effective, and have a high smoke point. Our ultimate cooking oil is avocado oil. The smoke point is ridiculously high. Avocado oil is not cheap, nor is it widely available, however!
We regularly use the following oils when we are cooking with our cast iron griddles. We've listed their smoke points to help you out when choosing.
- Olive Oil; a great oil for cooking at a lower smoke point, gives your food a great taste too. Readily available in all supermarkets. You probably have olive oil in your cupboard already! Smoke Point 325°F
- Flaxseed Oil; has a lower smoke point, but doesn't break down easily. Great oil for seasoning your pan and creating a solid layer to protect it against burnt food and rust. Smoke Point 225°F.
- Vegetable Oils; vegetable oils are our go-to oil when it comes to griddle cooking. A high smoke point and a relatively neutral flavor, make it perfect for high temp cooking. Smoke Point 400 - 450°F.
- Canola Oil; one of the best oils for griddle cooking is canola oil. It has a high smoke point but doesn't leave much of a mark on the taste of the food either. Smoke Point 400°F.
- Sunflower Seed Oil; a great choice for high-temperature cooking on a cast iron griddle pan, and widely available in shops and supermarkets. It has a super high smoke point and doesn't break down easily. Smoke Point 440°F.
- Sesame Oil; with a mid-range smoke point, sesame oil can be great for slow cooking on griddles. At higher temperatures, it breaks down, leaving a sesame seed taste, which some chefs love and some chefs hate. Smoke Point 350°F.
- Avocado Oil; with a ridiculously high smoke point, avocado oil is perfect for cooking meats on a griddle pan at super-high temperatures. Smoke Point 520°F.
Which oil is best for high heat cooking?
Cooking on griddles is best done at super-high temperatures. Meats and vegetables cook best on a griddle when they cook fast, at high heat. This means that the oil you choose really needs to have a high smoke point to cope with high heat cooking.
A high smoke point will keep the flavor neutral and will ensure that your food doesn't stick or burn to the pan. Avocado oil is one of the best choices, as this has a high smoke point of 520°F.
Avocado oil isn't always widely available, however, in which case you can opt for vegetable oils. These have a smoke point of 400 to 450°F. Most high heat griddle cooking is going to be happening at around 400 to 450°F, so vegetable oils work well.
What's the best oil for grilling?
The best kitchen griddles are usually reversible these days. That means that a cast iron reversible griddle can be flipped over, and on the other side, you can find a cast iron grill plate. For that reason, we thought we'd make a quick note about which oils are best for grilling too.
Grilling is very similar to griddling, the difference being that a grill pan has raised ridges on the bottom, rather than being flat and smooth. The raised ridges replicate the traditional outdoor griddles you'll know from those summer BBQs. They are perfect for searing hot scorch marks into sausages or giving your burgers that authentic smoky streak
Because you need to be cooking steaks at a high temperature, the best oil for flat top grill will have a high smoke point. Much like griddling, we'd recommend using vegetable oil, canola oil, or olive oil for grilling.
From canola oil to olive oil, there are so many different cooking oils to choose from when you're griddling. Why not bookmark this article, so you can come back later when you're ready to put your griddle into action in the kitchen?
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