How to Use a Griddle on the Stove-Top: Essential Cooking, Cleaning, & Safety Tips
An electric griddle is handy for large batch cooking, but we love one kitchen tool even more: a stove-top griddle! Learn more about how to use a griddle on a gas stove to make all of your favorite breakfast foods, seared meats, and more.
What is a Griddle?
A griddle is a large, flat pan that usually takes up space over two of your stove burners, which is incredible if you have a big family or like to cook your meals in large quantities. Stove-top griddles have a smooth surface and can contain steel, cast-iron, or occasionally copper.
We love cooking with a cast iron griddle because you can treat it as a double-wide frying pan or as a means for indoor grilling – no BBQ required!
Though we traditionally associate a griddle with breakfast foods like pancakes, bacon, and eggs, that’s selling the griddle short – there are countless other foods you can cook on a griddle pan too!
In this post, we’re sharing everything you need to know about a stove-top grill – but the electric griddle is another popular griddle that people love to use to fry all of their favorite foods.
What is a Griddle Used For?
You can cook almost anything you’d like on a cast iron griddle, stove-top style, and we use ours constantly to make big family meals. If you have a few other cast-iron pieces and a large skillet, you may not need to invest in a griddle. But if you don’t have anything like it and can afford to add an extra piece to your kitchen collection, the griddle is well worth the small investment.
If you cook big batches and have a large group of people to cook for, using a griddle will save you a ton of time and effort. Griddle cooking allows you the space to cook every element of your meal at once – no way your bacon will get cold as you reuse the pan to cook your eggs. And fewer pans means less clean-up, as a bonus!
A big steel griddle also has a wide, flat surface with open sides, which allows any extra moisture to drip to the edge and keeps your foods perfectly crisp, not soggy.
Ergonomically speaking, it’s much easier to flip your foods with a gas-stove griddle – no awkward angles to contend with as you try to maneuver around the sides of the pan.
The Best Griddle Cooking Tips & Tricks
Besides cooking every breakfast food imaginable, try these other griddle uses too!
If you’re wondering what to make on a griddle, try steaks, meat, or seafood. The beauty of a cast-iron griddle lies in the perfectly-seared exterior it builds on the outside of burgers and countless other meats while keeping the insides moist and tender. To achieve those professional-looking grill marks on your meat, place your meat on the griddle and leave it for half the cooking time, then rotate the meat 90° to finish it off.
You can also warm foods on your griddle like leftovers, toast, and flatbread, or try using your griddle as a sandwich press by placing a cast-iron skillet on top of your sandwiches as they cook on the grill.
Need recipe ideas? Get this FREE Cast Iron Griddle recipe e-book:
Cast-Iron Vs. Steel: Which Griddle to Choose?
Just like all other cookware, you can find a griddle pan made of a few different materials.
- Stainless steel is an inexpensive option that’s a great heat conductor. This flat top will disperse heat evenly across the surface. It’s more lightweight than cast-iron but much less durable.
- Cast-iron, on the other hand, is much heavier than steel. It’s also relatively inexpensive and heats evenly. The sear on a cast-iron pan is unparalleled, and though you need to maintain the seasoning, it imparts some delicious and complex flavors into the foods you cook. A good-quality cast-iron griddle pan can last well over 100 years.
We recommend a cast-iron griddle for the kitchen and cooking at home, but if you plan to take it camping, the lightweight steel version might be preferable for you!
How to Cook on a Griddle: First-Time Prep and Cooking Instructions
Whether you’re using your griddle for gas stove-tops or electric, the cooking methods are the same, but be aware that electric stoves tend to heat a griddle with more hot and cold spots.
Preparing Your Griddle for its First Use
Seasoning the Griddle
Most cast-iron griddle pans come pre-seasoned already, but if your griddle pan isn’t seasoned, you’ll want to build up a coating before you get started cooking on griddle pans – otherwise, your food is going to stick, and you’ll have a tough time prying it off.
To season your griddle:
- Heat your griddle on the stove-top over high heat for 10-15 minutes.
- Grab some long-handled tongs and clean paper towels, then dip them in a high smoke point cooking oil, like vegetable oil.
- Wipe the oiled paper towel around the entire surface of the griddle, using the tongs for safety.
- Take the griddle off the heat, and once cooled, wash, rinse, and dry the griddle. Your seasoning is now ready to go for any meals you can dream up!
General Griddle Cooking Method Guidelines
You’ll use your griddle differently depending on what meal you’re cooking with it, but here are a few essential griddle tips to keep in mind:
- Always place your griddle on the burners before you turn them on. A cast-iron griddle needs to heat up slowly with the burners; otherwise, this solid material may go into thermal shock and crack!
- Avoid using abrasive utensils on your griddle. Metal and wire utensils can damage a griddle’s surface or seasoning.
- Keep your griddle dry after use. Your griddle may rust with prolonged exposure to water. Use a towel to dry your griddle well after every use; don’t let this cookware drip dry on the counter!
How to Clean a Griddle
- Before cleaning your cast iron griddle, allow it to cool completely.
- Wash your griddle with hot soapy water, and then dry completely with a clean dish towel.
- Stick to mild dish soap and gentle cleansers and scrubbers.
- Never, ever put your griddle in the dishwasher – it will come out clean and covered in rust.
- Re-season your griddle from time to time to keep its non-stick coating in top condition.
Final Notes: A Few Griddle Safety Tips
Griddle cooking is relatively safe, but there are a few safety precautions you should take whenever you use your griddle.
Use an oven mitt when handling your griddle, as most of them are made entirely out of cast-iron – the handles get very, very hot!
Avoid unnecessary burns by using the properly-sized spatula for the job. If you’re cooking larger pieces of food, use a bigger spatula to handle them.
And lastly, keep an eye on the grease accumulating on your griddle, especially while you cook fatty foods like bacon. Excess oil can overflow and easily cause burns or a kitchen fire.
We hope you love exploring one of our favorite kitchen tools!
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