How To Choose A Griddle
To get the most from your griddle, spend some time thinking about how, why, when and where you are most likely to use it.
Some people confuse griddles with crepe pans, which are smaller and made of thinner metal.
The cheapest griddles are simple, flat metal pans. Some have a smooth surface and these are ideal for pancakes. Others have a ribbed surface which is a healthy way to cook meats that release fat, as it allows the fat to drain away. A lip or indentation around the edge of the griddle stops any fat spilling over.
If they are designed for use on one burner, they can be round or square. Larger ones for use over two burners are rectangular. Before you buy, check that the griddle is suitable for use on gas or electric burners. It would be frustrating to get it home and find that you canít use it!
The advantage of these is that they are easy to use and simple to store when not in use. As with any cookware, buy the best that you can afford. A good quality griddle will feel sturdy and should have a heavy, strong base. Avoid thinner ones which feel as if they may buckle. They wonít last very long and wonít cook well.
Itís now possible to buy griddles which have an outer surface of stainless steel and an inner core of aluminum. These combine durability with even cooking temperatures and are easy to care for.
You may prefer a griddle made from good quality aluminum or cast iron. It will need seasoning prior to use. Simply rub some cooking oil into the cooking surface and place it over a low heat for ten minutes. Allow it to cool and then repeat the process a few more times.
As with all cookware that requires seasoning, avoid putting the griddle in the dishwasher. If you do, be sure to season it again before use.
Some now come with a non-stick surface. These wonít need seasoning but be careful how you wash them. They should be fairly easy to clean but avoid the use of metal scourers. Some are dishwasher safe but repeated use will eventually spoil the surface.
Extend Your Cooking Area
The days of the original bake stone are long gone. Nowadays, electric griddles are becoming increasingly popular. They sit on your kitchen counter and simply plug in.
This frees up your stove top so that you have a much greater cooking area Ė useful when cooking for large numbers.
Or just use it for preparing a meal and have only one non-stick surface to wipe, instead of many pans to wash. Some come with a removable tray which sits underneath the griddle and catches any fat that drips, making cleanup even easier.
Look for models with adjustable heat settings. This will allow you to control the temperature and make the cooking much easier.
Handles that donít heat up make the griddle safer and easier to use.
Once you invest in a griddle, youíll wonder how you ever lived without it!
About the Author: Article provided courtesy of Only Cookware. - a premier resource for everything relating to cookware, dutch ovens and pot racks.