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Griddle Vs Grill: Differences and How to Choose the Best One

Sep 12th 2022 - Monica Cunanan

Griddle Vs Grill: Differences and How to Choose the Best One

Grills are one the most iconic American cooking tools that are practically required for outdoor gatherings. Most people are more accustomed to grills at diners and restaurants where the flat surface sizzle and sears delicious meals in the background all day. A griddle can help you cook a wide range of foods easily and cleanly.

Griddle Vs Grill

Griddles have smooth, flat surfaces while grills have distinctively raised ridges. Grilling uses higher temperatures, 400°F (204°C) than griddle cooking which is about 350°F (177°C). Griddles and grills can be interchangeable for some delicious foods but since they work best at different temperatures and their surface varies, you may want to consider the cooking style that your dish needs.

  • Different surfaces:
    • Griddle surfaces have smooth, flat cooking spaces while grills have distinctively raised ridges.
  • Heat Source:
    • The heat source for either griddles or grills can be gas, charcoal, or electricity.
    • Grilling works best at higher temperatures, 400°F (204°C), while griddles work best at around 350°F (177°C).
  • Heat Distribution:
    • Griddles transfer heat from the entire metal surface to the food cooking and browning evenly.
    • Grilling requires higher heat than griddle cooking. Heat transfers from the flames directly, and through the metal grates of the grill. The metal absorbs and concentrates the heat, browning and/or igniting at the point of touch, creating the grill marks on hot dogs and steaks.

Models Featured: Cadco Commercial Griddle and Crown Verity Commercial Grill

What is a Griddle?

griddle is similar to a hot plate but has a heating element directly under its surface. It's basically just a big skillet without any handles or sides.

Griddles are usually rectangular in shape and the size depends on usage, indoor or outdoor, at home or in commercial kitchens.

They can be large enough to serve as an oven for cooking pizza or small enough to sit inside a range top burner. Tabletop models are also available for cooking conveniently. A griddle must remain level at all times to keep liquids running off to one side.

The thicker the metal used for the pan, the better its heat retaining and cooking qualities. Thin metal pans may warp if it is too thin.

Model Featured: Atosa Griddle

What types of food can I cook on a griddle?

Griddles are best suited for preparing foods that would not normally be cooked on a barbecue or grill. Here are examples of what kind of food you can cook on a griddle:

  • Eggs, pancakes, rice dishes, and fajitas.
  • Fried breakfast foods such as
    • Eggs, pancakes, rice dishes, and fajitas
    • sausages, hash browns, bacon, beans, french toast, and tomatoes.
  • Since griddles can mimic a wok so you are able to make stir-fry Chinese, Japanese, Mexican dishes, and Korean cuisines.

With the ability to grill anything from hamburgers to bulgogi, having access to a griddle makes cooking so much easier.

Types of griddles

Griddles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so you can find one that suits most kitchen setups.

Freestanding griddles

If you're looking for a freestanding grill that comes with its own stand and wheels, check out the freestanding griddle models. They're both great choices if you want an ample and flat cooking surface in your backyard.

Most freestanding electric griddles are powered by electricity which means you would only need an electrical outlet for with multiple heating elements that are mounted under the cooking surface.

You can get casters for easier movement, greaseless fryers, and foldable side tables to help you cook better.

Tabletop griddles

Like a hot pan, tabletop griddles are compact, portable cooking surfaces that you can take with you when camping or heading out for a cookout.

You can use them for cooking up a delicious breakfast and store them away without using up too much room in your cupboards.

It's small enough that it doesn't take up too much space when traveling with it, or when storing it.

Insert Griddles

An insert griddle is usually used for cooking pancakes, waffles, crepes, etc., but can also be used for frying bacon, eggs, sausages, etc.

If you've already invested in a gas barbecue or a coal grill but don't have enough room for a freestand­ing grilling surface, then an insert grille is a good option that only adds to the utility of your existing setup.

The Type of Metal Makes a Difference

Griddles usually come in two types: stainless-stainless or cast-iron. If you want to spend more money for larger commercial settings, you can choose from different materials including stainless steel and chrome.

You'll find a cast iron or stainless-steel griddle in most restaurants and hotel kitchens. It doesn't get warped when heated and recovers quickly after heating. If you're planning on making lots of heavy meals, choose the thickest grill pan you can get your hands on.

There are grill grills made from various materials including nickel-plated steels, stainless steels, cast irons, porcelain enamels, and porcelain enameling.

Porcelain coating helps clean up after meals but doesn't affect the cooking process. Thickness matters when choosing a grill pan. Thicker pans hold heat better than thinner ones.

Once broken in, even plain steel and cast-steel pots and pans can be used for years without any problem. After cleaning, you simply wipe on some vegetable oils to prevent rust.

The bottom line here: the larger and heavier, the better!

(See More: How to Season Pots and Pans)

What is a Grill?

There are two kinds of grills. One is a solid metal plate with raised edges, and the other is a set of bars that holds the foods directly over an open fire. The open type is usually seen on most barbecues.

Continuous grill surfaces have rows of raised ridges that allow for even cooking by transferring the hot air evenly across the surface.

Grilled foods have those little grills from the ridges or bar. The intense heating causes the meat on contact to become dark brown or blackened. Browning is called the Mailliard reaction, which occurs when sugar molecules become caramelized due to high temperatures.

They generate a lot of heat and produce a lot of smoky fumes and are only used outdoors or under an outdoor ventilator that draws air out of the room.

Barbecue smokers tend to be hotter than griddles or grills, so they're better for cooking delicious flavors of meats with smokey flavors. However, because barbecues are open, the heat circulates through the smoker, which allows the grease to drip away rather than pooling on top of the meat.

Model Featured: Omcan USA Charcoal BBQ Grill

Cooking Surface Sizes

Most grills offer enough space for most people to cook their meals. Griddles also provide an excellent, large cooking space perfect for cooking up a big dinner. The flat metal cooking surface of griddles allows for more flexibility when cooking because there are fewer obstacles to keep things from falling through the grill grates. Traditional grills aren't nearly as versatile as griddles for outdoor cooking.

What is the better choice?

Both of them of course! Because the grill and griddles cook at different temps and work best for different kinds of foods, having two of each makes it easier to choose which one to use.

If you don't have space for both a freestand­ing griddle and a traditional gas grill, an insert grille means you can still enjoy the benefits of both.

You can now cook steaks the night before and breakfast the next day on the same rig.

Deciding Between Griddles or Grills for Your Business?

Restaurant Equipment is crucial for operating any commercial kitchen. At Culinary Depot, we're always happy to help you find the perfect commercial equipment for your needs. May it be:

Visit our online store or contact us today for more information.