What is a griddle pan, and what should you use it for?
Griddle pans are fantastic kitchen products for people who love experimenting with different cooking styles at home. Though the cast iron griddle pan might not be a well-known cooking surface as a standard frying pan, still, they’re an excellent tool to help you expand your cooking experiences.
The best griddle pans can leave grill marks on your meals when you’re cooking food like asparagus and steak, and they make it easy to experiment with foods like halloumi and grilled pork. Sometimes referred to as a grill pan, a griddle pan gives you an interesting and highly efficient cooking surface that can be a little healthier than cooking food with a frying pan.
Today, we will introduce you to the wonders of griddle pans and why you should consider investing in buying one for your home.
What Is a Griddle Pan?
A griddle pan or grill pans come in various shapes and surfaces. The main purpose of these pans is to cook food in a specific way, so you get a unique texture and flavour from your meals. Usually, a griddle pan is a rectangular or square cast iron pan. Cast iron griddle pans are often more effective than other griddle pans because they preserve the flavour of your foods.
Cast iron griddle pans will have a set of raised lines on the bottom of the pan to mimic a grill surface. If you have a pan with a flat surface, it’s probably just a frying pan. The best griddle pan will be excellent at heat retention and should be able to achieve an amazing set of grill marks even at medium heat. Some of these products are oven-safe, while others have a non-stick coating, so you don’t have to use as much olive oil when you’re cooking food.
Unlike a frying pan or a stainless-steel skillet, griddle pans have very low walls, making them ideal for flipping grilled foods like steaks and pancakes. You can also get griddle plates, which allow you to keep grilled food warm and add grill marks to the food you’ve already cooked in an alternative pan, like a cast-iron skillet.
Moreover, griddle pans are designed to transfer heat evenly, much like most cooking surfaces, with minimal cooking oil if you choose a good non-stick coating. As a result, they can be great if you want to cook quickly but still achieve similar sear marks to what you might get on grilled food from an outdoor grill.
What Is the Difference Between a Griddle and a Frying Pan?
Although both the frying pan and griddle pan are used for cooking all kinds of foods for delicious meals, they’re distinct. A frying pan uses a smooth surface to cook food. You get the same concentration of heat across the entire surface, whether you’re using cast aluminium, steel, or cast-iron frying pan. This means your food will cook evenly with no searing marks.
Frying pans can also have a non-stick coating to help the cooking process, but you will usually pour or brush oil into the pan. In addition, since the frying pan has a higher wall, you can fry a range of foods without getting fat everywhere. You can use it for cooking delicious breakfast meals, like French toast, eggs, and more.
Both griddle pans and frying pans can be made of cast iron and other materials. Most have a non-stick surface, though a griddle pan may require additional oil in the deep ridges, making the searing marks. Also, a griddle pan’s raised components will focus high temperatures from the pan into your food at specific points, so you end up with searing marks left behind. A frying pan can usually hold more food because of the high walls and will need to preheat to have the best impact on many different kinds of food.
Another significant difference between frying pans and griddle pans is that griddle pans are usually square or rectangular while frying pans are round.
What Do You Cook in a Griddle Pan?
Many people assume the only difference between a griddle pan and a frying pan is how the food looks when you’re done cooking it on high heat. However, this isn’t the case. When you cook food with a griddle pan, you also get different flavours and experiences.
A griddle is more likely to be the right choice when you want to see your food cook, as it might be on an outside BBQ or grill. Cast aluminium and cast iron skillets can’t achieve the same smoky taste of a griddle pan in most cases, even if you use high heat.
A griddle pan or plate can make all kinds of food from medium-high heat to high temperatures. Depending on the griddle plan, you can even place your food in the oven after grilling it. The best griddle pan makes various meals, such as:
- Grilled meats like burgers, steak, chicken, and pork
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Shrimp and seafood
- Grilled vegetables
You can also use a griddle for cooking breakfast food like bacon, sausages, and French bread if you want a unique flavour. However, even a non-stick griddle pan will struggle with foods like eggs because of the food debris and rendered fat that stays in the grooves.
Since griddle pans don’t have the same smooth surfaces as skillets or frying pans, they can also burn food very quickly. So when you add oil to your oven-proof griddle pan, be sure you select one with the ideal smoking point for your preferred dish. For example, avocado oil, peanut, and soybean oils can often be better for griddle pans and electric grills when you’re worried about food burning fast.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Griddle Pan?
A griddle pan is an excellent way to get delicious grilled foods similar to what you might get from an outdoor grill, with nothing but the right pan and an induction hob. These pans are as easy to use as any other kitchen accessory most of the time. You can wash them with warm water or check the instructions to see whether your griddle pan is dishwasher safe.
Although it can take a while to get used to the loss of a flat surface, your cast iron grill pan could quickly change your life. Some of the benefits of using grooved and flat griddle pans include:
• Better fat draining: When you’re cooking meats, the fat and grease will be able to drain away from the meat. This means you can reduce the amount of fat you serve both to yourself and your family. Hence, the raised surfaces of the griddle pan make it easy to drain away the fat you don’t want to eat.
• Unique flavours: Compared to other cooking options, using a grill pan as a cooking surface can give you a wonderfully unique set of flavours. The sear marks in food make it look more impressive when you’re serving it to friends while giving it a unique smoky flavour.
• Easy to experiment with different foods: With a grill pan, you can experiment with different foods and creations to bring your weekly menu to life. It’s a great way to get yourself and the family excited about meal times again.
Get a Griddle Pan and Try New Dishes!
The biggest downside of using a grill pan as your cooking surface for most people will be how difficult it can be to clean a pan that doesn’t have a flat surface. Even if your grill pan is suitable for the dishwasher, most will require you to wash the pan’s surface down as soon as you’re done using it to avoid allowing a layer of grease.
The grill pan can also be difficult to get used to if you’re a beginner experimenting with different kinds of pans. Cooking on this surface can produce a lot of smoke, so it’s best to keep a window open or ensure you’re in a space with much ventilation.
The good news is that once you get used to using cast iron grill pans, you’ll have a fun and affordable way to spruce up your weekly menus without going outside and firing up the grill. With this new cookware to try, you can easily drain fat from your meal, experience unique flavours, and you get to try new dishes.
Grab one now and experience the perks of having a griddle pan in your kitchen!