The Handy Electric Griddle

Posted by Annette Bellisari on

Anyone who loves cooking knows just how important it is to have that one piece of equipment in the kitchen that is multi-functional. For me, an electric griddle is one of the most useful multi-purpose items in the kitchen.

What exactly is an electric griddle anyway? And why should you consider spending money on and devoting kitchen space to one? As opposed to loading your stovetop with all different kinds of pans, you can hook up a griddle wherever you have an electrical outlet and use it to make your favorite breakfast foods (or other items that benefit from a completely flat cooking surface) at once.

The flat, rectangular surface is warmed from below by a built-in heating element that’s powered and regulated by temperature controls, as opposed to significantly smaller (and awkwardly-shaped) pans, which inevitably have cold and hot spots as they’re heated by a single, round, hard to stabilize flame (or electric coil) on a stove.

Electric griddles provide even heating, so no matter where you place your food on it, the food can all cook at optimum temperatures. Plus, griddles offer significantly more square footage than your average pan, so you won’t need to cook in batches, helping you feed a crowd without any of the meal’s parts sitting around and getting cold. The surfaces are generally nonstick ( watch out for options that aren’t), so you can cook with less grease—in fact, many models have features that allow fat to leach away from your food. It also makes them easy to clean; especially if the griddle comes with removable plates with little to no scrubbing required.

When it comes to buying an electric griddle, size matters. There are smaller, sometimes collapsible models, which are easier to keep in tiny kitchens, and perfectly adequate if you don’t often invite lots of people over for brunch. But you’ll probably want to go with a larger option for families since these griddles make it easier to cook entire meals at once and allow everyone to eat at the same time. Either way, make sure you have the storage space to accommodate one; griddles tend to be the size of oversized cutting boards, but are much bulkier and heavier. Also, look for units that include heating controls with an extensive temperature range. Some griddles even come with dual thermostats, so you can select different heats on each side (a higher temp for searing burgers, perhaps, and a lower one for eggs). Other electric griddles offer detachable grill plates as well, so you can mix up your cooking methods by making steak or pancakes.

I love my electric griddle for all the reasons mentioned, but I especially like to make these amazing Bellisari’s recipes! Pumpkin Pancakes, Balsamic Grilled Cheese, or this Grilled Turkey Panini. Check out these recipes and many others on our website.

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