You can’t use a grill for cooking batter-based foods or delicate ingredients because of the ridges at the base. Fortunately, a griddle pan will allow you to do this. So, what is a griddle pan?
A griddle pan is a shallow metal pan with a smooth, flat base. It’s rectangular or square and designed for medium-heat cooking. A griddle pan works on stovetops and outdoor grills. The flat base of a griddle pan makes it an excellent choice for batter-based food like pancakes, eggs, and vegetables.
Let’s talk about griddle pans in more detail now.
What Is A Griddle Pan Used For?
Did you know that the use of griddle pans is not confined to the Western world?
Metal pans with a flat base have been used all over the world for centuries. Variations of the griddle pan are still used in different parts of the world like Japan, Scotland, Mexico, and Spain.
You will find these pans being used for preparing stir-fries in Japan, tortillas in Mexico, and scones in the UK.
The griddle pan is a versatile piece of cookware. You can use it to prepare traditional breakfast items like French toasts, hash browns, pancakes, and fried eggs.
It’s also suitable for frying burgers, sausages, steaks, and making grilled sandwiches.
Griddle pans are typically square or rectangular. However, traditional griddle pans used to be round.
Regardless of the shape, griddle pans have shallow sides that make it easy to move the food around. It’s also easy to flip items like pancakes and fried eggs in this pan.
Traditional griddle pans were made of cast iron. However, non-stick, stainless steel, aluminum, ceramic, and carbon steel griddle pans are now available.
While cast iron griddle pans are heavy, modern versions are sleek, lightweight, and easy to handle.
Despite their weight, many cooks prefer cast iron griddle pans because of their unique benefits. These pans develop a “patina” or natural layer of seasoning with continuous use. It prevents food from sticking to the surface.
Recommended Further Reading:
- Can Griddle Be Used For Grilling? [How To Grill On A Griddle?]
- Can You Use Pans On A Griddle? [Is It Time-Consuming?]
- Can You Use A Ceramic Bowl For A Double Boiler? Is It Good?
How To Use A Griddle Pan?
Most griddle pans will conveniently fit on an outdoor grill or barbecue. Depending on the size, some pans may also fit on a stovetop and are suitable for indoor cooking.
If your griddle pan is made of cast iron, you must season it before use. Seasoning is the process of applying oil to the surface of the pan and heating it. Doing so will seal the natural gaps in the metal.
It makes the surface non-stick, and you can use it just like any other non-stick pan. Some griddle pans come pre-seasoned, in which case you can skip the seasoning process.
The performance of a griddle varies according to the thickness of the pan. So it’s better to first test it at low heat. You can gradually increase the heat until the pan starts sizzling.
Once the griddle pan is hot, you can start cooking. Add some butter or oil to prevent the food from sticking to the surface. You can skip this step if you have a non-stick or well-seasoned cast-iron griddle pan.
The large flat surface of a griddle pan has enough space for large amounts of food. You can easily move it around and cook it on both sides. Always wait till the pan is hot to add the ingredients.
When you finish cooking, turn off the heat. Allow the griddle pan to cool naturally. Wait till it has completely cooled down to clean it.
We recommend using a gentle cleaning liquid and water for cleaning. Rinse the pan thoroughly and wipe it well before putting it away.
For cast iron pans, be careful not to dislodge the natural seasoning of the pan during cleaning. Don’t vigorously scrub the surface or use abrasive sponges or scrubbers.
Griddle Pan vs. Grill Pan
Grill pans and griddle pans are both used to barbecue food. Due to their construction, these pans produce delicious smoky flavors.
However, their shape and form are different. Their ideal working temperature is also different.
A grill pan has raised edges and ridges in the base. The ridges lift the food off the base. This makes the fat and juices drip and pool in the pan. These ridges also produce characteristic char marks where they touch the food.
Grill pans work at high temperatures of 350°F to 400°F. They cook the food quickly. Food cooked in a grill pan has a unique texture with a crisp exterior and a soft interior.
Meanwhile, griddle pans have a smooth flat base and shallow edges. You can use it to cook various foods, ranging from batter-based and delicate foods to vegetables, burgers, and large cuts of meat.
Grill pans are unsuitable for cooking some of these items because of the structure of their base. Due to the presence of ridges in the base, they can’t cook pancakes, eggs, and other liquid-based foods.
The high temperature of a grill pan can also burn delicate ingredients like seafood or vegetables.
Griddle pans are designed for medium-heat cooking up to 350°F. You can sear meat or cook vegetables in them.
However, the texture of the food will not be the same as the food made in a grill pan. This is because grill pans work at higher temperatures and cook faster.
Additionally, the food also remains flat on the base in a griddle pan, whereas it’s raised off the base in a grill pan.
Interesting Further Reading:
- Do Pans Smoke? (How To Stops Pans From Smoking?)
- Can Calphalon Pans Go In The Dishwasher? (Which Ones Can?)
- Do Baking Pans Have Teflon? (Why + How To Tell If A Pan Has Teflon)
Griddle Pan vs. Frying Pan
You can use griddle pans and frying pans interchangeably most of the time. However, they are not the same. The most obvious difference is in their structure.
Griddle pans are usually square or rectangular, with plenty of space to hold ingredients. Frying pans are usually round with high edges.
Griddle pans are best for shallow frying, searing, grilling, and heating different ingredients. They have a large and flat cooking surface.
This flat and even surface can hold large amounts of ingredients. So you can cook in this type of cookware to finish your work easily and quickly.
However, griddle pans are shallow. So they are not the best choice for gravies and other dishes containing a lot of liquid.
Frying pans are mainly designed for frying, but you can also use them for searing, browning, and stir-frying. They are deeper than griddle pans. So frying pans can hold more liquid than griddle pans.
A frying pan is better than a griddle pan for gravy or liquid-based dishes. You can stir the ingredients without worrying about any splattering.
Traditional griddle pans made of cast iron are heavy. The metal heats up slowly, and heat distribution across the surface is even. Modern non-stick griddle pans heat up faster and are lighter than the traditional versions.
Since griddle pans cook food quickly at high heat, they impart delicious smoky flavors to the food. Frying pans don’t usually recreate this smokiness.
Griddle pans will also brown the food better than frying pans and create a crisp exterior with minimum use of oil.