What Is An Anti-Griddle? (The Complete Guide)

Image of a chef working on an anti-griddle

As the intriguing name suggests, an anti-griddle is the exact opposite of a griddle. So, what is an anti-griddle?

An anti-griddle is an electric cooktop that flash-freezes the food. This device maintains a low temperature of -30°F, at which the ingredients placed on it are transformed into solid or semi-solid form. It helps the chefs prepare innovative and intricately-detailed desserts and frozen appetizers.

Let’s take a detailed look at this innovative device now.

What Does An Anti-Griddle Do?

As you would already know, a griddle is a flat cooking surface usually made of steel or iron.

It’s used for high-heat cooking and finds immense use in grilling or fast cooking.

Now, the anti-griddle is the opposite of a griddle.

Instead of being very hot, it’s very cold. When you place an ingredient on an anti-griddle, it freezes or cools rapidly.

This device is called the perfect freezer since it accelerates the entire process of freezing food and takes the concept to a whole new level.

The anti-griddle was first developed in 2005 in collaboration with Chef Grant Achaz, who is widely recognized for his visionary work in molecular gastronomy and progressive cooking.

The idea behind the design of the anti-griddle was to create food of unique texture at very low temperatures swiftly.

Just like the griddle, an anti-griddle is also a flat metal surface.

It has a flat stainless steel work area that measures 15 x 19 inches.

This worksurface attaches to a super-cooling or freezing unit instead of a heat source.

The device also has a lid to prevent frost formation when it’s not in use.

The main use of an anti-griddle is to flash freeze food and create solid or semi-solid food forms.

Once you switch it on and let it reach the optimum operating temperature, freezing any ingredient into solid form takes mere minutes.

The cooling unit maintains a steady temperature below -30°F, at which any ingredient solidifies almost instantly.

You can use an anti-griddle to freeze anything, including cream, puddings, sauces, purees, and vinaigrettes.

The beauty of this concept is that it opens up a whole new dimension to cooking.

Even hard-to-freeze ingredients, like oil and alcohol, can be frozen with an anti-griddle.

So there are endless possibilities of experimenting with ingredients, and you can effortlessly make unique, gourmet dishes with this equipment.

An anti-griddle also allows chefs to create products with attractive and unique textures.

This device will allow you to create dishes with a cold, crunchy exterior and creamy interior.

This dual texture is a surprising element, and it can’t be achieved by regular freezing.

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Benefits Of Using An Anti-Griddle

The main benefit of an anti-griddle is the low temperature it achieves, due to which you can freeze items rapidly.

Traditional freezers maintain a low temperature of 0°F inside the compartment.

Meanwhile, anti-griddles achieve much lower temperatures of around -30°F.

So you can achieve the same results in minutes with an anti-griddle instead of waiting for several hours when using a regular freezer.

Another factor is that traditional freezers allow very limited control over the results.

You can mix ingredients and try different techniques to achieve different textures for a dish.

However, you can’t play around with ingredients like you can with an anti-griddle.

Chefs mix and combine various ingredients to create exciting dishes and appetizers using an anti-griddle because it provides more control.

Imagine creating dishes with frozen bases and liquid tops or textures in mere minutes?

Well, this is possible with an anti-griddle.

The anti-griddle also gives chefs the unique opportunity to display their creative skills to their customers.

Since it’s a compact device, chefs can bring it to the table and whip up different frozen desserts and items in front of their customers.

Whether it’s at a buffet station or a catering event, the anti-griddle enables them to offer interesting interactive experiences to the diners.

This device almost always attracts interest and becomes the star attraction at dining events.

Expert chefs can effortlessly create tantalizing dual-textured dishes using an anti-griddle.

It’s also perfect for recreating various dishes and adding interesting twists to classic recipes.

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How To Use An Anti-Griddle?

The anti-griddle needs ten to fifteen minutes after being switched on to reach the optimal working temperature.

Before placing ingredients on the surface, you should prepare the surface for freezing.

Apply a thin and even layer of oil to the entire cooking surface to prevent the ingredients from sticking.

This will make the surface non-stick and allow easy release after freezing.

Some chefs like to use parchment or plastic wrap on the surface to make the transfer easier.

You can also use small silicone molds if you wish to create structures of different shapes and specific sizes.

You can use different tools to remove the frozen item from the surface.

Metal tools made of stainless steel are convenient to handle.

Although this may scratch the surface, it’s not something to be worried about.

Mild scratches on the surface will not affect the functioning of the anti-griddle or prevent the easy release of ingredients.

To prevent scratches, you can use plastic or silicone utensils.

Most chefs use a small offset spatula to remove items from the surface of the anti-griddle.

The anti-griddle tends to develop a layer of frost in places with high humidity.

When this happens, you can simply scrape off the layer before transferring the ingredient to be frozen.

Precautions When Using An Anti-Griddle

The anti-griddle must be handled with care, just like all advanced equipment used for specialized tasks in the kitchen.

Although it doesn’t use volatile or dangerous ingredients like liquid nitrogen or dry ice, it operates below freezing point.

Due to the low operating temperature, you should be very careful near this device.

Never touch it with your bare hands or with wet hands.

Always use the right tools and avoid direct contact with the surface, as it can burn your fingers.

Exercise the same caution as you would around a hot griddle when using a cold anti-griddle.

Now, the electric specification of an anti-griddle is usually 240V, 6.5 Amps.

You should plug this device directly into a power outlet.

Using an extension cord can affect its performance and results drastically.

The anti-griddle should have its power system and not share the line with any other electric devices.

Connecting it to a common line that powers blenders, refrigerators, or other kitchen appliances can pull power and affect the performance of both appliances.

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Applications Of An Anti-Griddle

The anti-griddle is an expensive and a technically-advanced piece of kitchen equipment.

It’s seldom seen in household kitchens.

However, most modern restaurant kitchens feature this device.

You may have spotted it already at buffets and catering events.

It’s also a favorite with chefs who are passionate about molecular gastronomy and perform advanced experiments in food science.

Ice cream manufacturers use machines to freeze and roll the ice cream. These are similar to an anti-griddle.

However, anti-griddles have a work area of size 15 x 9 inches.

Cold plates used by large manufacturers will have a much larger working area.

References

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