If you are interested in buying a griddle pan to add to your collection of cookware, there are a few things to look for when you go shopping.
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What Is A Griddle Pan?
Griddle pans are flat, which means they provide an even surface to cook on. Griddle pans are usually made out of cast iron and some models also come with a non-stick coating. Most griddle pans on the market are large and the sides are shallow.
Why Choose A Griddle Pan
While good quality non-stick frying pans usually provide enough heat when flash cooking, griddle pans have an edge and are useful for many other ingredients other than steak.
A griddle pan makes it possible to achieve chargrilled finishes combined with seared stripes and a fast way to cook juicy meat, vegetables, or fish. This is made possible due to the weight of the griddle, which allows the base to quickly conduct and retain heat. The beamed surfaces also raise the food away from the base which means it won’t steam or boil if any liquid is present.
Top Features To Look For In A Griddle Pan
#1 The Handle
Longer handles will make it less hot, but a long handle can also add bulk and weight to a pan that is already heavy. “Helper handles” which is usually a tab or loop opposite a long handle, can help to lift the heavy pan.
Cast iron is the best material for grill pans since it does an excellent job of retaining high temperatures. Anodized aluminum or stainless steel might be lighter in weight and heat adequately well, but they fail to retain high temperatures as well as cast iron.
#3 Cooking Surface
Cast-iron griddle pans are either include an enamel coating or are preseasoned. Seasoned pans typically last longer, since it is easy to reseason them, but an enamel coating is usually easier to clean and provides a better release. If you decide on a stainless steel pan an uncoated pan will be hard to clean since the oil will scorch onto your pan between the grooves. For aluminum or stainless steel, rather choose a non-stick easy-to-clean coating.
#4 Square Or Round
Even though many standard skillets come in a round shape, most of the grill pans seem to be square. When grilling food it should be prepared in single layers, so a square shape is better since it provides more of a surface area to cook on.
What To Look For In Griddle Pan Reviews
When you start comparing reviews, here are a few things to look out for to make sure you are choosing the right griddle pan for your needs:
– Heat Conduction
Look for pans that get super hot, very quickly.
While you should also apply a light layer of oil to your food to stop them from sticking, some griddle pans offer a better non-stick coating when compared to others.
The best griddle pans also come with an additional drainage channel, such as moats or sloped sides.
– Grade Of The Ridge
To achieve those perfect stripes on your vegetables or meat, the ridges need to be sharply defined and high.
Not everyone enjoys the weight of a heavy griddle. If you are one of those people, there are lightweight versions on the market that work as well when compared to the heftier counterparts.
A griddle pan that you can use on your hob and then straight into the oven, gives you greater flexibility when it comes to preparing meals.
– Dishwasher Friendly
If you enjoy a fast and easy clean-up after preparing a meal, you should definitely look for a dishwasher-friendly griddle pan.
Tips For Griddling
Once you have decided on a griddle pan, here are a few tips to make the most out of your new investment:
– When griddling you should be oiling your ingredients rather than the pan. If you oil your pan, it will only run down between the grooves.
– When cleaning a non-stick griddle, allow the pan to cool down before you wash it in warm soapy water.
– Stay away from griddling food in paste-like, thick marinades, as it will stick and burn. Citrus-based or oil marinades work well, just make sure you drain the food first.