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If you regularly work with a flat top grill or a griddle, you know that it’s one of the absolute best ways to prepare delicious breakfasts, lunches, or dinners for your family and friends.
The flat top grill is one of the most versatile types of grills out there. Anything from pancakes and eggs to a perfectly seared steak is possible on the same surface.
One of the most overlooked components of maintaining a healthy griddle surface is the oil you choose to use with it. Cooking oil is a crucial component of griddle cooking, griddle cleaning, and seasoning. Ultimately, using the best oil for griddle cooking will lead to tastier results and a more healthy, easier to clean flat top surface on your grill.
In this post, we’ll go over some of our choices for the best oil for griddle cooking. We’ll also touch on some of the reasons using the right oil is so important, and explain how it will most definitely enhance your griddle.
Best Oil for Griddle Cooking – Top Picks
Cooking oil is about as widely used of an ingredient as it gets – and it serves a variety of important functions in the cooking process.
You want to use an oil for cooking that adds flavor and depth to your food, but also one that bonds with your griddle to form a seasoned, non-stick surface over time.
No matter which oil you choose for your flat top grill – it should be high in fatty acids. The reason is, high fatty acid oils will more easily bond to your griddle’s surface. That’s exactly what you want to season your grill’s surface and add delicious flavor to your food over time.
It’s important to note too that there are a lot of oils that will work great on your griddle. Which is the best oil for your flat top grill ultimately will depend on your personal preferences, and which foods you’re cooking – that might change on a day to day basis depending on what’s for dinner!
With that in mind, here are some of our top picks for the best oil for griddle cooking:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is the highest grade of virgin oil. It’s made by simply crushing olives and extracting the juice. Extra virgin olive oil is the only cooking olive oil that’s made without an industrial refining process or the use of chemicals – and it’s an excellent all around type of oil for griddle cooking.
Olive oil has more monounsaturated fats than most other oils, which is what makes it so great for heart healthy cooking. It also brings a delicious and unique flavor profile to your food that you simply just can’t get from other cooking oils.
There’s a lot of opinion out there on the internet about just how good (or bad) extra virgin olive oil is for cooking. The root of it comes down to the smoke point of olive oil, which can be relatively low compared to other oils, which makes it not the most ideal if you plan to cook on high temperatures.
High quality extra virgin olive oil has a smoke point of 425° Fahrenheit or higher though, which is plenty for many of the foods you’d cook on a griddle. The fresher and higher quality the olive oil, the higher the smoke point.
Be sure to read the label of the oil to make sure the smoke point is well suited for your needs!
Avocado oil is dubbed by many as the ultimate high heat cooking oil – and it gets our top pick for the best oil for griddle cooking.
Health wise, it has lots of benefits similar to olive oil, but unlike olive oil a refined avocado oil can have a smoke point of up to 520° Fahrenheit. For high heat cooking, avocado oil is by far and away the best choice. Avocado oil is high in monounsaturated and saturated fats, which is perfect for cooking.
The high smoke point allows you to safely sear, BBQ, and saute on your flat top at high temperatures without the oil breaking down and potentially ruining your food.
Avocado oil’s flavor is neutral for the most part (especially compared to olive oil) but will pass along very light notes of grassyness and avocado flavor.
Canola oil is a great alternative if you consistently plan to cook with high heats. Some of the more quality canola oils have a smoke point of up to 470 degrees.
It has a pretty neutral flavor profile and also features some heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.
On a practical level, canola oil is generally cheap, especially when compared to other cooking oils. So if you’re trying to keep that grocery bill down, canola oil is a nice choice.
Many canola oils are made from genetically modified canola seeds, so be sure to work with organic canola oil if you are on a non-GMO diet.
Coc0nut Oil is a great choice due to its rich and flavorful taste and is said to have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It certainly imparts a unique, delicious flavor to your food.
The downside of coconut oil is that it has the lowest smoke point of any of the oils on this list at around 400°. So you need to be careful with what you choose to cook with it on your griddle.
Personally, I use coconut oil the least on this list due to the fact that it’s almost all saturated fat – which is perfectly ok for cooking but maybe not the healthiest for everyday use.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Oil a Griddle Before Cooking?
No matter what you are trying to cook, it is always a good idea to use oil with your griddle before you start cooking on a griddle. This will help to make the cooking process much easier and more convenient, but it will also make the cleanup process easier after you have finished cooking.
Oil is one of the most essential things that you will need when you are cooking with a griddle pan, and you will also need to apply plenty of it for it to be able to do its job efficiently.
Once the oil starts to heat up, it will stop your food from sticking to the griddle, which makes the cooking process much easier. You will probably even find that the overall finished result tastes much better than it otherwise would have.
You should also make sure that your griddle pan has been properly seasoned before you use it for the first time. The majority of griddles will come pre-seasoned, but there are some that will not. You should always check that it has been seasoned efficiently before you get started.
What is the Healthiest Oil to Cook With?
The healthiest type of oil to cook with and the one that is the most versatile is olive oil. However, you will need to ensure that it is extra virgin olive oil, and not the standard type. This basically means that the oil is not refined or overly processed. Extra virgin olive oil means that the oil has not been refined, which means that it is of a higher quality.
Extra virgin olive oil also contains a large amount of monounsaturated fats and some polyunsaturated fatty acids, which many studies have linked to better heart health. Olive oil has quite a low smoking point compared to other oils, which means that it is best for low and medium heat cooking. It is also one of the healthiest oils that you can use for baking purposes.
Is Canola or Vegetable Oil Better?
Both canola oil and vegetable oil are quite similar, and it is totally possible for you to confuse them with one another if they were both next to each other on the counter. Both of these oils are pale yellow in color, neutral in flavor, inexpensive, and have high smoke points, which makes them good for high heat cooking, like frying.
Both of these oils can be used in place of the other, and while you might notice a slight difference in flavor if you tried just the oil, you shouldn’t notice a difference in the flavor or texture of the final dish.
Canola oil is thought to be the healthier option of the two as it is lower in saturated fat than vegetable oil. Canola oil is also one of the few oils that is rich in omega-3 fat, and it can also help lower levels of bad cholesterol.
If saturated fat is a concern, reach for the canola oil. Otherwise, you can cook with either oil with great results.
Can You Use PAM On a Griddle?
Cooking sprays use a blend of oils that help create a “non-stick” barrier between your food and the cooking surface, whether that be a griddle, a frying pan, or a baking sheet. Coat your griddle or skillets in Pam Cooking Spray to prevent your pancakes, french toast and eggs from flipping and to make the clean up easier!
You can season your griddle with almost any food-grade oil, but different oils can vary in the process from the burn time, smoke point, and durability once finished.
Best Oil for Griddle Cooking – Wrap Up
At the end of the day, the best oil for griddle cooking for you has a lot to do with your dietary preferences and what you need to cook. Broadly speaking, we think that avocado oil is the overall best oil for flat top grills due to its high smoke point and general healthiness.
Be sure to think about the kinds of foods you like to cook on your griddle, and what temperature requirements are to prepare those foods. The smoke point of each oil should be listed on the bottle, so check the label on the oil you want to buy to make sure it will suit your needs!
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are other great cooking oils out there like peanut, sesame, and flax oil to name a few. We just think when it comes to the overall best oil for griddle cooking, the top choices are avocado oil, extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, and coconut oil.