Flat top griddles have become increasingly popular cooking appliances for both residential and commercial use. Also known as flat top grills or griddle tops, these useful tools allow you to cook foods quickly and efficiently using the broad, flat cooking surface.
Flat top griddles are versatile, giving you plenty of space to cook meats, eggs, pancakes, vegetables, and more all at once. The large, heated surface mimics what you would find at a restaurant grill or on a cooktop stove. But it comes in a compact, convenient appliance you can use indoors or outdoors.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the different types of flat top griddles, key features to look for, top brands, and tips for using and maintaining these handy appliances. Whether you’re looking to equip your outdoor kitchen or streamline cooking in your RV or tiny home, this guide will help you choose the best flat top griddle for your needs.
Types of Flat Top Griddles
There are a few main options when it comes to the type of flat top griddle you can buy:
Gas vs. Electric
Gas griddles are heated by propane tanks while electric griddles plug into standard wall outlets. Gas provides more power and faster heating, but electric is simpler to hook up and use.
Indoor vs. Outdoor
Outdoor griddles are built of durable stainless steel to withstand the elements. Indoor models have more compact footprints.
Portable vs. Built-In
Portable countertop units are lightweight and movable. Built-in griddles integrate into outdoor kitchens as drop-in or slide-in appliances.
Griddle Plate Materials
Common plate types are cold rolled steel, stainless steel, cast iron, and chrome. Stainless steel is the most affordable, low-maintenance option.
Key Features to Look for When Buying a Flat Top Griddle
When choosing a flat top griddle, keep these key features in mind:
Cooking Surface Area
Consider the total size and dimensions of the cooking surface to accommodate your cooking needs. Standard sizes range from $200 to $900 square inches.
Look for multiple burners/zones and a wide temperature range, like 150°F to 500°F. This allows cooking flexibility.
If you’ll move the griddle often, look for lighter-weight models around 50 lbs or less. Built-in options are stationary.
Griddle Plate Material and Thickness
Heavier plates hold and distribute heat better. The optimal thickness is 3/16″ or more.
Side shelves, grease management systems, splash guards, and tool hooks add functionality.
How to Choose the Right Flat Top Griddle for You
Consider what and how you want to cook to choose the best flat top griddle configuration:
Do you want to cook full meals with different foods, or specialize in things like pancakes and eggs? The more varied your cooking, the more surface area you may want.
If you use your griddle in different outdoor locations, prioritize lighter portable models. Opt for built-ins for permanent backyard kitchens.
Frequency of Use
If you use your griddle daily/weekly, splurge on commercial-grade stainless steel. For more casual use, affordable options work.
Do side shelves, precise temperature controls, or grease management matter to you? Know which features will enhance your experience.
Flat top griddle prices span from $100 to $2,000+. Set a budget to narrow options.
Flat Top Griddle Brands
This buying guide provides detailed reviews of the top-rated flat top grills to help you choose the right one. It covers gas and electric models, different sizes, and the best flat top grills by leading brands.
This post provides a detailed review of popular Blackstone flat top grills and tabletop griddle models.
This guide compares Blackstone and Camp Chef flat top grills to help you choose between these top brands.
Popular flat top griddle brands include:
Known for affordable, versatile outdoor griddles. Leading portable gas models.
Reliable flat top grills blending performance and value. Great for RVing/camping.
Commercial-grade stainless steel built-in griddles are made to last. With professional features.
Royal Gourmet: Budget-friendly electric and smaller gas flat top griddles. Best for casual use.
Impressive outdoor griddles focused on power and durability. Great for cooking full meals.
Trusted brand for electric countertop griddles. Streamlined options for indoor cooking.
When comparing, consider size, power, build, ease of use, and extra features. Customer reviews on these brands are also helpful.
How to Season and Maintain a Flat Top Griddle
Proper seasoning and maintenance will keep your flat top griddle looking and performing its best:
This ultimate guide focuses specifically on cleaning Blackstone flat top griddles. It covers best practices and step-by-step instructions.
Looking at the smoke points and benefits of different oils, this guide recommends the best oils to use when cooking on your flat top griddle.
Coat the cold griddle surface with a thin layer of oil to “seal in” the steel before first use. This prevents rust and food from sticking.
Periodically oil and heat the griddle after cleanings to maintain the non-stick patina. Use high smoke point oils.
Allow to fully cool after each use. Scrape debris and then clean with hot water, soap, non-abrasive scrub brushes. Avoid harsh cleaners.
Cover unused griddles and store them out of extreme weather. Indoor storage is ideal to limit moisture exposure.
Troubleshooting: If food sticks or rust develops, deep clean and re-season. For uneven heating, check grease buildup or damaged control knobs.
With the right care, a quality flat top griddle can provide many years of delicious cooking and convenience!
Tips for Cooking on a Flat Top Griddle
This guide looks at top yakitori grills suitable for griddle cooking and making kebabs on your flat top.
This post provides an in-depth review of one of the most popular flat top griddle brands – the Camp Chef flat top grill.
This guide covers the best hibachi grill options suitable for flat top cooking and grilling needs.
Heat the griddle for 10+ minutes before cooking, until it reaches the desired temperature. This allows even heating.
Use Optimal Temps
Cook proteins at 350-400°F. Eggs, pancakes, and vegetables do well at 300-350°F. Adjust as needed.
Cook in Zones
Divide foods across the griddle surface to cook at different temperatures as needed.
Use Oil Judiciously
Lightly oil to start and only as needed after. Too much oil leads to sticking and flare ups.
Learn Flipping Techniques
Use tongs or spatulas to flip foods cleanly. Allow searing between flips. Don’t puncture foods.
Avoid Flare Ups
Keep grease under control, trim fatty meats, and move flare-ups away from other foods to prevent burning.
Quality grilling tools like angled spatulas and tongs make cooking on a griddle much easier.
Cook foods to recommended internal temps and check often. Adjust heat as needed.
Let meats rest 5+ minutes after cooking before cutting to allow juices to redistribute.
With practice, you’ll get the hang of griddle cooking for perfect meats, veggies, breakfast foods and more!
Popular Foods to Cook on a Flat Top Griddle
The large, evenly heated surface of a flat top griddle is perfect for cooking many foods. Some top choices include:
– Hamburgers and hot dogs
– Steak, chicken breasts and kabobs
– Sausages and bacon
– Pancakes and French toast
– Grilled vegetables like onions, peppers, zucchini
– Quesadillas and grilled cheese
– Seafood like fish fillets or shrimp
– Stir fry with sliced meat and veggies
– Fajitas with meat, veggies and tortillas
– Tacos and breakfast burritos
– Bratwurst and other sausages
– Paninis and pressed sandwiches
A flat top griddle provides flexibility to cook nearly any food you would make on a grill or stove top. The possibilities are endless for delicious meals!
Buying Considerations and Recommendations
This post shares the top built-in flat top grills to seamlessly integrate into your outdoor kitchen setup.
This guide helps compare Blackstone’s griddle models to choose the right one for your needs.
Overview of the top-rated raclette grills for melting cheese dishes on your flat top griddle surface.
Reviews the best indoor Korean BBQ grills suitable for flat top cooking in your home.
This guide looks at smokeless countertop grills that can function as indoor flat top griddles.
When choosing the best flat top griddle for your needs, keep the following recommendations in mind:
– Optimal Cooking Surface Size based on your frequency of use and what you’ll cook
– Convenience factors like portability and storage
– Top brands to consider like Blackstone, Camp Chef, Blaze, and others
– Key features that will enhance your experience
– Your budget for a griddle that fits your needs
Focus on finding the right balance of size, power, durability, and ease of use for your preferences. And enjoy the fun and versatility of cooking on your flat top griddle for years to come!