Since they are shaped much like a standard skillet or frying pan, they are usually fairly easy to store. This is especially good news for people who don’t have space for storing large electric griddles or a way to cook outdoors.
Let’s talk about the different styles of griddle pans and my picks for each style.
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Stainless Steel Griddle Pans
If you own nonstick cookware, this is a great place to begin replacing them. Whether or not you’re concerned about potential health issues from nonstick cookware, the flavor you get from the stainless steel griddle pan is just far superior.
The biggest downside of stainless steel griddle pans and probably why people don’t use them more often, is that they are more expensive than nonstick griddles and pans. However, I can assure you that they are well worth the money.
There are a few differences I noticed between cooking with stainless steel griddle pans and cast iron pans.
First, they heat up faster. Don’t put your food on the griddle until it’s hot. People that complain about food sticking are not letting the pan heat up to the right temperature.
There’s a saying I learned long ago that has always served me well when it comes to cooking on steel: “Hot pan, cold fat, food won’t stick.”
Second, cleaning is a little different. Just put a few drops of hot water after you’re done cooking, scrape away any stuck-on food, and wipe it off with a scotch pad or paper towel. This is the same technique I use for cast iron and works just as well. You should wait until the pan cools down to really scrub it though.
A good quality stainless steel griddle pan is dishwasher-safe, but it’s really not necessary and frequent dishwashing can remove the seasoning you work so diligently to build on your griddle pan.
Chef’s Secret Stainless Steel 11″ Square Griddle
One of my favorite pans (that’s not cast iron) is this Chef’s Secret Stainless-Steel 11-Inch Square Griddle.
I like to cook a lot of fish and this pan is my go-to pan for that. It’s heavy and holds the heat very well.
As far as the quality of this stainless steel griddle pan, it’s about as good as I could find and seems similar to the European cookware that costs a ton of money. Overall, it’s a beautiful stainless steel griddle pan that gets the job done in style. Highly recommend this one for you, especially if you’re still using nonstick cookware.
Alternative choice: The round Chef’s Secret stainless steel griddle pan with a clear glass lid is absolutely gorgeous and has the same construction qualities. However, being round means there is slightly less cooking area and it’s just a little more challenging to store.
Cast Iron Griddle Pans
Cast iron griddle pans are truly classic. If you properly season and maintain your cast iron griddle pan, it will last for decades. In fact, many people say that cast iron gets better with age. Not bad at all for a one-time investment.
Like cooking on steel, it’s important to remember to let the pan heat up before adding any fats and cooking your food.
It’s also imperative to clean your pan the right way and maintain the seasoned finish. These steps are quite easy and will help to avoid rusting and cracking.
I should definitely mention that cast iron griddle pans are heavy. While using cast iron produces incredible-tasting food, the weight can be a barrier for some people. Keep it in mind when choosing your griddle pan.
Be careful if you have a glass stove top as these can break the glass.
Lodge Round Cast Iron Griddle Pan
Of course the Lodge Cast Iron Griddle Pan is at the top of the list. This classic cast iron griddle design has been popular for hundreds of years, and the Lodge company has been making cast iron in the USA for over 100 years.
This round cast iron griddle pan has a pre-seasoned, smooth surface which helps prevent sticking. It’s great for cooking over a fire, on a stovetop, and can handle temperatures beyond 500°F.
And the pizza you can make on this? Oh, the crust is amazing!
Alternative choice: Lodge traditional skillet pan. This is an all-purpose traditional cast iron skillet designed to cook many different foods. With the higher sides, it’s very versatile and you can get it in several sizes. If you’re short on storage space, this may be a good choice in lieu of the flat griddle pan.
Ceramic Nonstick Griddle Pans
True ceramic is a type of clay that has been hardened in a process known as kiln-firing at high temperatures.
A ceramic griddle is not actually made of clay. Instead, they are normally made of a metal such as aluminum and then coated with silicon in a gel solution that is then fired to form a ‘ceramic’ non-porous coating.
The ‘nonstick’ properties are not permanent. The coating loses its effectiveness fairly quickly, especially if you use it over high heat. This is why ceramic nonstick pans work so much better when they are new.
Although good-quality ceramic nonstick griddle pans are deemed to be dishwasher-safe, it really is best to handwash them. I would also recommend not using metal utensils. Just like with regular nonstick pans, scratching the coating on ceramic nonstick pans can compromise the integrity of the coating more quickly.
So, while ceramic sounds like a better choice for a nonstick surface on a griddle pan, I would still recommend going with cast iron or stainless steel if you have a choice.
GreenPan Ceramic Nonstick Griddle Pan
The GreenPan hard anodized ceramic nonstick 11″ griddle pan is definitely one of the best out there when it comes to ceramic cookware.
The ability for food to slide right off when you’re done cooking is amazing. I’ve had friends that have replaced all of their cookware with GreenPan products because they love this ceramic griddle so much.
Alternative choice: This GreenLife Soft Grip Ceramic Nonstick 11″ Griddle Pan is made by another reputable company. The soft grip handle is nice because it means you don’t need a potholder or a separate handle cover.
Just remember this ‘nonstick’ coating is not permanent. You will have to replace this pan, and it could be sooner than you expect if you use it often.
Concluding Thoughts on the Best Griddle Pan
I love a good griddle pan that combines quality, taste, and longevity. For me, that puts the cast iron choice at the top of the list, with stainless steel coming in a close second.
Whichever griddle pan you choose, treat it well and enjoy using it to make delicious meals!