Grilling is a way of life, and there’s no reason it has to be limited to just the summer months. With the right tools, you can grill year-round!
A griddle is a versatile piece of cooking equipment that can be used on indoor or outdoor grills. Here’s how to use it and why you might want to consider adding one to your collection.
In this article, I’ll tell you all about how to use a griddle on a grill. I’ll also give you tips for using your griddle safely, as well as some great ways to get the most out of your griddle experience.
Can you put a griddle on a grill?
If you’re looking for a versatile cooking surface, you may be wondering if you can put a griddle on a grill.
The answer is yes! You can grill with a flat-top griddle. This means that you can cook a variety of food on it, from breakfast items to burgers to seafood.
One of the benefits of using a griddle on a grill is that the grill grates won’t get messy making it easy to clean up any fat or marinade that drips down. This can be helpful if you’re cooking fatty foods like bacon or sausage, as well as marinated meats.
However, there are some drawbacks to using a griddle on a grill.
First, you won’t get those crisscrossed grill lines from food being placed directly on the grill.
Second, if you enjoy that natural char flavor, using a griddle will place a solid object between your food and the flame.
Finally, putting a griddle on top of your grill could end up damaging the griddle over time.
So, should you put a griddle on your grill? It depends on what factors are most important to you.
If versatility and ease of cleanup are your top priorities, then a griddle is a great option.
However, if you’re worried about losing that traditional grill flavor and potentially damaging your griddle, you may want to stick to using it as a traditional grill.
How to use a griddle on top of a grill
1. Season the griddle
The first step to using a griddle is to make sure it is seasoned properly.
With a cast iron griddle, your food will 100% stick and make a huge mess if you do not have the griddle seasoned properly, even with oil or cooking spray.
To season, you need to first wash the griddle, this will get off any dirt and grime as well as any coating that the factory put on to make it look shiny and new.
Next, you need to put a thin layer of oil all over the griddle, the entire thing, and even the back. This is going to help create the non-stick coating as well as protect the griddle from rust.
Then, heat it up until you cannot see the oil anymore. Let it cool down entirely so you do not burn yourself, and the griddle is seasoned and ready to go.
2. Maintain the right cooking temperature
Another important thing to remember is that you need to keep the right temperature with your griddle.
You may be tempted to keep one part of the griddle at a lower heat and the other at a higher heat, while this is a good idea, it is not going to work.
Your griddle is going to try to even itself out and try to stay the same heat all the way through the metal, so it is easier to just make sure you keep an even heat.
This will also help prevent hot spots and cold spots so that your food cooks all at the same time.
3. Use the right tools
You also need to make sure you have the right tools.
Though your rubber spatula works great with a non-stick pan in your kitchen, it will not work well with a cast iron griddle.
You want stainless steel or another metal utensil that you are going to be able to use with high heat and that you can scrape with if necessary.
4. Clean immediately after cooking
The last thing to remember is that you do need to clean your griddle as soon as you are done, after it has cooled down.
You can scrape off the larger pieces of debris while it is hot, but do not try to move it until it is fully cooled.
If you leave food on the griddle and try to clean it hours later, it is going to be super difficult to remove it.
Benefits of putting a griddle over a grill
- Griddles are easier to clean than grill grates and pans.
- Griddles can protect the grills from getting dirty.
- Griddles are more versatile than grill pans and grill grates.
- A griddle is a great option for cooking small items like pancakes or vegetables.
- Griddles heat evenly and don’t develop hot spots, which makes them perfect for cooking seafood or vegetables.
- The layer of seasoning that forms on griddles will make it easy to slide food off.
- Griddles brown food quickly, which is a great addition for those who like their food crunchy.
- Griddles can hold liquid, preventing the excess fats from dripping down and making a mess underneath the grill
The differences between a griddle and a grill
The biggest difference is that grills cook by direct heat, which means that the food is placed directly over the heat source, while griddles cook by indirect heat.
Griddles are usually flat and wide, while grills are smaller and usually have ridges or bars to keep food from falling off.
Another difference is that griddles are usually used for pancakes and other similar foods, while grills can be used for all types of meat, fish, vegetables, and more.
Grills also typically have a lid to help keep in moisture while cooking.
Grills have an open flame, while griddles do not.
How to clean your griddle after cooking with it over a grill
Grilling your food can be an amazing experience, but it can also damage your griddle.
Here are some tips for keeping your griddle safe and looking good.
- Clean the griddle immediately after use to remove any food residue before it has a chance to burn onto the surface of the griddle. This will help prevent rusting and corrosion, which can lead to pitting and discoloration of the metal.
- Use a non-abrasive scrubber or cloth to clean your griddle. If you use abrasive materials like steel wool or scouring pads, they’ll scratch and dull the surface of your griddle’s metal and may remove any non-stick coating on top.
- If you live in a humid climate or near salt water, consider storing your griddle indoors during periods of high humidity or rainfall so that moisture doesn’t seep into cracks in its surface and cause corrosion over time (rust). Avoid direct sunlight because UV rays from the sun can cause pitting on metal surfaces over time as well as discoloration due to oxidation (rusting).
Tips on using a flat-top griddle on a grill
You can cook with high heat
Griddles are great for high-heat cooking. A cast iron griddle can withstand a great deal of heat, so cook away, even if you think the heat might be a bit high. Cast iron can take a lot of heat.
You can sear meats
Griddles are great for searing meat as well. They are large and flat which is great if you have a large piece of meat that might not fit into a pan or a skillet.
Cast iron is also ideal for creating a crust and for really caramelizing the top layer of any meat.
You can smoke your griddle
Griddles can be put on the grill and used to smoke food as well. They provide a large, flat surface for smoking which is a great option if you have food that might fall through the grill grate otherwise.
You can bake in the griddle
You can also bake on a griddle. You may need a smaller pan on top to help keep the shape of your food, but they work as baking trays as well.
Make sure you wear gloves when handling the griddle
One of the most important things to remember when handling a hot griddle or when cooking with a griddle that is fully metal is that you do need a pair of safety or heat-proof gloves when handling your griddle.
They get hot, they can melt flesh and they can cause terrible burns. Make sure you have your safety gloves on if you intend to handle a griddle that is not fully cooled.
The middle position of the grill is usually the hottest
When you are cooking with a griddle, you want to avoid putting your griddle in the middle of your grill as this is the hottest place, unless you want a very hot griddle.
If you are looking for a very hot griddle, you do want to place your griddle in the middle of the grill for maximum heat.
Let your griddle cool before cleaning it
If you are going to clean your griddle, let it cool first. Placing your griddle in the sink or into cold water before it has cooled entirely can cause thermal shock.
This means that the molecules of the metal are going to rapidly shrink which can cause cracking and can damage your griddle totally.
Use a meat thermometer to check the food temperature
If you are worried that your food is not cooking properly, a meat thermometer is a great way to keep track of food temps and to ensure that your griddle isn’t going to burn your food.
How to select a griddle for your grill
The size of the griddle should be relative to the size of your grill. If you have a large grill, you’ll have to option of getting a larger griddle to accommodate it. Conversely, if you have a small grill, you are stuck with getting a smaller griddle.
Griddles are typically made from either cast iron or stainless steel. Cast iron is more durable but requires more upkeep, while stainless steel is easier to maintain but not as long-lasting.
A nonstick coating on your griddle will make it easier to cook with and clean. However, these coatings can wear down over time and may need to be replaced periodically. It’s actually not recommended to put a griddle with a non-stick coating into your grill. Instead, get a cast iron or stainless steel griddle and season it.
Griddles vary widely in price, so it’s important to find one that fits your budget. Keep in mind that cheaper models may not last as long as higher-priced ones, especially if you plan on using them in harsh environments like the grill.
If you want to use a griddle on your grill, make sure it has handles that extend over the sides of the grill so you can pick it up easily.
Can grilling damage the griddle?
When grilling with a griddle, there is always the potential for the grill to get too hot and damage the griddle.
If this happens, it can cause the non-stick coating to come off of the griddle, which can then lead to food sticking to the griddle and becoming burnt.
Additionally, if the grill is not properly cleaned after each use, it can build up grease and another residue that can be difficult to remove.
What types of griddles should not go on a grill?
Griddles that are not made of cast iron
Cast iron griddles are the best type to use on a grill because they conduct heat evenly and retain heat well. They are also incredibly durable and can withstand extremely high temperatures.
Non-stick coatings can be damaged by the high heat of a grill, making the griddle less effective and potentially unsafe to use.
Electric griddles are not designed to be used on a grill, and the electric components inside one could be a fire hazard if placed on one.
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