People often think that griddle cooking is only for restaurants, where they need to prepare multiple items at once. Those who don’t own a griddle, have no clue that they are missing out on the ultimate cooking experience.
You get multiple heat zones for cooking, that is why it’s perfect for making a hearty breakfast. Why stop at breakfast, when you can do so much more?
Did you impulsively buy a griddle online and don’t have a clue what to do with it? Or did you always want to own one and don’t know how to use it? Don’t worry, we have your back. This guide can help you understand the art of cooking on a griddle and its maintenance.
Griddle: The Multipurpose Cooking Surface
Griddles are so versatile that you can find them in every shape and form. There are commercial griddles that restaurants use, with a broad flat surface and made for rough use. But, you can also find griddle plates pans that can be used over stove tops and grills.
While table top griddles are portable and easy to use at home, owning a gas grill griddle combo can make your BBQ parties a hit. Griddles aren’t only for breakfast and you can make virtually anything from Chinese stir fry to Mexican quesadilla.
On a griddle, cook anything that needs a flat heat zone. With so much surface area to work with, you can choose to make multiple items or cook in large quantities.
You Must Season Your Griddle
So you have bought a griddle, now what? Most griddles you find in stores are either made of rolled-out steel or cast iron. And, just as you need to season a cast iron pan before using it, you must season your griddle too.
Seasoning means you use oil to polymerize the surface of your steel or cast iron cooking surface. The oil is baked onto the surface, giving it a shiny black gloss. Your steel or cast iron surface will be prone to rust when you use it. By seasoning, you give it protection from rust and make it long-lasting.
Seasoning is easy enough to do by yourself and can be done at home, using a stove or an oven.
How To Season Your Griddle
Your seasoning will eventually wear off from use, so you must season it as frequently as you use it. The degree of use and daily maintenance will determine how many times you need to season your griddle. Season your frequently used griddle once every week.
You need a high heat oil for seasoning your pan, which can be any oil that can withstand the high temperatures needed to fry food. Avocado oil, peanut oil, or any other refined oil will work well.
Start with a clean griddle, applying a light layer of oil evenly with a clean cloth or tongs. Turn the heat high until the color of the surface darkens. Repeat the process as many times as necessary.
Cooking On Your Griddle
The amazing point of owning a griddle is being able to cook multiple dishes at once. Not only is it great for making breakfast food like fried eggs, sausages, and pancakes, but it also is perfect for making steaks, hamburgers, grilled sandwiches, etc.
You need to wait until your griddle heats up. Your seasoned griddle will be nonstick, so you can use little or no oil. You will be surprised at how well seafood tastes, cooked on a grill. Making seared salmon or lobster on your griddle gives delicious and satisfying results.
With a lidded griddle, you can also smoke your food. Cooking with your griddle can be an exciting adventure and there is so much you can try making.
Cleaning Your Griddle
#1. Initial Cleaning
During the manufacturing process, a protective oil coating is applied to the griddle surface. After buying the griddle, you must clean out this protective coating before you can start using it.
This is the only time when you clean your griddle with soap harsh enough to cut grease. Use warm water for cleaning. After cleaning you need to pat it dry and season it following the method mentioned earlier.
You must clean off this protective oil or it will taint your food. Even though it is mostly a nontoxic coating, it will still make your food taste bad.
#2. Regular Cleaning
Using harsh chemicals or soaps to clean your griddle will damage your griddle surface. You will have to season it more frequently or it will be prone to rust.
Follow this cleaning process every day after using your griddle. First, you need a scraper to scrape off bits of food that might be stuck to the surfaces. After removing the leftover bits, use light soapy water to give the griddle surface a gentle cleansing.
After cleaning, thoroughly dry the surface. Any moisture left on the surface will attract rust. This is why cooking juicy food can also make it rust. Lastly, apply a thin layer of high heat oil to protect it from rust.
Things To Remember
Your griddle is mostly used for making semi-dry items, so don’t think you can use it to make items like soups or stews unless it’s inside another pot placed on top of the griddle.
When cooking multiple items, don’t use the same spatulas for raw meat and cooked meat.
When you season your griddle indoors, make sure you have proper ventilation because when the oil heats up, it will get smokey indoors. This can trigger the smoke detectors, so keep the windows open and the exhaust fan on.
Always wait until your griddle cools down to start cleaning. When cleaning always remember to use warm water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or detergents as they will damage your griddle.
Bottomline for Griddle Cooking
Maintaining your griddle is crucial. Make sure you season your griddle frequently enough to prevent rusting and to keep the surface nonstick. Your griddle will give you so much if you take proper care of it, so if you decide to buy one make sure to take good care of it.
Owning a griddle can be a dream for anyone who loves cooking. You can make numerous items on your griddle from pancakes to seafood. There is a world of cooking that is waiting to be explored and you simply need a griddle to start.
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