You don't have to save the griddle for days when you're out camping or grilling out. Learn how to use a griddle on an electric stove top range the right way and you can enjoy griddle-cooked food whenever you want from the comfort of your home.
Place your griddle on an electric stove top and get it all heated up the right way to cook whatever you want to cook whenever you want it. Once you learn the trick of cooking with a griddle on top of an electric stove top, you can cook with the griddle any time and practice all sorts of different recipes.
What Is a Griddle?
The griddle is one of the most common and widely-used cooking implements around the world. It is used in Europe, Central America, Mexico, and Japan, among other places.
A griddle is a large, flat cooking pan that is usually square or rectangular, though some may be round. Griddles have no sides or extremely shallow sides, and they are much larger and much more shallow than skillets.
Griddles can be used to cook just about anything you want to pan-sear or fry. Bacon, pancakes, eggs, potatoes, French toast, and many other breakfast foods are cooked on the griddle.
As for the other meals, griddles are perfect for sandwiches and burgers of all kinds, not to mention fajitas.
Many restaurants have griddle cooktops that are long and wide to create a big, flat area to cook on. Restaurants serving breakfast foods and hamburgers will almost always have large griddle cooking areas.
When it comes to home use, there are generally two types of griddles: electric or stovetop. Both types of griddles basically have the same uses and there are no distinct differences between the two, other than how they are heated.
Although it may seem that an electric griddle is more convenient because it creates its own heat, there are advantages to using a stovetop design. Stovetop griddles were originally made to be used on gas stoves, but they can also be used on an electric stovetop range.
The Advantages of Griddle Cooking
In many ways, griddles are easier to work with than skillets. Because there are no sides, it is easier to flip food using a griddle.
It is also easier to cook a large amount of food at once with a griddle. Cooking some larger foods, such as long strips of bacon or big omelets, is much easier on the larger cooking surface of the griddle compared to a standard skillet or frying pan.
The hot, flat surface of the griddle also cooks food quickly and evenly. Larger items, such as pancakes, cook evenly all over when you're cooking with the griddle the right way and you have heated it sufficiently.
Using an Electric Stove Top Range
Rather than standard gas-powered stoves that have four distinct burners that stick up off the surface of the stove, electric stove top ranges have a completely flat, glass surface. Four different elements are beneath the glass, and these act as the burners.
The four elements can be turned on and used independently, the same way you would use the four burners on a gas-powered stove. However, the entire stove top will become warm if even one burner is engaged because the heat gets distributed to the glass and spreads out to heat the entire stove top surface.
The glass surface does not get hot enough to cook food and is not designed to be used to cook food. You cannot use the glass stovetop as a cooking surface, in other other words.
To get a wide, flat cooking surface on an electric stove top, you will need to use a griddle.
How to Use a Griddle on an Electric Stove Top Range
Griddles can be used on electric stove top range cooktops, but you will need to be careful about how you use them and where you place them. Once you know how to best work with your cooktop and your griddle, you'll be able to cook whatever you want using this method.
As you get used to the placement of the griddle, the amount of heat the stovetop creates, and how to cook on the griddle, you will learn how to use this technique to cook anything.
Prepare the Griddle
Place the stovetop griddle on top of your stove. If you have a smooth, flat-top range, do not slide it around or set it down hard because of the risk of damage to the stovetop.
You will need at least two burners for this job, depending on how big your griddle is. Position the griddle on top of two burners that are closest to each other.
The goal is to position the griddle so that burners are beneath as much of it as possible and as evenly as possible. This can be tricky, as electric stove top range cooktops often have uneven burner sizes.
Turn the burners on to the same temperature. You want the griddle to be as evenly heated as possible.
If you have a round griddle or a smaller griddle, you can place it over just one large burner and heat it up this way.
Heat the Griddle
You will need to wait for the griddle to heat up before you can use it. Otherwise, you will end up with sections of the griddle that are hotter than others, and your food will not cook evenly.
There are several ways you can check if the griddle is hot enough to be ready for cooking.
The first is to see if there is smoke starting to come off the griddle. Look closely along the surface of the griddle to see if you see faint wisps of smoke, which indicates that the griddle has become hot enough to cook with.
The other way to test if a griddle is hot enough is to splash a few drops of water onto the griddle. If the water starts to sizzle or bubble, the griddle is ready.
However, it is important to remember that the griddle should not be too hot. This will cause excessive smoke once you start cooking.
If you splash water on the griddle and it immediately blackens and causes heavy smoke, the griddle is too hot. Depending on how high your burners are turned up, the griddle will need around five to 10 minutes to fully heat.
If you have not cooked on your griddle often, test-cook a few small items on the griddle to get a better idea of how hot it is and how quickly it cooks. As you get more used to cooking on the griddle, you’ll get to know what temperature you want it to be.
Always exercise caution whenever you are cooking with any type of stove or implements and practice caution when working with a griddle. Every part of the griddle will get hot, and even the handle will get hot if it is a metal handle.
Do not ever touch any part of a griddle or a cooktop with your bare hand. However, you can use your hand to test the heat of the griddle and to search for "cold spots" that can create uneven cooking.
Hold your hand out flat, fingers spread, palm facing down. Hover it four to six inches away from the surface of the griddle, no closer.
Using your own sense of heat, "feel" across the top of the griddle in this fashion to search for any obvious spots of the griddle that are not as hot as others and to test the overall heat of the griddle. Do not move your hand closer to the surface of the griddle than four inches away.
Food will stick to a hot griddle if no greasing agent is used. The food will smoke and can become caked-on, which makes it difficult to remove.
Before you cook any food on the griddle, prep the griddle by adding a thin coat of butter, oil, cooking spray, or lard. All food and any food will stick to a hot, dry griddle, so always add a cooking agent first no matter what you are attempting to cook.
Cooking on the Griddle
Once you're ready to start cooking, exercise some basic tips. Do not use any plastic or metal cooking tools on the griddle, as plastic will melt and metal will get hot.
Use wooden tools only on your griddle and remember not to place any towels or fabrics on the griddle, as this is a fire hazard.
After you're done cooking on the griddle, turn off any and all burners you used to get the griddle hot. Remove the griddle from the burners and place it on a different section of the electric stove top range, in a cooler section of the cooktop.
Do not place any plastic, fabrics, paper, or any other potentially flammable material on top of the griddle or the electric stove top range as everything cools down. You should also avoid placing glass or ceramics on either of these surfaces, as the heat can cause these things to crack, and remember that metal will get hot and dangerous if it is placed on these surfaces.
Be careful of splashing oil and fat while you are cooking. As there are no sides to the griddle, there is nothing to contain cooking juices and they will get everywhere and may splash on you so exercise caution as you cook.
Allow the griddle and burners to cool completely before cleaning either the griddle or the cooktop. To clean the griddle, wipe it off thoroughly with a damp rag.
Avoid using soap on the griddle if you want it to remain seasoned and retain the flavor that has been gained through cooking food on it over the years.
Cooking With a Griddle on an Electric Stove Top Range
You can cook with a griddle on an electric stove top range very well. Once you get the hang of it, you can cook anything you want on your griddle.
Practice basic safety, pay attention to where the griddle heats up and how hot it gets, and have fun experimenting with different things you can cook on this flat, large surface. You can learn how to beautifully cook many breakfast items and sandwiches using the griddle, not to mention meat and seafood of all kinds.
Stove Top Griddle FAQs
Can you use a stovetop griddle on a grill?
Stove-top griddles are designed to be used on gas stove burners, but they can be used on electric stovetop range cooktops, and they can even be used on grills.
To use a stovetop griddle on a grill, get the grill started and get it hot before carefully placing the griddle on the grill. Make sure you are wearing oven mitts or using similar hand protection as you are doing this.
Allow the grill to heat up for five to 10 minutes before you begin cooking on it, the same way you would allow it to heat on your electric stove top range.
Can you use a grill pan on an electric stove?
Grill pans are somewhat like griddles, but they have a grill top surface used to grill foods, such as meat. These, too, can be used on electric stove top range cooktops in the same way you would use a griddle.
Like griddles, grill pants are made to be somewhat larger in size than standard skillets and do not have sides.
Can you use a cast iron griddle on an electric stove top range?
Cast iron griddles can be used on electric stove top range cooktops using the same method you would use to cook on any type of griddle.
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