Short guide to picking the perfect griddle appliance: Gas, propane, or electric?

Do you love cooking and trying new dishes? Then you might need a griddle. Griddles are awesome for cooking enthusiasts who want more control and variety over their cooking.

A griddle is a flat cooking surface that helps whip up anything from pancakes to steaks. But they come with different heat sources – it can be gas, propane, or electric. Each type has its pros and cons, depending on your preferences and needs.

So how do you pick the perfect griddle for yourself?

In this article, we will help you answer that question. We will compare gas, propane, and electric griddles, and give you some tips on how to pick the best one for your situation. We will also cover other things that matter when buying a griddle, such as temperature control, indoor/outdoor use, tabletop/cart, cooking area, cooking zones, griddle materials, and griddle accessories.

By the end of this article, you will be ready to choose the best griddle for your cooking needs. Let’s get started!

Electric vs propane vs natural gas griddle appliances: Comparison by heat sources

There are three main types of heat sources: gas, electricity, and propane. Each one has its pros and cons, depending on your preferences and needs.

GriddlesProsCons
Natural gas griddlesUse natural gas or liquid propane to heat up the cooking surface.
They are fast and responsive, meaning that you can adjust the temperature quickly and precisely.
They also tend to produce more even heat distribution, which can result in better cooking results.
Require a gas connection or a propane tank, which can be inconvenient or costly. They also tend to be more expensive and harder to clean than electric griddles.
Propane griddlesUse liquid propane to heat up the cooking surface.
They are similar to natural gas griddles in terms of speed and responsiveness, but they don't require a gas connection.
They are ideal for outdoor use, as they can be easily moved around and set up anywhere.
Require a propane tank, which can be bulky and heavy.
They also tend to be more expensive and harder to clean than electric griddles.
Electricity griddlesUse electricity to heat up the cooking surface.
They are usually cheaper and easier to clean than propane and natural gas griddles.
They also don't require any gas connection or propane tank, which makes them more convenient and portable.
Tend to heat up slower and less evenly than natural gas or propane griddles.

They also have less temperature control, meaning that you may have to deal with hot spots or cold spots on the cooking surface.

Temperature control

You want a griddle that allows you to easily and accurately adjust the temperature, so you can cook different foods at the optimal temperature. 

Some griddles have simple temperature settings, such as low, medium, and high. Others have more precise temperature settings, such as specific degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius. Some also have built-in thermostats, which can monitor and regulate the temperature of the cooking surface, to ensure that your food is cooked evenly and thoroughly.

Indoor/outdoor use

You also need to consider where you plan to use your griddle: indoors or outdoors. This can affect the type and size of the griddle that you choose.

For indoor use, the griddle should be compact and easy to store, as well as safe and smoke-free. You also need to ensure enough space and ventilation in your kitchen to accommodate the griddle.

For outdoor use, it should be durable and weather-resistant, as well as portable and easy to set up. You also need to make sure that you have a reliable power source, such as a gas connection or a propane tank, to operate the griddle.

Outdoor gas griddle by Cuisinart®
Gas griddle by Cuisinart®. Source: ZDNET

Tabletop/cart

Griddles come in two main styles: tabletop and cart. Tabletop griddles are smaller and lighter than cart griddles, and they can be placed on any flat surface, such as a table or a counter. 

Tabletop griddles are typically more affordable and easier to store than cart griddles. They are ideal for indoor use, as they don’t take up much space and can be easily put away when not in use. But tabletop griddles may not have enough cooking area or power for outdoor use or large gatherings.

Tabletop propane griddle with a flat top, by Blackstone. Source: Walmart

Cart griddles are larger and heavier than tabletop griddles, and they come with wheels and legs, which allow them to be moved around and stand on their own.

Cart griddles are usually more expensive and harder to store than tabletop griddles. They are ideal for outdoor use or large gatherings because they have more cooking area and power than tabletop griddles. Cart griddles may not fit in your kitchen or be convenient to move around.

Cart griddle by Blackstone. Source: Murdoch’s

Cooking area

The cooking area refers to the size of the surface that you can use to cook your food. It can vary depending on the type and style of the griddle. 

Generally, the larger the cooking area, the more food you can cook at once — so if you plan to cook for a large group of people, such as friends or relatives, you may want a griddle with a large cooking area.

But a large cooking area takes more time and power to heat up, too, so consider this when choosing.

Cooking zones

Some griddles have multiple cooking zones, which are separate areas on the cooking surface that can be heated at different temperatures. This can be useful if you want to cook different types of food at the same time, without affecting each other’s flavor or texture.

For example, you could use one zone to cook pancakes and another zone to cook bacon, without having to worry about the bacon grease getting on the pancakes.

Cooking zones can also help you save energy and time, as you can heat only the zones that you need, and not the entire cooking surface. 

The drawback is that cooking zones make the griddle more complicated and expensive, as they require more temperature controls and thermostats.

Griddle accessories

Accessories make it more convenient, so here are some common ones:

  • Drip trays. They are used to catch excess grease and oil that drip from your food while cooking. Drip trays keep your griddle cleaner and prevent flare-ups or smoke.
  • Storage compartments. These are drawers or shelves that are attached to your griddle, where you can store your utensils and other cooking tools. They can help keep your griddle organized and clutter-free.
  • Griddle covers. These protect your griddle from dust, dirt, and weather when not in use. Griddle covers can help extend the lifespan of your griddle and keep it in good condition. 
  • Spatulas. As obvious from the name, you can use them to flip, move, or serve your food on the griddle. It’s quite hard to imagine using a griddle without a spatula, although going strictly with tongs or chopsticks.
  • Scrapers. Scrape off any food residue or grease that sticks to your griddle. Can help clean the griddle more thoroughly and prevent buildup.

Summary

When choosing a griddle appliance, consider where you will use it, what power source is the best option for you, and what size you need.

Cart-type propane or natural gas griddles are great for outdoor use, while countertops are more universal and can fit both on the outdoor table and your kitchen’s countertop.

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