A guide to griddle pans & plates: What you need to know to choose your own

Imagine waking up to the smell of freshly cooked pancakes, eggs, and bacon. Or how about enjoying a juicy burger or steak for dinner? These are just some of the delicious foods you can make on a griddle, a flat cooking surface that can handle anything from breakfast to dinner and everything in between.

There are many different types of griddles available — some are designed for use on the stovetop, while others are standalone appliances. Some are electric, while others use gas or propane. On top of it, when choosing a griddle, it is important to consider the size, material, and cooking surface.

There are plenty to choose from, and this guide to griddles will walk you through it all. By the end of the article, you’ll know what is available and how to choose the griddle, whether you want to make pancakes for a crowd, grill burgers for a party, or whip up a stir-fry for a weeknight meal.

What is a griddle?

A griddle is a flat cooking surface that is typically made of cast iron, stainless steel, or aluminum. Griddles can be used to cook eggs, pancakes, French toast, burgers, grilled cheese sandwiches, fajitas, and other foods.

Griddles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from small, single-burner models to large, commercial-grade units. They can be used on a stovetop or as a standalone appliance.

One of the advantages of using a griddle is that it provides an even cooking surface, which helps to ensure that food is cooked evenly and thoroughly. Griddles also have a large surface area, which makes them ideal for cooking multiple items at once.

Griddle pans and plates vs griddle the appliance

A griddle pan or plate is a flat metal surface that can be used for cooking various foods on a stovetop or over a fire. A griddle appliance is an electric, gas, or propane griddle device that has a flat surface and can be used by itself. 

Some griddle appliances also have a grill surface or a reversible plate that can switch between grill and griddle modes. A grill surface has raised ridges that create grill marks on the food and allow fat to drain away.

Griddle pans and plates are good for cooking foods that need a large and even surface, such as pancakes, eggs, bacon, or sandwiches. Griddle appliances can do all of that and more — they may have more features and functions, such as temperature control, grease collection, or dual-sided cooking.

Skillet vs griddle

A skillet and a griddle are both types of cookware, but they have some differences. A skillet is typically round with high walls, while a griddle is rectangular and has low walls and ridges. 

Skillets are great for frying and slow cooking methods that may involve the oven, while griddles are great for high-heat cooking over direct heat and food items that are flat and even.

Griddles come in different sizes and materials — cast iron, aluminum, and non-stick coatings. 

How does a skillet look like compared to a griddle?A skillet is typically round with high walls.A griddle is typically rectangular and has low walls and ridges.
What dishes is each more suited to?Skillets are great for frying and slow cooking methods that may involve the oven.Griddles are great for high-heat cooking over direct heat and food items that are flat and even.
What types of skillets exist on the market?Cast iron skillets, stainless steel skillets, non-stick skillets.Electric griddles, stovetop griddles, outdoor griddles.
What materials do they make skillets and griddles from?Cast iron, stainless steel, non-stick coatings.Cast iron, aluminum, and non-stick coatings.

Main types of griddles

When it comes to cooking on a griddle, there are several types of griddles available on the market. 

Electric, gas, or propane griddles

Electric griddles are a great option for home kitchens as they are easy to use and require no open flames. They are powered by electricity and are available in different sizes. 

Electric griddles have a non-stick surface, making them ideal for cooking delicate foods like eggs and pancakes.

Gas griddles are a popular option for commercial kitchens due to their high heat output and fast cooking times. They are powered by propane or natural gas and are available in a variety of sizes. 

Gas griddles have a large cooking surface, making them ideal for cooking large quantities of food at once.

Panini griddles

Panini griddles are designed to cook sandwiches and paninis. They have a ridged surface that creates grill marks on the bread and allows the sandwich to cook evenly. 

Panini griddles are available in both gas and electric models.

Griddle plates

Griddle plates are a versatile option that can be used on top of an existing stove or grill. They have a flat surface that can be used for cooking a variety of foods. 

Griddle plates are available in different sizes and materials, including cast iron and stainless steel.

Stovetop griddles

Stovetop griddles are designed to be used on top of a stove. They have a flat surface that can be used for cooking a variety of foods. 

Stovetop griddles are available in different sizes and materials, including cast iron and non-stick.

Griddle combos

Griddle combos are a great option for those who want the benefits of both a griddle and a grill. They are available in different sizes and can be powered by gas or electricity. 

Griddle combos have a flat surface on one side and a grill surface on the other.

Flat-top grill versus griddle – what’s the difference?

A flat-top grill and a griddle pan are both cooking surfaces that have a flat, metal surface. However, they have some differences in their design, function, and usage.

Flat-top grillGriddle pan
A large, rectangular metal plate that can be heated by gas, electricity, or charcoalA smaller, square or round metal pan that can be heated by a stovetop burner or an electric element
Usually used outdoors for cooking large batches of foodUsually used indoors for cooking smaller portions of food
Can cook foods that require high temperatures, such as meat, seafood, and vegetablesCan cook foods that require low to medium temperatures, such as eggs, pancakes, and sandwiches
Can create char marks and allow fat to drip away from the food, giving it a grilled flavorCan create a smooth and even browning on the food, giving it a fried or sautéed flavor
Pros: versatile, fast, easy to clean, energy-efficientPros: nonstick, convenient, affordable, easy to store
Cons: expensive, heavy, bulky, may produce smokeCons: less durable, less heat-conductive, may warp or scratch

Griddle materials

There are three main types of materials — cast iron, aluminum, or stainless steel, and some other not-so-common ones.  

  • Cast iron griddle pans are durable and retain heat well, but they can be heavy and require seasoning to prevent rusting and sticking1. They also need to be hand-washed and dried thoroughly after each use3.
  • Aluminum griddle pans are lightweight and heat up quickly, but they can be less durable and prone to warping or scratching. They may also react with acidic foods and affect their flavor. Some aluminum griddle pans have a nonstick coating that makes them easier to clean and use, but they may not be safe for high temperatures or metal utensils.
  • Stainless steel griddle pans are easy to clean and resistant to corrosion, but they don’t hold heat quite as well as cast iron1. They may also create hot spots or uneven cooking if they are not thick enough or have poor heat distribution. Some stainless steel griddle pans have a core of aluminum or copper that improves their heat conductivity and performance.
  • Ceramic griddle pans are usually made of metal with a ceramic nonstick coating that makes them easy to clean and use.
  • Glass griddle pans are usually made of tempered glass that can withstand high temperatures and can be used on electric or gas stovetops.

Ceramic and glass griddle pans have some advantages, such as being non-reactive, scratch-resistant, and aesthetically pleasing. However, they also have some drawbacks, such as being less durable, less heat-conductive, and more expensive than other materials.


Griddles are versatile and convenient kitchen appliances that are a great addition to any kitchen. They are perfect for preparing your pancakes, eggs, or bacon, and fine cookware to use on a picnic outing.

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