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Griddle pans are the secret morning weapon of busy home chefs. They let you whip up pancakes, eggs, and bacon for everyone who needs to get out the door for school or work quickly. But they're not just for breakfast. These kitchen tools also come in handy when entertaining large groups of people: Think sautéing appetizers, making fajitas, or even cooking a pizza.
Whether you're looking for a griddle pan for pancake mornings, or for all the outdoor cooking you've been doing lately, the right one will look good on your stovetop, grill, or countertop. It will also be enjoyable to use and an asset to your cooking arsenal.
Here, my list of the best griddle pans.
Best Overall: Smithey's No.10 Flat Top Griddle
What We Love: Affordable for cast iron, heirloom-quality design is beautiful, sturdy, manageable size
What We Don't Love: Takes time to heat up
One of my favorite cookware brands, Smithey's, makes a versatile, aesthetically pleasing griddle that heats up evenly and consistently. You'll want to reach for this No. 10 Flat Top Griddle to make everything from pizza to pancakes to grilled cheese. Reviewers online like that it heats quickly and evenly, too.
It also doubles as a lid for their No. 10 Skillets, and not only do users say it fits perfectly on top, but they like that they can use the lid to warm up things like dinner rolls while cooking other things in the skillet. While I like the smaller size, Smithey's also makes a No. 12 if you need something bigger.
Materials: Cast iron | Dimensions: 16.5 x 0.3 inches (10-inch diameter) | Weight: 5 pounds | Cooktop Compatibility: Electric, gas, induction, grill | Oven-Safe? Yes, up to 450°F
Best Budget: Lodge Pro-Grid Reversible Grill/Griddle
What We Love: Can't beat the price for its versatility
What We Don't Love: Heavy, doesn't always heat up evenly, some reviewers say it cracked after several uses
If, like me, you love anything with multiple uses, you need to consider the Lodge Reversible Pro Grid Iron Grill/Griddle Pan, made in the U.S. Fitting over two stovetop burners, you can use it as a grill pan on one side and a griddle pan on the other.
Plus, this is a godsend for larger households—you'll be able to cook more pancakes than you could in a regular-sized skillet. And the grill on the other side isn't only great for grilling meat, but also shrimp, vegetables, and even pizza. Users say it takes about 10 minutes to heat up, but once it does, it retains heat very well and cooks food quickly, and with more flavor than regular skillets, they claim.
Materials: Cast iron | Dimensions: 20 x 10.5 x 0.8 inches | Cooktop Compatibility: Electric, gas, induction, grill | Oven-Safe? Yes, to 500°F
Best Cast Iron: Finex Cast Griddle
What We Love: Modern design but heirloom quality, handles stay cool for a long time
What We Don't Love: A serious splurge, extremely heavy
I've been a big fan of Portland-based cookware company Finex for years. The small team puts out beautiful, high-quality cast iron, including a cast iron griddle that makes it easy to cook everything from pancakes to paninis to salmon. It comes pre-seasoned with organic flaxseed oil and is nonstick and rust-resistant.
This is the griddle you buy once and never have to worry about buying again. And those handles that are oh-so-quirky not only stay cool for a long time but also cool off quickly—and they're ergonomically designed, too. A bonus: The angled sides make it easy to make it easier to maneuver food with your spatula.
Materials: Cast iron | Dimensions: 22 x 12.25 x 2 inches | Cooktop Compatibility: Electric, gas, induction, grill | Oven-Safe? Yes, to 500°F
Best Ceramic: Dover Ceramic Nonstick 11-Inch Square Griddle
What We Love: Very affordable for the quality, stay-cool handle
What We Don't Love: Doesn't feel as sturdy as some of the other options on this list,
In a nice manageable size, this ceramic nonstick square griddle heats up quickly and cleans even faster—perfect for those hectic weekdays when you need to get breakfast or dinner on the table lickety-split. I also like that there's no rivet on the interior of the pan, so your pancakes or tofu scramble won't snag, and its stay-cool handle offers a comfy grip.
My one qualm: While I love the stay-cool handle, I do wish it wasn't made out of a plastic-based material. Still, this is definitely a steal for its low price and its even heating and easy clean-up (it's dishwasher-safe!).
Materials: Ceramic and aluminum, Bakelite handle | Dimensions: 18 x 11 x 3.3 inches | Cooktop Compatibility: Electric, gas, induction, grill | Oven-Safe? Yes, up to 350°F
Best Electric: Pampered Chef Deluxe Electric Grill & Griddle
What We Love: Very versatile, easy to clean
What We Don't Love: May not work for small kitchens, tricky to fit in smaller cabinets
Pampered Chef's electric grill and griddle is capable of so much it would almost be easier to say what it doesn't do. Four nonstick plates let you use it as a grill or griddle; it can be set to several different temperatures and allows for three different cooking positions. Did we mention one of those positions lets you melt cheese without it smashing the food?
The griddle is also easy to clean: The cooking plates, cleaning tool, drip tray, and removable drip shield are dishwasher-safe. One thing to consider, however, is that this seems like a big commitment if you have a smaller kitchen. It takes up a lot of space on a countertop and is tricky to fit in smaller cabinets.
Materials: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 17 x 14 inches
Related: The Best Electric Griddles
Best Nonstick: Nordic Ware Nonstick Backsplash Griddle
What We Love: High sides make flipping pancakes and eggs easy, affordable, durable
What We Don't Love: No actual handle
Easy cleaning, high sides to flip those pancakes and eggs, and a classic design make this Nordic Ware griddle the best for those looking for a nonstick option. Plus it's an excellent wallet-friendly choice. But be forewarned this won't work on your induction stovetop and is only oven-safe to 400 °F. The lack of an actual handle also makes this tricky to set out on a table for a big pancake breakfast.
Materials: Cast aluminum | Dimensions: 20 x 12 x 1.9 inches high | Cooktop Compatibility: Electric, gas, grill | Oven-Safe? Yes, to 400 °F
Related: The Best Nonstick Pans
Smithey's No. 10 Flat Top Griddle is our top pick for very good reason: It's beautiful, sturdy, versatile, and most important, heats quickly and evenly (view at Smithey). If you're on the hunt for something quality but you're on a budget, the Lodge's Reversible Pro-Grid Grill/Griddle will give you that bang for your buck—it has a wide cooking area, it's multipurpose, and you can even use it over the campfire (view at Amazon).
What to Look for When Buying a Griddle Pan
Size and Space
Before you click buy, consider where and how you'll use the griddle. If you're primarily going to use it on your stove instead of on a grill, you'll likely need a different size. Think about the space in your kitchen both for using and storing the griddle.
"They tend to be large, but you can find ones that are more compact, depending on your needs. If you entertain once in a while, having a bigger one around is a great idea," says Charlie McKenna, founder and chef of Lillie's Q, a Southern BBQ restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina.
If you'll be using it inside to cook a lot of food at once, you'll likely want a rectangle griddle that will cover two burners. If outside, Chris Mentzer, director of culinary at Rastelli Foods Group, recommends measuring the grill surface to get the exact size that will meet your needs.
"You may want to have a griddle that covers only half of the grill. So, you can have the griddle pan on one side cooking up some peppers and onions, and then fresh sausages being cooked to perfection on the open grill."
Next, you'll have to pick between nonstick or cast iron. Nonstick tends to be inexpensive and easier to store, but less durable.
"You can also find grill/griddle combos that might make more sense, especially if you want to save space," says McKenna.
What's the difference between a grill pan and a griddle pan?
A grill has raised lines or ridges on the bottom of the pan that leaves grill lines emulating those that appear on food cooked on an outdoor grill, whereas a griddle pan is flat with no ridges.
"It cooks like a sauté pan or fry pan," says Mentzer. Griddle pans are also typically longer and have more surface space than grill pans.
How do I clean a griddle pan?
It's going to depend on what your griddle pan is made out of. If it's nonstick, use soapy water and a sponge or dish towel.
"Avoid using anything abrasive that would ruin the nonstick coating. If there are any difficult spots, you can pre-soak the pan in soapy, hot water for a few minutes before cleaning," says Mentzer.
If it's cast iron, make sure it's completely cool before you attempt to clean it. Save the soap and instead add a pinch of coarse salt, scrub with a dish towel and then rinse the pan underwater. Dry right away and put a bit of oil (0.5 to 1 teaspoon should be plenty) on it. While it's best not to use soap on cast iron, you can occasionally; just make sure you hand-wash with mild soap and dry right away. You'll also want to add a touch of oil.
Why should I use a griddle pan?
Simply put, because it lets you get more cooking done faster. With the larger cooking area, you can whip up pancakes, French toast, eggs, and bacon in no time. If you have a large family or are entertaining, it also makes it easy to make a lot of food quickly, such as sautéing vegetables or making fajitas. Plus, several brands have ones that work outdoors as well, allowing you to add that smoky grill flavor to things like scallops and other seafood and vegetables that are too delicate to place right on the grill.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Bridget Shirvell has been writing about food and wine for more than a decade. Her work has appeared on Foodprint, Martha Stewart Living, Food52, and more. Obsessively organized, Bridget is always looking for items that will make baking with her toddler easier while keeping her kitchen tidy and making the best use of the tricky shelf space in her early 19th-century home.
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