Cooking outdoors has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s no surprise why. Cooking outdoors allows you to enjoy the fresh air, sunshine, and company of friends and family while preparing delicious meals. Oh, and let’s not forget flavor!
Two of the most popular cooking options for outdoor cooking are griddles and grills. In this post, I will compare these two cooking appliances, and we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of both cooking methods and help you determine which one is the best for you.
Griddles are flat, solid, hot plate-like surfaces that sit on top of a stove, grill, or purpose-built cooker. The traditional outdoor griddle is typically a gas grill with a flat metal cooking surface, or “griddle.” In simple terms, take a gas grill, eliminate the grates, and add a metal plate on top of the burners.
They are typically made from cast iron or stainless steel and are great for cooking pancakes, eggs, bacon, and other breakfast foods.
Griddles are also great for cooking burgers, steaks, and chicken breasts. With a griddle, you can cook large amounts of food at once, which makes it great for feeding a crowd.
Some Quick Facts about griddles:
These facts highlight just some of the benefits and versatility of griddles as a cooking tool. Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, a griddle can be a valuable addition to your cooking arsenal.
- Cast iron griddles are often considered to be very efficient cookers because they heat evenly, are durable, and can be seasoned to enhance their non-stick qualities.
- Griddles are great for cooking small size, soft and liquid foods.
- Griddles are great for cooking breakfast foods, such as pancakes, eggs, and bacon, but they can also be used for cooking a variety of other foods, such as grilled sandwiches, stir-fry, and even pizzas.
- Griddles are often designed with grease traps to collect excess fat and oils, but do not let as much food “juices” out as grill grates.
- Griddles come in a range of sizes, from small single-serving griddles to large, commercial-sized griddles that can accommodate multiple food items at once.
- Griddles can be seasoned to create a non-stick surface, which makes cooking and cleaning a breeze.
- Griddles are often easier to clean than traditional grills, as they have a flat surface and are typically made from non-porous materials like cast iron or stainless steel.
Griddle Pros and Cons
- Large Cooking Surface: Griddles have a large cooking surface, which makes them great for cooking large amounts of food at once.
- Even Heating: Griddles heat evenly, which means that your food will cook evenly, without any hot spots.
- Versatile Cooking: Griddles can be used to cook a wide variety of foods, from breakfast foods to steaks and burgers.
- Easy to Clean: Griddles are easy to clean because they are flat and smooth. Simply wipe them down with a damp cloth after cooking.
- Expensive: Griddles can be expensive, especially those made from high-quality materials such as cast iron or stainless steel.
- Heavy: Large griddles are heavy, which makes them difficult to move around.
- Limited Cooking Options: Griddles are limited in the types of cooking they can do. They can’t be used for roasting or smoking meats, for example.
- Griddles do not create the “convection heating” effects most grills can do to cook large cuts of meat.
- Can’t smoke meats.
BBQ Grills ( charcoal grill, gas, and pellet grill )
Grills are cooking devices that use an open flame, charcoal, propane, or wood pellets to cook food. They are typically made from stainless steel, cast iron, or aluminum and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Grills are great for cooking burgers, steaks, chicken, and large meats, as well as vegetables and fruits.
With the right skills and equipment, even an inexpensive gas grill can cook just about anything you can think of.
Some Quick Facts About Grills:
These facts highlight some of the benefits and versatility of grills as cooking tool. Whether you’re a seasoned griller or just starting out, a grill can be a valuable tool for creating delicious, flame-grilled meals and smoke meats
- Grills come in a range of sizes, from small portable grills to large, permanent outdoor grilling stations.
- Grills can be fueled by gas, charcoal, electricity and pellets.
- Charcoal grills are often considered the best for imparting that signature smoky flavor to food.
- Gas grills are convenient and easy to start, but can be more expensive in the long run due to the cost of propane.
- Electric grills are great for indoor cooking, but may not be as powerful as gas or charcoal grills.
- Grills come in a variety of materials, including stainless steel, cast iron, and porcelain-coated steel.
- Grills typically have a grate or cooking surface that allows grease and oils to drain away from food, preventing flare-ups and keeping food healthy.
- Grills often have adjustable cooking grates and better temperature controls to cook food to perfection.
- Grills typically require a higher degree of maintenance than griddles, as they need to be cleaned regularly to prevent food from sticking and to remove grease buildup.
Grill Pros and Cons
- Versatile Cooking: Grills can be used to cook a wide variety of foods, from meats and vegetables to fruits and bread.
- Flame Grilling: Grilling over an open flame adds flavor to your food that can’t be achieved with a griddle.
- Affordable: Grills are often more affordable than griddles, especially those made from more basic materials such as aluminum and other composites.
- Portable: Small two burner grills are portable, which makes them great for camping and other outdoor activities.
- Limited Cooking Surface: Some grills have a limited cooking surface, which means that you may need to cook your food in batches.
- Uneven Heating: Grills can heat unevenly, which can result in some food cooking faster than others.
- Requires Constant Attention: Grilling over an open flame requires constant attention, as food can easily burn if not tended to properly.
- Some grills can be expensive.
Which is Better for Cooking Outdoors? A grill or a griddle
The answer to this question depends on your cooking needs and preferences. If you are looking for a versatile cooking option that can be used to cook a wide variety of foods but do not have the need to smoke or roast large cuts of meat, a griddle may be the better option for you.
However, if you are looking for that signature flame-grilled flavor and enjoy the art of grilling, a grill might be the way to go. Also consider a grill if you want to smoke meats or enjoy the flavors of charcoal or wood pellets.
Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference and what you’ll be using it for. Both griddles and grills have their pros and cons, but they can both be great options for cooking outdoors. If you’re looking to feed a large crowd and cook smaller-sized foods, a griddle might be the best option, while if you want to enjoy a more traditional grilling experience, a grill might be the better choice.
If you’re still not sure which option is right for you, consider purchasing a combination griddle/grill. These versatile cooking devices allow you to enjoy the best of both worlds, giving you the option to cook with a griddle or a grill, depending on what you’re in the mood for.
In conclusion, griddles and grills both have their advantages and disadvantages, but both are great options for outdoor cooking. Consider your personal cooking needs and preferences, and choose the option that works best for you. Whether you choose a griddle, a grill, or a combination of the two, you’re sure to enjoy cooking outdoors and creating delicious meals for yourself and your loved ones.