An outdoor propane griddle will change your life. This is not hyperbole. This has been the single most important piece of culinary equipment for our family that we’ve ever brought into our home. Scour the internet for reviews and you will find people saying the same thing everywhere:
This is a game changer
Every time I discover a friend or family member who has bought one, they have expressed the same enthusiasm. Why is that?
It is a very simple tool. A large thick flat piece of steel. A few burners. legs to hold it off the ground. This simplicity is remarkable.
Here’s a shortlist of why a griddle transcends this simplicity.
A Hot Steel Surface
If you have experience with high quality cast iron or carbon steel cookware I’m sure you understand the appeal of a well seasoned piping hot surface.
Cold rolled carbon steel has a much higher conductivity and volumetric heat capacity than cast iron or air (on your grill) or other typical cooking materials. What this means for you is much crustier Sears, and quick cooking. It’s amazing to have a hot steel cooking surface at your disposal.
I can’t tell you how nice it is not to have food and grease making its way through the grate of a grill. Does anyone really know where that stuff ends up deep inside a gas grill? On my gas grill I had a grease trap and it was like the deep dark recess where no one dared to look.
On my griddle no food or oil will ever make it to the underside. The burners look pristine and the inside of the griddle is untouched. It’s all about the surface.
Lock in the juices
On a grill, you’re losing moisture out of every side. The point is to get a nice crust on the outside of your meats. But the cost is high. Moisture and flavor escapes from every side, particularly dripping down the aforementioned grates.
On a griddle, you get an even better crust and at the same time you lock in flavor and moisture because it’s not escaping out the bottom.
There’s magic in that lock.
The first time I saw someone put a dome over a pile of food on a griddle I was mesmerized. Cheese melts, veggies steam, meats cook.
Seriously folks. Veggies on a griddle are game changing. Camping last summer we all sat and stared as the griddle steamed and then grilled a perfect crust onto an enormous pile of veggies and potatoes. ENORMOUS. It was almost comical. There’s just no way that was ever going to happen without the griddle.
Since then we’ve grilled veggies on the griddle for breakfasts, lunches and dinners. Every time it’s perfect and delicious.
And it’s easy. So easy.
I think it’s difficult to convey just how significant a large cooking surface is.
I have a 28″ model, which is a decent amount smaller than the 36″ models out there and it still feels large.
The first time I cooked pancakes on it, I ended up putting the entire batch onto the griddle at once. That would have taken me SO long to cook up on my square pan on the stovetop. The ENTIRE batch. I ended up doubling my standard batch size and now my family has plenty of leftovers to enjoy when we make pancakes.
Seeing the look on people’s faces when I bring in a plate of 12 grilled cheeses to go with soup, all cooked at once. Priceless.
There’s something special about putting a whole package of bacon on the griddle and having room to cook the eggs and toast some English muffins. Seriously it’s just madness.
Toasting bread on a griddle is delicious. English muffins, burger and hot dog buns, grilled sandwiches, biscuits, tortillas. So many good breads to toast up and complement the textures of the food. Put a little butter on there throw on some bread and you’ve got a winning combo. I don’t know why but I tend to get more flavor and less burn on the griddle than when I toast on an open flame.
The fact that you can use a griddle for so many parts of a meal is amazing.
It really simplifies planning for meal prep.
The amount of cleanup I save is mind boggling. Just imagine that breakfast lineup: English muffins, eggs, bacon, veggies, pancakes. All on one cook top.