Pancake griddles – Ratings & Informative Guide
If you only want a good griddle for preparing your daily breakfast — bacon, pancakes or eggs –, then there’s no need to go for an expensive, top of the line model, one that cooking aficionados might use for fancy dishes. What you would look for is a product that’s affordable, easy to use, easy to maintain and large enough to service an entire family. After going through the best pancake griddle reviews on the web, we found that the Presto 07061 comes out on top on all of these metrics. Its thermostatic control and non-stick ceramic surface make for carefree cooking while the modular design allows for easy cleaning and storage. At 22×11 inches, its cooking surface is one of the largest available for its class. Our second pick is the Black+Decker GD2011B, which is slightly less convenient to use but still good value for its price. If you’re more interested in the convenience of a skillet-sized griddle, then the Farberware 21745 might be perfect for you.
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Griddles can be used for a wide variety of tasks, from toasting bread to searing pork chops, but where they shine is in the breakfast making department. Unlike a skillet, they don’t have sloping edges to get in the way of your flipper, or uneven, thin bottoms to make the food slide towards a grease filled central spot.
With a wide and fairly flat cooking surface, a griddle is the best pancake, eggs and red meat cooking tool you could easily find for sale. Here’s what you should look for when you’re in the market for this type of product.
These are the aspects worth focusing on when looking for a pancake griddle
One of the main advantages of a griddle comes from its wide cooking surface. It can handle a lot of food items at once, hence significantly reducing the time you take for cooking in the morning.
Bigger is almost always better if you want to save time, regardless of the number of people you are planning to cook for. To give you a rough metric to look for, a good sized 20×10 inches surface can handle around 14 pieces of bread at a go.
Most griddles come with a detachable drip tray that allows for the heating surface to be washed separately. Besides helping you get rid of excess oil or fat, which accumulates in the tray, this features makes for easier manual washing and sometimes allows for machine washing. A stick-free coating also eases cleaning, since you won’t have to scrub as much at the cooking surface.
Detachable pieces are a lot easier to store as well. A full sized griddle cannot exactly be tucked away in a cupboard, but two or three relatively slick plates weighing a couple of pounds each can fit in most places in a kitchen.
Ease of use
Modern griddles come with added features to make cooking a lot comfier. Both a thermostat and an anti-stick coating reduce the need for human involvement, leaving you free to concentrate on something else while the food cooks.
Ergonomy is deceptively important. Handles will make the griddle a lot easier to move around, even while in use, with the cooking surface simmering. However, this is only possible if the handles are attached to the tray and not the hot plate.
Gas or electric?
Compared to gas units, electric griddles are generally more affordable, can be a lot cheaper and safer to use, benefit from adjustable temperature settings, are more compact in size and easier to store. However, they all suffer from the universal problem of uneven cooking and also require pre-heating.
Top 3 products I recommend – Review & Advice
The most suitable pancake griddles are showcased below. They earned great appreciation from both customer and expert reviewers for providing good functionality at an affordable price.
The Presto 07061 is one of the larger griddles out there. With 22×11 inches of cooking surface, it can easily handle enough food for an entire family in one go. The main plate is made of heavy duty aluminum to resist warping, and it features both a diamond pattern texture and a ceramic coating to prevent sticking.
The ceramic layer was found to be highly effective by reviewers, even at temperatures as high as 400 C. In addition, it cleans very easily and doesn’t contain PTFE or PFOA.
The griddle as a whole is quite easy to clean due to all of its non-electric parts being easily detachable and dishwasher safe. The dip tray can even slide out in one swift move for a quick rinse. This modular design also helps with storing, since the sleek base plate can fit vertically in most kitchen cabinets with the handles off.
Another convenience feature is the ability to set and maintain the desired temperature for cooking. The thermostat goes from warm, where it functions as a heater, to a simmering 400 F.
One of its best features is the size, especially considering the price range. It can easily handle the breakfast needs of families larger than 4.
Almost all customer reviewers mentioned its remarkably good anti-stick properties, achieved by the use of a diamond pattern surface and an eco-friendly ceramic coating.
The modular design, with a detachable cooking plate, tray, thermostat, and legs makes it very easy to store and clean. All of the metal parts are dishwasher safe, and the tray slides for swift removal of accumulated grease. Furthermore, the cooking surface isn’t surrounded by raised edges, making the grease especially easy to wipe off.
The aforementioned anti-stick properties and user adjustable thermostat make it far less laborious to cook with. It’s also comfortable to move around the kitchen, even when hot, thanks to its “cold” handles.
Some users report that the cooking plate has a tendency to warp towards the center. This appears to be a common problem with griddles in the Presto’s price range and not so pronounced in this case as to make the 07061 a particularly unpopular model (it still predominantly receives five-star ratings on Amazon)
Buy from Amazon.com for ($38.99)
The Black+Decker GD2011B is overall similar to the Presto 07061. This one is slightly smaller, however, at only 20×11 inches of cooking surface. But it can just as easily handle cooking for a family of 5+ since 22 square inches around the edge is not that big of a difference. According to owner reports, it has enough cooking surface to fit six pancakes and leave room to spare.
The decrease in size comes with a rather more substantial decrease in weight, of nearly two pounds. This makes the B+D somewhat easier to move around the kitchen and use on family outings or camping trips. It lacks any handles but makes up for it by having elevated plastic edges around the cooking plate and a substantial grease ditch (the grease drips into a tray below which can be easily removed and emptied)
Otherwise, it has very well appreciated anti-stick coating — which seems to be a thing kitchenware manufacturers have mastered — and a thermostat that goes from warm to 400 F.
Slightly less modular than the Presto. However, it can be entirely submerged, which makes it dishwasher safe with the electrical parts removed.
The lightweight and compact design open it up for some new possibilities: One customer reports using it as a food warmer during dinner, since it’s slick enough not to be an eyesore and lacks any protrusions that might get in the way when reaching over the table.
It has some effective ease of use features, such as an anti-stick coating and freely adjustable cooking temperature via a thermostat
It has a big enough cooking surface for a large family.
The cooking surface maintains its shape well; no customers have reported any alterations under heat or permanent waves forming in the material.
Some users found the cooking area to be unevenly heated. This is a common problem with electric cooking appliances, and it can be easily remedied by placing the food according to where the heating elements are placed. Areas near the heating element will always be hotter than those further away.
Another complaint involves the size of the tray, which some found to fill too early when cooking greasy foods, such as bacon. This shouldn’t come off as an issue when cooking pancakes, however.
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If you don’t have a large family, or don’t have enough room in your kitchen, or simply aren’t concerned with shaving a few minutes off your morning routine, then the Farberware 21745 might suit you.
Smaller, less complex and significantly cheaper than self-contained units, the Farberware is basically a skillet with a couple of added benefits: doesn’t have risen edges to annoyingly get in the way of a spatula, and its thick aluminum base doesn’t warp as easily as other pans. Otherwise, you get all the convenience of a skillet.
The 11×11 inch square base can handle up to four snuggly fit pancakes at a time, and comes with some special features that prevent them from sticking: Pretty much like the Presto, it has a grainy surface texture to create air pockets between the food and the searingly hot plate. It also features a DuPont patented Teflon coating that can hold up to temperatures as high as 350 F.
Its small size and weight make it dishwasher safe, while otherwise it can be cleaned as easily as a skillet.
Another, less obvious advantage comes from the fact that you can use it over a gas stove, which doesn’t present the same uneven heating problems as electrical models.
Small, light and easy to use, the Farberware 21745 combines the portability of a skillet with the superior cooking qualities of a griddle.
Very comfortable to work with, the short edges make it spatula friendly, and its flat surface allows the pancakes to slide neatly off.
It also features a high angled handle, to keep your hand as far away from the stove as possible which is particularly useful when working on a crowded stove.
Good anti-stick surface, but only up to 350 F (noticeably lower than for most griddles). Otherwise, users are impressed with its effectiveness.
Most obviously, it doesn’t offer the same possibilities as a larger unit. You’ll have to do multiple rounds of frying if you’re cooking for a large family. Also, the lack of a thermostat unit will demand more attention from the cook.
Some customers complained about the Teflon melting at high heat. Most products do have a “safety zone” higher than the maximum specs, but we recommend you stay good within the limits mentioned by the manufacturer in this case.
Buy from Amazon.com for ($16.09)