Griddles and grills are cooking surfaces that can be used to prepare all kinds of different meals. It’s important to know the differences between these two types of products because they will determine which one you need to buy in order to cook the foods, you’re most interested in.
A griddle is basically like a hot kitchen plate, similar to the ones that you usually see in diners and restaurant kitchens. They consist of flat metal cooking surfaces that are heated from underneath. Just like a frying pan, a griddle is basically a surface that you can cook anything on, including foods that are liquid-heavy (such as eggs) or granular (such as rice).
Grills, on the other hand, consist of slatted cooking grates that are typically made from some sort of metal. A grill is more efficient when you want the grease from the food to drip between these grates. The foods placed on the grill need to be large enough so as not to fall between the grates (for instance, rice and eggs aren’t suitable for grill cooking). The food is exposed to open flames as it’s being cooked, with the metal grates getting really hot.
Types of Griddles
Griddles are available three different versions.
Supported by their own carts and stands, freestanding griddles are designed to offer a cooking space in the comfort of one’s own backyard. The majority of these griddles are gas-powered, offering multiple burners located underneath the cooking surface. Some of them are equipped with casters, which makes it easier for you to move them around.
These are very similar to a hot plate, as they are designed to be portable cooking surfaces that you can take with you when you’re going camping or planning a picnic somewhere in the woods. They do not have their own carts or stands, which makes it super easy to store them when you want to get them out of the way.
These griddles are actually flat cooking surfaces that are placed over fire pits or heating elements to provide you with a cooking surface. For instance, if you already have a reliable grill and you don’t want to purchase a separate griddle, you can easily opt for an insert.
Griddles vs Grills
In case you’re still wondering what some of the key differences between grills and griddles are, we’ve put together a more comprehensive list that will put some of their main feature’s side-by-side so that you can see in which scenarios it’s best to have either a griddle or a grill:
- The most obvious difference between the two is the fact that griddles have flat cooking surfaces and grills don’t. Grills also tend to have raised edges, aside from the fact that their surfaces are made from parallel metal bars and not just one flat piece of metal.
- The second most important difference is the fact that they work best at different temperatures. A grill is best operated at temperatures around 400° F. At this temperature, the heat will be transmitted to the metal grates which later leave those gorgeous, browned strips on your steaks and burgers. Griddles, on the other hand, only need a temperature of around 350° F to reach their best cooking potential. At this temperature, the griddle can do pretty much anything from fry bacon to searing meat but works for other kinds of cooking-related activities, such as making sauces.
- Griddles are available as an insert, which is basically a flat metal cooking surface that can be placed on top of a grill in order to heat it. It doesn’t really work the other way around.
- Grills will usually give your meat a nice smoky flavor (of course, this also depends on the type of grill you’re using, as electricity-powered grills aren’t able to do that).
- Grills are best for “baking” food because they are usually designed with lids that are meant to stay closed when cooking, whereas griddles are designed with lids (not all of them have lids though) that stay open while you cook.
The best Griddles and grills:
One of the best natural gas griddles that’s recommended by buyers and experts alike is the Blaze Premium LTE. It comes with plenty of convenient features that make it easy for you to cook anything from burgers to scrambled eggs. The LED control knob illumination is a feature that doesn’t limit you to day cooking, being one of the characteristics that the manufacturer takes great pride in.
The griddle has a 495 square inch cooking surface that is covered by 36,000 BTUs of heat delivered throughout the 304 stainless steel burners. The ignition system is designed to work with a push-and-turn method, offering a quick start every time you’re looking to fire up the griddle. There is a grease trough that’s aimed at collecting grease to make it easier for you to clean the griddle when you’re done.
The lid of the unit can be stored behind the cart when you’re cooking, as it comes with a designated storage bracket. There is a bottom drawer which includes a tray holding seven food containers that are bound to come in handy when you want to have some of the ingredients and spices near the cooking surface. It is also equipped with an insulated drawer that can keep food cold if you add ice.
- Evenly heated cooking surface.
- Stainless steel lid protection.
- Includes removable food containers.
- Comes with an insulated drawer.
- Lacks thermometer.
Offering a main grilling area of 552 square inches and a secondary grilling area of 186 square inches, the Blaze Premium LTE propane gas grill can make some of the best steaks you’ve ever tasted. Much like its griddle cousin, this unit also comes with Blaze’s LED illuminated control system, offering even additional halogen hood lighting so that you can cook regardless of the lighting conditions of your outdoor kitchen.
With 56,000 BTUs of heating power that are evenly spread across the four stainless steel burners, the grill still offers an additional 10,000 BTU rear infrared burner for you to expand the amount of food you can prepare with this thing. There is also an optional rotisserie kit that would work really well here.
If you want to cook different kinds of foods at the same time, the heat zone separators are a wonderful feature to take advantage of. There is a removable warming rack that offers plenty of space for your cooked food to stay warm until you’re ready to set the table. The flame stabilizer grid is there to make sure that the number of flare-ups is reduced as much as possible.
- Integrated lid halogen lights.
- Flame tamers to reduce flare-ups.
- Heat zone separator technology.
- Includes infrared main burner.
- Hood lacks spring assistance.
There is no correct way to determine if a griddle is better than a grill because they are used to cook pretty different things, so it’s best if you have one of each. Even if you lack sufficient space for both of these items, you can opt for a grill and purchase either a tabletop or an insert griddle, both of which are super easy to store and get out of the way.