We understand: You want to make the most of your cookout sessions with family or friends. To get the best grilling experience, you have to ensure that you use the right equipment.
Many barbeque lovers may use whatever is available and use griddles and grills interchangeably. But there are important differences between these two cooking implements, and choosing the right tool is essential as outdoor griddles and grills are designed for different types of food.
Although both grilling tools make delectable food, they vary in some respects. These include the ease of use and cleaning, cooking space, food taste, and even pricing.
The Griddle vs Grill
In this griddle vs. grill comparison, we will help you identify the advantages and disadvantages of using a griddle and a grill, so you will know which tool is perfect for your situation.
What is a Griddle ?
A griddle is something you often see in burger joints or diners. It is essentially a big flat metal surface that looks and acts like a square or rectangular frying pan. However, unlike a frying pan, a griddle doesn’t have a handle or elevated corners.
Most outdoor griddles are simple, flat metal sheets that you can place over grill burners or other sources of heat. Griddles provide even heat distribution since they are flat and smooth.
Food You Can Cook Using a Griddle
Since a griddle doesn’t have holes in it, it’s perfect for granulated or liquified foods like rice, eggs, pancakes, beans, tomatoes, and more.
You can also cook solid food since griddles are essentially flat pans. A griddle is perfect for cooking burger patties, slices of bacon, sausages, hash browns, steak, chicken, and different kinds of meat.
The tool is also ideal for cooking Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Mexican food. These cuisines often require stir-frying, so a griddle can be very useful.
Types of Griddles
Cart-Style Griddles – As the name suggests, these griddles are freestanding and are often attached to a stand or a cart. They are usually gas-powered with several burners below the metal cooking space. This type of griddle is perfect if you want a flat cooking space outdoors. Most freestanding griddles have casters, so they are easy to transfer.
Tabletop Griddles – These are portable griddles that you can take anywhere, just like a frying pan. You can use tabletop griddles in your kitchen, camping sites, or simple yard cookouts. Since these griddles are handy and small, they won’t take up too much space in your cabinets.
Insert Griddles – These are quite similar to tabletop griddles, but they are usually used to cover grills. They are called “insert griddles” since you can fit them over BBQ grills to eliminate the holes or slots in the cooking equipment. This is perfect if you have already invested in a cart-style grill, and you don’t want to invest in a freestanding griddle.
Pros and Cons of Using a Griddle
- Huge cooking space
- Easy to clean
- Perfect for indoor and outdoor use
- Food may easily stick to the surface
What Is a Grill?
Grills are slatted surfaces, usually made of stainless steel, placed over gas burners or fire pits. Grills are ideal to use outdoors, as they generate a lot of smoke.
One of the best things about using a grill is that it helps remove the unnecessary grease and water from the foods you cook. The grease or water can leak out between the bars of the grill.
The grill then exposes your food to the fire and smoke that gives it a signature flavor. You can use different kinds of wood on the pit for unique flavors.
Food You Can Cook Using a Grill
Grills are ideal for cooking solid food, particularly different kinds of meat like chicken, fish, pork, beef, and more. You can also grill some of your favorite vegetables. Just make sure that the veggies are cut in large chunks so they won’t fall through the gaps.
Some people also grill bread to give it a crispy texture. You can also make pizza on a grill, and the smoke will give your pizza an extraordinary flavor that you won’t get from an oven.
Types of Grills
Charcoal Grills – Traditional grills that use charcoal for cooking can be time-consuming, as you need to build a fire first. However, one major advantage of using a charcoal grill is that you can play with the flavors of your food based on the type of wood you use.
Gas Grills – These freestanding grills are popular in cookouts or BBQ sessions because of their convenience. They run on natural gas or propane, so rather than having to build a fire, you can simply turn them on. This is ideal if you want to save yourself the hassle of using charcoal when cooking.
Electric Grills – If you’re not fond of fire, you can use an electric grill for cooking. These grills are ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. They are also perfect for BBQ lovers who live in the city.
Portable Grills – These handy grills are perfect for anyone who loves tailgating. They can run on both propane and charcoal.
Pros and Cons of Using a Grill
- More affordable than griddles
- Food can have a distinct flavor due to the wood
- Foods have attractive grill marks
- Difficult to clean
- Not ideal to use indoors
Difference Between a Griddle and Grill
Griddles produce an equal amount of heat across the entire cooking space, which results in even cooking. The fire or heat source doesn’t directly touch the food, so you can avoid burning some parts of your food while undercooking others. If you are a fan of evenly cooked meals, griddles are perfect for you.
Since grills transfer heat directly from the fire to the food, your food will inevitably have some burnt parts. But that’s what makes it unique, as the direct smoke and wood can intensify the taste of the food.
To give you a better idea about which tool best matches your needs, here are some more differences between a griddle and grill:
Outdoor vs Indoor Usage – Grills are usually best to use outside as they produce a lot of heat and smoke. Some modern or advanced grills should be okay for indoor usage. On the other hand, griddles function like pans, so they can be used inside and outside the house.
Food Taste and Texture – Expect your food to have a seared color and more pungent taste when you use grills. It will also be softer inside, as the heat is concentrated on the outer layer of the food. If you use a griddle, your food will look evenly golden and have a more consistent texture and taste.
Ease of Cleaning – Since a griddle has a flat surface, it is easier to clean than a grill. Some parts of a grill can be hard to reach or clean because of the design.
Pricing – Generally, grills are cheaper than griddles. But keep in mind that the price still depends on the model and size of the grilling equipment.
What Is the Ideal Heat for Grills and Griddles?
According to several reviews and studies, grills perform best when they are warmed up to 400°F. This specific temperature can give your food those attractive grill marks. However, some foods require more or less than the recommended heat.
On the other hand, griddles work perfectly at around 350°F. This is sufficiently hot to cook meat and veggies without sacrificing quality.
Conclusion: What Is the Right Grilling Tool for You?
Choosing between a griddle vs grill is a tough decision, since they both have unique benefits. Always remember that griddles and grills work best for different kinds of food.
If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, consider getting a grill with an insert griddle for dual functionality.