Griddle is basically an equipment of twisted metal plate (in industrial world) or brick or stone slab (in non industrial and traditional culture) which is used for cooking various types of foods on stove or open flame. The foods that are prepared by griddling method can be either cooked with oil or without the use of oil, with some of the popular foods prepared by griddling method consisting of pancakes, flatbreads, grilled cheese, oatcakes, and crepes. Griddles, which are thick metal plates, are quite popular for maintaining even level of heat, hence allowing the food to be cooked properly from all the angles. The thickness of the metal plate may vary as per the use, whether industrial or non industrial, with the thicker one used for industrial purposes being considered to be much better in terms of heat capacity.
Features of Griddles
The following features would help in defining this cooking equipment in a much better way:
- The equipment refers to thick plate made up of metal, which may consist of aluminum, steel or cast iron.
- The griddles usually have chrome finish, with a non sticky surface.
- Griddle can successfully replace most of the applications involving sauté pan or frying pan as the cooking equipments.
- The footprints of griddles are of several types, available in both countertop model and floor model, with the latter normally having body of stainless steel, thus facilitating the cleaning process of the equipment.
- Most of the griddles have a very smooth finish on the top; however a few models have grooved surface so that the grease is drained away and the cooked food appears as if it has been prepared on grill.
- A single commercial griddle of around 2.5 meter in length usually has different temperature controls at a gap of every 30-60 cms, so as to allow various food items to be cooked at the same time at distinct temperatures as per the cooking requirements of the particular food item.
- Though griddles can be heated upto 750 °F or 400 °C; however they are basically heated at around 140 °F - 450 °F or 60 °C - 230°C.
Types of Griddle
Here follows a brief explanation about different types of griddles used in culinary world.
- Traditional griddles- these are brick or stone based slabs, along with sand filled shallow platter. In the former case, the heat is given only after placing the food product over the slab. However, in the latter case, the food is placed on the slab after pre heating it for some time. Welsh type is one of the traditional forms which is circular in shape and is made up of cast iron of 1cm in thickness with a handle of only one piece, with the griddle being used for preparing crepes, welsh cakes and pikelets. However, these days, aluminum types are much popular as against the iron types used traditionally.
- Modern budare- this type is made up of clay or stone and is used commercially for preparing several types of flatbreads like casaba, arepa and tortilla. Metal griddles are normally used here, with the metal consisting of cast iron, aluminum or stainless steel. The thickness level of modern commercial griddles is usually one inch as against half inch or 1 cm thickness level of traditional griddles.
Uses of Griddle
- Various kinds of foods can be cooked on griddles, which may vary from meat based dishes to vegetable based dishes.
- The metal plate equipment can also be used for heating plates placed in pans and pots, by placing them directly on cooking surface.
- Also, the metal equipment may be used for keeping sauces and soups warm.
Various Techniques of Providing Energy to Griddles
- The energy and power to griddles can be provided through various ways which involve electricity, propane or natural gas.
- Lately, infrared and steam heating methods of providing heat have become quite popular in the commercial market.
- Most of the professional cooks normally use gas heating method due to its even heating feature.
Tip- The energy efficiency of the griddles would be promoted, if they are cleaned properly from time to time.
Maintenance of Griddles
The maintenance of griddles involves the following measures:
- Everyday maintenance of the metal plate equipment requires removing the excess food with the help of wiping cloth or griddle scraper while the equipment is warm.
- Use of soaps for cleansing the equipment is not at all recommended as the chemicals present in them may damage the surface.
- An abrasive pad or stone may be used for cleansing the hard material from the surface of the cooking equipment, especially in case of steel or cast iron types. Special cleaning powder is available for griddles having chrome finish.
- Maintaining the griddles in a proper way would help in protecting the plate from getting damaged and would also prevent the foods from sticking with griddle.
For more detailed information on the cooking equipment, please refer electric griddle