The dictionary definition of a griddle pan is a flat surface used for cooking food over a direct heat. Over the course of this article, we’ll explore what this really means, along with sharing some useful hints, tips and recipes to help you get the most of this simple but useful utensil.
Whether you’re a keen cook or a reluctant amateur, a griddle pan makes a great addition to your kitchen arsenal. Essentially, a griddle pan is a large, flat cooking surface that is heated over a stove-top.
Griddles typically come in one of two varieties; a round pan or a square griddle. If kitchen space is a concern, opt for the round variety. Although still a sizable piece of kit, it will stack easily and neatly alongside your other pots and pans. If feeding a crowd is a bigger concern than saving space, plump for the square griddle; its large surface area will make whipping up a feast for the whole family a breeze. As with all purchases, think about your individual needs before deciding on the best option.
Although similar in some ways to a frying pan, a griddle is a much weightier beast, with a heavy base that allows for speedy, even heating. The surface of the pan ensures no moisture can be trapped, making it an ideal appliance for keeping food crisp, succulent and full of flavor.
Griddle pans can come with either flat, smooth bottoms or a ridged surface. Smooth surfaced pans are ideal for rustling up eggs, bacon, sausages, hash-browns, or grilled sandwiches. Pans with a ridged base, on the other hand, are great for giving a char grilled, seared finish; use this type of pan if you’re a fan of steak, chicken, pork …. really, any kind of meat at all! Fish and vegetables also benefit from the griddle pan treatment.
The large surface area of the griddle pan makes it ideal for catering to a crowd, but even those cooking for a smaller number can still enjoy its benefits. In the next section, we’ll look at a few different recipes and cooking methods that will really help you get the most of your griddle pan.
Using a griddle pan to cook chicken will give a delicious, charred quality to the meat. The pan’s fast and efficient transfer of heat will ensure the meat cooks evenly and quickly, while retaining a succulent moistness. Follow the below steps for perfect results every time.
1) Oil the griddle or spray evenly with a non-stick cooking spray. Bring to a medium heat.
2) Using a meat mallet, pound the chicken until it’s an even 2-inch thickness. Season liberally with salt and pepper.
3) Cook the chicken for 10 minutes on each side. For best results, use a meat thermometer to ensure the meat reaches a temperature of 165-degree Fahrenheit.
4) Remove the chicken from the griddle and allow to rest well before serving.
Cooking steak on a griddle is simple, easy, and guaranteed to produce the perfect meal.
1) Make sure the meat is at room temperature before you start. Heating meat straight from the fridge will result in uneven cooking. Remove the steak from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking for best results.
2) Preheat the griddle pan to a medium – high heat
3) Rub the steak with oil and season generously with the seasoning of your choice
4) Place the steak in the griddle and cook for 2-5 minutes on each side (cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat and how you like your steak prepared. If you want to be precise, use a meat thermometer; a rare steak will need to reach 120 degrees, medium-rare will need to be 125 degrees and medium-done will need to reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit).
5) Remove the steak and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Pancakes make for a great breakfast treat, but it can be difficult to achieve a flawless result using a traditional frying pan. The key to cooking the perfect pancake is even heating….and luckily for crepe devotes, this is where the griddle pan comes into a league of its own. Try the below recipe on a griddle pan and you’ll never go back to a frying pan again.
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. milk
3 tbsp. butter
1) Lightly grease the griddle and preheat to a medium- high heat
2) Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together.
3) In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk and butter and beat well before adding to the dry mixture. Whisk well.
4) Add ¼ cup of the beaten mixture to the heated griddle. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until bubbly. Turn the pancake over with a wide spatula and cook until golden. Transfer to a plate.
5) Repeat step 4 until all the batter has been used.
6) Serve the pancakes with the topping of your choice
To get the most from your griddle pan, follow the below handy tips.
- If the griddle pan has a ridged surface, always oil the food, not the pan. Any oil in the pan will simply seep away between the ridges.
- If you want to marinate your meat before cooking, stick to thin, oil-based marinades. Thicker pastes have a habit of sticking to the pan, which can result in an unpleasant, burnt taste to the final dish.
- Follow the same rules of cleaning as you would for a non-stick frying pan; use soapy water and avoid any abrasive cleaning materials.
- For thicker cuts of meat, check your pan to make sure it’s oven proof; if it is, don’t hesitate in popping the pan in the oven to finish off the cooking.
- To check if your griddle has reached the perfect temperature, flick a little cold water over the surface. If the water pops before evaporating, it’s time to start cooking!
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