Quick-cooking and dietetic, the grill or griddle encourage the joys of grilling without complexes throughout the summer.
The trend toward healthy eating gives some success to accessories like griddles or indoor home flattop grills known as “plancha” in spanish–. So why not taking the opportunity to discover their benefits?
Ideal for summer lunches or a light meal if you prefer, cooking “a la plancha” is particularly healthy, quick and dietetics. Simply warm the dry plate before cooking. Foods are not fried but baked in their own juice, without adding fat.
Cooking on the griddle or on a flattop grill is a good alternative to have fun with cooking healthy, quick and dietetics. It involves grilling all kinds of food on a hot plate that has been greased with very little oil or without any fa
t at all. Foods are not fried but baked in their own juice. It eliminates all risk of burning that one can have with a traditional barbecue and retains all the benefits of food. Everything can be cooked a la plancha: the ubiquitous kebabs and sausages, chicken, marinated fish, seafood, fresh fruits and vegetables.
The right temperature
The principle is based on the griddle temperature. While most electric griddles have a thermostat, some mainly working with gas –ie traditionnal griddle/grill– don’t. So to know the exact temperature of your food, have a small food thermometer at hand. It will allow you to cook meat or fish every time it takes for the perfect temperature.
How to choose your griddle?
Choosing the right griddle might look easy at first sight but there are plenty of models available. Here’s a little guide to help you to find the best appliance according to your use.
Traditionnal or electric?
The traditionnal griddle or stovetop grill is a single plate mainly made of cast iron. You simply put it on your gas stove. While some models are small and allow one burner, others larger model are set up across two burner o your stove. You mainly use it in your kitchen to cook the food, then it can be used as a serving plate on the table, just don’t forget to place a thick wooden tray under it.
The electric griddle is heated by an electrical device under the grill which is often removable for easier cleaning. Its advantage is that you can put it directly on the table and allows guests to cook their food by themselves according to their taste. So it’s more friendly.
How many guests do I cook for?
This will determine the size of your griddle board and it is very important. The general idea is to have a baking sheet large enough that allows every guest to sear his food at the same time. If the griddle is too small and everyone puts his food at the same time, the griddle heat will be lowered by the amount of cold ingredients, so it will take time to rise the proper temperature again quickly, and the food won’t be cooked properly…
Of course, if you want to grill meat and vegetables at the same time, your grill must be large enough. So it’s better to go for a large appliance as you never know what surprise you will get!
We must of course take into account the number of people working within the family and choose a plate whose size is adapted. But we must not forget that with a plancha, you will cook the same.
You invite more friends easily because a meal is no longer apuzzle: you can still cook on a plancha (meat, fish, shellfish, vegetables … even fruit!) while being available for your guests.
Organized meals are an important thing to consider when choosing the size of your plate. It would be a shame not to use it because it is too small!
If it’s a “nomadic” plancha you want to buy, that is easy to carry, small in size to take in a motorhome for example, you will then have to rely solely on its size and not only on the number of guests.
If you take a griddle which is too small, you can not make the same time the meat and vegetables for example. You’ll have to arrange cooking side, and this can become complicated. The boards are designed to have less hot zones for you to book food such as vegetables (this is not a failure if it does not heat up the entire surface is done on purpose. …)
The criteria to choose the right traditional griddle
- The griddle must be able to climb up to a minimum temperature of 270/320 ° C, to sear your food.
- Aluminum, steel, cast iron, stainless… The material are multiple. Best quality are natural cast iron, enameled cast iron, or enameled stainless steel. Both materials provide a good distribution of heat, do not create adhesion, resistance to thermal shock and corrosion. In addition, enamel allows easy maintenance. Aluminium is the most common material but is mainly seen on electric indoor griddles.
- Prefer models with two burners, independently adjustable. Thus you can easily adjust the cooking temperature for the food but also different parts of the board.
- Choose a board with edges high enough and a fat collection tray.
The criteria for choosing the right indoor electric griddle
- Make sure the plate (usually made of cast aluminum) is sufficiently thick and has a cooking surface big enough.
- Choose a removable baking griddle as it will help you clean. You can even put it in the dishwasher.
- Ditto for the fat-collecting gutter: it must be able to withdraw completely for cleaning.
- Choose a griddle that is powerful enough. The most common models show 2 100 to 2400 W.
- Choose a model with a thermostat in order to adjust the cooking temperature.
Here are some inspirations based on Amazon’s best sellers and our readers recommendations:
Presto Professional 22-Inch Jumbo Electric Griddle
This indoor electric griddle cooks enough pancakes or hamburgers for a large crowd. This model features a smooth nonstick finish. The griddle requires very little grease, thereby producing healthier food. For fattier meats like bacon, a groove along one side channels drips through a container that slides completely out for cleaning. When the griddle’s heat control is removed, the unit is fully submersible in warm, soapy water. Get a price on Amazon.
Wolfgang Puck 1800-Watt Reversible Grill – Griddle
This electric grill and griddle provides a large reversible cooking surface for versatile cooking. Use its smooth griddle surface for pancakes or omelets, or flip it over to the grilling side for cooking up pork chops, grilled veggies, and more. The temperature-control knob makes it easy to select the right amount of heat. Other highlights include grease channels for healthier cooking, and a removable drip tray. Discover this appliance on Amazon.
Sanyo Extra-Large Indoor Barbecue Grill and Griddle
This multi-use product features a 1/3 Griddle with Lid and 2/3 Grill designed for flexibility and convenience. The grill not only sears those tasty grill marks onto food, but its design also keeps food above and away from grease and fat for healthier cooking. The removable drip pan catches run-off fat, and by filling it first with water, it’s easy to enjoy virtually smoke-free grilling. Discover this product on Amazon.
Lodge Logic Pro Cast-Iron Grill/Griddle
This professional-size cast-iron grill/griddle combo is serious enough to straddle either a campfire or two burners on your stovetop. The reversible feature of this crowd-pleasing cooker means you can use the smooth side for cooking flapjacks, eggs, and grilled cheese sandwiches, and the ridged grill side for hamburgers, steaks, and sausages. A slight slope drains fat into a grease gutter. Get a price on Amazon.
Lodge Double Play Reversible Grill Griddle
The smooth side is great for making grilled cheese sandwiches as well as eggs, pancakes and french toast. The ribbed side is perfect for grilling foods such as steak, fish, chicken and hamburgers. The food sits above the grease making your cooking experience much healthier. Seasoned and ready to use. Get a price on Amazon.