How We Tested
My name is Sarah Zorn, and I’ve been a professional food writer and recipe tester for more than 10 years. As much as I love dining out, I especially enjoy recreating restaurant experiences at home, and electric griddles are perfect for that — allowing me to turn my kitchen into a short-order diner, 7 days a week and 24 hours a day.
For our first round of testing, we loaded each griddle with three strips of bacon, four average-sized pancakes, and two eggs, to see if all the food would fit without Tetris-style maneuvering or crowding, and how long it took the bacon to get crispy, the pancakes to brown evenly, and the eggs to cook over medium heat. We analyzed the performance of the units by measuring heating consistency, how straightforward it was to use/read the heating controls, how simple it was to remove food from the surfaces and how easy the griddles were to clean (both the surfaces and fat collectors). We also assessed how much counter space they used, how seamless they were to store, if they came with any special features or accessories, and how useful those actually were. After tabulating our first round of scores, we made grilled cheese sandwiches on our three top-testing griddles, seeing how well, quickly and evenly they melted and browned.
What You Should Know About Electric Griddles:
What exactly is an electric griddle anyway? And why should you consider spending money on and devoting kitchen space to one? As opposed to loading your stovetop with all different kinds of pans, you can hook up a griddle wherever you have an electrical outlet and use it to make your favorite breakfast foods (or other items that benefit from a completely flat cooking surface) at once.
Their flat, rectangular surface is warmed from below by a built-in heating element that’s powered and regulated by temperature controls, as opposed to significantly smaller (and awkwardly-shaped) pans, which inevitably have cold and hot spots as they’re heated by a single, round, hard to stabilize flame (or electric coil) on a stove.
Electric griddles provide even heating, so no matter where you place your food on it, the food can all cook at optimum temperatures. Plus, griddles offer significantly more square footage than your average pan, so you won’t need to cook in batches (no one needs to wait for their turn at pancakes!) helping you feed a crowd without any of the meal’s elements sitting around and getting cold. The surfaces are nonstick (or generally are, watch out for options that aren’t), so you can cook with less grease—in fact, many models have features that allow fat to actually leach away from your food. It also makes them easy to clean, especially if the griddle comes with removable plates; with little to no scrubbing required.
When it comes to buying an electric griddle, size definitely matters. There are smaller, sometimes collapsible models, which are easier to keep in tiny kitchens, and perfectly adequate if you don’t often invite lots of people over for brunch. But you’ll probably want to go with a larger option for families since these griddles make it easier to cook entire meals at once and allow everyone to eat at the same time. Either way, make sure you have the storage space to accommodate one; griddles tend to be the size of oversized cutting boards, but are much bulkier and heavier. Also, look for units that include heating controls with an extensive temperature range. Some griddles even come with dual thermostats, so you can select different heats on each side (a higher temp for searing burgers, perhaps, and a lower one for eggs). Other electric griddles offer detachable grill plates as well, so you can mix up your cooking methods by making steak or pancakes.
Other Electric Griddles We Tested:
If you’re looking for more breakfast help, check out our guide to The Best Waffle Makers