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Kat and Kevin Yares
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Using a Griddle
A griddle, whether it is a top of the stove model or an electric type, is one of the handiest cooking tools you can have in your kitchen. A griddle, as opposed to a frying pan, allows you the room to make perfect pancakes, eggs, grilled sandwiches or any other food that needs to be turned, or flipped, easily. Griddles are simple to use and once you have one, you'll find yourself using it over and over again.
Stovetop griddles are usually made of heavy aluminum or cast iron. Cast iron griddles, like skillets, will need to be seasoned before first use. Both aluminum and cast iron griddles will benefit from the use of non-stick spray or a coating of oil before you heat them up.
Both types of griddles work best if you pre-heat the pan over medium-high heat before adding the food. This will give you even cooking and browning if desired. The only time I do not pre-heat the griddle is when I'm cooking fried eggs, as for me, the whites get overcooked going onto the hot surface.
These work in much the same way as a stovetop model, but have built-in thermostats to control the heat. Although the surface of the electric griddle is often made of non-stick material, the use of non-stick spray will ensure that foods flip and turn without making a mess.
Where to Find Them
You can buy both stovetop and electric griddles wherever small kitchen appliances, and pots and pans are sold. You can save money if you look for them at thrift shops, garage sales and flea markets. Especially if you are looking for a cast iron pan, which I consider the best.
With care, a cast iron griddle will last a lifetime. I still have my grandmother's old round one and it will be passed on to my daughter at some point in the future. Or maybe, I'll wait and give it to one of my grandkids.