Author Topic: To Grill or Griddle?  (Read 1335 times)

Offline Cam3512

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To Grill or Griddle?
« on: June 01, 2023, 06:20:47 PM »
Putting this out there for some feedback.  After 20+ years with a traditional Weber propane grill, Iím considering a Blackstone griddle.  For those with experience with both, what do I need to know?  Pros and Cons?    Not interested in a smoker right now. 

https://blackstoneproducts.com/collections/griddles?utm_campaign=google-branded&gclid=CjwKCAjwg-GjBhBnEiwAMUvNW1v31SPuoqKZ4Fi40f5fvXQ_4jf3tEA-pTLDK68Zblzd_WeHU5ApaRoCpP0QAvD_BwE

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« Last Edit: June 01, 2023, 06:22:02 PM by Cam3512 »
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Offline AJ Huff

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2023, 06:29:10 PM »
I bought a cheap propane fired Cuisinart round griddle.

https://www.cuisinart.com/shopping/outdoor-grilling/grills-griddles/cgg-888/

I don't like it. Basically it's a large cast iron skillet and everything is fried. I don't like the taste of fried meat. Not the same char either that I Iove so much. It is great for doing a stir fry though.

Was going to try pizza this evening but daughter said no.

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« Last Edit: June 01, 2023, 10:23:04 PM by AJ Huff »
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2023, 07:10:08 PM »
Horses for courses.  Use both, not either or.  I simply cannot LIVE without my smoker, though.  Use it 10 to 1 over all the others.
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2023, 07:31:34 PM »
Itís apples vs oranges.  Both have their merits and pitfalls.  With arguments of propane/charcoal/smoke flavor aside, an open grill allows direct exposure to flame, evaporation and ultimately char that a solid heating surface simply cannot.  So it depends upon what youíre cooking and your specific goals.

Because Caramelization (Maillard Reaction) happens quickly on an open grill, the very efficient evaporation characteristics of the open grill means it progresses just as quickly to drier charred surfaces which may or may not benefit your goals. You also loose the potential of using any food particles that cook & stick to the grill in your final preparation or sauce work.  A solid surface allows the caramelization to occur with more control and in a way that the fond (cooked bits that accrue and stick on the surface during caramelization) can be more easily captured and incorporated into the preparation.

If I had to choose just one, I would buy or use a good grill and get a nice flat griddle plate or large iron skillet that I could place upon the grill to use when needed.  Then it is instantly convertible and I have the option to cook however I want to cook whenever I cook, which is all that matters to me. 

Fwiw, more people will generally ooh and ahh over food cooked in a nicely seasoned 24Ē diameter dual handled cast iron skillet than anything cooked on a plain old griddle.  Itís all about the presentation-  The difference between sauce and gravy is at least $5 a plateÖ..
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2023, 07:31:34 PM »

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2023, 07:54:02 PM »
Putting this out there for some feedback.  After 20+ years with a traditional Weber propane grill, Iím considering a Blackstone griddle.  For those with experience with both, what do I need to know?  Pros and Cons?    Not interested in a smoker right now. 

https://blackstoneproducts.com/collections/griddles?utm_campaign=google-branded&gclid=CjwKCAjwg-GjBhBnEiwAMUvNW1v31SPuoqKZ4Fi40f5fvXQ_4jf3tEA-pTLDK68Zblzd_WeHU5ApaRoCpP0QAvD_BwE

Cam

I have a large cast iron griddle that covers 1/2 the burners of my grill. NOTHING takes the place of a griddle seared steak or burger, but the flamed grill also has its place, especially when you can add smoke box and a high quality grill like a Weber or Ducane.  I say Grill with griddle accessory.

I was an early adopter of the pellet smoker grills, have had a RECTEQ since 2015 and I love it.  You can crank it up to 450-500 and use like a regular grill with a decent sear, or down to 180-225 for low and slow smoking, but you can also set it for any temp in between for baking and cooking. It is the ONLY way I make Bacon now...... RECTEQ is a small family owned business and makes quality stuff. They also stand behind the product. My grill is old, so doesn't have wifi control, or internal heat probes and controls, but it is a solid work horse and I do just about everything with it.  That said, I won't go without an old school gas grill or grill top griddle.

Open up that wallet pal!  :cool:

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Offline tommy2cyl

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2023, 08:02:10 PM »
Timely topic.  I was thinking I needed to upgrade my 22 year old Weber Grill and look for a new grill/griddle combination.  The only parameter that
I really had is there is just me and the wife, so didn't need a large unit.  Well, that pretty much eliminates most of what is available.  The other
curious thing I found was that most of the combination units did not have a cover for the griddle part.  Not really sure why that is but I am sure
there must be some cooking reason, but I wanted the option of covering it with a lid.  I did find a decent size unit that Walmart sells that has hoods that cover both sections and priced around $347.00.  When I started really checking it out, the actual grill surface looked cheap and flimsy, no where near the quality of the grill on my Weber.  So, I decided to rehab the Weber and give it some love that it was sorely lacking and with some deep cleaning, replacing a few parts, and a little high temp paint, it cleaned up amazingly well.  Then I bought the 16" x 9" Lodge griddle with flat surface on one side and the raised ribs
on the other, purchased from Amazon for $37.00.  So now, I can grill on one side and griddle on the other and all for a total cost of about $70.00
and about 5 hours of actually working on cleaning and refurbishing.  I think I am good to go for another 22 years.  Must say, the quality of our old
Weber is pretty amazing. 

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2023, 09:03:57 PM »
You can put a cast iron griddle on a grille to sear things.

You can't grille, without a grille.

So a grille and a griddle plate can do both.

That's what I use.

That said, if I were buying now, I'd buy a grille that is also a separate fire box smoker. As I also have a separate smoker for now.
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2023, 09:12:02 PM »
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2023, 10:22:17 PM »
why not get a flat top for a gas grill or just use cast iron pan?

I use several small flat tops and griddles to cook veggies, peppers, asparagus, onion bacon burgers and the like.

I also use a gas grill that I don't  have to preheat for thick meats and chicken.  And have a pellet smoker tube that allows me to smoke independently from the gas heat.
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2023, 05:17:23 AM »
I have not used a propane grill since I bought my BGE a decade or so ago. If grilling needs done now it's on the BGE or the Lodge hibachi over lump charcoal. Your taste buds will thank you for choosing to grill over lump verses LP.

I have about 10 different heat sources I use for cooking over and last year got a griddle and have really been enjoying it. It great for breakfasts, burgers and quesadillas amongst other things. I did get one with u shaped burners so it heats evenly but I would prefer if the burners had a little more oomph to them or the steel was thicker as it is easy to overwhelm the griddle with cold foods like if you are doing a full pack of lo-mein noodles you end up doing it in batches to break out the wok and turkey fryer burner.

I will say we were looking at Blackstone griddles and then found a 2 burner 20,000 BTU Razor on a collapsible rolling base that was on sale fo $159 at Camping World that was comparable a Blackstone that didn't have a base and was over $200. It did come prepped to be portable and was fed with a 1lb LP bottles I bought a $10 adapter and hose to be able to use a 20lb LP bottle and it also is equipped to hang/support a 20lb bottle on the cart.

Honestly I would not get caught up in name brand as they are all made in China. They are all a piece of steel with a LP burner under the plate and a couple of diales. For me if and when I buy another I will look fo rthe highest BTU output and the thickest steel plate for heat retention.

Yikes I got a heck of a deal. Looks like the Razor 2 burner is $249.99 everywhere now.

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When griddling cleanup is a snap. after you get he plate seasoned after I'm done cooking I use the spatula to scrape off the big chunks then I keep a on water bottle with a nozzle on it. Let the griddle get smoking hot then grab a couple paper towels squirt some water on the griddle and then use the end of the spatula to move the paper towels around the griddle surface to pick up the pieces the water is steaming off. Griddle surface is cleaned and ready for the next cook.

Here's pic's from 6/22/22 on its 1st day home. Double bacon cheeseburgers were that evening's fare.








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« Last Edit: June 02, 2023, 05:25:44 AM by Perazzimx14 »
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Offline aklawok

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2023, 07:26:43 AM »
IMHO, some foods are difficult to cook over a grill. As stated, bacon and eggs.. But also vegetables and  pancakes, try an outdoor breakfast. Also thin meats, my favorite being pepper steak subs.
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Offline Cam3512

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2023, 07:28:01 AM »
There ya go, just put a griddle on top, or replace one of the grates with one on a side.  Guess I got caught up with just buying something new.

You guys are brilliant!

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2023, 08:36:26 AM »
I'll keep grilling and smoking on the Big Green Egg and use my soon to be outlawed gas stove and cast iron skillet in the house. If you're cooking breakfast for a group the griddle might make sense.
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2023, 09:45:02 AM »
I'll keep grilling and smoking on the Big Green Egg and use my soon to be outlawed gas stove and cast iron skillet in the house. If you're cooking breakfast for a group the griddle might make sense.

Even if you are only cooking for one or two making stuff like dippy eggs on the griddle is a smidge easier. It doesn't cook any better or different than a nice CI skillet (love my cast iron cookware) but you have lots of room around the eggs for getting the long blade spatula under it and in a quick sweeping motion to not break the yolk and there is plenty of fresh hot griddle space to land the egg after flipping. Same for pancakes. in the 10" Griswold even if only cooking two pancakes they have to be relatively small so when you flip them you don't land one on the other. 

FWIW the BGE also works good for skillet cooking. Nice even heat under the whole skillet. 

The biggest benefit for me is cooking outside keeps the smells and mess of cooking outside. As much as I love bacon or a good bacala and red sauce I don't want to enjoy the house smelling like it for days.
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2023, 04:08:30 PM »
If you don't have experience with a griddle, there is a bit of a learning curve on the cleaning/seasoning/care. If you store it outside or use it infrequently, be prepared for rust.

I have 'all of the above' in the grill/smoker/outdoor cooking array, and I do have a blackstone. I don't find it particularly great, the temp control is wonky ie: if you put one side on high, the entire thing gets hot, I think the plate is too thin. Also the gutter/rail drain for fats or splash & scrape cleaning is woefuly undersized and poorly designed with insufficient pitch.  I have been cooking on restaurant griddles and french cooktops for decades at this point, so maybe I'm spoiled.

I do wish to say (tho it's totally unrelated) *and I always get shit for it*-- The big green egg is the most overrated marketing hype in the world...  It's the yeti cooler of grills and I dont mean that as a compliment.
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #16 on: June 02, 2023, 04:32:39 PM »
If you don't have experience with a griddle, there is a bit of a learning curve on the cleaning/seasoning/care. If you store it outside or use it infrequently, be prepared for rust.

I have 'all of the above' in the grill/smoker/outdoor cooking array, and I do have a blackstone. I don't find it particularly great, the temp control is wonky ie: if you put one side on high, the entire thing gets hot, I think the plate is too thin. Also the gutter/rail drain for fats or splash & scrape cleaning is woefuly undersized and poorly designed with insufficient pitch.  I have been cooking on restaurant griddles and french cooktops for decades at this point, so maybe I'm spoiled.

I do wish to say (tho it's totally unrelated) *and I always get shit for it*-- The big green egg is the most overrated marketing hype in the world...  It's the yeti cooler of grills and I dont mean that as a compliment.


Yea yea, Not the 1st time I've heard you say that. I paid around $600.00 for my BGE 24 years ago. (yes they're more now) That's $25.00 a year and it works just like it did the 1st day I had it.  Try that with a Webber POS!
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #17 on: June 02, 2023, 04:46:04 PM »

Yea yea, Not the 1st time I've heard you say that. I paid around $600.00 for my BGE 24 years ago. (yes they're more now) That's $25.00 a year and it works just like it did the 1st day I had it.  Try that with a Webber POS!

John's que is as good as I've had and I'm pretty serious.  I'm not ready to make the jump from gas due to the convenience and flexibility whether to preheat.  But if I had the skill and understanding of this lump charcoal thing, I could change my mind.  Bev says I should have two grills and go ahead and just get one.
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2023, 07:48:04 AM »
For me the BGE was one of the best investments I've made that turns out quality product every time. As it turns out like in shotgun sports the equipment is not the most expensive part. I have burned far more dollar's wort of charcoal in the BGW than the BGE cost.

I get it the BGE or lump charcoal cooking is not for everyone. Personally, I don't mind the expense or the prep/setup time that comes with cooking over lump as I am rewarded with a superior product in the end.

The BGE is not the end all be all. There are many types of Kamado style cookers, I like the BGE simply because of the dealership network. Every town has place that sells BGE and the warranty is great. I have had two fire boxes, one riser ring, one CI grate and a plate setter replaced free or what world have cost hundreds of dollars if you went with store brand stuff that has minimal if any warranty. For all who think that I have had a lot of warranty part that it true but none of them failed because of quality or craftsmanship it was from heavy use. I have burned over 7000 pounds of charcoal in my BGE over the years.

I have not missed the LP grill since I 1st lighted the BGE and made burgers to test it out. In fact, my LP grill was never lighted again and got scrapped the next time we had bulk trash day at the township building.

To each their own :thumb:
   
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2023, 08:47:27 AM »

Here's pic's from 6/22/22 on its 1st day home. Double bacon cheeseburgers were that evening's fare.








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that looks like a slick bit of kit to me.

thankfully, that is not a can of Bud Light in the background.....
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #20 on: June 03, 2023, 08:55:54 AM »
I did do the pizza on the griddle last night. Just take-and-bake from the grocery. It did come out well though I charred the bottoms a little too much. I think 3 minutes too long.

I DID replace my gas grille with the griddle. I miss the grill. I think the griddle is a decent supplement to the grill, but you wouldn't be happy if it was all you had. I do like that it has a cast iron platen though. I'll probably get a small gas grill to go along side it. I hate charcoal.

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #21 on: June 03, 2023, 10:37:48 AM »
that looks like a slick bit of kit to me.

thankfully, that is not a can of Bud Light in the background.....

Around here a light/lite beer is a Yuengling Premium 12 ounce can. It has 25% few calories than Yuengling Premium pounders and 50% fewer calories than a Yuengling half and half tha is comprised of one (1) 12-ounce bottle of Yuengling Porter and one (1) 12-ounce bottle of Yuengling Lord Chesterfield Ale in a tall glass :thumb: Beat's their Black & Tan by a country mile and th B&T is pretty darn good.

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #22 on: June 03, 2023, 10:58:12 AM »
Around here a light/lite beer is a Yuengling Premium 12 ounce can. It has 25% few calories than Yuengling Premium pounders and 50% fewer calories than a Yuengling half and half tha is comprised of one (1) 12-ounce bottle of Yuengling Porter and one (1) 12-ounce bottle of Yuengling Lord Chesterfield Ale in a tall glass :thumb: Beat's their Black & Tan by a country mile and th B&T is pretty darn good.

Someone is from Yuengling country! lol
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #23 on: June 03, 2023, 01:49:52 PM »
Around here a light/lite beer is a Yuengling Premium 12 ounce can. It has 25% few calories than Yuengling Premium pounders and 50% fewer calories than a Yuengling half and half tha is comprised of one (1) 12-ounce bottle of Yuengling Porter and one (1) 12-ounce bottle of Yuengling Lord Chesterfield Ale in a tall glass :thumb: Beat's their Black & Tan by a country mile and th B&T is pretty darn good.

I grew up in Genesee Cream Ale country myself..... probably disqualifies me from having a knowledgable opinion on fermented liquids.....
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #24 on: June 03, 2023, 02:39:51 PM »
I grew up in Genesee Cream Ale country myself..... probably disqualifies me from having a knowledgable opinion on fermented liquids.....

In 94, I moved from New Orleans to Asheville for a sous chef position.  One of the bars/nightclubs in downtown Asheville (maybe Gatsbyís, remember place but not name) was offering Genesee Cream Ale as an import for $4.00 a bottle along with the actual imported beer.  I guess down here at the time, it might as well be an import.

Iíve had a lot of Genny up in VT, but that is my favorite Genny memory.
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Offline tommy2cyl

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #25 on: June 03, 2023, 02:49:53 PM »
Love how this thread has flawlessly drifted from grillin' to drinkin'.   Seems logical :boozing:

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #26 on: June 03, 2023, 03:27:35 PM »
I grew up in Genesee Cream Ale country myself..... probably disqualifies me from having a knowledgable opinion on fermented liquids.....

Screamers! About one a year or so I get a case of cream ale. Drink about 1/2 of it and the next day it feels like you are doing a colonoscopy prep.

Loved 12 Horse Ale until it was discontinued. After it was re-released (a couple times) it never tasted the same.
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #27 on: June 03, 2023, 03:31:44 PM »
"ya can't have one without the other"
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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #28 on: June 03, 2023, 04:50:18 PM »
Griddle is more versatile than most think

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Re: To Grill or Griddle?
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2023, 05:34:17 PM »
Love how this thread has flawlessly drifted from grillin' to drinkin'.   Seems logical :boozing:

Obviously a spontaneous process of nature...
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