From breakfast to dinner, simple hotdogs to fancy steaks, you need the right cookware. For the uninitiated, they all seem alike. However, they are different in more ways than one. Among others, two of the most common are griddle and skillet. Which one is the better option? If you want to know what to buy and use, read this comparison of griddle vs skillet.
What is a Griddle?
A griddle is a versatile cooking equipment with a low wall and a large surface. Defining a griddle is difficult without looking at the two types that are available.
- Griddle Pan: It is rectangular or square with a handle and low walls. It is a common option for cooking eggs, pancakes, steaks, and burgers. While they are often flat, some griddle pans have ridges. They are useful if you want to mimic the visual effect of grill lines.
- Griddle Plate: This is one thing that you will more commonly find in restaurants but also slowly becoming a fixture in many homes. It is often smaller than a griddle pan. Most will have a reservoir on the side, which is where grease will drain.
Pros of a Griddle
- Large Surface: One of its biggest benefits is that you will have a generous cooking area. This is handy when you are cooking for a large group. If you often host parties at home, having a griddle is a good idea.
- Drains Fat: The practical design of a griddle makes it effective in draining fat. More than making the food less oily, it will also make your food healthier. Some griddles will have raised surfaces, so your food is not soaking in oil or fat.
- Leaves Sear Marks: This is one benefit that you can enjoy if your griddle has line. Especially when you are cooking steaks, a griddle can leave sear marks, which will add visual impact to the food.
Cons of a Griddle
- Difficult to Clean: One reason why a griddle can be difficult to clean is that it is large. More so, some will have lines, so oil and debris can get stuck in between and can be difficult to remove.
- Generates a Lot of Smoke: This is one disadvantage that is not due to the griddle itself but because it often involves cooking in high temperatures. The best way to prevent the latter is to make sure that you cook in an area with proper ventilation.
#Video: What is a Griddle ( Pros and Cons of owning a Flat Top Grill)
What is a Skillet?
Most people will think of a skillet as a frying pan because of their similar appearance. A skillet is round and has deep sides. Most of the skillets are made of cast iron, but they can also be made of other materials. Some materials are lighter than cast iron. The high sides are beneficial in terms of stopping grease from spilling, especially if you are cooking in an oven. It is suitable for slow cooking methods.
Pros of a Skillet
- Space-Saving: This is one of the good things about a skillet when compared to a griddle. It is usually smaller than the latter, so it can easily fit in a cabinet. This is a great option for a small kitchen.
- Durable: Since most are made using cast iron, the durability is not an issue. It is a thick material that will withstand the test of time, especially if you pay attention to proper care and maintenance.
- Even Heat Distribution: This is another benefit that we can attribute to the use of cast iron as the main material for a skillet. It gets extremely hot and will distribute heat consistently for even cooking.
Cons of a Skillet
- Heavy: One thing that many people might not like about a griddle is that it is heavy. This is because it is often made of cast iron. It is not for cooking anything that you will need to flip, such as pancakes. Although, there are also some lightweight materials, such as aluminum.
- No Sear Marks: If you want to cook something with grill or sear marks, such as steaks, a skillet is not the best option. It has a plain surface, which means that it will not leave marks that will add appeal to your food.
#Video: Cast Iron Skillets: Everything You Need To Know – How To
Comparing Griddle vs Skillet
Still clueless if you should go for a griddle or a skillet? Below is a quick look at the things that make them different, so you can decide what is a better option between the two.
- Size: Between the two, a griddle is often bigger. This makes it a better choice if you want to cook more in a single batch. It is also the main reason why it is a common fixture in commercial kitchens.
- Shape: In most cases, a griddle is rectangular. This is also what gives it a large cooking area. On the other hand, a skillet is often round.
- Weight: The weight can vary depending on the material that is used. If it is made of cast iron, then expect that it is heavy. Nonetheless, if it is made of aluminum, such as in a skillet, then it can be lightweight.
- Handles: Because of the size of griddles, they usually have handles on both sides, which will make them easy to lift when you need to. On the other hand, a skillet usually has a straight handle on one side.
- Material: The choice of material in cookware is important for its overall quality and performance. Cast iron is the most common choice for material for both. Nonetheless, a skillet is often more varied as you can see it made using other materials, including aluminum, stainless steel, and copper.
- Cooking Methods: A griddle is often used for searing, frying, and grilling. You can use it for steaks, fish, and even vegetables, among others. On the other hand, a skillet is more versatile because it has deep sidewalls. You can use it even for recipes with sauces or soups, which you cannot cook in a griddle.
- Price: The cost of cookware will depend on many things, such as the reputation of the manufacturer and the specific material that is used. All things equal, however, a skillet is generally more affordable compared to a griddle.
- Sear Marks: Some people like sear marks when they are cooking, such as in steaks. It makes the food more presentable. If that’s the case, then you should go for a griddle, especially one with lines. This will mimic the visual effect of a grilling grate.
- Care and Maintenance: The two are almost the same in terms of their care and maintenance requirements. If there is one thing that makes a griddle difficult to clean, however, it would be its size. When cleaning, the priority is to remove the debris that can accumulate and harden over time.