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Do I want or need an electric griddle?

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IndigoOnTheGo Mar 24, 2010 07:54 AM

I see them all the time on sale but other than pancakes and eggs (bacon seems like it would splatter too much) - is there any other use for one? Or will it become one of the bulky items that becomes a dust catcher on my pantry shelf?

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  1. kattyeyes RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 24, 2010 08:16 AM

    Grilled cheese night, Monte Cristos, French toast--how often are you doing this for more than two people? That might help you answer how useful a griddle will be to you.

    When I was growing up, Sunday breakfast was a big deal--one I always hoped to recreate in my house when I was older. Sadly, no one ever seems to want to get their @$$es out of bed to come over for breakfast, so my griddle is downstairs hanging out in its box in the cellar. I can't tell you the last time I used it. I still hold out hope that someday it will be more useful to me.

    Maybe more practical would be a raclette. I have wanted one badly for more than a year (I have a long wish list, but other priorities have been more pressing). You can use it as a griddle and have raclette parties/dinners throughout the winter (if your winters are like mine--I'm in CT). Here's my dream raclette:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/594214

    You can get one with a nonstick grill or granite top.

    1. CindyJ RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 24, 2010 08:41 AM

      I never, ever would have thought I'd want one. Then we rented a vacation home in Maine that had one and I found myself using it for blueberry pancakes every morning. Then my kids bought me one and I LOVE it! I use it only for pancakes, French toast and grilled cheese but I do use it often. Yes, it is bulky and you'll need room to store it. I keep mine on a shelf in the garage next to other bulky kitchen things (rice cooker, bread machine, pressure canner, 12-qt. stock pot, etc.) -- out of the way but convenient enough to grab it whenever I want it.

      1. Fuller RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 24, 2010 08:55 AM

        I think the point katty made about "how often are you doing this for more than two people" is a perfect question to ask yourself.

        #1 how often? Are you cooking breakfast everyday for several people or is this a 4 times a year ordeal?

        #2 how many people? You can cook everyday for 2 people and use this item but I think a nice cast iron pan is far more useful, rugged, and versatile.

        If you buy it, realize they aren't expensive so that's a good thing, but you do get what you pay for. My overall take is, if I have a stove top I can go without an electric griddle.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Fuller
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          cutipie721 RE: Fuller Mar 24, 2010 09:05 AM

          "if I have a stove top I can go without an electric griddle"

          Exactly my thought. Unless you want to put it on the dining table.

          1. re: Fuller
            CindyJ RE: Fuller Mar 24, 2010 10:14 AM

            Well, I'd take exception to that line of thinking. Before I ever used one, I considered it totally unnecessary; after I used one I realized how much I liked it and how much I enjoyed using it.

            1. re: CindyJ
              Fuller RE: CindyJ Mar 24, 2010 10:19 AM

              Well sure, you are you. And that's completely cool, so don't get me wrong, but one can hardly gauge the usefulness and/or need of a particular item just because someone else says they love using it. First and foremost a practical approach should be considered before banking on some stranger's own experience and emotions.

              1. re: Fuller
                CindyJ RE: Fuller Mar 24, 2010 10:43 AM

                The point I was making was that in my own personal case, a "practical" approach to a griddle purchase would have deprived me of a griddle. In fact, owning an electric griddle had never even entered into my thoughts. My kids didn't get me one because someone else said they liked using one; they got it for me because I was lucky enough to have tried using one, and I was surprised to discover I really liked it. Far be it for me to suggest what a person ought or ought not buy; all I can do is relate my own personal experiences.

                1. re: CindyJ
                  Fuller RE: CindyJ Mar 24, 2010 10:54 AM

                  Well then the next practical step ;-) for the OP would be to find a friend or a neighbor willing to loan theirs to see if it is really worth buying and storing.

            2. re: Fuller
              Sooeygun RE: Fuller Mar 25, 2010 06:46 AM

              I have a stovetop, but there are times when I need more than just 4 burners and/or more frying pans than I have. Got the bacon or sausage on one, homefries on two, and two egg pans on 3 and 4. So the pancakes get cooked on the electric griddle. Have also used it for big dinner parties as additional cooking space.

              YMMV, but not needing because you have a stovetop doesn't apply to everyone.

            3. Channa RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 24, 2010 09:37 AM

              I bought one a few weeks ago, and now I'm sorry I waited so long. Even for only two people, it's brilliant for pancakes. No more dividing them among three pans to cook them all at once. And the temp remains constant (important for chocolate chip pancakes).

              I've also cooked Reuben sandwiches, and I'm keen to cook French toast. Best of all, my husband has now offered to make our weekly pancakes. He used to be intimidated by the cooking. So that, in itself, was worth the price!

              2 Replies
              1. re: Channa
                grnidkjun RE: Channa Mar 24, 2010 09:44 AM

                My mom has one and likes it around the holidays.
                My cooktop has a bridge between two burners, so I have a large griddle for the stovetop instead. I love it for pancakes, sandwiches.. or toast and eggs.

                1. re: Channa
                  Caitlin McGrath RE: Channa Mar 27, 2010 07:24 PM

                  Yes, I love it for the same reasons. Brilliant for pancakes and French toast because of the surface area and consistent temp end to end and over time. And why wouldn't you use it for two? Mine is almost always used only for two, and it's perfect.

                2. shaogo RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 24, 2010 10:05 AM

                  Years ago I picked one up at a yard sale and got bitten by the "griddle" bug. I cook far more than breakfasts on the griddle. Now, I have a griddle pan made of cast iron to put on our gas stovetop, and at our restaurant I have a large, gas-fired steel griddle.

                  If the griddle is well-seasoned, it takes a minimum amount of fat to cook anything. I far prefer doing anything I can do in a frying pan on the griddle -- except for stir-fries!

                  An electric griddle will give you better, even temperature -- a plus when dealing with eggs and related dishes.

                  Good luck!

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                    erlajo RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 24, 2010 10:16 AM

                    I never thought I would find a use for one either until I used one at a vacation home. I know making pancakes is easy, but with the griddle it was completely no fail. Never had problems sticking, didn't have to use as much oil, loads of space so you flip freely. I also found it great for making breakfast / fried potatoes. They're simple enough to to on the stove top, but I often find in my largest skillet that I still have a crowding problems. With the griddle, there is so much room for the potatoes to get nicely crispy and brown.

                    Now all that being said I don't have one at home because I can't imagine where I'd store it.

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                      Plano Rose RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 24, 2010 10:27 AM

                      Think about your local diner. What do they cook on mostly? A griddle. My husband and I are empty nesters, but we use our electric griddle at least once a week. They're great for bacon, eggs, sausage, hash browns, pancakes, french toast, grilled sandwiches, hamburgers,etc. Actually the bacon grease spatters LESS because it drains off as you cook. We keep ours on top of the refrigerator.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Plano Rose
                        Fuller RE: Plano Rose Mar 24, 2010 10:57 AM

                        Unless you're cooking for a diner full of patrons, this (again) comes down to personal preference of cookware. A griddle in a diner is there because it is a huge expanse of cooking area where a short order cook can do multiple things for multiple people at multiple times. Again, I'm not saying your particular input on home use is invalid, but let's not compare the use of a griddle in a diner (where a griddle is measured in square feet) to the use in a home.

                        1. re: Fuller
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                          Plano Rose RE: Fuller Mar 25, 2010 07:21 AM

                          Fuller, perhaps I should have stressed more my preference for the griddle as opposed to a skillet for the food items I mentioned.. The grease drains off. That's a big advantage.

                      2. j
                        julesincoq RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 24, 2010 01:55 PM

                        I would rather have one of those cast iron rectangular pans that fit across two elements. It's really just a griddle top. It would take up less space in the cupboard and be easier to wash. My problem is that everytime I see a good one it's about $70. I can't decide which child should not eat for a week so Mummy can buy a new pan.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: julesincoq
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                          Beckyleach RE: julesincoq Mar 25, 2010 04:15 PM

                          Darn, I wish I could send you the one that came with my new Frigidaire oven. It's heavy and sturdy but rather rough (as is all new cast iron) and I'm totally spoiled in that respect, because I have a 70 year old Griswold griddle that fits that section of my stove, smooth as glass and light as a feather (okay; hyperbole ;-). I took the one that came with the stove and boxed it up in the basement. It's just sitting there, untouched....

                        2. p
                          pweller RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 25, 2010 01:58 PM

                          I made chicken parm on an electric griddle once, and it came out real nice. The surface heats very evenly, so you can brown the chicken easily. The one I used had a fairly deep lid with it, and the sides were about 2 inches high, so it could hold some volume as well. I don't know if the depth would classify this as something other than a 'griddle' per se, but it does add to its versatility.

                          That being said, the only real reason why I used the griddle was that the cookware at this person's house was all junk and didn't work very well with their glass top range. I don't own an electric griddle myself, because my range works fine and my cookware is decent.

                          1. westsidegal RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 27, 2010 09:27 PM

                            imho, it is a waste of time, money, and space.
                            i HAPPILY gave mine away.

                            for pancakes i like a griddle that i have that covers two burners of my stove at the same time.
                            for french toast, i prefer to bake at a high temp in my convection oven: i get FAR better results doing that than i ever did with either the electric griddle or the stove-top griddle.

                            for sandwiches, i prefer a plain toaster oven ( and no added fat) to make bread crispy and to melt the cheese.

                            the types of foods for which folks seem to like the electric griddle, aren't really consumed in my house because we eat relatively few high-saturated-fat-foods such as breakfast sausage, bacon, and the like.

                            1. coney with everything RE: IndigoOnTheGo Mar 29, 2010 05:26 AM

                              I saw a family size one at Target a couple of weeks ago for $25--my DH had mentioned he wanted one to take camping (we only "camp" where there's electricity and BATHROOMS). So I bought one, and he made french toast and sausage on it as a test run. Really did a great job on those, and easy to clean which will be handy in the wilderness of a state park :)

                              It is big, but we have a basement, so it keeps my Kitchenaid stand mixer company there.

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                                DPGood RE: IndigoOnTheGo Sep 23, 2011 06:45 PM

                                I've wanted one for a long time. What's the best, readily available brand? Looking for steady, even temperature and no hot spots.

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