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Do I want or need an electric griddle?

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. 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. 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. 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

          "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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

              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. 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

                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

                  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. 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!