Novices always need clarification when there is an open debate on griddle vs grill. Stay with us if you want to choose one between them based on your preferences.
Undoubtedly, both belong to the cooking surface category but have different working techniques. Both surfaces have different capabilities in terms of cooking certain types of food.
Are you in a hurry and looking for a quick answer?
A grill has metal grates that use dry heat and higher temperatures to prepare your food. It’s a versatile cooking device because you can grill, smoke, bake, and sear any meat, including beef, chicken, lamb, or steaks.
On the other hand, a Griddle has a flat, smooth surface placed over a heat source and is better for preparing breakfast foods like fried eggs, sandwiches, burgers, etc.
As a thumb rule, a grill can be more challenging to handle than a griddle. You may need a bit of experience to control the temperature in a grill, especially in a charcoal one.
In this blog, we will discuss how they work, what you can cook on them, how they look, and their advantages and disadvantages in specific cases. Let’s start comparing.
What is a Griddle – Brief Overview
A griddle is a kind of big frying pan that usually has a flat surface.
Most griddles use natural gas/propane and electricity as their primary fuel sources to cook food.
The griddle manufacturers use different materials for construction, such as stainless steel, cast iron, aluminum, etc.
For restaurants and camping enthusiasts, a griddle is an excellent cooking appliance with many notable features.
Due to its super flat surface, many people call it a flat-top grill. You can also name it a portable cooking surface.
The griddle’s flat cooking space gets consistent heat from beneath, letting you cook in heat and forget style. You can control its temperature through a thermostat if your griddle has one.
Most importantly, griddles can help prepare breakfast foods that you may not cook with grills.
Types of Griddles
Like grills, griddles also consist of different types. Below, we have explained some of the most popular griddle types.
A tabletop griddle is cooking equipment that typically fits on the table or a countertop. It is also known as a countertop griddle.
These types of griddles commonly use gas or electricity for cooking food. An electric tabletop griddle uses a heating element to ignite its surface, whereas a gas one uses flames to ignite gas or propane.
Furthermore, a tabletop griddle is smaller compared to other griddle types. In this sense, it is portable, perfect for traveling with and using on a picnic.
There are different sizes and shapes of countertop griddles. You can conveniently cook eggs, bacon, small burgers, and sandwiches with them.
Depending on the material used for their construction, griddles have different lifespans.
Insert griddle is a cooking surface that you place on a stovetop or put inside an oven.
The purposes of a tabletop griddle and an insert griddle are similar but with different working techniques.
After placing your griddle on the stovetop, turn on the gas burner and let your griddle heat. You can also add oil before cooking to avoid food sticking.
Unlike tabletop, insert griddles don’t consist of any burner.
They are worthy enough if you don’t have the space or budget to buy a freestanding one.
Freestanding griddles differ from insert and tabletop ones. They have different shapes and sizes and require more space because of their bigger dimensions.
Most freestanding griddles are portable and convenient to move around because of their wheels.
Some griddle models have a folding side table that helps you to prepare food.
With their large cooking surface, you can easily prepare various food items at once.
You will find them a bit more expensive than tabletop and insert griddles, but you pay for the extra convenience and space these grills provide.
What to Cook on a Griddle?
Let’s share the list of food items you can cook on a griddle.
Best Things to Cook on a Griddle:
- Due to a flat cooking area, griddles provide consistent heat. It is always suitable for making breakfast items like fried eggs, bacon, chicken, fried rice, french toast, etc.
- Fast food items like hot dogs, burgers, and steaks are easy to cook on griddles than on a grill. Moreover, you can add tomatoes, sausages, and beans to this list.
- You can also cook vegetables like onions and mushrooms. You will get a delicious taste but no smoky flavors.
What do we like about Griddles?
- Beginners-Friendly: Griddles usually use gas or electricity as the main fuel source If you know little about using a frying pan at home, using a griddle is not a big deal for you.
- Large cooking surface: Most griddles have a good cooking area, allowing you to cook multiple items at once, making it suitable to cook food for parties or home events.
- Cleaning: Cleaning a griddle is as simple as scrapping off the food stuck on a flat surface. You can also use little oil and clean it with a towel.
What we don’t Like About Griddles?
- Expensive: High-quality griddles are not budget-friendly. But, it is worth paying for if you are looking for a gadget that will serve you longer without any damage or expensive maintenance.
- Seasoning: One of the things we don’t like about griddles is that you require regular seasoning else your food may stick to its surface. However, many manufacturers pre-season their cast iron griddles that you can use immediately after buying and require seasoning once in a while.
What is a Grill – Brief Overview
A grill is a cooking gadget mainly consisting of metal grates in its structure.
It makes flavorous foods, which is the primary reason why more than 70 million people in the US own grills in their homes.
Grills are the major reason grilling has become popular worldwide today. Grilling is a type of cooking in which the food gets cooked at a high temperature with dry heat coming from flames.
Furthermore, most grills use direct, indirect, and radiant heating methods for grilling foods.
It comes up with different fuel types like charcoal, pellet, gas, and electric.
Types of Grills
There are several types of grills available today in the market. While buying any type of grill, we are usually concerned about its grilling space, temperature range, construction material, convenience, etc.
Therefore, we are going to shed light on some of the most dominant types of grills that are trending these days.
Charcoal grills are one of the most famous cooking gadgets used by bbq lovers. It is a cooking device that uses charcoal as its primary fuel source.
Speaking of fuel, you can use lump charcoal or briquettes to heat up the grilling area.
You can cook your food in the upper part of this grill. The cooking surface gets heat from below where the charcoals are igniting.
You can use a chimney starter, lighter fluid, or a fire starter for igniting.
Unlike a gas grill, starting the fire in a charcoal grill and controlling its temperature is a bit tricky as the temperature can overshoot very quickly if not handled properly.
These grills create a little more mess than others, which can be annoying for you.
One of the noticeable pros of charcoal grills is that they are best for adding smokey flavors to your bbq.
These solid grills come in various shapes, such as round, rectangular, and kettle styles. Most companies manufacture them with quality materials like stainless steel, ceramic, and porcelain.
Next, we have another popular outdoor cooking equipment with many great features. A pellet grill works similarly to a charcoal grill but uses wood pellets as its main fuel type.
While using a pellet grill, you put wood pellets into a box called a hopper.
Placing the pellets perfectly under the burn pot is necessary; this is where the auger plays its role.
The Pellet grill uses an auger to move wood pellets from the hopper to the fire pot, where the pellets will burn to create heat and smoke.
Pellet grills also provide smoky flavors in your food but less than charcoal. In case you are a beginner, we recommend you check out our guide on how to get more smoke flavors from a pellet grill.
One of the significant advantages of pellet grills is that you can use them for smoking, baking, grilling, roasting, and searing. Many of them are capable of low and slow smoking too.
Pellet grills may be expensive as they are more advanced than others. But don’t worry, as we have the list of best pellet grills under $500 that can fulfill your bbq passion.
If you are looking for an outdoor food cooking device or a grill that’s easy to use, you should explore the features of a gas grill.
It is a grill that uses natural gas or propane to prepare delicious foods. Compared to pellet and charcoal, they are more beginner-friendly.
The structure of a propane grill remains the same as others in which you get burners under the cooking grates, usually built with porcelain enameled steel.
Most of the time, their outer part is manufactured with stainless steel material.
Among all types, propane grills ignite at a super fast speed. Ultimately, you can use them for various cooking purposes. For igniting and temperature control, you get simple buttons and knobs.
Most importantly, cleaning these grills is simple as they tend to be less messy than other grills.
One of the things we don’t like about these grills is that they don’t naturally add smokey flavors to your food.
But what if you still want some flavor? Don’t worry. You can achieve this by adding wood pellets to your gas grill.
We would like to add some other famous grill types that we have briefly explained below.
Electric Grills: These grills work like an oven because they use electricity to generate heat for cooking your food. In some models, you can add wood chips to get some smokey flavor to your food.
Kamado Grills: You will see kamado grills in an egg-shaped structure. They are a type of charcoal grill as they use charcoal as a fuel source and allow you to smoke, bake, and grill your food.
What to Cook on a Grill?
As we just finished explaining grill types, each has its own food-cooking capabilities.
Usually, the grills are versatile enough for traditional bbq and cooking any meat. Furthermore, you can also cook some of the fast food items that we have mentioned below.
Best Things to Cook on a Grill:
- Starting from the meat types, you can conveniently cook steak, ribs, chicken, fish, lamb, brisket, etc. Most importantly, if you have good temperature-controlling skills, your brisket on a grill will never be undercooked or overcooked.
- Fast food lovers can cook food like pizza, burgers, sandwiches, etc.
- Some other foods that made their place on our list are grilled carrots, grilled potatoes, and tofu.
What do we like about Grills?
There are many advantages of having a grill in your backyard. Below are some of the most prominent ones.
- Delicious and Healthy Foods: Grills can make mouthwatering and health-friendly foods with smoky flavors because grilling melts the extra fat from your meat.
- Versatility: Whether it is a gas, charcoal, or pellet grill, you can use them to prepare multiple foods, like sear meat, fast food items, vegetables, etc.
- Long-Lasting: The life of a grill depends on the type of product and how you maintain it. A quality grill can typically last for 10 years or above, depending on the material’s quality.
What we don’t like about Grills?
- Portability: Grills with massive weights and without wheels are hard to carry. However, some lightweight models come with wheels that help you move them from one place to another without hassle.
- Grill Cleaning: Cleaning metal grates and different chambers in a grill can be annoying. The rough estimate says it may require around 30 minutes to clean a grill thoroughly.
Detailed Features Difference – Griddle vs Grill
The users of grills and griddles usually differentiate them by their cooking areas. By the way, this isn’t the only difference.
We have also highlighted some other major distinctions that will be useful for choosing one.
Cooking Surface and Space
To know which cooking equipment is distinguished, we first compare their cooking surfaces and space.
So firstly, the grills have completely different surfaces to cook food in which you get grates made with materials like stainless steel, cast iron, etc.
Furthermore, the size of a grill’s surface varies on its type. Most grills typically have cooking surfaces of 400-500 sq inches which helps you cook multiple food items at once.
On the other hand, a griddle typically has a smooth and flat area where you prepare your food.
Undoubtedly, it is easy for a beginner to understand the qualities of these surfaces than multiple grates.
The cooking space of a griddle also varies from type to type, and gas griddles usually provide larger cooking space than grills.
As a result, gas griddles have larger cooking space than other types and grill types. Still, it would be best to clarify your needs before buying one between grill and griddle.
Undoubtedly, the temperature of any cooking gadget is as important as any other feature. Also, it decides what things you can cook on it.
Both grills and griddles provide different temperature ranges due to various types.
Grills usually prepare food at a temperature of 200 °F to 500 °F, depending on what type of grill you use.
Although the smooth surface of griddles heats up quicker than grills, the temperature range of a griddle can be between 250 – 450 °F. Here, Blackstone griddles have the best temperature ranges.
As a result, grills provide more efficient temperature ranges than griddles. In other words, using a griddle, you can’t cook those meats and foods properly that require temperatures more than 450 °F.
The techniques that grills and griddles use for cooking are different. Therefore, the taste depends on what you are trying to cook.
Grills are more advanced than griddles if you are willing to make juicy and searing meat.
On the other hand, griddles let you create breakfast food items like eggs and hot dogs not only quickly but also tasty.
Most importantly, griddles can’t provide smoky flavors due to the unavailability of wood and charcoal.
In our opinion, most people like to get smoky flavors from food, and you can easily achieve this by using a charcoal or wood pellet grill.
Many people look after portable cooking appliances to achieve the idea of cooking outdoors, in a camp, or on a picnic. It is where the griddles outperform grills.
Some griddle types (insert griddles and tabletop griddles) are way smaller and easy to travel with.
The bigger griddles with stands also come up with wheels, which means the portability of a griddle is relatively easy.
The portability of a grill depends on its size, weight, and structure. For example, a grill that weighs less and has handles or wheels is portable.
On the other hand, grills that weigh more and don’t have wheels or carrying handles are challenging to transport.
In short, if you are looking for a cooking gadget with easy portability, griddles are comparatively better.
A major concern of grill and griddle owners is its cleaning. Also, cleaning is compulsory to enhance your grilling experience and prolong the life of your equipment.
By inspecting the surface of a grill and griddle, you can easily understand which product would be easy to clean.
Cleansing the griddle’s cooking surface takes no time and is simple. You need to scrap off the dust first and then clean it with a towel using water or oil.
Furthermore, griddles don’t use charcoal or wood pellets, so they don’t create a mess.
Rinsing a grill may not be challenging, but it can be annoying to users. The grilling grates get too dirty when you prepare multiple foods at once.
Also, the grills that use charcoal briquettes or wood pieces as their main fuel source are messy. Luckily, gas and electric grills are easier to clean than others.
As a result, cleaning a griddle is comparatively easier than grills due to its flat surface and use of natural gas or propane.
Related Reads – How to clean a Blackstone griddle rust?
Fuel type in a cooking appliance means what you use to heat up. So, grills and griddles use different fuel types to ignite as they have different cooking surfaces.
Some fuel types are available in both of these appliances. We usually get pellets, charcoal, gas, and electricity if we discuss grills’ fuel types.
Mostly, the griddles use propane or gas as their major fuel source. The reason is straightforward, griddles come up with a smooth surface, and gas distributes the heat evenly and constantly.
Rather than gas or propane, griddles have electricity options too.
Ease of Use
In a debate of outdoor griddle vs grill, people want to know what gadget is suitable for beginners or easy to use.
Cooking or grilling food on grates, igniting the grilling surface with charcoal or pellets, and maintaining the temperature can make grills complex.
Long story short, grills that don’t use gas or propane are challenging for beginners.
All other features apart, griddles are easy to use and clean.
It is as simple as placing your food on an even surface, turning on the ignite button, controlling the temperature through knobs, and letting your food cook. Also, cleaning takes less time than grills.
Cooking Duration Comparison – Grill vs Griddle
Let’s share a quick comparison of cooking durations between grill and griddle for some common foods.
It is important to note that these durations for different foods depend on several factors, such as cooking temperature, type of grill or griddle, size of food, and your desired doneness level.
Here’s a rough estimate.
|Type Of Food||Griddle Time Per Side||Grill Time Per Side|
|Hamburger||3 to 4 minutes||4 to 5 minutes|
|Hot dog||2 to 3 minutes||3 to 4 minutes|
|Steak||4 to 5 minutes||5 to 7 minutes|
|Pancake||2 to 3 minutes||Use griddle|
|Bacon||3 to 5 minutes||Use griddle|
|Chicken Breast||4 to 5 minutes||5 to 6 minutes|
Which One Do We Recommend Between The Griddle And A Grill?
If we have to select one between the grill and a griddle pan, we will probably go for a grill due to its versatile cooking options, as we have discussed above.
Grills like charcoal and pellet are more versatile and serve food with unforgettable smoky flavors.
Most of the modern pellet grills come with a digital PID Controller and Bluetooth connectivity options through which you can conveniently control the grilling session through your smartphone app.
However, you don’t get flavors from gas grills but can cook multiple foods simultaneously, thanks to its large cooking area.
It does not mean that you should not buy griddles or they don’t worth it.
If you are a beginner looking for a gadget to make delicious breakfasts and patty burgers with the convenience of easy-to-use, easy-to-clean, and portable cooking equipment, you should buy a griddle.
When you know what you want to cook and your cooking experience, choosing one between a bbq grill or griddle becomes simple.
Let’s say you are a starter and finding a cooking gadget that is supportive to you, griddles are made for you as they have an easy cleaning and igniting process.
Also, griddles make traditional breakfast items nicely.
On the other hand, grills are perfect for you if you are on the intermediate level of grilling but want a more advanced and versatile product.
You can also use grills as a smoker and get smokey flavors from your foods. Lastly, a high-quality product costs you more but will be worth spending your money on.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Grill healthier or a Griddle?
Grills are capable of making more healthier foods thanks to their grates. If there is any extra fat or oil in your meal, it will exclude through the grates. At the same time, griddles have smooth surfaces, which keep oil alive in the food.
Should you clean your griddle every day?
We recommend you clean your griddle before and after your cooking session to prevent it from rusting or corrosion. Regular griddle cleaning is also good for maintaining your griddle and prolonging its lifespan.
Do you need to oil your griddle before cooking?
It depends on what kind of cooking surface your griddle has. Usually, cast-iron ones are pre-seasoned, and you can cook on them without oiling them first. If your griddle has any other surface, you may need to season it before cooking to prevent food from sticking.
Robert Gill, a BBQ enthusiast, and Senior Author at FaveGrills.com bring his extensive knowledge of BBQ equipment and exciting recipes to the team. With his outgoing personality and love for BBQ, Robert plays an essential role in the FaveGrills community, sharing his passion and expertise through informative articles and gear reviews.