Griddle cooking is the outdoor non-grilling trend that’s giving folks a fun ‘al fresco’ dining experience. The weather forgot to RSVP to your BBQ? No problem, break out the stovetop griddle for an indoor picnic… it’s all good and equally delicious! In this griddle cooking guide, we’ll discuss all the ins and outs of using your griddle—from how to properly season your flat top to best cooking oils to use and all the fun things you can cook with it!
Season Your Griddle!
While it can impart some extra flavor to your meals, seasoning your griddle is more important than that. This is an extremely important task that can help extend your griddle’s lifetime of use while also helping to creating a non-stick barrier between the metal surface and your food.
While some cooks think it’s enough to just season the griddle once after it comes out of the box, this is not the case. To really care for your griddle, season it before and after cooking. The better you care for your griddle, the longer it will last and the better it will perform when you’re cooking on it.
How to Season Your Griddle
You’ll need a few tools to accomplish this task:
- Heavy-Duty Tongs
- Oven Mitts
- Paper Towels or Old Dish Towels
- Quality, High Heat Oil
Use A High Heat Oil
Be sure to have some top quality, high heat oil ready for seasoning your griddle. With a smoke point of 520°F, Tantillo Avocado Oil is a perfect choice. We’ll talk a bit more about the best oils for griddle cooking below—or check out our Guide To Cooking Oil Smoke Points for more info.
Whether you’re seasoning an indoor or outdoor griddle, it’s important to have plenty of airflow. Proper airflow can help ensure you won’t set off smoke detectors or smoke out your garage—and yes, it’s going to get smoky.
- Wash your griddle with grease-cutting soap and water. Often, manufacturers coat griddles in a protective glaze or oil that keeps the griddle safe while shipping. You want to make sure this is removed.
- Dry off your griddle and turn up the heat (medium high to high heat). You’ll notice your griddle will start to change color. Don’t panic, this is perfectly natural. Drizzle the surface with some oil and, using your tongs, spread the oil all over the surface top with paper towels.
- Keep the griddle cooking for about 15-30 minutes (depending on size), until it gets nice and smoky. Patience grasshopper. Let the oil do its thing. Once the color has changed to a nice deep, dark brown, you can turn off the heat and let the griddle cool down.
- Repeat if necessary. You may need to repeat this process a couple of times before getting the desired deep dark coloring, especially if this is your first time seasoning the griddle.
Once your griddle is seasoned, you’re ready to start cooking!
Cooking on Your Griddle
Start off with some easier recipes to build some familiarity with your griddle. While you can think of your griddle as an extra-large skillet, it will likely take some getting used to. But don’t worry, with practice, you’ll eventually become that great hibachi chef you’ve dreamed of.
Beginner Griddle Cooking
Breakfast is the most popular griddle pastime. Eggs (scrambled, fried, cheesy omelets, you name it), bacon, sausage, French toast and pancakes were meant to be cooked on the griddle. These are great options to hone your griddle skills as a beginner.
Other great skill-building dishes that are fairly simple to accomplish include grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas!
Queue ‘Eye of the Tiger’ on your playlist. You’re building up your griddle skills and are ready for the next level of griddle cooking. Da Meats… These are your burgers (smashed burgers, anyone?), chicken breasts, salmon, shrimp, scallops, cheesesteaks, steak—all the delicious meaty goods.
When you’ve moved on to meats, you may want to consider getting a griddle dome (aka. cheese melter). This handy tool looks like a puffed-up pot lid and is a big help when you want to add cheese to your burgers or deglaze and steam to finish cooking some of those larger cuts.
Hey Now, Hibachi Chef!
Breakfast, check. Meat, check. Now you can get creative and recreate you’re favorite Benihana or Hibachi recipes with ease.
Caring For Your Griddle
Beyond seasoning, it’s important to keep your griddle clean. After each time you cook, be sure to scrape off any remaining food. Wiping it down with a rag (while wearing heat-resistant gloves!) is also recommended. And don’t forget to empty your grease tray.
The Best Oil For Griddle Cooking
As promised, let’s discuss the best oils for griddle cooking. Remember, this is high heat cooking, and not all oils can handle that level of heat (for both cooking and seasoning). The recommended oils have a high heat capacity, aka “smoke point.” This is the maximum temperature an oil can be heated to without burning, getting bitter and discoloring.
Here are some of the best oils for griddle cooking:
- Avocado Oil has an amazing smoke point of 525°F, not to mention a full range of other great benefits. We love avocado oil! Shop Now
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil boasts a smoke point of 405°F. Shop Now
- Grapeseed Oil can reach temperatures of 425°F.
- Sunflower Oil has a smoke point of 450°F.
Voila, the perfect high heat oils for cooking on the griddle!
Shop Tantillo Foods Cooking Oil
Whether you’re searching for a healthy cooking oil or a flavorful finishing oil, Tantillo has a range of options for all tastes and recipes. Each bottle of oil in our collection is made from the finest ingredients for the freshest flavor and the most robust culinary applications. Shop today!