Imagine your perfect morning. For me, that would be drinking a hot cup of coffee and having breakfast with my husband and sons. Of course, the vision of perfect breakfast is a stack of steaming golden-brown pancakes dripping in maple syrup and aromatic butter.
Those pancakes wouldn’t be so light and fluffy if I didn’t have the right pancake griddle.
I have tried baking pancakes in various skillets, but they never turned out as airy and soft as when prepared in griddle. On the other hand, if the griddle is not of the top quality the pancakes end up sticking to it and falling apart.
With that in mind, I started my quest for the best pancake griddle currently on the market.
Before I move on to my top five and choosing the ultimate winner, I want to share with you the factors that helped me make my choice.
What Exactly Is a Griddle?
Since griddles come in so many shapes, sizes, and types, it is difficult to understand what exactly this item is.
- It is a cooking appliance or a piece of cookware with a large and flat surface.
- It is usually made of steel, aluminum, or cast iron and the surface is heated by electricity, gas, coal, or wood.
- Most of the modern griddles have non-stick surfaces.
Griddles make cooking easier and more efficient, and not only when it comes to pancakes.
Different types of griddles
There are three main types of griddles: traditional, residential, and commercial.
Because we are talking about purchasing a griddle for your home, we’ll focus the most on the residential griddles that are portable and usually use electricity or gas as the source of energy.
Based on the source of energy they use, there are three types of griddles more:
Electric griddles are frequently used in households. They are made of thin plate material, unlike the gas griddles, and they are equipped with a built-in heating element. They generally have a large surface area and heat temperature evenly.
Gas griddles are mostly used commercially. They provide the most consistent temperature.
Modern griddles are mostly made of aluminum and can be set on the kitchen countertop.
Stovetop griddles are similar like skillets, but with the added benefit of a larger flat surface.
More on Electric Griddles
Electric griddles provide uniform heating, and they are usually very easy to clean. They allow you to use little to no oil at all and they keep the food warm for a long time. They are usually much more prominent than stovetop griddles and allow for plentiful breakfast.
Some of them have grill inserts that give you extra cooking options. The additions of heat control, drip tray, and warming tray make cooking much easier.
What to look for in a pancake griddle?
Now it is time to see the most indispensable features a pancake griddle should have to be the best one you can get.
There are different sizes of pancake griddle and depending on how many members of a household do you have, how often do you cook for many people and how much storage space your kitchen has you will choose the size that works for you.
The smallest usually serves two or three persons, while the largest ones can serve a large family and breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with a lot of guests.
The most frequent griddle materials are cast iron, aluminum, and stainless steel.
Aluminum is the most lightweight and the most affordable. It has a fair heat distribution, but it is highly reactive to acidic and alkaline foods. Because it is soft, it tends to warp and scratch easily.
Stainless steel, on the other side, is non-reactive and durable, but the heat distribution is poor.
Finally, cast iron is extremely durable, distributes and retains heat well, naturally non-stick and doesn’t react with acidic foods. It is also quite heavy.
For the materials that are not naturally non-stick, it is best to opt for a griddle that has a non-stick surface coating to make the cleaning and preparation effortless.
Do you want to pay a lot of money for a griddle that can be used only to make pancakes?
Of course not.
You want to buy cookware that enables you to prepare various types of foods including waffles and eggs.
Some griddles come with the addition of grill inserts which makes them a reliable investment that can serve your family well for years to come.
4. Ease of Maintenance
Nothing ruins a perfect breakfast like the extensive cleaning after it.
That’s why you should opt for a griddle with a nonstick surface. However, this is not the only thing you should have in mind when it comes to maintenance.
Some griddles have parts that can be removed for more straightforward cleaning, such as a removable drip tray.
There are also dishwasher-safe models.
Price is not something you should ignore when it comes to buying cookware and cooking appliances.
- Pancake griddles are available in various price ranges, so there is something that can fit into every pocket.
- The cheapest option is usually a stovetop griddle, while the electric ones are the most expensive ones.
- The price will also depend on the material and the size of the griddle.
Most Recommended Pancake Griddles On The Market – Barbara’s Reviews 2020
Considering these factors, I have selected the top five units and chose the best pancake griddle of them all.
With the size of 10 x 18″, this griddle allows plenty of space to prepare bountiful breakfast. It is made of stainless steel, so it is very durable, but the heat distribution could be better, but the tri-ply design does its best to improve it.
The non-stick interior works ok, so the cleaning is (mostly) a breeze. As if that is not enough, this griddle is dishwasher safe. What I like about this griddle the most are the solid stainless steel riveted handles remain cool on the stovetop.
However, the pan gets scratched very easily, even if you use only non-stick-friendly utensils. I’ve also noticed the coating peeling off from the side of the pan after a few weeks.
Although cleaning is easy, it does require soaking the pan before washing.
Finally, with the uneven heat distribution, you have to be careful when preparing more pancakes at the same time, which is not something I would expect at this price range.
What I Liked
- The size is just right for a bountiful family breakfast
- Stainless steel is always a great option because of durability
- The non-stick works fine
- Handles are very useful and functional
What I Didn’t Like
- The coating peels off and the pan gets scratched easily
- It requires soaking before washing
- The heat distribution is not satisfactory
- The price is above average
The griddle is crafted from durable pure heavy-gauge aluminum and it is very lightweight. The silicone handle is very comfortable to grip, and it stays cool even when the griddle is on the stovetop.
Unlike the previous product, the heat distribution here is pretty even and consistent. The non-stick coating is water-based, so there is no danger of harmful chemicals coming in contact with your food. The size allows for four regular size sandwiches to be heated perfectly.
Because it is made of aluminum (even though it is heavy gauge) this griddle is prone to warping after a longer period of use. The chances for that can be increased if you pour water in the hot griddle without allowing it to cool off after cooking.
The heat retention isn’t among the top qualities of this griddle. After a couple of months of using, the nonstick started to fail, and the surface was getting scratched and all-in-all useless.
What I Liked
- Beautiful design
- The average size that works almost for anyone
- The handle is comfortable and remains cool
- The heat distribution works fine
What I Didn’t Like
- It is not leveled which makes even cooking more difficult
- The maintenance is difficult
- The heat retention isn’t very good
- The nonstick coating isn’t durable
I liked this pancake griddle mostly because of its versatility. When I invest more money than I usually do for these types of cookware, it is only logical to expect more from the product. Vremi’s griddle delivers because besides having the flat surface for pancake, eggs, and sandwiches, it also comes with a reversible flip side that can also be used for outdoor barbecue grilling.
Another very interesting feature is that it is pre-seasoned and it gives a special note of flavor to every dish. Now, this is not exactly my favorite feature because I love to choose the flavors myself, but it is not that big of a flaw either. It has grease slop on both sides which means it reduces the amount of fat your meals will absorb. The grill is the better side of this product since the griddle surface is too rough, so the pancakes don’t turn out very well.
The handles are easy to grip, and the product is obviously of top quality. The size is also quite generous with 19.75 x 10 inches, but it is also quite heavy to carry. A downside is that it has to be hand-washed, but that is not actually a problem since it is very easy to clean.
What I Liked
- Versatile product
- Generous size
- Grease slop is useful
- The non-stick works well
- It’s easy to clean
What I Didn’t Like
- It needs to be hand-washed
- It is heavy to carry
- The griddle side is too rough for pancakes
- Doesn’t fit on every stovetop
First, let’s get rid of the elephant in the room here – this is a waffle griddle, but it can also be used to prepare traditional pancake with the only difference of them having waffle pattern, which is not that concerning at all.
Nordic Ware is a great manufacturer, and most of their products are of amazing quality. However, this one doesn’t inspire that much confidence, since the built quality is not so great. It is made of cast aluminum and equipped with a nonstick finish. It is very lightweight and handy. It fits seven 3-inch pancakes, so to prepare breakfast for the entire family, you will probably have to bake in several rounds.
One of the biggest complaints I have about this unit is that even though it has a nonstick surface, it requires a small amount of cooking spray before baking.
Also, after some time the nonstick coating began to come off, and the handles got loosed which could have caused injuries if the pan was full and hot.
What I Liked
- I genuinely liked the waffle patterns
- Trustworthy manufacturer
- Lightweight and easy to lift and carry
- All the pancakes/waffles turn out to be the same shape and size
What I Didn’t Like
- The built quality is concerning
- It requires the use of cooking spray
- The nonstick coating is not very durable
- The handles get loose easily
At first glance, I loved this griddle because of its simplistic design. The aluminum makes it lighter than a feather, but the hard-anodized reinforcement makes it more durable and dishwasher-safe. The interior is equipped with three layers of nonstick coating to improve its performance.
I particularly like the long stainless steel handle, because it is heat-resistant and easy to hold.
The 11-inch surface accommodates several servings, and the slender lip allows easy access with a spatula. Calphalon gives a lifetime warranty on this unit, so that’s very reassuring. The cooking surface heats completely and evenly. Although it is dishwasher-safe, I prefer to wash it by hand with water, soft sponge, and some soap.
This griddle is not spared of the common aluminum cookware problems, so you can expect it will warp after some time, and when that happens, the even heat distribution won’t mean anything since it will not sit flat on the stovetop.
Also, it develops hot spots.
What I Liked
- The design is simple and nice
- The handle is easy to grip and doesn’t get hot
- The surface is large enough
- It allows easy spatula access
- Even heat distribution
- It is dishwasher safe
What I Didn’t Like
- It gets warped after only several uses
- This causes uneven heat distribution
- It develops hot spots
And the Best Griddle Is…
As you see all of these units have certain flaws that could be considered unforgivable, but the truth is that there is no perfect pancake griddle, you just need to find the best pancake griddle out of the bunch.
Their common flaws make it more difficult to decide for one, so counting in the price as the most important factor I’ll recommend one low-priced and one high-priced unit.
Considering the amount of money you invest and the product you get, the best high-range option would be Vremi 20 inch Cast Iron Griddle for Kitchen Stove Top, because, despite its downsides, it still provides you with the most versatility. You just need to make sure to use cooking spray for the pancake side.
If you are searching for a bargain, go for the Nordic Ware Silver Dollar Waffle Griddle because, again, it is a versatile product, and although the nonstick is not as durable as you would expect, at least it doesn’t warp, so if you pay special attention to the maintenance you might get the maximum out of it.
Last update on 2020-09-29 at 13:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API