Who doesn’t love a stack of fluffy pancakes topped with warm butter and sweet maple syrup? The fluffier the pancakes are, the more delicious they taste. To achieve golden-brown pancakes with plenty of airy loft, you need to cook them on a great griddle. If you’re craving a tower of perfectly golden home-cooked pancakes, it’s time to check out this guide to the best pancake griddle.
Must-have Characteristics for a Pancake Griddle
1. Low Sides
You probably already own a large skillet, so why do you need a griddle for cooking pancakes? The secret is in the sides. Skillets have high edges to keep food from falling out as you stir. Pancakes don’t get stirred, so you don’t need this protective edge.
Instead, it’s important for a pancake griddle to have very low sides. This feature allows you to approach the pancakes from any angle so you can maneuver your spatula under them. You’ll be able to lift and flip your flapjacks easily.
2. Nonstick Capabilities
If your pancakes stick to the griddle, you won’t achieve the smooth, golden-brown finish that you desire, and you’ll have to scrape off the pan between each batch. Save yourself the trouble by looking for a pan with nonstick features. Aluminum and steel cookware and electric griddles often come with special nonstick coatings. Cast-iron cookware may stick at first, but it will develop a nonstick finish if you use it frequently.
Pans that are not naturally nonstick can be used to cook pancakes, but you should grease the surface with butter, oil or cooking spray first. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions about whether cooking spray can be used on your griddle. Although all three products will help you lift the cakes from the griddle, butter usually lends this breakfast treat the best flavor.
3. Heat Conductivity
The secret to perfectly browned pancakes lies in using a griddle that distributes heat evenly across its surface. Many pans are made of aluminum because this metal quickly heats up an maintains and even temperature.
Cast iron does not heat up as quickly, so plan to patiently let a cast-iron griddle preheat before you begin pouring batter on it. However, once a cast-iron griddle gets hot, it will do a great job of producing evenly cooked pancakes.
Pancake griddles come in a range of sizes, and the best size depends on your approach to cooking pancakes. If you only make pancakes when you have a houseful of Saturday-morning guests, you’re going to want a large surface area so that you can brown eight or more cakes at once. For you, the best griddles will be double-burner stovetop ones or freestanding electric ones.
If you prefer to make pancakes in small batches, you could get by with a square or round griddle that covers just one burner of your cooktop. These griddles can fit three or four medium pancakes or several small ones.
Although griddles are great for making pancakes, that’s not all that you can do with these pans. When shopping for the best pancake griddle, you may want to consider a model that boasts features that will help you cook other items as well.
A grease trap that can come in handy when you cook high-fat meats like bacon or sausage. This feature is common on electric griddles but is less standard on stovetop griddles.
Some griddles double as a grill pan. You can flip them over to cook burgers, chops and vegetables with attractive grill marks. You could even grill a country ham steak to serve alongside your pancakes.
Top 10 Pancake Griddles Reviewed in 2020
1. Presto Tilt ‘n Drain Big Griddle
There’s no doubt about it: A batch of pancakes can take up a lot of space on your grill. That’s why this big griddle from Presto is the best electric pancake griddle. Its nonstick surface can accommodate up to 50 percent more pancakes than other similar models.
Another notable feature of this nonstick griddle is that the cooking surface can be tilted. If you decide to make a batch of bacon to eat with your flapjacks, you can use the tilting feature to drain off the excess grease before dolloping pancake batter on the griddle.
2. Copper Chef Grill and Griddle
One of the most important steps to successful pancake cooking is achieving a neat, clean flip with a spatula. The Copper Chef griddle in this set has almost no lip, so it’s easy to slide your spatula under pancakes. The built-in handles sit flush with the pan, so they’re unlikely to get in the way of your spatula.
The square griddle is made of aluminum and has a copper coating for its nonstick surface. Both aluminum and copper are considered good metals to use with a gas stove, so this is the best griddle for gas stove cooking.
3. Bruntmor Cast Iron Reversible Grill/Griddle Pan
If you like to eat sausage links and pancakes together, this Bruntmor griddle is the one for you. It fits over two burners, so you’ll have plenty of space to flip cakes on one side and sizzle sausages on the other. Unlike many stovetop griddles, this one has a grease well around its edges, so runoff from your breakfast meat will be contained instead of seeping into your pancakes.
As a bonus, there’s a grill pan on the reverse side. Use the built-in handles to flip it over, and you’ll be set for indoor grilling.
4. Lodge Round Cast Iron Griddle
A round stovetop griddle can hold only a few medium pancakes at a time, but it’s just the right size to hold one huge pancake. To make an enormous flapjack, you’ll want this cast-iron griddle from Lodge. It has a low lip around the edge to help hold your pancake batter in place as it cooks, and its cast-iron construction ensures that your giant cake will brown evenly.
Lodge cast iron griddles come pre-seasoned. With frequent use and regular seasoning, your griddle will eventually develop a nonstick finish, which will make pancake preparation even easier.
5. Nordic Ware Smiley Face Pancake Pan
Kids will love the fun faces imprinted on pancakes made with this Nordic Ware pan, so it’s a top griddle choice for families. With seven molds into which to pour batter, you’ll end up with a stack of perfectly round pancakes, each one boasting an adorable face. Although you won’t be able to use this griddle to fry bacon strips to go with your pancakes, you can cook eggs in the molds.
This round griddle has a handle that extends away from the cooking surface. The griddle has a nonstick finish for easy pancake-flipping.
6. Camp Chef Flat Top Grill 600
Do you want to cook pancakes on an outdoor griddle? If so, the Camp Chef griddle grill is the best piece of equipment for the job. This large unit is just right for cooking for a houseful of guests, thanks to its 604 square inches of griddle space.
Powered by propane, this unit is versatile in addition to being enormous. You can swap out the griddle plates for grill grates in order to use this as a standard barbecue grill. Whichever cooking surface you choose, the fold-out side shelves will give you plenty of room to do prep work.
7. Black+Decker 83353 Durable Titanium Griddle
Many pancake griddles have spacious surfaces that are just right for serving a tableful of hungry mouths, but you don’t always need to cook a tower of pancakes. For those times when just a few flapjacks will do, this Black+Decker model is the best stove top griddle for pancake chefs. The nonstick coating of this aluminum pan includes titanium to help it resist scratches during everyday use.
The griddle’s handle that is slightly angled for an ergonomic grip. It stays cool during cooking, so you can pick the griddle up and move it off the heat as needed.
8. Emeril Lagasse 62929 Double Burner Griddle
The Emeril Lagasse griddle stretches across two stove burners, so you can use it to cook plenty of pancakes at once. Lay out eight pancakes at a time, and you’ll soon have a large batch ready to pop in the freezer for busy mornings.
This nonstick griddle is made of heavy-gauge aluminum with a hard-anodized surface. Aluminum is a good conductor of heat, so you can expect your pancakes to brown evenly. Because this pan is fully metal, including the stainless steel handles, you can use it in the oven at temperatures up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
9. Aura Outdoor Products Rectangle Cast Iron Griddle
True camping aficionados know that pancakes are one of the best breakfasts to enjoy at a campground. To make the job easy, pair this Aura Outdoor Products griddle with your favorite grill. It’s designed to work on gas grills, camp stoves and indoor stovetops.
This is a double-burner griddle that’s made of cast iron. The pan has built-in handles and features a grease well along one side. To increase your on-the-go cooking options, this is a reversible griddle that features a grilling surface on the back.
10. Oster DuraCeramic Griddle with Warming Tray
If you’re cooking for a crowd, you’ll love the warming tray feature that’s built into this Oster electric griddle. Once a batch of pancakes is finished, you can slide the cakes into the warming tray until you’re ready to serve a stack to your hungry diners. Adding to this appliance’s crowd-serving capabilities, the power adapter is removable for carrying the griddle to your breakfast buffet.
The plug-in pancake griddle has a nonstick service that’s made with ceramic. Called DuraCeramic, this material is free of common toxins and is designed to last longer than standard nonstick coatings.
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Tips for Cooking Perfect Pancakes
When you’re in the mood for pancakes, you want to start eating as soon as possible, of course. Therefore, you might be tempted to start slinging batter on your griddle right away. Don’t do it! Your griddle needs time to warm up. This helps ensure that the entire surface is evenly hot, and it’s the best way to achieve a crisp, golden exterior for your pancake.
To get started, turn the heat to medium. Let the pan heat up for two to four minutes. Then, splash a bit of water on the pan. If the droplets sizzle and dance, it’s time to make pancakes. You can also drop butter on the pan as a test. If it bubbles and turns golden, you’re in good shape to start cooking.
As you pour batter on the griddle, remember this: Pancake batter often spreads as it cooks. You should leave a few inches between each cake. For this reason, it’s often better to buy a pancake griddle that’s too big instead of one that’s too small.
When it comes to spatulas, think thin! You need a flexible tool that will easily slide under a pancake to lift it up. It needs to be wide enough to support the pancake but not so wide that it bumps the other cakes on the griddle.
The material that your spatula is made of is a really important factor in caring for your griddle. Many nonstick finishes will become scratched if you use metal utensils with them. Therefore, it’s best to stick to plastic or wood spatulas.
Use your spatula sparingly, though! Pancakes lose their fluffiness if you flip them more than once.
Great Pancakes Start with Great Griddles
Can you taste that mouthwatering stack of pancakes yet? Just imagine how delicious your breakfast will be when you prepare it on one of the best griddles for pancakes. Whether you go for a stovetop model or an electric griddle, you can make delectable pancakes that turn everyday breakfasts into memorable occasions.
Looking for more breakfast options? Check out these awesome bacon cookers to start your morning right!