Electric Griddles

Published January 1, 2009. From Cook's Illustrated.

We knew what we wanted in an electric griddle. Could any of the seven we tested meet all of our expectations?

Overview:

Update May 2014:

The West Bend Cool-Touch Nonstick Electric Griddle is no longer available. The Cuisinart Griddler we tested is discontinued, but it's been redesigned and we will publish testing notes in the future on the updated design.

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If you’re cooking for a crowd, you can’t beat the efficiency of a griddle. But what makes one brand better than another? A great electric griddle should be roomy and easy to handle, heat quickly and cook evenly, and clean up effortlessly. We tested seven nonstick models, cooking countless batches of French toast, bacon, and pancakes to determine which griddle was best.

Accuracy and Consistency

Accurate and consistent cooking were key factors in the contest. A good griddle will cook at or very close to the set temperature, heating evenly across its wide surface. We tested each griddle’s accuracy and consistency by setting it to 350 degrees, then recording the temperature at 5- and 7-minute intervals at three different locations on the… read more

Update May 2014:

The West Bend Cool-Touch Nonstick Electric Griddle is no longer available. The Cuisinart Griddler we tested is discontinued, but it's been redesigned and we will publish testing notes in the future on the updated design.

___________________________________________________________

If you’re cooking for a crowd, you can’t beat the efficiency of a griddle. But what makes one brand better than another? A great electric griddle should be roomy and easy to handle, heat quickly and cook evenly, and clean up effortlessly. We tested seven nonstick models, cooking countless batches of French toast, bacon, and pancakes to determine which griddle was best.

Accuracy and Consistency

Accurate and consistent cooking were key factors in the contest. A good griddle will cook at or very close to the set temperature, heating evenly across its wide surface. We tested each griddle’s accuracy and consistency by setting it to 350 degrees, then recording the temperature at 5- and 7-minute intervals at three different locations on the cooking surface.

Cooking Performance

After averaging the results, one griddle was easily the most accurate and consistent, with an average temperature of 348.8 degrees, a little more than 1 degree from our desired temperature. Middle-ranked griddles had hotter or cooler spots and temperature averages that were slightly inaccurate, producing uneven browning. The bottom-ranked performers averaged more than 80 to 100 degrees over the set temperatures, and had wildly uneven temperatures at different locations on the griddle—easily explaining why our food scorched and burned.

Cooking Surface and Cleanup

After cooking performance, the size of the cooking surface is the most important feature. After all, why use a griddle unless it gives you plenty of open space? Cleanup is the final determining factor. While all of the griddles featured a nonstick surface and all could be submerged in water for washing, they used a few different systems for collecting grease—some smarter than others. We particularly disliked lightweight, unattached plastic cups sitting below drain spouts, which we feared would tip over.

In the end, one griddle took the crown. Thanks to its thick, die-cast aluminum material, it transferred heat exceptionally well and maintained even temperatures for reliable, consistent cooking results. It was also the largest among our contenders, at 21 by 11 7/8 inches. Its grease tray worked without hitch, and the nonstick surface cleaned up easily. For slightly less stellar performance at about half the price, we also recommend one “best buy” griddle.

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