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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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Recommended - Winner

    Broilking Professional Griddle

    This heavy-duty cast-aluminum griddle performed the best in every test, evenly distributing heat for perfect, crisp browning, and accurately producing the temperatures desired. With the largest surface area of all the griddles, this model could comfortably fit 11 pieces of bacon, eight pancakes, or eight pieces of French toast at once. A removable backsplash protected the walls and countertop from splattering grease, which neatly drips down to a pull-out tray. The nonstick surface was a breeze to clean.

    • Bacon ★★★
    • Cleanup ★★★
    • Pancakes ★★★
    • French Toast ★★★
    • Heat Distribution ★★★

    $99.99

    BUY NOW Amazon
  • Recommended

    West Bend Cool-Touch Nonstick Electric Griddle

    With a quick heat-up time and fairly consistent heat output, this best buy produced evenly cooked food. The smaller surface area made cooking a little cramped, causing a few of the pancakes to stick together. The angled grease well allowed grease to drip down easily. The nonstick surface cleaned up with minimal scrubbing.

    • Bacon ★★★
    • Cleanup ★★★
    • Pancakes ★★★
    • French Toast ★★★
    • Heat Distribution ★★

    DISCONTINUED

  • Recommended

    Cuisinart Griddler

    This innovative folding griddle can switch from indoor grill to griddle to panini press with the press of a button. Although its two-part griddle appears small, it holds nearly the same quantity of bacon and pancakes as larger models, though French toast was a little crowded. Removable griddle surfaces made cleaning a breeze. Our only gripe: The grease-catching system is a pair of lightweight plastic cups that simply sit beneath drain spouts at the corners of the griddle. Because they’re not attached, they seem likely to become lost or tip over.

    • Bacon ★★★
    • Cleanup ★★
    • Pancakes ★★★
    • French Toast ★★
    • Heat Distribution ★★

    DISCONTINUED

  • Recommended with Reservations

    Rival Nonstick Electric Griddle

    While this griddle heated quickly, its surface temperature was slightly uneven, leaving bacon under- and overcooked in spots. French toast browned spottily, and the slices were undercooked in the center. Pancakes fared better, but the smaller cooking surface only fit six average-size pancakes. Grease drained well.

    • Bacon ★★
    • Cleanup ★★★
    • Pancakes ★★
    • French Toast ★★
    • Heat Distribution ★★

    $39.99

  • Not Recommended

    Presto Professional 22-inch Jumbo Electric Griddle

    This griddle was roomy, but did not heat evenly due to its thin cooking surface, leaving several underdone sections on the bacon strips. Its surface temperature kept climbing (running an average of 70 degrees higher than its designated setting) while we made pancakes, burning our second batch. This griddle’s light construction and nongrip feet led it to slide across the countertop as we tried to cook. Grease dripped neatly into the tray.

    • Bacon
    • Cleanup ★★★
    • Pancakes
    • French Toast ★★
    • Heat Distribution

    $39.99

  • Not Recommended

    Cuisinart Electric Nonstick Grill and Griddle

    As the only model that did not have a numbered temperature dial, indicating only low, medium, or high, it was impossible to set the exact temperatures we wanted. This heavy, cumbersome appliance cooked evenly but was painfully slow to heat, taking twice as long as other models to cook bacon, pancakes, and French toast. This griddle was the heaviest in the lineup at more than 11 pounds. The nonstick surface did not clean up well and started to chip off as we scrubbed. Grease collects in a removable tray.

    • Bacon
    • Cleanup
    • Pancakes
    • French Toast
    • Heat Distribution ★★

    $99.95

  • Not Recommended

    Black & Decker Family-Size Electric Nonstick Griddle

    Despite attractive extras, including a warming tray to keep food hot after cooking, this model’s cooking performance fell short. It burned every piece of bacon, and both French toast and pancakes turned out spotty and uneven. And no wonder: Temperature readings at different points of the surface revealed a more than 100-degree difference from the set temperature. Because food burned on, the nonstick surface required too much effort to scrub clean. Grease pooled in the trough because it wasn’t angled well enough to drain into the tray.

    • Bacon
    • Cleanup
    • Pancakes
    • French Toast
    • Heat Distribution

    $29.99

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