The griddle grill is the new king of the backyard barbecue this year but if you are new to it, you may have a few questions.
If you just got a griddle grill and are excited to use it, you may understand some of the basic concepts but still have a few more questions. I have taken some of the questions I receive about the griddle grill and others which are common on social media for a one-sided Q & A session.
Some griddle grills have one burner, some have two, four, or even six. Which one is right for me?
The benefits of more burners is that there is more opportunity to control the temperature of your griddle. Currently, I own and cook on two griddles. One has two burners, the other has four. When I use the four burner griddle I almost never turn on all four burners. I preheat the griddle with three and when the griddle is at my desired temperature, I cut the heat back to two burners. This allows me to have both hot and warm, or cooler sides of my griddle.
Looking to buy a griddle grill, we are a family of 4. What size do you recommend?
When purchasing a griddle ask yourself these questions:
- How often will we use it
- What is our budget
- Where will we use the griddle
- Is portability a concern
- Is the weight of the griddle a concern
- Do you understand the benefits of having more burners
- Will the griddle solve a problem for us
- Will the griddle create a problem for us
If hauling the griddle to the beach, or ball field is a concern, then consider a smaller unit. If you are cooking for four but a couple of the mouths are growing teenage athletes, consider a larger unit. It mostly comes down to personal preferences and budget.
How do I block the wind from blowing under the griddle grill top and deadening the flame?
There are a few ways you can do this. The best one I have seen is actually taking a large sheet of foil and rolling it up like a large cigar and then fashioning it into the gap between the grill and the griddle. Make the foil cigar as long as the side of the griddle you want the wind blocked on or make one for each side.
Another option is to fold a few layers of foil into a rectangle for as large of a gap you wish to cover. Use notebook clips or office clips to attach the foil screen to your griddle.
A third option is to go to the dollar store and buy a few sheet pans for a buck each and place them around your griddle.
Can you convert a griddle grill to natural gas?
I personally do not recommend modifying anything to do with gas or propane with products other than what the manufacturer recommends. In most cases, it can or will void your warranty. It can be done with a conversion kit and a little research. Safety first!
After using my 28" griddle grill for a year I really need to give it a GOOD cleaning. What is the best way to give it that good cleaning
It depends on how meticulous you are! Most griddles need nothing more than a hard scrape with a good quality scraper which is sturdy and sharp. After scraping, wipe clean with a towel which does not release fibers and then fire it up. Allow it to cook until all of the oils burn and the smoke stops. Then cool for about ten minutes and carefully apply a very thin coat of oil to the griddle wiping it free of any large oil drops. Fire it back up and allow it to cook again until the oil has completely burned off and the smoke has ceased. You should be good to go.
You can use something like a 3M style rotary drill pad attachment to really get down to the metal and then re-season.
Some people make a salt-rich slurry which they use as a cleaning paste for scrubbing. Some scrub with baking soda and rinse with vinegar. Others use oven cleaner or other chemicals I prefer nowhere near my food.
Has anyone cooked brisket on a griddle grill?
Probably? I have certainly smoked a brisket and re-heated slices on the griddle for awesome brisket sandwiches and brisket potato hash. Corned beef is basically brined and smoked or steamed brisket and it is one of my favorites to re-heat on the griddle.
If you wanted to do a brisket on the griddle because you were camping with an unlimited stash of propane and little other entertainment, I am sure it could be done. Although it wouldn't be the most efficient way to cook a brisket you could fashion a large lasagna pan with a roasting rack inside of it. WIth the brisket on the roasting rack, you could ignite and allow woodchips to smolder in the bottom so the brisket could take on some smoky flavor. A large lid or cover to keep the smoke and other heat inside would be important. You could also smoke and then braise the brisket but I wouldn't brag about the results to any stick burning hardcore barbecue lovers.
One way I have successfully cooked brisket on a griddle was ground. I combine ⅓ brisket ⅓ chuck and ⅓ bacon for a ridiculously good homemade ground brisket and bacon burger.
Enough bacon, who has dessert recipes. I'm good with bacon already.
You are on dangerous ground with this question, but I see where you are coming from. I am far from done with bacon, but personally, think things wrapped in bacon need to go away for a while. I really do not think bacon keeps leaner meat like chicken, beef filet, or scallops juicer. Any slight benefits wrapping meat in bacon may have are completely diminished by the flabby un-browned meat underneath.
If you have had a chance to take a peek at my book The Flippin’ Awesome Backyard Griddle Cookbook: Tasty Recipes, Pro Tips and Bold Ideas for Outdoor Flat Top Grillin’ I give you a good idea of some delicious desserts you can make. If that still doesn't help, think of what will satiate your sweet tooth. Maybe if you have fresh berries sprinkle them with a little sugar and lemon zest and allow them to macerate (get more delicious) in the fridge while you whip up a simple crepe. Top with a dollop of Greek yogurt, or a bit of whip cream.
If you have a taste for something sweet and have good fruit on hand, by all means, cook it on the griddle. The flavors will intensify and it will be delicious warm or chilled.
Can I do pizza on the griddle grill?
Yes! And I will show you how soon. Frank Pepe may disagree with my pizza method, but it can be done.
I'm trying to griddle chicken wings for the very first time; do you have any suggestions?
Frying chicken on the bone in oil actually takes a decent amount of time. So when you cook chicken on the griddle, plan on it taking quite a while. A perfect chicken wing for me is crispy and crunchy on the outside and firm but still juicy on the inside. I prefer dark meat to be more done than white meat. To get this, your best bet would be to cook in batches of about a dozen wings at a time over medium heat and covered. I would budget for at least 30 minutes of cook time and only move them about every five minutes or so. Wings should be seasoned before they go on the griddle, but not yet sauced. Apply sauce at the very end, or better yet, provide a few sauces in small bowls for dipping. Some people go to outlandish levels to achieve a perfect wing, and if that's your passion then go for it. Brining, dredging, breading, and air drying would all be things worth investigating too.
I'm looking for a nice thick spatula. Where is everyone getting their grilling utensils from?
Outdoor cooking utensils are a bit different than the ones for inside the home. They get really hot, really greasy, and really abused. Here is a list of all kinds of griddle related accessories you can find on Amazon: => click here to see one of my favorites But if you want to get some shopping done locally, check out a restaurant supply store. Often they have a bargain cave of used items which restaurants have basically given them back after they go out of business where you can get utensils at a fraction of the cost. Yard sales are also a great place to find outdoor cooking gear and it's an extra bonus if you stumble on an estate sale. I have also seen people have great luck at hardware stores using trowels, scrapers, and finishing tools as utensils, but please make sure the metals are food safe and well cleaned.
If you have more questions, please leave me a comment and I will do my best to answer them.