Flat Top Grills & Griddles FAQ
While a flat top grill is not the first thing that comes to mind when you start thinking about outdoor BBQ, a flat top grill can come in handy for grilling many items that would typically slip through the grill cracks. Fire-roasted veggies, grilled rice, and breakfast foods like pancakes and bacon are just a few of the many items you can make if you choose the right flat top grill. You can even invest in teppanyaki grills and create a Hibachi meal on your patio.
To help you with your search, we have compiled a list of the top griddle FAQ so that you can narrow down your griddle options. We've answered dozens of flat-top grills & griddles FAQs, and these are the ones that you need to know.
Do I need to season the grilling surface before use?
Every grilling surface needs to be seasoned before use unless you purchase a stainless steel griddle. In fact, out of the BBQ flat top grill questions, this may be the most important one because if you do not adequately season your grilling surface, you can ruin it after one use. Proper seasoning helps create a layer that will prevent rust and help you flip food.
If so, what should I use to season the grilling surface?
The same rules apply to a flat top grill indoor apply to an outdoor grilling surface. Choose an oil with a high smoke point of at least 425, such as grape seed oil, palm, coconut, or avocado. It's usually better to skip oils with a low smoke point like oil or vegetable even if they are easier to find because they burn and smoke.
Is it necessary to scrape and polish the surface after use, like a fast-food grill?
We recommend scrapping the cooktop each time you use it so that debris does not build up, but you don't need to polish it each time. The best way to clean the surface is with a spatula or a grill cleaning kit so that you can simply slide and scoop residue and leftover burnt food off the griddle into a basin. After clearing out the debris, it's a good idea to gently wash and scrape any stubborn residue with a water and lemon mixture.
What kind of cooking oils can I use?
Everyone has their preference, but we recommend organic palm kernel oils, coconut, and avocado because they quickly cook at a high-temperature point without producing too much smoke. If you don't want to run to a specialty store for your oil, you can also go with bacon fat.
Can I use metal cooking utensils?
Another top griddle FAQ is whether or not you can use your indoor metal cooking utensils with your flat top grill. In theory, you could if you have a cast iron griddle or stainless steel, but you should avoid metal on any non-stick grilling surface. Metal tools will scrape off the non-stick coating, which you don't want in your food, and you also don't want to ruin it shortly after the first or second use.
What's the best way to remove the burnt-on residue?
Burnt-on residue is inevitably going to build up. To clean it off, start by grabbing a grill-safe scraper or cleaning blade and slip all of the easier debris into a trash can. Then mix lemon juice and water and pour the mixture over the flat top grill to help loosen the grime and peel it off. If all else fails, head to a hardware store and purchase a griddle stone to remove stubborn grime. Just make sure you always scrub along the grain of your grill.
What is the temperature range for flat-top grills?
Do avid BBQ hobbyists often ask how hot a flat-top grill can get? That is a top-griddle FAQ with multiple answers. Most will fall between 250 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit, but if you splurge and choose a cast iron flat top grill, 800 degrees is easily achievable.
Is cooking on a griddle healthy?
While the answer depends heavily on what you are cooking (bacon every day may not be the best choice), for the most part, griddle cooking is considered a healthy food preparation option because it requires minimal oil and fat falls off the cooking surface instead of coating your food. Plus, dripping grease and fat that falls into the grill turn into carcinogenic smoke, but on a griddle, you just scrape them safely off into a basin.
Are there foods I shouldn't cook on a flat-top grill?
The world is your oyster when you own a flat-top grill because you can cook almost anything on it. This versatile tool can even boil water to make the kids' mac n' cheese if you wish.
Can I use my flat top gas griddle inside?
While it may be tempting, there is a reason why there are flat top grill indoor options and flat top grill outdoor options. Unless you happen to buy a model advertised to work on both surfaces, you need to keep your gas griddle outdoors.
Can I cook in zones on a flat-top grill?
While you can try it, usually, the temperature difference will not vary highly compared to cooking straight on the grill. However, you may find that the indirect zone is a great way to keep already prepared food warm while prepping the next course.
How should I level my flat-top grill so that liquids don't all run to one side?
Another great flat-top grills & griddles FAQ is how to level your grill to keep liquids from pooling. Ideally, you want all of your food drippings to fall on one side - you just want to make sure that the one side is the one with the grease trap. Therefore, you just need to play around with your griddle to make sure the food runs towards the grease trap. Keep in mind it should be a slow trickle so that your food doesn't burn due to a lack of natural grease.
Do all flat-top grills/griddles have stainless steel cooking surfaces?
Stainless steel is just one of many different surfaces that can be used to make a flat top grill. Cast iron, aluminum, and steel are other options.
Do I need to have a vent hood over my flat-top grill?
It's also a great idea to have a vent hood over any cooking surface because it redirects smoke away from you during the cooking process. However, you don't need to buy a vent hood just to go over your flat-top grill if you don't want to.
Will the griddle rust?
Finally, rounding out our flat-top grills & griddles FAQ is the age-old question of rust. Rust is a BBQ enthusiast's nightmare, and whether or not your griddle rusts depends mainly on you. The best way to ward off rust for as long as possible is by cleaning your cooktop after each use and ensuring you keep the griddle covered while not in use.