Griddle Me This: What are Dozens of Foods You Never Knew You Could Grill?
Burgers? Duh. Pork ribs? Please. Steaks? In your sleep. We get it. You could write an entire cookbook full of foods you’ve mastered on the grill.
But stick to these and other obvious choices and you’ll miss out on a slew of surprising dishes that taste even better when cooked on the barbecue.
A flattop griddle accessory is the secret to making a host of unexpected foods on the grill. This handy piece of after-market grilling gear is relatively inexpensive, and adds incredible versatility to your gas grill or outdoor kitchen.
A griddle’s solid surface is ideal for grilling delicate foods like fish fillets and tofu, and prevents runaway shrimp, scallops, asparagus, and other small foods from falling through the cracks of the grill grate. A griddle turns a grill into a restaurant flattop to make diner faves, or a teppanyaki grill for hibachi-style dinners. And, even if you prefer sticking to tried-and-true grill fare, a griddle creates an exceptional crust on steaks, chops and burgers.
Don’t believe us? Try these foods you never knew you could make on the grill.
- Pancakes, French toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, omelets, Eggs Benedict, corned beef hash, tofu scrambles, and other breakfast foods are so good on the grill, there’s even a holiday dedicated to them – Barbecue Your Breakfast Day! Making breakfast on the grill can become a fun Saturday-morning family tradition, a cool brunch party with friends, or just a good excuse to have pancakes for dinner.
- Sandwiches like grilled cheese, Reubens, Monte Cristo, croque monsieur, patty melts, cheesesteaks, and the Jersey diner classic – pork roll, egg and cheese – are awesome hot-off-the-griddle-grill.
- Fried Rice on a grill? Heck yeah! Use cooked white, brown or cauliflower rice, add chopped leftover veggies, edamame, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. Crack an egg over the top and scramble it in. Don’t stop there; you can use a griddle to make stir fries or teppanyaki to go with it.
- Try hash browns, sautéed potatoes with peppers and onions, potato pancakes, and yes, even tater tots!
- Corn-off-the-cob, peas, sautéed greens (even better with bacon!), succotash, broccoli and cauliflower florets, string beans, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and lots of other veggies that wouldn’t stand a chance on a slatted grilling grid, are yummy when prepared on a grilling griddle.
- Beyond vegetables, think vegetarian proteins like tofu “steaks,” tempeh, seitan, veggie burgers, bean burgers, meatless meatballs, and more.
- Quesadillas, fajitas and tacos also turn out really great on a griddle. (Margaritas, maybe not so much.)
What to Look for in a Griddle
Some griddles rest on top of the grilling grid, while others, like the Dual Plate Stainless Steel Griddles from Renaissance Cooking Systems, sit directly over the gas burner. (A section or two of the grilling grids and the protective flame tamers - a.k.a. heat distributor bars, heat tents or briquette trays – are removed first.) Since these griddles are closer to the burner, they can get much hotter.
Designed exclusively for RCS by the griddling gurus at Le Griddle in France, the RCS Dual Plate Stainless Steel Griddle has a proprietary design that bonds a cast-iron plate to the underside of the 304-stainless-steel cooking surface. This heavy-duty, cast-iron subsurface retains and distributes heat evenly over the entire griddle surface, and adds heft so the griddle won’t warp.
A deep trough spans the front of the griddle to catch grease runoff, and is removable for clean-up. The cooking surface is easily cleaned by tossing a handful of ice cubes on the hot griddle. As the ice melts, it sizzles and steams off residue that can be wiped away with a nylon scrubby and a spatula. Two built-in handles on either end of the griddle make for handy lifting, and a raised edge on three sides keeps food corralled.
Need more reasons to give a griddle a go? It keeps grease splatters out of the kitchen and cooking odors out of the house. Once you try it, you won’t cook bacon or fish any other way!