Choosing the best electric griddles for indoor or outdoor use can be a bit tricky, since there are so many variables involved in the selection process.

The main questions you will need to answer are:

  1. How much money am I willing spend?
  2. How often will I use the griddle?
  3. How much versatility do I need?
  4. How many people will I be cooking for?

In this small appliance product roundup we will help you determine which griddle is best for your needs based on your answers to these questions.

Here is a list of small appliance electric griddles for you to consider:

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How To Choose The Best Electric Griddles

Construction Materials

Whenever food preparation is involved, it is important to pay attention to what materials your griddle is made of and how it reacts to heat. Manufacturers of home use residential griddles will usually make the plates out of aluminum or carbon steel.

Aluminum

Aluminum cookware conducts heat well and is cost effective, but it can also leach into food. The amount will depend on several factors, such as how much contact the food has with the metal, storage times, and cooking times.

While some people are hesitant to buy aluminum cookware due to Alzheimer’s health considerations, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has taken a cautious approach on the issue. The FDA claims that the amount of aluminum that leaches into food through cookware is less than what is naturally present in foods and other products such as toothpaste, antacids, aspirin and nasal spray.

Carbon Steel

As the name implies, this is basically steel with just over 2% of carbon content by weight. It is not considered “stainless” steel and can include some alloys. When carbon content is increased, the steel becomes harder and stronger.

Design Characteristics

On of the great things about buying a large griddle is you can cook several things at once. The flatness of the surface is key because food juices and oils stay separate from one another.

But while having a flat surface is good, it may hinder grease drainoff. No worries. Some griddles are made ‘tiltable’ to help with this problem.

You should also pay attention to how the grease pan is built. Can it handle grease runoff and is it easy to clean?

If you have limited cabinet storage space, it may be a good idea to go with a unit that has detachable handles and temperature controls.

Nonstick Cooking Surfaces

When you are cooking pancakes or making grilled cheese sandwiches the last thing you want is to have the food and cheese stick to the griddle. The cleanup will be messy, too.

The good news is that most griddles made today are nonstick.

Most traditional nonstick coatings are made of Teflon, which contains a chemical called Polytetrafluoroethylene or PTFE. PTFE contains polytetrafluoroethylene or PFOA. I won’t bore you with the chemistry involved. Let’s just say that both are really bad for your health.

There have been reports of birds dying when exposed to fumes emitted from Teflon coated pans. The American Cancer Society has also reported flu-like symptoms experienced by people who have cooked with Teflon at high heat. But the ACS has flat out reported that “Teflon itself is not suspected of causing cancer.”

It is best to read labels carefully and contact the manufacturer if you need more information. If you’re wary of buying Teflon nonstick, there are also ceramic nonstick options. But ceramic nonstick doesn’t necessarily mean ‘healthy’ nonstick. Again, you have to do your own research on each brand.

Grease Management & Cleanup

The worse thing about using a griddle for frying is the cleanup. If you cook a lot of bacon  or other meats you will have to deal with the runoff grease.

Here are a few buying tips:

  • Look for a unit that has a ‘tilt’ feature to help channel the grease into a pan
  • Avoid units with small nooks and crannies where grease can seep
  • If the unit is diswasher safe, make sure it is easy to dismantle
  • Make sure the grease pan is made of quality material, or it will melt
  • A splash guard feature helps prevent grease from coating the surrounding cooking spaces

Grease buildup can damage your electric griddle and ruin its nonstick coating. Even if your unit is dishwasher safe, soaps can also damage the cooking surface. It may be better to hand-wash your unit so it will last longer.

Griddle Safety

If not properly cleaned and maintained, griddles can pose a fire hazard. Keeping your griddle grease free is the best way to avoid this danger.

In addition to keeping it clean and regularly emptying the grease pan, be sure you have adequate space clearance between the griddle and combustible materials while cooking. Try to find a unit with a flame-failure safety device.

Finally, if you have small children, keep them away from the unit’s on/off switch.

Versatility and Lifestyle

Where you live and how you plan to use your portable electric griddle should influence your buying decisions. Will it be for general kitchen cooking or for outdoor use on camping trips or tailgate parties? Are you using it to cook for a large family gatherings or groups? Will you be cooking traditional breakfast foods (like eggs, bacon, and pancakes) or will you be cooking hamburgers and steaks too?

If you want more versatility, buying a combo grill/griddle unit makes sense.

Longevity & Price

Keep in mind that price and durability are connected. While a good griddle should last you at least a couple of years, you will get what you pay for. But don’t overspend. The amount you pay should be tied to how often you will use your griddle.

A cheap griddle is not made to last forever. If it is made with a lot of plastic or other flimsy materials it will probably fall apart quickly. With this in mind, you have to be clear about how much quality your realistically can expect, based on the amount of money you’re willing to spend. Read the warranty details carefully to know what is covered and what is not. Knowing the details of your return policy is also important.

Our Roundup Of Best Electric Griddles

Presto 7072 Slimline Griddle

The Presto 7072 Slimline Griddle is perfect for large family or group meal prep. The 13″ by 22″ cooking surface allows you to cook a variety of foods at once, so you don’t have a lot of pans to cleanup afterwards.

The low-profile design means you can also use it for buffet-style service. If you’re concerned about grease runoff, the collapsible legs allow you to tilt the griddle so grease can easily flow into the slide-out drip pan.

The temperature control dial is conveniently placed to the side of the unit for easy access. The unit is fully immersible and stores easily.

Pros: Cons:
PFOA/PTFE Free Flimsy warming tray
Warming tray included Easy to scratch ceramic coating
Grease channel directs grease into drip tray
Cool-touch handle
Removable, adjustable temperature control

Our Picks for Best Electric Griddles

Hamilton Beach 38518R Durathon Ceramic Griddle

The Duration Ceramic Griddle from Hamilton Beach has a large ceramic nonstick cooking surface that is PTFE and PFOA free. The Duration coating is formulated to be 4 times more durable than traditional nonstick.

The cool thing about this griddle is its versatility. You have the option to assemble it so the temperature dial/power cord is placed where you want it. This is great because it allows the unit adapt to your kitchen layout for maximum usability. However, the power cord does not have an ‘off’ switch. You have to unplug the unit to kill the power.

As for cleaning, you can hand wash or pop it into the dishwasher. Its slim design means it takes up minimum storage space.

Pros: Cons:
PTFE and PFOA free Griddle is set in plastic frame
Slide out drip tray No ‘off’ option on power cord
Large cooking surface
Cast aluminum base
Front/side ‘cool touch’ base
Fully immersible
Secura GR-1503XL 1800W Electric Reversible 2 in 1 Grill Griddle w/Glass Lid

Secura GR-1503XL 1800W Electric Reversible 2 in 1 Grill Griddle offers the best of both worlds. You can have your griddle and grill too!

The griddle/grill combo is a nice option for apartment and condo dwellers who can’t do traditional BBQing outdoors. The griddle/grill combo also comes in handy on camping trips or picnics.

It has an impressive 180 square niche nonstick cooking surface that is easy to clean with a soapy sponge. There are drainage slots/holes along the side of the grill/griddle tray that flows into the drip pan below.

A glass lid is included to help with grease splatter control and to hold in the heat for when you BBQ.

Pros: Cons:
Griddle and grill 2-in-1 Only for use with N.A. electrical standards
Large, 180 square inchcooking surface Condensation from glass top may drip behind unit
Removeable glass lid
Cool-touch handles and housing
Grease channels and removeable drip tray
Dial style temperature control
Good apartment/condo grill

Power Smokeless Grill with Tempered Glass Lid

By now you have probably seen infomercials for the Power Smokeless Grill. This compact griddle/grill combo has a lot to offer in terms of features.

If you live in an apartment or condo you will really appreciate the Turbo Speed Smoke Extractor Technology. The built-in fan sucks away most of the smoke during the cooking process. Less smoke means less issues for people with sinus, asthma or other breathing problems.

Instead of taking your burgers or steak outside to the community grill to cook, now you can do your grilling in the kitchen.

When you’re hungry for a big breakfast meal, flip the pan over to the griddle side and fry away. No need for separate skillets for eggs, bacon, or pancakes. The drip tray is large enough to hold all the excess fat and oils that drip off the meat. The griddle/grill plate’s nonstick coating makes for easy cleanups and eliminates the need to add butter or oil to the surface.

The removable tempered glass lid helps seal in moisture while cooking. Be aware that you may see what looks like smoke coming out from under the unit during the cooking process. In many cases this is condensation steam and not smoke. Just be sure to follow instructions regarding filling the water tray before grilling.

The Power Smokeless Grill is a nifty little unit for home use or camping trips and tailgate parties

Pros: Cons:
Removable Tempered Glass Lid Grilling tray’s tiny holes make it difficult to clean
Nonstick coating on Grill and Griddle Requires large storage space
Smoke extracting fan
Made of Heavy Duty Die-cast aluminum
Stackable easy assembly
Removeable Drip Tray
2 Recipe books included (for grill & griddle)
Presto 07055 Cool-Touch Electric Ceramic Griddle

Presto 07055 Cool-Touch Electric Ceramic Griddle is an example of great form, function, and affordability. The large 10.5 by 20 inch cooking surface means you will have no problem with preparing family or group-sized meals.

It is made of cast aluminum and has a ceramic nonstick surface. The temperature control knob gives you a ‘warm’ mode which works well in a buffet type setting. You can adjust the heat incrementally until you reach the perfect setting. The base remains cool to the touch along the front and sides of the unit during operation.

Grease control is managed with the help of a slide-out drip tray. When it is time to clean your griddle just grab some dish soap and a non-abrasive sponge and you’re done.

Pros: Cons:
PTFE and PFOA Free Griddle is set in plastic frame
Front & Side ‘cool touch’ base
Slide out drip tray
Large cooking surface
10.5″ x 20″ cooking surface are

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned at the beginning of this roundup of the best electric griddles, the best option for you will depend on how much you want to spend and what you’ll be cooking. Under those circumstances it is impossible to choose a ‘winner’ per se, since they all have great features. Hopefully the list provided will help you make the right choice for you, your family, and your lifestyle.