A griddle can revolutionize your cooking experience, providing a gateway to a world of culinary possibilities not possible on your standard grill.
To unlock its full potential, you need to equip yourself with a few necessary tools and flat-top accessories.
Must have griddle accessories
No matter the brand or size of your griddle, these are considered our must-have griddle accessories:
1. Griddle spatulas
Your trusty spatulas will likely become your best friends, accompanying you through the majority of dishes you prepare on a griddle. It goes without saying that investing in high-quality spatulas is an absolute necessity.
Here are two essential types of spatulas for your griddle arsenal:
Long, rounded-edge spatula
These spatulas offer a remarkable level of flexibility for flat top cooking. Here’s why they are a must-have in your griddle toolbox:
- Gentle on the surface: The rounded edge of these spatulas helps minimize the chances of scratching or damaging the griddle surface. This is particularly important if you’re working with a non-stick or delicate cooking surface. The rounded edge ensures smooth contact with the griddle, reducing the risk of causing any unsightly marks or compromising the longevity of your cooking equipment.
- Versatility: Longer, rounded spatulas excel in a variety of griddle cooking techniques. Whether you’re flipping pancakes, searing burgers, or stir-frying a medley of vegetables, these spatulas offer the perfect combination of flexibility and sturdiness. Their length allows you to handle larger food items with ease, while the rounded edge aids in smoothly maneuvering beneath delicate or fragile ingredients.
- Efficient serving: When it’s time to plate and serve your delicious creations, the longer, rounded spatulas truly shine. Their generous size enables you to scoop up and transfer large portions of food quickly and efficiently. This is especially handy when serving dishes like fried rice, where you want to gather a substantial amount of food in one go for attractive plating or when assembling hearty sandwiches or wraps.
Short, sharp-edged spatula
A shorter spatula with a sharp edge offers precise control, easy scraping, versatility in different cooking styles, and maneuverability in crowded spaces. Its compact size and sharpness make it a valuable tool for achieving precision and handling smaller, delicate ingredients on the griddle.
- Easy scraping: The sharp edge of a shorter spatula comes in handy when it’s time to scrape off any stuck-on bits or residue from the griddle surface. Its sharpness allows you to remove food remnants without applying excessive force, preventing unnecessary damage to the griddle. It’s perfect for scraping under a smash burger so you don’t lose the crust. Whether you’re deglazing a sauce or tidying up the cooking surface, the sharp edge ensures efficient and effective scraping.
- Better control: The shorter length of this spatula provides a greater level of control and precision when working on the griddle. It allows you to navigate through tight spaces and maneuver around delicate ingredients with ease. When you need to flip smaller or more intricate items like sliders, mini pancakes, or delicate seafood, the shorter spatula’s sharp edge ensures a secure grip and precise flipping action.
2. Squeeze bottles
Squeeze bottles are an indispensable tool for every griddle aficionado. They offer a lot of benefits when cooking on a flat top, and they’re relatively low-cost, so you can stock up. Their versatility allows you to effortlessly clean your griddle, precisely add oil to your flat top, and beautifully drizzle sauces.
- Versatility and precision: Squeeze bottles are a must if you plan to do a lot of griddle cooking, and they are easier to control than just pouring from a cup or larger container. You can clean or steam with water, add the right amount of oil, or drizzle on the perfect amount of sauce.
- Mise en place liquids: squeeze bottles are convenient storage containers for all your liquids. Having them ready at the right time during bulk cooking can make the difference between a delicious result or not. They are easily placed in the fridge or griddle storage when not in use.
3. Bench scraper
The humble bench scraper can be a workhorse on the griddle if used correctly. I didn’t use it much at first, but the more I cooked on the griddle, the more I realized the wide and sturdy blade on the bench scraper made for an indispensable cooking tool.
- Clean up and maintenance: The bench scraper’s wide blade is perfect for scraping a griddle clean and funneling oil and food debris to the drip pan. Fold a paper towel over its edge and spread around the oil when seasoning or maintaining. It’s quicker and more effective than a thinner spatula.
- Flipping and chopping: Using the bench scraper and a spatula to gently flip or control food when called for instead of sloppily flopping it over. On the contrary, use the edge of the scraper to chop food directly on the griddle surface, like when chopping up meat for a cheesesteak.
4. Melting dome
As its namesake suggests, a melting dome is perfect for melting foods and creating an oven-like atmosphere on your griddle.
- Melting: We’ve all been there when we first start griddle cooking. Putting a cold piece of cheese on a burger and expecting it to melt perfectly. The burger gets overcooked and the cheese doesn’t completely melt. This is where the melting dome comes in. Place the dome over that burger and the cheese melts perfectly.
- Steaming: The same premise applies here, just with adding water under the dome, creating a high-temperature, steamed environment. The steam helps expedite the cooking process under the dome. This melts cheese more rapidly on a burger or cheesesteak, helps to speed up undercooked meat if you’re in a pinch, and also makes for some darn good steamed vegetables.
5. Heat resistant gloves
I found when doing a lot of griddle cooking, my knuckles and hands would bear the brunt of splattering fats and direct heat. When needing to handle foods directly, a good pair of heat-resistant gloves works wonders.
- Burn protection: Some cooks take the burn scars on their hands and arms as trophies, but there’s no sense in scaring up your hands. Use gloves when handling large cuts of meat or when needing to handle foods like rolling burritos on the griddle top itself. They work wonders when cleaning a hot surface of debris or using steam.
6. Instant read thermometer
If you’re cooking thick cuts of meat, an instant-read thermometer is great to have on hand. Not unlike grilling, you want your food to be ready at the same time. I found having an instant-read thermometer at the ready helped me plan my griddle cooks more accurately.
- Instant read-outs: Using an instant-read thermometer vs. a traditional one allows you to quickly read-and-react to food needs. If something is close to being done, you know to pull it off the griddle, or if something is undercooked, you know to move it to the hot side of the flat top.
Check out our guide on the best instant-read meat thermometers.
7. Burger press
A burger press or griddle press is super helpful when griddle cooking and has more purpose than just making smash burgers. Through griddle testing, I’ve found a little weight and pressing goes a long way toward perfect caramelization and Maillard reaction. Sure, you can use a spatula, but you don’t get the same results that a designated press gives.
- Smashing: Obviously, the first benefit of a burger press is exactly what its name entails – smashing burgers. Pressing the meat against the hot griddle top creates a perfect Maillard reaction, giving that patty its iconic smash burger crust.
- Adding weight: A quality, heavy-duty press has some weight to it, and they’re perfect for adding weight to food and keeping it against the griddle surface. Perfect for sandwiches or melts to toast the bread, or on bacon to keep it from curling and cooking unevenly. It’s also great when searing steaks to keep the whole piece of protein against the hot griddle.
8. Griddle cover
If you plan to leave your griddle outdoors or on an uncovered patio, you should most definitely get a cover for it. I live in a humid and hot environment for most of the year, and that type of weather is not good on an unprotected griddle surface. Not only can it rust due to moisture, but dust and dander can stick to the surface creating a nasty layer that is a pain to clean off.
- Added protection: Covering your griddle in between uses keeps the surface protected and the seasoning intact. A good cover goes a long way toward griddle longevity and you won’t have to worry about the weather as much. It also keeps airborne grime from settling on your griddle top which burns and creates a nasty layer that will need to be cleaned off.
- Sunblock: Having your griddle out in the elements fades and dries out the metal. A good cover protects the body from the sun allowing it to retain its finished sheen and not dull out so quickly. The cover isn’t just for protecting the cooking surface, it helps keep the body of the griddle in good working order over time.
Outside of the necessities, there are a few more griddle accessories that will make your life easier.
- Cleaning / maintenance: A griddle cleaning brick, scouring pad and heavy-duty cloth are great tools to have when cleaning your griddle after each use. I found the scouring pad is good for day-to-day cleaning, but the griddle Brick helps clear the surface of stubborn stuck-on grime.
- Wire rack: A small wire rack is great for raising food off the heat and keeping it warm. Despite your best efforts, food doesn’t all finish cooking at the same time, and I found a wire rack is great for keeping things warm while finishing the rest of the meal.
- Portable prep table: Most griddles come with side shelves and storage, but having a separate prep table to the side is much more convenient. It keeps food and utensils away from the residual heat of the griddle surface and allows you to keep things in order rather than shuffle them around the limited shelf space.