Let’s suppose you’re off for a two-night getaway on a private location with your closest friends. Anticipating that there is no access to a full kitchen you decided to bring a griddle to have your meals done.
For a minute you thought you wanted to do more than just fry or toast. If so, can you use a griddle as a hot plate to accommodate other meals?
The answer to that question is a sure do! First, let’s lay down the basic difference between a griddle and a hot plate.
Griddle vs. Hot Plate
- Griddle -It is a cooking device with a broad rectangular shape that is evenly heated typically by gas, propane, or electricity. Broad and flat it provides adequate space to cook more food on a single batch. It is commonly used to cook eggs, pancakes, bacon, and burgers directly on its surface. Griddles go very well when cooking for a large group and in large quantities.
- Hot plate – It is a portable cooking equipment that usually comes with a single burner powered by electricity or propane. It features either a flat or round surface where a pan is placed. Using a pan, wok, or ceramic cooking top you can deep fry or boil soup based meals. A hot plate is designed for travel which substitutes a kitchen stove you have at home.
The Alternate Use
Now, you may be more reinforced to make that tiny getaway of yours knowing the fact that your griddle can do some tricks. Basically, you are modifying it for another purpose.
There is an outstanding quality of electric griddles available that are portable as well as improves your cooking experience.
A griddle’s flat surface is capable of holding your deep pans or bowls. Surely, you can use a griddle as a hot plate but with these adjustments there are quite a few things you must consider for its use.
- Consider your vessel
Basically, you’re going to place a pan on top of the griddle supposedly to heat it up. However, not all pans are capable of heating fast which may cost you more time for the waiting.
In the worst-case scenario, it may even leave your food uncooked. Instead, a copper pan is best advised.
Unlike cookware made from stainless steel or cast iron, copper pans are highly heat conductive. This means that this material compared to other metals can heat up quicker and cook efficiently.
Thus, faster heating saves you more time, energy and you get to enjoy a fully cooked meal.
- Consider the size of the pan
Small sized pans must be used to top the griddle. Although you can use a griddle as a hot plate but let it be known that it’s not fully equipped to handle what a hot plate does.
Using moderately large pans diminishes the efficiency to bring the food into boil. In other words, it will take longer than the usual time to heat.
The principle is that the smaller the better. A small pan will heat up faster, cooks more efficiently, and takes less time since there’s only a few amounts. So if you wish to cook plenty you might opt to do it in batches instead.
- Consider what you’re cooking
Using a larger pan with a large quantity of food to cook undoubtedly puts a hefty weight on the griddle that can result in warping the steel.
When this happens it prevents your griddle from working well in future use. For this reason, it is better used in making a small amount of sauces or a single serving of instant noodles.
Keep in mind that you always opt for food that quickly cooks. Also, if you see the need to use a larger cooking vessel then have a good estimate whether it’s weight can adequately be supported by the griddle.
- Consider using it clean
Don’t just put a cooking pan on top of that butter slabbed surface. Have the griddle cleaned before you proceed to your next agenda. Take note that the griddle must not be washed immediately.
Thermal shock warps the surface and affects future use. Instead, let the griddle cool down, wash it with dish soap using a non-abrasive sponge, and let it dry.
The Pros and Cons
There are two sides of the same coin. We’ve laid a short list of advantages and disadvantages when using the griddle as a hot plate.
- Portable and convenient– Griddles are slick which makes it easy to slide into compartments whenever you’re traveling. Unlike portable pellet smokers, this type of cooking device weighs light making it easy to carry. It also provides a large surface for you to cook directly or act as a french top.
- Adjustable temperature – Once you plug it in you can already set the heat probe to your desired cooking temperature. So, if you want to bring that gravy mix to a boil you can just turn it up and (voila!) you have the perfect match for the sumptuous steak. It is easy to operate and well designed for the average consumers.
- Limited heating efficiency -you can use a griddle as a hot plate but is far less efficient compared to placing the pan on a burner. This method cannot channel heat as good as burners do. Thus, a broth is definitely scratched out from the menu.
- Limited food and quantity – Your cooking quantity is not as plenty compared to using the griddle as it is. Although it is a hot plate substitute, you have to keep a minimal amount of instantly cooked food. In turn, you cannot prepare a bigger quantity so it will only be good for about three people.
Griddles are not meant for the purpose a hot plate is designed for. Although you can use a griddle as a hot plate but this function is largely implicit.
If people devise it this way as an adaptive approach then it should be on a short-term basis only.
The bottom line, if you have other means such as access for burners then let griddles be your final option.