With the updated Energy Star specs released in 2009 and the revised specs for electric griddles, released in 2011, manufacturers have been improving griddles energy efficiency to meet the new specs, also improving their performance. If you're in the market for a new griddle, the chances are you'll not only end up with a model that saves you money, but it will also outperform your older model.
Like other pieces of equipment, those made with heavy-duty materials tend to last the longest and the more solidly constructed your griddle is the longer it will provide you with trouble free performance. Here's what to look for if you're in the market for a new Griddle:
- Griddle Surface -- not only does the thickness of the surface matter, but the material does too. Typically you will choose one of these:
- Mild Steel which is durable but porous, so foods will stick more easily ad it will be more difficult to clean
- Polished Stainless which is easier to clean because it is more reflective and less porous than mild steel and it is also pretty durable
- Chrome-plated griddles are the smoothest of all cooking surfaces so they are a breeze to clean and they are relatively non-stick making this the easiest to clean option, it is also the most expensive, but you will save on labor.
- Construction -- you'll want the parts that come most into play when you are cooking; the front, sides, splash guards, grease trough and drip drawer, to be made out of stainless. Some manufacturers will use aluminized or galvanized steel for bottoms and back to reduce expenses. Make sure that the frames are fully welded aluminized steel and check to be sure the entire seam of the splash guard is welded, not spot welded.
- Splash Guards -- heights on the back and side splash guards will vary from model to model and brand to brand. Higher is safer and cleaner.
- Grease Trough -- generally, you will find the grease trough in front, but there are models available with this feature on the side. The grease tough is usually 1inch deep, but the width varies from 2 to 4 inches.
- Drip Drawer -- The drip drawer or container should be easy to remove and it should have a sizable capacity so that you don't have to empty it frequently. Also make sure that the drain from the grease trough to the drip drawer is easily accessible and large enough to handle significant amounts of excess grease.