We Made Hundreds of Pancakes to Find the Best Electric Griddles
Perfectly crisped bacon. Gooey grilled cheese. Gently browned buttermilk pancakes churned out until everybody pushes back from the table and raises their hands in blissful surrender. All of this and more is possible with the right electric griddle. But what makes a griddle great? We set out to find out by putting some of the most popular options to the test.
Essentially flat-top cooking surfaces that can be plugged into the wall, electric griddles free up your stove and can even be taken on the road. While in the midst of a kitchen renovation with no working appliances, I had the perfect opportunity to determine the most reliable griddle for daily cooking tasks. After making 42 grilled cheese sandwiches, 88 slices of bacon, and nearly 200 pancakes, I rated each griddle on the quality of the design and materials, cooking efficiency, and overall value. Since I also only had access to the smallest sink in our home, ease of cleanup was a key metric as well.
If I was able to find a favorite when I was cooking on a bench in my living room, you can certainly count on one of these picks to help you make breakfast for a crowd. Read on to see the best electric griddles, according to our tests.
Best Overall: Zojirushi Gourmet Sizzler Electric Griddle
Best for Small Spaces: Presto Tilt-n-Fold Electric Griddle
Best Budget: Black + Decker Family-Sized Electric Griddle
Best Splurge: Wolf Gourmet Electric Griddle
How to Pick the Right Electric Griddle
Electric griddles are portable, flat cooktops with a temperature control dial often inserted for cooking and then removed when stored. Electric griddles can plug into a standard outlet and pre-heat in around 10 minutes. You can use them to cook anywhere where you have power readily accessible. Case in point: I did most of my testing on a coffee table and piano bench.
You're likely going to use an electric griddle for batch cooking. Definitely get an electric griddle with a nonstick surface—it's a standard option—and consider what you're cooking and subsequently how often you'll need to clean your griddle. Take a look at the drip tray, if one's included, to make sure it's wide enough or deep enough to handle greasy foods like bacon or burgers.
Storage is also an important consideration, and that means thinking about the weight and size of an electric griddle. The Black + Decker Family-Sized Griddle was the lightest model we tested at just over 5 pounds, while the heaviest—the Wolf Gourmet—was 21 pounds. If you're tight on cabinet space, you may want to consider a griddle with a smaller profile like the Presto Tilt-n-Fold, where the legs store under the cooktop surface. If you aren't using your griddle regularly, consider keeping it in the shipping box to protect the nonstick coating and keep it free of dust. Some electric griddles also include additional parts such as lids, drip trays, and warming trays.
About Our Tests
To get a sense of each model's strengths and weaknesses, I cooked like I was feeding a crowd by making grilled cheese (a pair of American cheese slices placed between butter-slathered white bread), center-cut bacon, and pancakes.
Over the course of three weeks, I made 42 grilled cheese sandwiches, 88 slices of bacon, and enough pancakes (close to 200) to feed a small elementary school. I also learned the maximum number of grilled cheese sandwiches you can give your neighbor for lunch is six sandwiches. As I cooked, I took notes on each griddle, observing the following:
- Overall feel: What is the griddle made of? What parts does it include? How functional is the design?
- Durability: Is the griddle made to last? Will it show wear over time?
- Cleanup/storage: How is the griddle meant to be stored and maintained?
- Efficiency: How quickly does it heat up? Does it cook food evenly? How difficult is it to remove food from the surface?
- Overall value: Is it worth the investment?
I gave these electric griddles the best chance for success, moving bacon when it was getting charred while its neighbor was still pink and bubbling in oil. I also kept a close eye on pancakes and grilled cheese to check for hot spots and gauge how evenly they cooked. When I finished cooking, I considered how easy or hard it was to wipe down the nonstick surface (in other words, was it truly nonstick?) and whether the shape or design of the griddle could unintentionally trap grease or crumbs.
The Leftovers: Other Electric Griddles We Tested
Presto 22-inch Electric Griddle with Removable Handles
Oster DiamondForce Electric Griddle
Dash Everyday Electric Griddle
Bella XL Ceramic Titanium Electric Griddle
How is an electric griddle different than a range burner?
Unlike a range burner, the surface of an electric griddle is evenly heated throughout. They're the home cook's version of the flat-top cooking surface used in diners across the country.
What's the difference between an electric griddle and a grill?
The surface of a griddle is completely flat, without the ridges you'd find on a grill. This allows food to be cooked through evenly, which is why it's the appliance of choice for an array of breakfast foods, as well as burgers or grilled cheese.
How do you clean an electric griddle?
Treat your griddle like a nonstick pan. Use a silicone spatula or tongs in lieu of metal cooking utensils, which can scratch the nonstick coating, and clean the surface with a soft cloth and mild dish soap.
Once you're done cooking, you'll want to unplug and let a griddle cool before wiping it clean with a soft sponge or dish towel. Before it was completely cool to the touch, I used a wet reusable dishcloth to wipe off crumbs and bits of bread that had burned slightly on the surface to keep them from hardening and sticking. For griddles with space between the frame and cooktop, I used a wet, folded paper towel to clean in and around the edges.
Some griddles, like the Zojirushi Gourmet Sizzler, include a detachable cooking surface that you can wash and rinse in the sink. Just be sure to keep the heating element dry and remove the temperature probe before you wash it. While a drip tray is often dishwasher-safe, it's worth rinsing it by hand to avoid the possibility of heat warping the plastic.
What temperature should you cook bacon and pancakes on an electric griddle?
Most cooks recommend frying bacon between 300 and 350 degrees Fahrenheit, so 325 is a good sweet spot. You can always adjust from there if it appears the bacon is burning or taking too long to crisp. While preheating the griddle, let your bacon come to room temperature to ensure it cooks more evenly (this should take 10 to 15 minutes).
For perfectly brown but fluffy pancakes, the consensus is a bit higher: 375 to 400 degrees. Again, it will depend on the griddle and your preferences. Check the manual and the control panel of your griddle for model-specific recommendations and presets.
How hot do electric griddles get?
Most electric griddles on the market reach somewhere between 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, with some—like the Wolf Gourmet Electric Griddle—going up as high as 450, which is great for searing. You may find that you don't need quite that much heat, but we'd recommend looking for one that heats to 400 or 425 degrees to cover your bases.
Why Take Our Word for It?
Allrecipes is a community-driven brand providing trusted resources to our large network of home cooks. Jonathan Bender, an ecommerce food writer, cookbook author, and sandwich enthusiast, wrote this list after carefully researching the market and then testing top models side by side in his own home. He made enough grilled cheese sandwiches, bacon, and pancakes to feed the whole neighborhood and evaluated the griddles on quality, durability, performance, and ease of cleaning. Rachel Johnson, another product tester for Allrecipes, also contributed insights from an earlier test.