In recent years, griddle cooking has become increasingly popular as a quick and convenient way to prepare meals. From breakfast staples like pancakes and eggs to dinner favorites like burgers and stir-fries, the griddle’s versatility makes it a go-to option for many home cooks.
But when it comes to health, is cooking on a griddle a good choice?
Cooking on a griddle can be a healthy cooking method, but it depends on what and how you cook. Griddles can be a great option for cooking lean proteins and vegetables but if all you cook is bacon and sausages, there’s nothing making it inherently healthier than any other cooking method.
In this article, we’ll explore the potential health benefits and drawbacks of griddle cooking, as well as provide tips for healthier griddle cooking. We’ll also share some healthy and delicious griddle recipes that you can try at home. So whether you’re a seasoned griddle chef or new to this cooking method, read on to learn more about the health implications of griddle cooking.
Table of Contents
- Tips to Make Cooking on A Griddle Healthier
- What are the benefits of cooking on a griddle?
- Healthy Meals to Cook on Your Griddle
- Is a Griddle Healthier than A Grill?
- Final Thoughts
Tips to Make Cooking on A Griddle Healthier
As mentioned, griddle cooking or griddling has seen a huge boom in recent years. I personally love griddles but I am very aware of the fact that it is not the healthiest way to cook food unless you deliberately try to make it healthier.
Consider switching to leaner cuts of meat
No matter what other tips you try to follow unless you stop cooking the fattiest cuts of meat on your griddle, you are not going to make it healthy. Eating leaner cuts of meat can help reduce your intake of saturated fat, which can help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Use healthy cooking oil
I’m sorry to break it to you, but bacon grease doesn’t count as a healthy cooking oil. Opt for healthier options like olive oil, avocado oil, or coconut oil instead.
Use oil in moderation
There’s no need for the food to swim in oil. You are not deep-frying food on the griddle. Only use a small amount of oil so that it prevents the food from sticking to the cooking surface. For some food, you don’t need to use any oil at all. Yeah, sure, bacon is one of these foods but it certainly won’t win any prizes when it comes to healthy eating.
Be careful with the marinades
Marinades can be a great way to add flavor and aroma to your griddle-cooked meals, but be cautious – some marinades can be high in calories and salt. Many store-bought marinades are packed with sugar, salt, and additives, which can derail your healthy cooking plans.
Instead, think about making your own marinades with fresh herbs, lemon or lime, and spices such as chili. You’ll get the same amount of flavor without the extra calories and sodium. If you do use a store-bought marinade, make sure to read the label and pick the one with the least amount of added sugars and sodium.
Watch the temperature
It is essential that you keep an eye on the griddle’s temperature. If the griddle gets too hot, the food might very well burn, which is not healthy. Also, when meat, such as pork or beef, is exposed to very high temperatures, it can start producing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons which are mutagenic chemicals that may increase the risk of cancer.
It is usually unnecessary to keep the griddle on high all of the time. In fact, most foods will cook perfectly well on medium heat.
Maintaining the proper griddle temperature is important for cooking healthy, tasty meals. To measure the temperature of the griddle, use an infrared thermometer. It’s additionally a good idea to preheat the griddle before you put anything on it.
Consider getting an electric griddle
Electric griddles are usually equipped with non-stick-coated flat tops allowing you to cook with no oil at all. This helps to reduce the amount of fat and calories in the food.
Yes, Teflon has received a lot of bad press but there are other non-stick materials to choose from.
What are the benefits of cooking on a griddle?
Griddles provide a lot of benefits when compared to other outdoor cooking methods.
- Versatility: Griddles can be used to cook a wide range of foods, from pancakes and eggs to burgers and vegetables. It’s even possible to smoke meat on a griddle or cook pizza.
- Healthier cooking: Because griddles typically require little oil, they can be a healthier cooking option compared to other methods that require a lot of oil such as deep-frying.
- Easy to clean: Cast iron and steel griddle tops are easy to clean using a scraper or a spatula and a bit of water. Electric griddles are easy to clean as well but require more caution due to the non-stick coating used on their tops.
- Saves time: Thanks to the large surface area, griddles can cook a lot of food quickly and efficiently, making them a great option for busy home cooks who need to get meals on the table quickly. That’s also one of the reasons large griddles are so popular in commercial settings.
- Great for outdoor cooking: Griddles, especially the propane ones, are a popular choice for outdoor cooking, whether you’re camping or hosting a backyard cookout. They are also a great option for cooking during power outages or other emergency situations where traditional cooking methods may not be available.
Healthy Meals to Cook on Your Griddle
Would you like some inspiration for healthy meals to cook on your Blackstone or Camp Chef griddle? Here are some quick meals you can cook.
Grilled chicken breast with veggies – Season your chicken with your favorite herbs and spices, and grill alongside a colorful mix of vegetables like bell peppers, green beans, zucchini, and onions. It’s a delicious and healthy meal that’s packed with nutrients.
Breakfast burrito – Scramble some eggs with veggies like spinach, peppers, and onions, and add mushrooms. Place on a whole wheat tortilla. Top with cheese and homemade avocado salsa or hot sauce. Pack the tortilla into a compact package and grill it for about two minutes per side for a flavorful and healthy breakfast option.
Grilled shrimp skewers with pineapple and peppers – Skewer some shrimp with chunks of pineapple, peppers, and red onions. Brush the skewers with a marinade made of sweet chili sauce, lime juice, cilantro, and salt. Place on a preheated griddle and cook from all sides until cooked through. Serve with a side of brown rice or quinoa for a tasty and balanced meal.
Veggie burgers – Make your own veggie burgers using ingredients like black beans, eggs, quinoa, and sweet potato, and grill on the griddle. Serve on a whole wheat bun with all the fixings for a delicious and healthy burger alternative.
Grilled portobello mushrooms with a side salad – Marinate some portobello mushrooms in a balsamic vinaigrette, and cook on the griddle from both sides until tender. Serve with a side salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumbers for a light and refreshing meal.
Is a Griddle Healthier than A Grill?
To a beginner or even a seasoned pro, the difference between grilling and griddling can be unclear when it comes to which cooking method is healthier.
Griddles are not considered healthier than grills due to the way how cooking on them works. Unlike grills, they usually require at least a small amount of oil to cook and the grease from the food has nowhere to drip. This means the cooked food is likely to be higher in fat and calories than food cooked on a grill.
While you can slightly mitigate it by placing the food on a paper towel to wick away some of the oil, it will still have more fat content than the same food cooked on a grill.
Grilling on grates allows the fat to drip away from the food, resulting in a healthier meal. Additionally, grilling can be done without any oil, so you can avoid adding extra fat and calories to your meal. Technically, with a well-seasoned griddle, you could skip using oil as well but chances are some food will still tend to stick to the flat top.
However, whether or not something is healthy is heavily influenced by what food you cook and how you cook it. Grilled food can be just as unhealthy as griddled food. And if cooked properly, griddled food can be healthy too. Stir-fried veggies done on a Blackstone griddle with a bit of olive oil are definitely going to be healthier than grilled pork ribs marinated in an oily marinade.
Another thing to add is that charcoal grills are not really that healthy either. The oil and grease from food drip down on the hot charcoal and create smoke that may contain carcinogens which in turn end up on your food. Propane grills are much healthier to cook on than charcoal grills.
In conclusion, griddle cooking can be a healthy option if you pay attention to what you cook and how you cook it. With a little creativity and experimentation, you can cook up some healthy and tasty meals on your griddle.
The tips mentioned in this article, such as using leaner cuts of meat, healthy cooking oil, and moderate amounts of oil, can help you make healthier griddle-cooked meals.
Using an electric griddle with a non-stick surface can also reduce the amount of oil needed to cook your food.
So go ahead and give it a try. Griddling doesn’t have to always result in greasy junk food.
Can cooking on a griddle be considered a low-fat cooking method?
It depends on how you cook on the griddle. Cooking on a griddle can be a low-fat cooking method if you use lean cuts of meat and avoid adding extra fat, such as oil or butter.
However, if you cook high-fat foods on the griddle or add lots of oil or butter, it can no longer be considered a low-fat cooking method.
What types of griddles are recommended for healthy cooking?
Any type of griddle can be used to cook healthy meals. Whether you choose a simple indoor electric griddle or a huge Blackstone cooking station powered by propane doesn’t make a difference. You are the one who decides whether you cook a healthy meal or a load of greasy stuff.