Griddle vs Grill (Which is Better?)

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Are you trying to decide between purchasing a griddle vs a grill? Just want to understand the difference? You’ve come to the right place! 

In this TheGrillingDad.com guide, you will learn:

  • All about griddles
  • All about grills
  • Which is the best choice for you
  • And much more!
a hamburger on a grill being flipped by a spatula

Griddle vs Grill

Maybe there is someone in your life telling you that the griddle and the grill are interchangeable. This is not the case. These cooking surfaces are different and will yield varying results. 

While both griddles and grills can be used to cook items like a hamburger, the capabilities of a griddle go further, even extending to items like eggs. Grills, on the other hand, are typically better when cooking meats as they will give your food a much smokier flavor. 

There are several foods that can be prepared on both surfaces, but there are some items we suggest cooking on only one of these cooking methods. We’ve tried them both, and we know which one we suggest everyone cook with! 

Ready to learn all about cooking on a grill vs. a griddle? Read on to get started!

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Griddle vs Grills at a Glance

First of all, before we start diving into which is better, let’s discuss a little bit about the grill versus a griddle. 

A griddle is a flat metal top that is heated from below. These are commonly seen at restaurants, but you can purchase a small one for your household as well. These small portable ones are great for grilling as they typically run on propane and are smaller than a portable grill.

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A grill, on the other hand, is made up of a heating element with a grate placed over it. But unlike a griddle, you can choose your fuel source. There are gas, charcoal, and pellet grills, just to name a few. This gives you a variety of cooking styles, but some of these cooking methods are more bulky and difficult to travel with than a gas griddle. 

Griddles, because they have a flat surface, can cook everything from a hamburger to pancakes and even eggs. You may struggle a bit with hotdogs (they can roll off), but they, too, can be cooked sufficiently on a griddle. 

Related >> Best Outdoor Gas Griddles

Grills can also be used to cook multiple meals, but because there are holes in the grate, you have to be more creative when it comes to non-meat items. For example, you can still make eggs or a grilled cheese sandwich, but you will need to bring tinfoil, an egg mold, or a frying pan to do so. This can be difficult when you are trying to pack light for a camping trip.  

But when it comes to meat, the griddle can’t hold a candle to a grill. On a griddle, you won’t get that smoky flavor that comes from using a grill. You also won’t be able to sear meat in flames or get a nice crust on anything.

This is why we think grills are overall superior to griddles, and we recommend cooking almost everything on them. Unless, of course, you want to spend your Saturday night sitting around the campfire drinking beer and eating fried eggs, then please choose a griddle.

Related >> Best Charcoal Grills

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Griddle vs. Grill Comparison

Below are some of the main features of both items that we have researched that make grills a superior choice in almost every cooking situation. 

Temperature

The most important feature when it comes to cooking anything is the temperature it needs to be cooked at. Most grills, when used properly, are heated up to a temperature of around 400°F, which gives you lots of capabilities for cooking. 

You can sear, cook over the flame, and add those nice grill marks to your food. Griddles, unfortunately, only heat to a temperature of about 350°F, meaning while you can cook most things, you won’t be able to do a nice steak on your griddle. 

If you try to cook steak on your griddle, you will likely get an outside that is overcooked, and an inside that is raw. 

Related >> Best Charcoal and Gas Combo Grills

Grease Control

Cooking food on a grill may even be healthier than on a griddle, depending on what you are cooking. When you cook on a griddle, the grease is not allowed to drain and instead stays around the food, soaking back in. 

On a grill, the grease runs off through the slats and doesn’t get back into whatever you are cooking. It also makes it easier to reuse a grill without deep cleaning because a scrape of the grates is enough to get the remnants of food off. 

A griddle needs to be cleaned of grease between each cooking session, otherwise, you may end up with your grilled cheese or quesadilla tasting of bacon grease! 

Surface

As previously mentioned, many people think they can cook more on a griddle, but the reality is, that you can cook just about anything on a grill that you can cook on a griddle, and more. 

While the surface of the grill is non-ideal for items like quesadillas, eggs, pancakes, and baked beans, you can usually use a frying pan set on your grill to cook these items (as long as it is rated for the oven/high heat!) Also, you can typically purchase a griddle attachment for a grill and have the best of both worlds. 

This can’t be said for a griddle. There is no griddle we know of with a grill attachment. Therefore when you purchase a griddle, you are only able to cook things that need to be cooked on a griddle. 

The flat smooth surface of the griddle makes breakfast a breeze, but you’ll have a hard time trying to cook your pot of baked beans on a griddle. Not to mention that griddles are typically smaller in size (unless you have a restaurant one), and you can only cook a few items at a time. On a grill, you can cook a full meal in one go! 

Fuel Selection

Griddles typically only have one fuel selection, electric if you plan to use it at home or gas if you want to travel. There is no way to use charcoal or wood pellets with your griddle. 

With a grill, you get to choose the fuel source you would like to use when you buy your grill. And some grills even have multiple options to choose from. For example, you can purchase a charcoal grill but still add wood chips when you want to give a certain flavor to your meat. 

Either way, if you are picky about the flavor of your meat, or the fuel source you intend to use, it’s probably better to select a grill so you can choose! 

Portability

This is one aspect that the griddle might win. Generally, griddles are small and are almost always gas or electric powered, making them easy to transport. But, there are many small grill options out there that are perfect for your tailgates, camping trips, and balcony

Just know that when you purchase a more portable grill, you won’t reap the benefits from the space we were discussing above. But, you will still be able to cook more at once than you would be able to on a griddle! 

Here is a list of our favorite small grills:

Whether you want a gas, charcoal, or pellet grill, they can be found in portable varieties, so don’t get caught up on the portability aspect! 

Upgrades

When you purchase a griddle, there is no way to upgrade it in most cases. What you purchase is what you will get for the rest of the life of the griddle.

With grills, the upgrade options are endless. Not only can you add a griddle attachment to most grills (some brands even have one that you attach to the side, so you don’t sacrifice space!), but you can also get upgrades like pizza ovens, side burners, and more. 

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Purchasing a grill is purchasing the basic grill, then grabbing the accessories you want to customize your grill. This makes it much easier to tailor a grill to your family than a griddle. 

Storage

Storage is an interesting feature of a grill that typically isn’t available in a griddle. If you are purchasing a grill for your home, you will likely want one with a cabinet for storing the propane and your other grilling supplies. 

Griddles are usually just a box-like shape that you set on your counter and cook on, which holds the propane can. Some of the electric ones don’t even have this, as they are a flat pan with a plug that can’t store anything. 

Some griddles, like those meant to be outdoors, do also have storage space, but it tends to be a lot less in terms of space. So if you think that you want to store some items in or with your cooking method, we recommend the grill.

Storing Your Appliance

Alright, we will give one more feature to the griddle and that is the fact that it is easier to store. Since griddles are typically smaller, they can be slipped into a cabinet when they aren’t being used. 

Even if you purchase a camping griddle, it usually can be folded up smaller than a grill and is lighter to transport. But keep in mind that you will need to be carrying around bulky bottles of propane if you have a propane griddle! 

Even if you don’t have a lot of storage space, don’t write off a grill, as there are many that can fold and be stored on a shelf as well. You will just need to specifically look for a grill that you can store if space is a concern. 

Grills vs Griddles: The Winner

Overall, the grill wins this one! There is just so much more you can do with a grill than a griddle, and with a few additions (like a griddle attachment), the grill really can do it all. Griddles, while smaller, just don’t have the searing and cooking capabilities you will need if you want to make a delicious steak or a rack of ribs. 

So if you are in the market for a grill or a griddle, go for the grill, then purchase the griddle attachment if you really want to make items like eggs or pancakes. The grill will serve you much better than the griddle ever will, and you can add additional customizations to get the most use out of your grill!

Just keep in mind that grills tend to be large and bulky, so you will need to keep where you will store it and whether or not you will travel with it in mind. Otherwise, you can’t go wrong when you buy yourself a grill! 

Hope Davis

Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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